Iceland Is Growing New Forests

 

Iceland Is Growing New Forests

The landscape of Iceland has changed a lot in a thousand years. When the Vikings first arrived in the ninth century, the land was covered in 25 to 40 percent forest.
Within a few centuries, almost all of the island’s trees were slashed and burned to make room for farming. This rapid deforestation has resulted in massive soil erosion that puts the island at risk for desertification.

Today, the Icelandic Forest Service has taken on the mammoth task of bringing back the woodlands. With the help of forestry societies and forest farmers, Iceland’s trees are slowly beginning to make a comeback. Watch this short film by Euforgen to learn more about how their efforts are working to benefit Iceland's economy and ecology through forestry.

 


10 Beautiful And Bizarre Natural Wonders

10 Beautiful And Bizarre Natural Wonders

Every corner of our planet is teeming with breathtaking natural formations. Some, such as the aurora borealis, are well-known by many. Others lie undiscovered and waiting within the inner reaches of rain forests and oceans.

Some of these phenomena can only be found in the exotic realms of faraway places. But you don’t always have to travel that far. Fortunately, there are others that can be viewed in your own backyard.

10 Spotted Lake

In Canada, there is a lake that seems to have been crafted by a child’s imagination, a place that would fit right in with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The Spotted Lake in Osoyoos, British Columbia, is no ordinary body of water. Instead of a normally smooth surface, this lake appears to be covered in giant, colorful polka dots! The colors even change depending on the conditions of the water, ranging from a sulfur yellow to the deepest of blues.[1]

The Spotted Lake is made up of a collection of smaller, puddle-like bodies of water that are rich in magnesium sulfate, calcium, salt, and other minerals. In fact, it is said that the lake contains the highest concentrations of minerals in the world, so much that they were mined and made into ammunition during World War I. During the hot summers in the surrounding desert, the water evaporates into the small puddles while the salts crystallize in between to form walkways.

To the Okanagan First Nations people, the lake harbors special medicinal properties. While it was saved from housing a spa on its shores in the 1970s, it is now fenced off and protected as a sacred site. Still, it is easy to view the strange and enormous pools from a distance as the glassy, mirrorlike formations are hard to miss.

9 Oceans In The Sky

Photo credit: thoughtco.com

The sight of rolling ocean waves is usually reserved for beaches, but who knew they existed in the sky as well?

Floating up in high altitudes, these Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds are fun to look at but not to surf. Formed when two air currents at different speeds collide with each other, they resemble the wavy, curved rise and fall of the sea.

The clouds have a flat, horizontal base, and the waves on top are evenly spaced. They are most easily formed on a windy day when the layers of air are apt to meet each other. As warm air stacks on top of cooler air, the faster layer on top transforms the cloud into the whimsical shape.[2]

But look fast! Due to the air’s velocity and warmth, the cloud soon evaporates, leaving behind nothing but a memory and the lingering feeling of awe.

8 Murmurations

What’s that strange, dark-colored cloud twisting and turning in midair? It is a breathtaking sight of millions of tiny creatures coming together to perform this aerial stunt. The enormous shape contracts and expands, soaring through the skies in whirling formation. Is it a swarm of locusts or some rare weather phenomenon?

Neither. Instead, it is a formation of thousands upon thousands of starlings.

Starlings are ordinary songbirds that feed on seeds and insects. While their black plumage has a glossy iridescence up close, they are often regarded as pests because of the damage they cause to crops and airplanes.

Yet, these small birds prove that strength lies in numbers. Starting in the autumn season, thousands of starlings flock together in what is known as a murmuration, with numbers swelling to 100,000. A murmuration of more than six million was recorded in Somerset in 1999!

Together, they fly in search of places to roost during dusk. Though the hypnotic formations are breathtaking to look at, murmurations are not just for show. They provide safety for the birds as predators have a much harder time picking out a single target among thousands. Bigger flocks also mean warmer roosts in the chilly months. In addition, they are better able to socialize and share information on where to find food.[3]

The starlings know just how to fly so that they don’t crash into each other. With a reaction time of 100 milliseconds, they are vigilantly aware of the speed and direction of the birds around them. They adjust accordingly so that the entire murmuration may reach speeds of 32 kilometers per hour (20 mph)!

7 Striped Icebergs

Photo credit: amusingplanet.com

Antarctica is well-known for its pristine white icebergs, glaciers, and caves. Yet some of these icebergs are not ordinary—they seem to be covered in an array of black, brown, yellow, and blue stripes!

With the appearance of marbled gemstones, these decorated icebergs are formed when chunks of freshwater ice come into contact with the seawater beneath them. The seawater, which contains sediment and minerals, freezes into the ice and develops beautiful dark bands around it.

As the iceberg is shaped by the waves and wind, the colored layers are further warped into different patterns.[4] Blue stripes are caused by water freezing into a crevice so fast that no bubbles form. Water with algae results in a green tint, resulting in these beautiful natural formations.

6 Massive Spiderweb Fields

Photo credit: Science Daily

The grass has an odd gray tint to it. In fact, everything is wrapped in a blanket of fine, see-through silk: the fields, the bushes, even the trees. This dusty covering was actually created by thousands of tiny spiders, leaving behind a world encased in creepily billowing sheets that resemble something out of a haunted house.

The gigantic webs can span a whopping 30 meters (98 ft). They are usually made after a flood or heavy rain, prompting the spiders to escape to higher ground. To do so, they release a thin strand of silk and let the wind carry them off like hot-air balloons, a process known as ballooning.[5] A mass ballooning event involves thousands of the tiny arachnids, which trail their silk behind them and land expertly in fields to scare passersby.

In some cases, the webs are 0.8 kilometers (0.5 mi) long and so thick that those who attempt to travel through them end up covered with the substance. The event has occurred all over the world, including the US, Australia, Great Britain, and Pakistan. Sometimes, however, the spiders’ escape attempts fail, causing the wind to repeatedly blow them up and over trees to create a matted carpet of silken nightmares.

5 Fire Rainbows

Photo credit: National Geographic

Fire rainbows are dazzling displays of light that resemble arching wings or feathers. Unlike your average rainbow, these are much more difficult to make. Cirrus clouds, or clouds that resemble thin and wispy strands of hair, are located in high altitudes. It is only when the Sun is very high in the sky that fire rainbows can develop.[6]

What’s more, the ice crystals inside the clouds must be positioned in the right shape and direction, with their faces horizontal to the ground. If the crystals are lined up correctly, sunlight will bounce off the same way as in a prism, producing a breathtaking show of many colors.

4 Desert Roses

Photo credit: geologyin.com

No, these aren’t petrified roses. Instead, they are made of crystal.

Found in dry, sandy areas such as the Sahara Desert, the “roses” are formed from disks of gypsum or baryte crystals stacked together over tens or hundreds of years to resemble the petals of a flower.

The crystals form when water evaporates and are shaped like flat plates that can measure up to 1 meter (3.3 ft) across. Clusters of desert roses may be found together, giving the appearance of a sandy bouquet. The largest single rose was 25 centimeters (10 in) high and weighed 57 kilograms (125 lb), while the largest cluster tipped the scales at 454 kilograms (1,000 lb).[7]

With their beauty and unnatural appearance, it’s no wonder that they are sought after as prized specimens for collections.

3 Tricolored Crater Lakes

Photo credit: curiosity.com

There are three crater lakes nestled at the foot of Mount Kelimutu in Indonesia, hailed by the locals as mysterious resting places for the afterlife.

Indeed, with their unnatural appearance, the lakes seem otherworldly. Coupled with their uncanny power to change colors at any time, they are believed to reflect the moods of the ancestors’ spirits. The Lake of Old People is typically blue. The Lake of Young Men and Maidens is usually green, while the third, the Bewitched Lake, tends to be red.[8]

Occasionally, they take on hues of white, black, brown, and turquoise, like tricks in a magician’s act. While other strangely colored lakes are caused by bacteria, the explanations for these lakes are baffling. Although there is no confirmed answer, most agree that the interaction between minerals in the water and volcanic ash are the culprit.

2 Blood Falls
Antarctica

Photo credit: National Geographic

A waterfall is located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Startlingly, the water is tinted a bold scarlet as though a river of blood were pouring out of the glacier’s side. Fortunately, the reason behind this phenomenon is a lot less eerie.

Two million years ago, the Taylor Glacier trapped a “time capsule” of microbes within it, essentially forming a community of organisms that were shut off from the rest of the world. Even without sunlight, heat, or oxygen, the microbes flourished, proving life’s abilities to survive even in Earth’s most extreme conditions.[9]

Eventually, the trapped lake flowed out through a crack in the ice, forming a waterfall with the ecosystem hidden inside. The falls run red due to high levels of iron and salinity, which explains why the water continues to flow instead of freeze.

1 Skeleton Flowers

Photo credit: chemistryworld.com

Despite their name, skeleton flowers are an alluring sight. Their normally white petals become as clear as glass when they come into contact with water. During downpours, the normal-looking blossoms suddenly take on the appearance of crystalline structures.

This is because of the petals’ cell structures. On rainy days, water soaks into the petals and increases light transmission to give them their transparent look. Once dry, they revert to white flowers. As they flourish on cold, forested mountainsides, the rare blooms are found in only three places on Earth: China, Japan, and the Appalachian Mountains.

These white flowers are not just pretty. Scientists from China have put them to good use. They have created a transparent surface that repels oil while underwater, which has been used to develop diving goggles and other optical tools.[10]


Sex Between Snow Monkeys And Sika Deer May Be 'New Behavioural Tradition'

Sex Between Snow Monkeys And Sika Deer May Be 'New Behavioural Tradition'

 

Sexual interactions between snow monkeys and sika deer could be a new behavioural tradition within a group of monkeys observed in Japan, researchers have suggested.

While the first report of a male Japanese macaque, or snow monkey, and female sika deer taking to each other was revealed earlier this year, scientists say they are now confident the behaviour is sexual after scrutinising adolescent females suggestively interacting with stags at Minoo in Japan.

“The monkey-deer sexual interactions reported in our paper may reflect the early stage development of a new behavioural tradition at Minoo,” said Dr Noëlle Gunst-Leca, co-author of the study from the University of Lethbridge in Canada.

While sexual interactions between closely related species have been seen for all manner of animals, from various species of fish to species of baboon, such liaisons are rare, with the sexual assault of king penguins by Antarctic fur sealsthe only other known example between distant species.

But earlier this year, a study revealed a male Japanese macaque had been filmed mounting a female Sika deer at Yakushima island in southern Japan. Gunst-Leca said it wasn’t clear quite what was going on.

“They were dealing with a single anecdotal event between one individual monkey and one individual deer, and the description they provided was short, vague and out of context,” she said. “As a result, even the sexual nature of this interaction was not clearly demonstrated.”

In the latest study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, Gunst-Leca and colleagues describe how they sought to unpick whether the intentions were indeed carnal.

To investigate, the team recorded the behaviour of snow monkeys at Minoo, north of Osaka in Japan. With only adolescent female monkeys spotted mounting deer, the team compared the interactions to sexual interactions between adolescent female monkeys. The latter is a well known practice, and the only available comparison, as during the study adolescent females were not seen performing sexual mounts on adult male monkeys.

In total, the team recorded 12 successful interactions between monkeys, involving six adolescent females, between November 2012 and January 2013 – with a total of 67 mounts by the monkeys. In addition, 13 successful interactions of an apparently sexual nature were recorded between monkeys and deer between early November 2014 and January 2015, involving five adolescent females and a total of 258 mounts.

Analysis of the animals’ behaviour revealed no clear difference between the adolescent female snow monkeys and other females or deer when it came to how often they sought such attentions, mounted their partner, how long they spent on their partner, or even their orientation – although as expected monkeys more often undertook sitting mounts on deer than on other monkeys. Unexpectedly, pelvic thrusting was more common when the partner was a deer.

With no monkey-deer sexual interactions previously having been noticed at Minoo, the team say that the behaviour could be the start of a new custom, adding that adolescent females would watch others on the backs of the deer and try to take their place.

Dr Cédric Sueur of the University of Strasbourg, a co-author of the study released earlier this year, said the monkey-deer liaisons might be a nascent relationship.

“It is maybe a new/innovative behaviour that can be socially transmitted and will spread,” he said. “Monkeys do this according to the sex ratio at the reproductive season: if females cannot have access to males, they can have homosexual relations or relations with a deer.”

The team also found that the adolescent females emitted high pitched calls at the deer when gazing at them, and threw tantrums – including body spasms and screams – if the deer walked away, as they do when engaged in sexual interactions with other monkeys.

The successful sexual interactions observed involved a male deer, with the majority involving an adult male: two female deer and three young males courted by the monkeys simply reared up, unseating them.

“Also, heterospecific mounts between Japanese macaques and sika deer have not been observed outside their coinciding mating seasons,” said Gunst-Leca.

While it is unclear why the animals would engage in such behaviour, Gunst-Leca said there were several possibilities, including adolescent females practising for sex with other monkeys, that it offers females a safer way of engaging in sexual behaviour than hooking up with aggressive male monkeys, or that adolescent females are often rejected by adult male monkeys, leaving them at a loss for partners of their own species.

Since snow monkeys have also been spotted riding sika deer with no clear sexual agenda – the animals are often found at the same sites since the deer eat food left by monkeys as they forage – it is also possible that adolescent females have developed a taste for the genital stimulation, Gunst-Leca added

“Future observations at this site will indicate whether this group-specific sexual oddity was a short-lived fad or the beginning of a culturally-maintained phenomenon,” the authors note.


10 Fascinating Things that Are Actually Created By Animals

10 Fascinating Things that Are Actually Created By Animals

Nature surprises us in many ways. On one hand, we face extreme atrocities like earthquakes and cyclones while on the other hand, nature gives us beautiful creations like the Aurora Borealis. Moreover, birds and animals enhance this beauty of nature. They, in their own unique way, craft some very beautiful and amazing things. Here, we bring you 10 such amazing things created by animals that will just blow your mind.

1. Spider Decoys

A new species of spiders have been discovered in the Amazon that creates fake spiders as decoys from leaves, debris, and dead insects to misdirect predators.

Image Source: Photo taken by Lary Reeves via Wired

In the Peruvian, Amazon rainforest, a spider has been discovered that builds elaborate, fake spiders and hangs them in its web. This new spider is believed to belong to the genus Cyclosa. The spider uses debris, leaves, and dead insects to craft the larger replica of itself. Though Cyclosa consists of other spider species that sculpt structures, this is the first time that scientists have observed a species that builds a replica of itself with numerous long legs.

Scientists suspect that the fake spiders are built as decoys. This might be a part of their defense mechanism in order to confuse or mislead predators.(source)

2. Puffer Fish Circles

Created by the male pufferfish, this 7-foot diameter geometric pattern is designed to attract a mate and have her lay eggs in the center.

Image Source: BBC Earth – Life Story (Unplugged)

In 1995, some divers in Japan discovered strange, circular patterns on the seafloor. They noticed that the patterns came and went mysteriously. For more than a decade, scientists were unable to discover what these patterns stood for.

In 2013, scientists finally discovered the creature responsible for the creation of this amazing underwater pattern – a newly discovered species of pufferfish. They also learned that these ornate circles are made to attract mates.

To create the patterns, the males swim along the seafloor and flap their fins. Such movements lead to the creation of the beautiful circular patterns. Although the fish are only about five inches long, the formations they make measure about 7-feet in diameter.

Once the patterns are made, females come to inspect them. If they are fond of the creations, they reproduce with the male that created the pattern. It is yet to be discovered what exactly the females look for in the patterns or what traits they find desirable in the formation.(source)

3. Bowerbird Nests

Bowerbirds build intricate, brightly colored structures to attract mates. They pick up colorful objects such as green glass and plastic toys to add aesthetics to their structures.

Image Source: Wikimedia CommonsPixabay

The forests of New Guinea and Australia are home to a group of unusual birds. Known as bowerbirds, they are named after the elaborate structures. They build elaborate structures as part of a unique courtship ritual.

There has been an instance where one bird has been found to use colorful objects such as green glass, a plastic toy elephant, and a toy soldier to decorate the structure. Some birds have been known to use colorful fruits and decorate their bowers with blue or green saliva.(source)

4. The Great Barrier Reef

Known as the single greatest structure built by living organisms, the great reef is composed of 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands spanning over 1,600 miles.

Image Source: Flickr

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most remarkable creations of nature. It is the largest structure built by a colony of living organisms. It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space. The structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.

The reef supports a diversity of marine life that includes numerous endangered species, some of which may be endemic to the reef system. As of 2006, 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises have been recorded in the Great Barrier Reef. These include the dwarf minke whale, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, and the humpback whale. A large variety of fish and sea snakes are found on the reef. The reef also supports numerous animals on land and birds.(source)

5. Termite Mound

These termite shelters can be more than 10 meters high and 15 meters wide at their base. Some of them even have a strong resemblance to Disney castles and skyscrapers.

Image Source: Wikipedia Wikimedia CommonsWikimedia Commons

These mound-building termites are nature’s expert architects. They are masters of construction. Their sophisticated and innovative, green-energy designs are an inspiration to architects. An interestingly, they don’t live in these massive structures that they construct.

They, in fact, build their nests in the ground below the mound. These structures are meant for protection from invading ant armies and other threats.

Scientists also had a theory that the mounds are designed primarily to control nest temperatures. But in a recent study, it has been found that one of the primary functions of the mound is to facilitate the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

In 2015, scientists discovered an abandoned termite mound that is more than 2,200 years old. Another mound they studied was at least 750 years old. This suggests that termites used the same structures for millennia.(1,2)

6. Gossamer Trees

In 2010, flooding in Pakistan caused millions of spiders to climb up on trees for refuge and cover them in cocoons of their web.

Image Source: Wikimedia CommonsFlickr

In 2010, unprecedented monsoons brought down massive rainfall leading to flooding in Pakistan. The water was slow to recede and it created vast pools of stagnant water across the countryside.

During this time, the flood drove millions of spiders and other insects into the trees that were above the water level of the flood. This led the spiders to spin their webs, possibly combined with other insects, covering the trees with ghostly cocoons.

Although the cocoons led to the death of many trees as they were blocking sunlight from reaching the leaves, they also seemed to help trap more mosquitoes in the region, thereby reducing the risk of malaria.(source)

7. Weaver Bird Nests

The nesting colonies of weaver birds may contain up to 300 chambers (one per pair) and span up to 25 feet in width and five feet in height.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

Weaver birds are known for their intricately woven nests. The males build the homes to attract females. Depending on the type of bird and the available building materials, nests may be constructed with plant fibers or twigs. Once they assemble the building materials, they start weaving. The ideal design has a long tube that connects to a chamber which probably serves as the nursery.

Once the nest is completed, the males declare an “open house” by fluttering their wings. If a female likes what she sees, eggs appear on the nests in just a few days.

Although the majority of the species build individual love nests, there are others who weave aggregate nests in communities with hundreds of other weaver bird pairs.(1,2)

8. Beaver Dams

Beavers build dams as protection against predators. The world’s biggest beaver dam, at 2,790 feet long, is around twice the length of the Hoover Dam and is visible from space.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons , Wikimedia Commons

Beavers are known as the engineers of the rodent world. They use the branches of trees to dam streams. The dam then creates a pond in the middle upon which the beaver family then constructs an island. The dams act as a shield of protection against vicious predators like bears, coyotes, and wolves. It also helps them to have easy access to food during the winters.

The dams typically range in length from a few feet to about 1,500 feet. But there is a dam that has surprised biologists because of its length. Located in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada, this dam measures 2,790 feet in length. As per photos released by NASA World Wind, the dam did not exist in 1975 but can be seen in subsequent images.(1,2)

9. Mud Dauber Prisons

Mud Dauber wasps design their nests from mud in the form of prisons where they capture spiders for consumption.

Image Source: Wikipedia,  Wikimedia Commons

The mud daubers build nests in the shape of cylindrical tubes. Some resemble an urn. They then stock their nests with spiders which serve as food for their children. Instead of stocking a nest cell with one or two large spiders, they cram around two dozen small spiders into it.

To capture a prey like a spider, the wasp stings it. The poison from the sting only paralyzes the spider and doesn’t kill it. They then preserve and store their prey in the nest cell. Next, they lay their eggs on the paralyzed spiders inside the nest cell and seal the nests with a mud cap. The larva survives on these paralyzed spiders and also spend the winters inside the nests.(source)

10. Flower Sandwiches

These are floral contraptions created by the rare Osmia avosetta bees. Made into a three-tiered chamber, the outside consists of a thin layer of petals, a layer of mud, and an additional layer of petals.

Image Source: Photo taken by J G Rozen from the American Museum of Natural History

The picture above depicts the nest of a rare species of a solitary bee named the Osmia avosetta. The nests are three-tiered, with mud sandwiched between thin layers of petals. At the core of the sandwich, the bee’s larva is located. The larva survives on the nectar and pollen that is deposited inside the chamber by its parent. All this happens before the egg is laid. Lastly, they seal the nest for the egg to develop.

Each structure has room for just one larva. These structures were discovered on the same day by two teams in Turkey and Iran. They further noticed regional variations between the nests. Bees in Turkey tend to pick yellow, pink, blue, and purple petals, while Iranian bees make their nests with just purple flowers.

These structures look like unique works of art.(1,2)

 


Everything You Need To Know About Hawaiian Lava Flows

Everything You Need To Know About Hawaiian Lava Flows

 

 

A geologist describes the types of lava flows found on Hawaii, including pahoehoe and aa, shows what happens when wood is introduced into pahoehoe lava, and shows why lava deltas are dangerous and can disappear quickly. Animations, aerial footage, ground shots, time lapse.

 


Russia Claims Radioactivity Spike In Europe Not Due To Nuclear Plant

Russia Claims Radioactivity Spike In Europe Not Due To Nuclear Plant

Russian authorities denied Friday that a radioactivity spike in the air over Europe this fall resulted from a nuclear fuel processing plant leak in the Ural mountains, saying their probe has found no release of radioactivity there.

Vladimir Boltunov of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation said an inspection of the Mayak nuclear plant has proven that it wasn’t the source of Ruthenium-106, a radioactive isotope spotted in the air over Europe and Russia in late September and early October.

France’s nuclear safety agency said last month that increased levels of Ruthenium-106 were recorded over most of Europe but posed no health or environmental risks.

The Russian panel that involved experts from Rosatom and other agencies failed to identify where the isotope came from, but alleged it could have come from a satellite that came down from its orbit and disintegrated in the atmosphere.

Nuclear safety expert Rafael Arutyunian said while isotopes of plutonium, cesium or strontium are normally used as power sources for satellites, it can’t be excluded that Ruthenium-106 could have been used in some satellite equipment.

The assumption that the isotope came from a crashing satellite would explain its broad spread over Europe, he argued.

 

Arutyunian, deputy head of the Institute for Safe Nuclear Energy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that a broader panel will continue investigating the radioactivity.

Last month, the Russian state meteorological office reported high levels of Ruthenium-106 in late September in areas close to Mayak, but Arutyunian and other experts emphasized that they were still tens of thousand times less than the level that would pose health risks.

The environmental group Greenpeace alleged that Mayak could have been the source of a Ruthenium-106 leak, but the panel insisted the plant doesn’t extract the isotope or conduct any other operations that may lead to its release.

The commission said a thorough inspection of the plant had found no safety breaches and checks of its personnel also hadn’t detected any trace of the isotope.

Vyacheslav Usoltsev of Rosatom’s safety inspectorate said a sophisticated monitoring system at the plant would have spotted any release of radiation.

The panel also noted that while increased levels of Ruthenium-106 were spotted in the Urals and over Europe, they weren’t detected over a 2,000-kilometer (1,250-mile) swath of land between the Urals and Russia’s western border. It argued that if the source of the leak were on the ground, it would have spread the trace of Ruthenium-106 midway.

Mayak, in the Chelyabinsk region, saw one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents on Sept. 29, 1957, when a waste tank exploded. That contaminated 23,000 square kilometers (9,200 square miles) and prompted authorities to evacuate 10,000 residents from neighboring regions.


MAN SPENDS FIFTY YEARS RESTORING A WASTELAND INTO PARADISE

MAN SPENDS FIFTY YEARS RESTORING A WASTELAND INTO PARADISE

 

 

Almost 50 years ago, fried chicken tycoon David Bamberger used his fortune to purchase 5,500 acres of overgrazed land in the Texas Hill Country. Planting grasses to soak in rains and fill hillside aquifers, Bamberger devoted the rest of his life to restoring the degraded landscape. Today, the land has been restored to its original habitat and boasts enormous biodiversity. Bamberger's model of land stewardship is now being replicated across the region and he is considered to be a visionary in land management and water conservation.

 

 

 


10 Surprising Problems Solved By Nature

10 Surprising Problems Solved By Nature -

Modern technology has turned everyday survival from a vicious challenge into a cakewalk. For instance, a weather app can tell you the local temperature in seconds and seeing in the dark is as easy as turning on your phone’s flashlight.

How could we possibly do this stuff accurately and easily without electronics and machinery? Well, Mother Nature already has a lot of it figured out.

We’re not talking about taking inspiration from nature or genetically modifying an animal to do something different. This list is made up of surprising abilities and features of the natural world that can be used to directly solve a problem.

10 Want To Know The Temperature?
Find Some Crickets

Photo credit: Calibas

Determining the temperature can be done in any number of ways—from the thermometer in your desk drawer to the weather presenter on your local news to the crickets chirping outside your house. That’s right, you can find out the temperature to a surprisingly accurate degree by counting the number of times a cricket chirps within a set period of time. This is all thanks to the work of 19th-century scientist Amos Dolbear, although it was first observed by the uncelebrated Margarette W. Brooks.

The rate of a cricket’s chirping corresponds to the temperature of its environment. So you can find out the rough temperature by counting the number of cricket chirps. This is theorized to be due to the cricket’s higher metabolism at higher temperatures.

The formula is different depending on the species. For common field crickets, you just count the chirps in a 15-second period and add 40 to get a fairly accurate estimate of the temperature in Fahrenheit.[1] It will be even more accurate if you use a snowy tree cricket as these were the ones used by Dolbear. Their chirping rate is also less affected by unrelated factors such as age.

9 Teeth Get Knocked Out?
Find A Coconut Or Some Milk ASAP

Picture the scene. It’s a hot summer day, you’re riding your bike, there’s a breeze in your hair, and life’s generally going great. Out of nowhere, a pothole. You go flying, landing face-first on the asphalt, and you feel something come loose in your mouth. What do you do?

Well, if there’s a coconut lying around, then the best course of action is to crack it open and put your loose teeth inside it. A 2007 study discovered that coconut water is an effective medium for storing detached teeth and preserving the periodontal ligament cells, which are vital for successfully reattaching the tooth.

Coconut water proved to be more effective than milk or saline solution. However, this study was conducted to determine how effective the mediums were once the teeth had already been separated for 30 minutes. Dentists still recommend milk as the best thing to use if it’s on hand.

If milk sounds like a weird thing in which to preserve a body part, dentists actually rank it as more effective than water.[2] It has nothing to do with the calcium content but instead the milk’s neutral pH.

Once dipped in milk, the tooth should be gently placed back into the cavity it fell out of to keep it moist, and medical help should be sought immediately. One hour is generally the critical period, although a tooth can remain viable for up to six hours.

8 Lost On A Hike?
Find Out Where You Are By Boiling Water

If you’ve ever been hiking or mountain climbing, you might know the effects of low air pressure. Breathing gets harder, your vision might go blurry, people might faint much more easily, and every step takes twice the effort. Nature has a handy little trick for figuring out how thin the atmosphere is: boiling water.

By cooking, you can tell roughly how far you are above sea level because the lower atmospheric pressure causes water to boil at lower temperatures. Roughly, every 150-meter (500 ft) increase in elevation will lower the boiling point by 0.56 degrees Celsius (1 °F).

So you can tell how high you are with nothing more than a flame, a container, some water, and a thermometer. It also might be important to know this because foods prepared by boiling or simmering will take longer to cook the higher you are. (That’s because you’re cooking at a lower temperature than normal.) If you’re climbing Mount Everest, your meal prep is going to take slightly longer every day.[3]

Interestingly, this effect works the other way as well, meaning that water boils at a higher temperature the lower you go below sea level. Water would have to reach roughly 493 degrees Celsius (919 °F) before it boiled in the Mariana Trench at its deepest point. However, water boils at around 71 degrees Celsius (160 °F) at the peak of Everest. (Again, these are approximations. They are not precise.)

7 Want To Catch A Criminal?
Just Find The Nearest Mosquito

It’s safe to say that mosquitoes aren’t popular animals, but they do have some surprising benefits. Just like in Jurassic Park, blood that has been drunk by a mosquito retains all the properties from the blood’s original host, including the DNA. In a way, these creatures act as living blood vials.

Knowing this, Finnish police investigating a sealed crime scene decided to detain their only witness: a mosquito. DNA found within the insect matched that of a man already on the police register, who was promptly apprehended for questioning. So, a criminal was caught when a mosquito was the only witness to his crime.

The saga of crime-fighting mosquitoes doesn’t stop there. In 2017, Japanese scientists managed to nail down the technique to extract and analyze blood from mosquitoes. Their breakthrough was that blood inside mosquitoes can contain identifiable DNA strands for up to two days.[4]

As a result, mosquito blood samples can be used to discover roughly when a person was in a certain area. Theoretically, this could be used not just to identify suspects but also to determine approximately when they had been somewhere.

6 Want To Go Fishing?
Use Some Walnuts (Illegally)

Fishing was a major food source for most Native American tribes. Eighteenth-century historian James Adair observed some fishing methods, such as simple spears and nets, used by indigenous peoples.

One of the more inventive practices involved allowing a catfish to swallow the fisherman’s hand. Then the fisherman would quickly yank the fish onto dry land. A rare technique used by some tribes was completely different than all the rest: chemical warfare.

They used black walnut hulls to fish, and you can, too. But you absolutely shouldn’t. Many countries have banned the practice due to the serious level of damage it can cause to local wildlife.

The walnut husks contain a chemical named saponin. Humans can break down saponin in their digestive systems, but fish assimilate it directly into their bloodstreams. The chemical stuns them, causing them to float to the surface of the water for an easy catch. It requires a lot of walnuts and is illegal in most states.[5]

5 Want To See In The Dark?
Use Some Rotting Fish

Photo credit: hackteria.org

Light is such an easy commodity to come by these days that we sometimes forget that our ancestors lived in much darker conditions. Open flame was the most obvious and accessible light source, but that required constant maintenance or expensive candles. Even if you were willing put up with those problems, open fires could be extremely dangerous. Luckily, there’s a surprising alternative.

Eighteenth-century miners in Newcastle, UK, had to work in the dark, cramped, and dangerous conditions of a mine without the luxury of modern electric lights. Flammable gas was a constant concern, so flame lanterns were also out of the question. However, rotting fish happily filled the void. The bacterial colonies feeding on the skin of rotting fish gave off enough natural light via bioluminescence to see by.

In the US, miners used the slightly more pleasant solution of jars filled with fireflies, which didn’t carry quite the same risks as actual fire. Seventeenth-century Indonesians used bioluminescent fungi as torches in the dense forest. As recently as World War II, Japanese soldiers harvested huge numbers of bioluminescent crustaceans to read maps at night without giving away their positions.[6]

4 Want Some Alcohol?
Suffocate A Goldfish

The desire to get drunk has occupied humanity for all of history. There’s evidence of wine production in Georgia going back at least 8,000 years. It really puts humanity’s priorities into focus.

Recently, scientists have discovered a surprising new source of alcohol: goldfish.

You read that right. Goldfish. They evolved the ability to produce alcohol to survive in icy conditions. When a lake freezes over, it cuts off the oxygen supply for any organisms in the water. A side effect of not getting enough oxygen is a slow buildup of lactic acid in the muscles, which will eventually become toxic.

The goldfish’s ingenious solution to this problem involves converting the stored lactic acid into liquid ethanol. The ethanol is then harmlessly released into the water.

University of Liverpool researchers have determined that you need to put a goldfish in a closed-off beer glass for 200 days to get a decent pint. While not exactly an efficient brewing method, it’s interesting to note that you could eventually get drunk with nothing more than thousands of goldfish and some icy water.[7]

If that’s not good enough, then naturally occurring palm wine may be the drink for you. Due to yeast in the sap of palm trees, palm wine starts fermenting the moment it’s removed from the tree.

Within hours, you have a drink with the same alcoholic content as a weak beer. Within days, it’s more like vinegar. This palm wine is a delicacy across the world—from India to West Africa—and some groups of chimpanzees have been seen regularly drinking this naturally occurring alcohol.

3 Need Drone Flight Plans?
Just Follow The Seagulls

Drones are still an up-and-coming technology that is constantly developing and facing new challenges. One such challenge is how to plan the most efficient routes as there are a host of different variables that can affect flight.

Wind speed, temperature, thermal updrafts, weather, and time of day can all completely change how a flying object behaves. In short, it’s an incredibly difficult topic to research without countless hours of trial and error. That is, unless we cheat and copy nature.

Scientists in Bristol have used seagulls to understand how a drone might fly best in an urban environment. Through observation of seagull flight patterns, the researchers gained a much better understanding of where thermals and changes in wind speed occurred. With this information, they plan to drastically increase the fuel efficiency and potential distance a drone could travel.[8]

2 Too Many Pollutants In The Soil?
Just Do Some Gardening

Photo credit: Townie

Heavy industry not only pollutes the global environment but also the immediate local area. Metals, such as mercury and lead, are commonly found in the soil around industrial areas. So are pollutants like arsenic.

These pollutants can have a devastating effect on local wildlife and humans, causing kidney damage, anemia, and countless other problems. The traditional methods of dealing with these ground pollutants are both expensive and inefficient.

The modern answer to this wildlife-destroying phenomenon is, of course, to throw more wildlife at it—specifically, plants, fungi, and algae capable of phytoremediation.[9] This process causes harmful pollutants to be absorbed through the root systems of plants such as hemp, mustard plants, or pigweed.

After a set amount of time, the plants are harvested and treated, and new seeds are planted in their place. Valuable contaminants, such as cadmium or nickel, can even be extracted from the plants and reused in a process named phytomining. We’re literally mining for metal using mustard plants.

1 Thirsty?
Just Find A Giant Tortoise

Photo credit: Matthew Field

For anyone who’s ever drunk milk, it seems obvious that we can get edible drinks from a huge variety of animals. Almost every mammal produces milk in some form, and if you’re truly desperate, you can drink an animal’s blood like the Mongols did.

The problem arises during situations such as long sea voyages where there simply isn’t space for a whole dairy farm worth of animals. Drinking normal water was also unfeasible as it quickly went stagnant in the ship’s hold. For a long time, the only solution was drinking weak alcohol.

But explorers who went to the Galapagos Islands discovered a new water source: tortoises.

Now, we’ve already talked about the Galapagos tortoise and its fluid-filled bladder. But we didn’t discuss how useful it became to some captains.

For instance, US Navy captain David Porter made note of the tortoises in his journal. He described how their bladders were filled with “about [8 liters (2 gal) of] perfectly fresh and sweet” water. Not only this, but the tortoises could be stored without food for up to 18 months in the hold of a ship. They tasted so good that “every other animal food fell greatly in our estimation.”[10]

They were almost perfectly evolved to serve as a human lunchbox: delicious meat, gallons of fresh water, and a long shelf life all packed into an animal that is famed for being slow and docile. Their shells even make them stackable! Unfortunately, they proved to be slightly too useful for their own good, and the Galapagos tortoise is now a protected species.


Just A Dutch Gal Spending Her Time Traveling And Getting Naked

Just A Dutch Gal Spending Her Time Traveling And Getting Naked

I don’t travel because I’m broke and I hate flying, but I commend those who take the next step into traveling as much as they can. I also commend them if they decide to go about their adventures while naked. You know, as some folks do — and that’s why we once talked about the “Get Naked Worldwide” Instagram, so all of you could see various gals who travel…and get naked. And now let’s talk about one gal named Sterre doing just that.

Sterre currently has over 80k followers on her Instagram, which features tons of photos of her bare butt in various locations. But what is the purpose of all this? According to the 21-year-old it is to destigmatize nudity. And hey, we’re all about that.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXG8jbUgiNJ/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ_VIB0ApXD/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZ0JLmIg4cB/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZiR9wZA6Cn/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZX-8p8AhFE/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZC5PknAloI/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BatGimfAKo8/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaNdUPvgQZO/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BX_2zawgEnA/


The Amazon’s Boiling River Kills Anything That Enters

 

The Amazon’s Boiling River Kills Anything That Enters

 When Andrés Ruzo was a boy, his grandfather would tell him tales of a mythical city of gold deep in the heart of the Peruvian jungle. Though never believing the stories to be true, the legend of the lost city stuck with him into adulthood. Years later, as a geothermal scientist, Ruzo decided to investigate. To his surprise, he discovered an incredulous river deep in the Amazon, with water hot enough to kill a human. Historically a place of pilgrimage for shamans and sorcerers, the river now faces increasing threats from poachers, loggers and squatters. Now, Ruzo is working hard to protect it.

 


Man Flees Marriage And Lives In Woods For Years To Avoid Wife's Nagging

Man Flees Marriage And Lives In Woods For Years To Avoid Wife's Nagging

Something tells me a lot of married men will be able to relate to Malcolm Applegate.

The 62-year-old English man got so annoyed by his wife’s constant nagging that he went to the one place where her nags wouldn’t bother him: the woods. Applegate, a gardener, came to the decision after he couldn’t stand being with his wife anymore after she became unhappy that his hours at work had increased.

“The more work I took on, the angrier my wife got,” Applegate explains. “She didn’t like me being out of the house for long periods of time. I was married for three years, but unfortunately it got too much. I decided to leave for good. Without a word to anyone, not even family, I left.”

 

https://twitter.com/EmmausGreenwich/status/917676078205886464

Applegate camped out near the community center where he tended gardens for the elderly. He then eventually camped in woods at Kingston, South West London. And today? Today Applegate lives at a shelter for homeless where he does odd jobs.

Applegate says that he went missing from his wife and family and lived in various places for a total of ten years. Yep. All because his wife nagged him.

 

Here’s what else Applegate had to say.

“My day-to-day involves working in the shop or driving the vans, I’m not fussy what jobs are given to me as long as I’m working. In my spare time, I enjoy doing sponsored walks for other homeless charities. I’d like the people who donate to Emmaus to know that I am grateful for being given a second chance at life.

I have a lovely room, I am able to work and I can still lead an active social life – I love it here – my life is officially back on track.”

Man, that sounds serious. I’m actually impressed that this mystery woman’s nags left her husband with no other option but to live where bears crap.

 


A Company Is Donating $40,000 Worth Of Weed To California Wildfire Victims

A Company Is Donating $40,000 Worth Of Weed To California Wildfire Victims

Thousands have been displaced by the wildfires that are currently spreading across northern California, because there apparently weren’t enough natural disasters for us to worry about already. To say it’s been quite a month would be quite the understatement.

The only real upside to the recent rash of catastrophes has been the amazing outpouring of support that we’ve seen in the wake of them. JJ Watt raised over $30 million for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and celebrities banded together by posting photos of their awkward teenage years to benefit Irma victims. However, they’re not the only ones answering the call.

CannaCraft, a medical marijuana company headquartered in Santa Rosa, has decided to donate $40,000 worth of vape pens and weed to local dispensaries in order to help victims of the wildfires relax a little bit. You do have to be a medical marijuana patient to cash in on the offer, but based on everything I know about California, that won’t disqualify too many people who’d be interested in the offer in the first place.

However, that isn’t the only things CannaCraft is doing to help out. According to Mashable:

In addition to the free weed, CannaCraft is currently converting its headquarters in Santa Rosa into a shelter for evacuees and first responders. The shelter is expected to house up to 80 people and should be operation [sic] by this weekend.

Former MLB player Jonny Gomes started a GoFundMe to aid victims of the wildfires that has raised close to $15,000 at the time of this writing. He’s hoping to raise $1 million, so if you’re looking to support the cause yourself, that wouldn’t be a bad place to start.

 


NATURAL SURVIVAL INSTINCT - Northern Ontario Moose Vs Wolf

NATURAL SURVIVAL INSTICT - Northern Ontario Moose Vs Wolf

Captured this footage by happenstance while shooting some scenics in Northern Ontario. Was excited by the moose sighting, as I was leaving something unexpected took place.
Shot in 4K with Phantom 4 Pro.


10 Natural Things You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

10 Natural Things You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

When we think of bizarre natural phenomena that can’t possibly be real, we usually think of the extraordinary things we’ve found in space: a red square nebula, a glass storm, or the magic island on Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

But we don’t have to travel that far to satisfy our curiosity. Our own world is full of fascinating natural things. Most of us have never seen or even imagined such wonders . . . until today. Here are 10 natural phenomena that you won’t believe actually exist.

10.Green Flash

Photo credit: Live Science

Let’s start our list with something we all know: the Sun. That yellow ball of gas that our planet orbits. The thing that gives us warmth during the day. You know it?

Well, the Sun is something that anybody with sight is familiar with—how it looks at sunset and sunrise. But if the conditions are just right, you might be able to see a magnificent and bizarre event: The sun can change color and turn a shade of green.[1]

This phenomenon is easier to observe at sundown and lasts only a second or two. That’s why this event is usually referred to as a flash. The atmosphere works as a kind of prism, breaking the light from the Sun into separate colors.

So find a place with a nice view of the horizon and a full view of the Sun’s disk, wait for sunset, and keep your eyes peeled. Enjoy that brief flash, knowing that not many have seen it.

9.Never-Ending Wave

Photo credit: iguiecologia.com

The dream of any surfer is a wave that continues on and on without breaking. That actually happens in Brazil and is known as the Pororoca. The wave can travel 800 kilometers (500 mi) without slowing down, be around 3.7 meters (12 ft) high, and last for over half an hour.[2]

This happens because the Atlantic Ocean tides meet the mouth of the Amazon River. The sound it produces can be heard 30 minutes in advance of its arrival. Since the wave contains debris from the river, which can be entire trees, it’s also the most dangerous wave to ride.

8.Blue Lava

Photo credit: National Geographic

One of the most destructive occurrences in our world is the explosion of a volcano. But in Indonesia, the Kawah Ijen crater on the island of Java appears to spout blue lava instead of the traditional yellow and orange tones we are all used to.

The most interesting part is the confusion this produces. The lava is not inherently blue. Instead, this event is produced by the combustion of a high concentration of sulfur in the area of the volcano. When sulfur ignites, it burns with a blue flame. So when the high concentration of sulfur comes in contact with the lava, the lava appears to turn blue.[3]

In reality, it’s only the blue flames from the sulfur flowing down the mountain. That’s why this effect only appears at night.

7.The Stone-Turning Lake

Photo credit: Live Science

A serene lake, a fantastical view, and mummified animals—you know, your typical scenery. Joking aside, Lake Natron in Tanzania is a source of some of the most haunting images ever captured.

The lake has a high pH, making it caustic enough to burn the skin and eyes of unadapted animals. However, the lake has a nurturing ecosystem of animals that have adapted to life in this harsh environment.

Even so, whenever an animal is unlucky enough to die in the lake’s waters, its body undergoes a type of mummification. The lake became famous worldwide after photographer Nick Brandt captured truly haunting images of dead animals there. He found the dead creatures washed ashore and proceeded to pose each one as if it was still alive.[4]

6.Flowering Desert

Deserts are known for three main things: scorching heat, minimal flora and fauna, and lack of water. But in the Atacama Desert, things are just merely waiting for the right opportunity. Where some will see a lack of possibilities, the desert proves to us that the right environment is necessary for greatness to flourish.[5]

The bloom happens between September and November and only in years when rainfall is unusually high. It is known locally as desierto florido (“the flowering desert”).

The event happens every five to seven years. But changes in the climate, extended storms around the globe, and historic rainfall have recently produced a bloom only two years after the last one.

5.White Rainbows

Photo credit: sciencealert.com

Rainbows are one of the most common and beautiful things you can see. Water works as a prism to break the light into the visible spectrum of colors. But every so often, there is a special type of effect that happens when conditions are ideal.

A colorless rainbow occurs in the same fashion as other rainbows, with sunlight passing through water droplets. But in this case, it happens when fog is forming. The droplets in the fog are much smaller. As a result, most color is lost while passing through them.

There is color in these rare rainbows. But it is in such a weak form that our eyes have trouble perceiving it.[6]

4.Rainbow Trees

Photo credit: amelia

Do you like rainbows? How about trees? Ever wondered what the combination of the two would look like?

Well, here we have Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus. Native to the Philippines and other tropical areas, it can grow up to 76 meters (250 ft).[7]

Most of the year, the tree has a smooth orange bark. But in summer, the tree loses this husk to reveal a multicolored bark which gives it the name of “rainbow.” Streaks of green, red, orange, gray, and even purple cover the bark.

3.Hair Ice

Photo credit: Live Science

If you live in a place where snow falls, then you are probably familiar with any kind of ice you can imagine. But we guarantee that you have never seen this type of ice.

It is commonly known as hair ice. It grows only on humid winter nights and usually melts in the day. Ice crystals form on rotten wood that has a presence of mycelium, which are the roots of a fungus that lives on rotting wood.

The fungus makes the ice crystals grow in a hairlike fashion. It is incredibly hard to spot because any snow around this beautiful type of ice will camouflage it. So next time you are taking a stroll through winter woods, keep your eyes peeled and check the forest floor. You might find this beautiful treat.[8]

2.Frost Flowers

Photo credit: Live Science

Similar to hair ice, these formations are beautiful to observe and equally rare. The main difference is how and where they form. Frost flowers mainly form over water or humid surfaces.[9]

When the cold humid air above a water surface becomes saturated, frost starts to form on any imperfections on the water surface. These imperfections are the rooting for these “flowers,” and the moisture from the air helps them rise.

1.Living Rocks

Photo credit: Scientific American

Rocks can be found everywhere. If you look inside your shoes after walking on a trail, chances are you are carrying some with you. They are dry, rough, and hard. But sometimes, you can find one that bleeds.

Introducing Pyura chilensis, also known in Spanish as piure, this “rock” is actually a saclike marine invertebrate filter feeder (aka sea squirt). These filter feeders have a characteristically bloodred hue to their insides which gave them their nickname of “bleeding rocks.” Locally, they are eaten raw like an oyster or cooked with salad and rice.[10]

SOURCE


This Hermit Crab Used A Doll’s Head As A Shell And Of Course It Looks Terrifying

This Hermit Crab Used A Doll’s Head As A Shell And Of Course It Looks Terrifying

Not something you see everyday in nature.

I don’t have a ton of knowledge on hermit crabs — all I know is that since its abdomen is soft they always go out of their way to find a shell that can protect them against predators. And one hermit crab in particular is called the coconut crab, who while they are among the toughest of crab species, they still need a good shell. And one coconut crab decided to improvise.

Take a look at the tweet below to see what we mean.

https://twitter.com/falenkdwb/status/906147397801259008

Yup, it used an abandoned doll’s head as its home. And I know what you’re thinking because everyone on Twitter was thinking the same thing. That photo reminds everyone of…
https://twitter.com/poetryntea/status/906149114798276609

One person says the photo comes from a biologist who wanted to highlight the ecological damage that our discarded waste is doing.

“This is actually pretty sad on top of creepy, since things like this is usually a result of a lack of available shells for the crabs, which they need. Don’t collect shells with internal parts from beach areas. Crabs need them,” one person on Reddit said.

Well, let’s now see how Twitter reacted to this photo.

https://twitter.com/BritoBurrito/status/906164700228018178

https://twitter.com/STOPtrumpfckery/status/906161616923721732

https://twitter.com/hello_kara/status/906157735192002564

https://twitter.com/MiserableLiving/status/906271010483294210

https://twitter.com/danieleigh93/status/907346795734474752

https://twitter.com/BruceStingsteen/status/906348413503066112

https://twitter.com/MightyWilltor/status/906166514738499586

 


Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena From Nature

Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena From Nature

 

While we are constantly learning about how our world works, we often run into naturally occurring “miracles” that escape our ability to explain and force us into the realm of speculation and make-believe. From jelly that falls from the sky to unexplained explosions that flatten hundreds of miles of forest to apocalyptic bloodred skies, here are the top 10 baffling natural phenomena.

10 Star Jelly

Photo credit: BBC

Rain, snow, sleet, hail. No, these aren’t the four elements, but they are virtually everything one would expect to fall from the sky at any given time. Oddly enough, despite how accurately we can track and predict precipitation, there is something that has fallen from the air that we have absolutely no knowledge of: star jelly.

Star jelly is a translucent gelatinous material, often found in grass or on trees, that is known to evaporate soon after being witnessed. Many have reported seeing the substance fall from the sky, leading to myths that the material comes from dying stars, alien excrement, or even government drones. Documentation of the strange substance dates back to the 14th century, when doctors were known to use the star stuff to treat abscesses.[1]

Of course, scientists must have studied this weird element to discover its origin, right? Well, kind of. Some believe the jelly to be frog ovum that has expanded from exposure to water. The problem with this idea is that the jelly has been shown to contain no plant or animal DNA, further adding to its long list of perplexing aspects.

9 Morning Glory Clouds

Photo credit: news.com.au

As pillow-like as they appear, clouds are not soft and fluffy. They are made of evaporated water and would (presumably) be very unpleasant to fall upon, unlike the aforementioned pillows. Because clouds are made of water, we can understand their shapes and movements and use this data to help predict future weather—at least most of the time.

Morning glory clouds are long, tube-shaped clouds that travel across the sky rather ominously.[2] Reaching lengths of over 965 kilometers (600 mi), these vapors are most often witnessed in Australia during the transition from the dry to wet season. The Aboriginal people in the area explain that the cloud is an omen predicting an increase in the bird population.

Other than Aboriginal myths, not much is understood about why or how morning glory clouds form. Some climate scientists postulate that the clouds form from the unique combination of sea breezes and humidity changes, but so far, no computer models have been able to accurately predict this odd weather event.

8 Cities In The Sky

No, this isn’t some comic book nonsense or something from an old-world religion. This is real. On April 21, 2017, in Jieyang, China, numerous citizens were awestruck by the image of a city floating on the clouds above them. Many took to the Internet to post pictures and just generally freak out, but there was really no cause for concern as it has happened before.

The same floating cities were recorded at five different locations in China in just over six years prior to this event. This number of events has led theorists to hypothesize various possibilities: aliens are attempting to cross over from a different dimension, the second coming of Christ is here, or the images are a holographic test by the Chinese government or maybe even the US government.

We here at Listverse are above all that speculation, right? We want the facts. Well, there is a possible explanation: a rare weather event known as Fata Morgana, where light passing through heat waves causes a duplication effect.[3]This would be an acceptable explanation if the images in the sky were not different than the skyline below them.

7 Tabby’s Star

Photo credit: National Geographic

The universe is unfathomably vast, and there are billions of galaxies that our descendants may one day get to explore. But we needn’t leave even our own Milky Way to find mysterious wonders beyond our comprehension. Enter: Tabby’s Star.

KIC 8462852, nicknamed Tabby’s Star after its discoverer Tabetha Boyajian, is one of the over 150,000 stars that has been observed by the Kepler space telescope. What is so unique about Tabby’s Star is how often and drastically its light dips.

Stars are usually observed for dips in light that indicate planets are passing in front of them. Tabby’s Star is so strange because its light drops by up to 20 percent at a time, a massive amount compared to other stars we have observed.[4]

Explanations for this strange light activity vary greatly, from large clusters of planets passing by (very unlikely) to great buildups of dust and debris (not normal for a star of Tabby’s age) to aliens (the most interesting).

One leading theory is that an alien civilization is using massive machines orbiting the star to procure energy. While this may seem outlandish, it is far more interesting than space dust.

6 Raining Cats And Dogs . . . And Spiders?

Photo credit: elitedaily.com

One of the many laws of the universe is that everyone is either a dog person or a cat person. These two options encompass all of humanity. While virtually everyone loves animals, it would not be healthy to love them so much that one would want them to literally fall from the sky. If you love animals that much, maybe you should seek professional help. But before you do, we have good news for you.

While not a common occurrence, flightless animals falling from the sky is an actual weather phenomenon. While typically not dogs or cats per se, many animals have been recorded falling from the sky along with rainwater. Some examples include frogs, tadpoles, spiders, fish, eels, snakes, and worms (not a pleasant picture in any scenario).

The current leading theory is that these animals were lifted into the sky by waterspouts or tornadoes occurring in their natural habitat. Sadly, this has never been witnessed or recorded by scientists.[5]

If this theory happens to be true, it does not explain a similar circumstance where raw meat fell from the clear Kentucky sky in 1876. Yeah, figure that one out.

5 Bloody Sky

Photo credit: georgianewsday.com

Quick quiz: What are the signs of the oncoming apocalypse?

Maybe you guessed famine, war, or pestilence. Perhaps you said (insert your least favorite politician) getting elected. While they are all acceptable answers, consider this one: The sky becomes a deep, bloody-red color for a matter of seconds before quickly returning to normal.

This is what the residents of Chalchuapa, El Salvador, experienced in April 2016. The crimson light reportedly filled the sky for only a minute or so before fading away and leaving the atmosphere with a pink tint. Many in the evangelical Christian population believe that the red flash is a sign of the oncoming apocalypse described in the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

Some of the possible explanations include the light being a side effect of the yearly April meteor showers that are often witnessed in that area. This is unlikely, however, because the bloodred sky is a phenomenon that has never been witnessed before.[6]

Another possibility is that the light was a reflection off the clouds of the stubble fires made by several nearby sugarcane farmers. Whatever the explanation, maybe grab a Bible or head to the bar, depending on your belief system.

4 The Great Attractor

Photo credit: sci-news.com

The most generally accepted model of the universe is that which follows the big bang: A super-giant explosion some 14 billion years ago sent all matter hurtling outward, leading to an ever-expanding universe. Although generally accepted, this theory is only one of many for how our universe formed over time. But it does not explain anomalies like the Great Attractor.

In the 1970s, we first began to study a strange force about 150–250 million light years away that is pulling toward it the Milky Way and multiple other nearby galaxies. Because of the way the stars in the Milky Way are positioned, we cannot observe what is doing the pulling and have simply dubbed it “The Great Attractor.”[7]

In 2016, a group of international scientists were able to finally look past the Milky Way using the CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope and discovered 883 galaxies clustered in that area. While some believe this is the definitive solution to the Great Attractor problem, others suggest that many of these galaxies were pulled to this spot like we are being pulled right now and that the true cause is still unknown.

3 The Taos Hum

Photo credit: Live Science

Everyone has experienced ringing in their ears at one point or another, and most know of the old wives’ tale that blames someone speaking about you as the cause. What is most irritating about this weird audio disturbance is that no one else can hear it. So the first time we experience it, we might think we’re going crazy. But what if other people could hear it?

The town of Taos in north-central New Mexico is known for its liberal artist community as well as the several celebrities who have lived there. But it is arguably more famous for the “Taos Hum,” a noise reported to be heard by 2 percent of the population, each of whom describe it differently.[8]

First reported in the 1990s, the hum has been investigated by the University of New Mexico. While people were adamant that they could hear the sound, no equipment was able to pick up the noise. Explanations for this hum are par for the course: aliens, government experiments, the norm. Until we find a way to detect this sound, our guess is as good as anyone’s.

2 The Tunguska Event

Photo credit: NASA

During the Cold War, everyone feared nuclear destruction. We knew the power of the atom bomb, not only from the many tests but from the real world uses at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At that time, people practically expected fire to fall from the sky and for land to be flattened all around them. But people in 1908 probably did not expect this.

On June 30, 1908, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia, a massive fireball hurtled toward the ground before exploding about 6 kilometers (4 mi) above the Earth’s surface. The explosion killed many animals and completely flattened the forests, sending out a hot shock wave for miles. Visitors of the Vanavara trading post, 64 kilometers (40 mi) from the center of the explosion, were knocked back by the concussive force.[9]

Most scientists believe that the fireball was an asteroid or a meteor that simply exploded before it could make contact with the ground, due to atmospheric pressure, composition, or a number of other factors. The biggest mystery is that no crater was ever found, meaning no meteor material can be analyzed. It is possible that the object was composed of mostly ice and therefore left no shrapnel. But this has not been proven.

1 Japanese Atlantis

Photo credit: atlasobscura.com

This one is strange because we might find that this is not a naturally occurring circumstance when the mystery is solved.

Atlantis is the mythical underwater city ruled by either Poseidon or Aquaman, depending on whom you ask. As the story originated in Greece, many believe that the possible real-world equivalent is located somewhere in the Mediterranean. Or maybe it’s next to Japan.

Large stone formations lie below the waters of Yonaguni Jima, Japan. They resemble Egyptian or Aztec pyramids and have been underwater for about 2,000 years. Originally discovered by a local diver in 1986, the formations were thought to be naturally forming, albeit at strangely accurate 90-degree angles.

These rock shapes were later theorized to be an ancient city (5,000 years old) knocked into the ocean by a large seismic event. This theory is generally accepted but not completely proven.[10]

Unlike the previous mysteries, this one has a pretty solid answer. We hope that helps us all sleep a little better tonight.


You've Got To Be At The Right Place, Right Time To See A Glacier Calving Like This

You've Got To Be At The Right Place, Right Time To See A Glacier Calving Like This


Chunks of ice falling off a glacier? No big deal. A huge piece flipping and rolling around in the water? Pretty cool.


YOU JUST NEED TO GO HIKING TO FIND OUT WHERE MARIJUANA GROWS WILD

YOU JUST NEED TO GO HIKING TO FIND OUT WHERE MARIJUANA GROWS WILD

 

In one country it grows wild in the ground, in the next, you will feel the harsh hand of the law for possessing even the tiniest piece of its magical flowers. Gabriel Morris has traveled the world and has seen it all now that he found himself surrounded by wild hemp plants while on an adventure trekking in Nepal.

 

 


Scientists Offer First Analysis Of How Much Plastic We've Made

Scientists Offer First Analysis Of How Much Plastic We've Made

 new study puts a number on the amount of plastic the planet has manufactured in the roughly 65 years we've been cranking it out: 9 billion tons. If you're struggling to visualize that weight, the BBChelps out: That's as heavy as 25,000 Empire State Buildings or 1 billion elephants. The researchers behind it—who hail from the University of California-Santa Barbara, the University of Georgia, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, reports CNBC—call theirs "the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics ever manufactured." Their paper, published in Science Advances, is replete with numbers: For instance, some 4.3 billion of the tons, or nearly half, were produced in the last 13 years alone.

In 2014, 24% of plastic waste was incinerated and 18% recycled. But the long view isn't pretty: When looking at all plastics made through 2015, only 12% had been burned and 9% recycled, meaning 79% of plastic waste was left sitting in landfills or other locations (like in our oceans). The US recycling rate, meanwhile, is behind that of Europe (30%) and even China (25%). In the case of packaging, the "end of [plastics'] useful lifetimes" comes in less than a year; for building and construction, it's decades. The researchers' somewhat gloomy assessment: "Without a well-designed and tailor-made management strategy for end-of-life plastics, humans are conducting a singular uncontrolled experiment on a global scale, in which billions of metric tons of material will accumulate across all major terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on the planet."

We have to start thinking about how this will affect us in the long term.  We aren't going to kill our planet, just kill our possibility of living on it.  Modern societies are built on waste and exploitation.  We need to take right action and start culling back our consumption.  We need to deal with these problems.


These Weird Creatures Will Live Long Enough To See Sun Die

These Weird Creatures Will Live Long Enough To See Sun Die

A study published Friday in Scientific Reports found there is one life form that will likely survive long enough to watch the Sun die out. And it's not Keith Richards. According to a press release, the study found that no astrophysical catastrophe nor extinction event will be enough to kill the mighty tardigrade, also known as the "water bear." These microscopic animals can survive for 30 years without food or water and in the vacuum of space. The Washington Post reports tardigrades can live in temperatures from 350 degrees Celsius to just a degree above absolute zero. Tardigrades can be dried out for a decade or hang out at the bottom of the ocean, according to Smithsonian. "Tardigrades are as close to indestructible as it gets on Earth," says Dr. Rafael Alves Batista, co-author of study.

In an attempt to theoretically kill off the tardigrade, researchers tried three of the most destructive forces known: asteroids, supernovas, and gamma-ray bursts. All three failed for various reasons (no asteroids large enough to boil off the oceans in a collision, no stars besides the Sun close enough to release enough radiation in a supernova, etc.). The study concludes that means at least one form of life on Earth will last as long as the Sun is still shining. "It seems that life, once it gets going, is hard to wipe out entirely," co-author Dr. David Sloan says. Not only that, but the ability of tardigrades to survive cataclysmic events gives researchers hope for finding life on other planets.


35 NAUGHTY BY NATURE GIRLS

35 NAUGHTY BY NATURE GIRLS

 

 


Innovative Whales Discover Easy New Food Source

Innovative Whales Discover Easy New Food Source

 

The hatcheries of southeast Alaska spend months raising juvenile salmon until they're ready for life on their own in the wide-open ocean. The big day comes, the young fish are released, and they're ... immediately eaten by a hungry whale that's been waiting for this exact moment. A study published Tuesday in Royal Society Open Science found humpback whales have learned they can gorge on waves of salmon if they hang out around hatcheries during the times fish are released. The study started after a humpback whale was caught on video feeding near a hatchery in 2008. "This is a new source of prey, as far as we can tell," study author Ellen Chenoweth tells the New York Times.

 

 

New Scientist reports Alaskan hatcheries are acting like fast-food restaurants for the whales, who impressively navigate shallow water, the shore, docks, and holding pens to feed on the newly released salmon. So far the behavior doesn't seem to have spread to the humpback population at large but rather belongs to a handful of whales that have made it a key part of their annual feeding schedule. "In some cases, they return year after year," Chenoweth says. While humpback whales gobbling hatchery salmon isn't great for the economy of southeast Alaska, it could be a sign the whales—which once bordered on extinction—can innovate to survive climate change. "They will develop new tactics and do stuff you've never seen before," Chenoweth tells the Times.

 

 

Watch This House Get Swallowed By A Giant Sinkhole

Watch This House Get Swallowed By A Giant Sinkhole - 

On Friday morning, a fast-moving sinkhole was reported to be forming in Land O' Lakes, Florida. Although nobody was hurt, the giant sinkhole obliterated not one, but two homes as the ground underneath the two houses collapsed.

https://twitter.com/SeanWFTS/status/885851256182452229

While sinkholes are very common in Florida, the reasons behind the formation of this sinkhole have yet to be determined.


15 Shocking Results Of Science Messing With Nature

15 Shocking Results Of Science Messing With Nature

Science is always muddying the waters as to what is and isn’t natural. Some people believe that nature shouldn’t be toyed with by humans. They think scientists are playing God and are harmfully affecting the natural order that was put on this earth for a reason. Others believe that every human creation is inherently natural, meaning that any scientific breakthrough is cosmically natural. Even those who don’t consider themselves religious have a stance on science intervening with nature. Some think it’s furthering human understanding of the world, and some think the consequences of the meddling are too drastic.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, everyone can admit that science has created some remarkable results when messing with nature, some of them even terrifying. Science is only evolving and growing as civilization continues, and each day, we are closer to an unthinkable scientific revelation. Russian scientists are closing in on trying to clone a woolly mammoth, allowing present humans to see what one would look like if we lived thousands of years ago.

When science meddles with nature, the results are striking. We’re at the point now where science can alter the genes of animals to make nature bend to its will. It isn’t “natural” by the traditional sense of the word, but we may be on the verge of redefining the term itself.

15. Ear Mouse

Hopefully, this mouse couldn’t hear the gasps of disgust that resulted in its creation, but having an ear growing out of its back suggests that it may have some sort of ability. This thing is what Audioman (name is a work in progress) was bit by before gaining super-hearing strength and an appetite for cheese.

The ear mouse, also called the Vacanti Mouse, was created by Charles Vacanti and his team at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1997. While the deformity in the mouse’s back is shaped like an ear, it isn’t actually a human ear. The ear is made of cartilage cells that were put into an ear-shaped mold and implanted under the mouse’s skin. The cartilage grew into the shape of the ear and the rest is history.

This piece of genetic engineering came as the internet was just getting in full swing. That means that the experiment picked up some traction and the traditional outrage at genetic engineering.

14. Zombie Dogs

The first time a dead dog was reanimated was in 1940’s Russia. Scientists released a chilling video in which a severed dog’s head can be seen moving its ears in response to sound and moving its mouth as if it were alive. The scientists used a concoction of artificial blood, allowing the dog’s head to stay alive for hours after it was removed from the body.

It wasn’t until 2005 that such an experiment was conducted again, this time with American researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. These scientists weren’t the showmen that the first batch was. They killed the dogs by draining their blood and replacing it with a cold, oxygen and glucose-filled saline solution.

The group waited for the dogs to be officially dead and reanimated them by replacing the solution with blood. Shockingly, most of the dogs survived the experiment with little permanent damage. If this method could be used on humans, it would be able to save the lives of countless people who die from severe injuries.

13. Human-Pig Hybrid

Earlier in 2017, scientists announced the breakthrough landmark of combining human DNA of that with an animal. This is the first time that such an attempt has been successful, and it has massive implications now that we know that it’s possible to grow human DNA in an animal host. This successful attempt was made by injecting human DNA into the embryo of a pig.

This is considered a massive step in the ability to manufacture human organs. There is always a shortage of organs for those who need donors, especially since people are often waiting for another person to die. If the above process works on a reliable basis, then there will be an influx of usable organs just waiting to be put into humans.

This is only one step forward for the human-animal hybrids, as any organs created by this man-pig would be rejected by a human host. Still, this could be the beginning of more human-animal hybrids that help improve humanity’s lifespan.

12. Naked Chickens

Factory farms are always looking for a way to increase efficiency, so it should come as no surprise that someone has figured out how to genetically alter chickens to lose their feathers.

The first featherless chicken was bred in Israel in 2001. It was thought to be one of the methods of the future, but hasn’t caught on as much as some thought at the time. There are some obvious advantages to breeding chickens without feathers, but there are some disadvantages as well. For one, keeping these chickens in cold environments can be problematic. Some have also claimed that this makes the quality of life for the chickens worse, as feathers serve an evolutionary purpose.

Some farmers have seen the benefits of breeding these featherless chickens, and while they’re terrifying to behold, they do offer some efficiency perks. The lack of feathers saves money in cooling costs, as well as the resources used to pluck the chickens.

11. Buff Cows

The Belgian Blue Cow goes by many names, but it may be most aptly described as a buff cow. These hulking giants are a result of years of interbreeding. They originated in the 1800’s in Belgium. The local Belgian breeds were crossbred with the Shorthorn cattle breed from the United Kingdom. The result was a variation of what you see above.

What makes the cows of this breed so massive is a mutation in the myostatin gene. The myostatin gene is responsible for inhibiting muscle development. So when it’s mutated in this fashion, there are virtually no limits on the muscle growth one can experience. The Belgian Blue converts almost all of its feed into pure muscle. Of course, they are fed more protein than your average cow in order to pack on as much muscle as possible.

As far as the uses of a genetically massive cow, they were originally used as dairy cows. Later, the lean meat received from these muscular cows provide an ample amount of food, although usually for a higher price than your average steak.

10. Dead-End Mosquitoes

Have you ever wondered why science doesn’t just say “enough” and eradicate all mosquitoes? They are responsible for the spread of so many diseases; wouldn’t it be easier to get rid of them all?

Well, there’s a chance we’re heading in that direction, as scientists have been working on perfecting the dead-end mosquito. This mosquito is effectively sterile, meaning that if they were released into the public, none of their offspring would survive, drastically reducing the mosquito population.

It sounds like a great idea in theory, but there is some public backlash against the proposal to introduce thousands of genetically-modified insects to the population. The fish and birds that eat mosquitoes may be left without a food source. In addition, there are the unforeseen consequences that will only be measured after the mosquitoes are released.

9. Transparent Frogs

Almost everyone has dissected a frog in their high school science class. There’s a reason for this—their internal organs closely mirror that of humans. For that reason, it’s often beneficial to study the effects of diseases and other internal reactions in the bodies of frogs in a laboratory setting.

Because this is the case, Japanese scientists took the internal study of frogs one step further by selectively breeding frogs until their skin was virtually transparent. This revelation was made by Professor Masakyui Sumida of Hiroshima University in 2007.

The fact that these frogs are so transparent assists scientists in studying diseases like cancer in their bodies. Scientists are able to witness the effects of drugs on the diseases while the frog is still alive instead of relying on dissection after the fact.

8. Sterile Pink Bollworm

Getting rid of pests is always a difficult task. Insecticide often results in resistant strains of the pests, which was exactly what was happening in Arizona. Pink Bollworms were decimating the local cotton plants, and farmers were left with few options to combat the problem. That’s where science stepped in.

Scientists created a sterile version of the moth a Pink Bollworm turns into. They released these moths to the public in 2010. The strategy of releasing these moths was to influence the breeding of these insects. A moth that developed a resistance to pesticides would likely run into a sterile moth, meaning their resistance wouldn’t be passed to the next generation. In addition, this strategy drastically reduced the overall population of these Pink Bollworms in the area.

7. GloFish

GloFish are exactly what the sound like—fish that glow under the light. GloFish is actually a patented brand of fish and the only genetically engineered animal available for sale in the United States. That’s right. If you want to get yourself a GloFish, all you need to do is go online and order one.

The GloFish was originally created at the University of Singapore, where researchers added a gene naturally found in jellyfish to a zebrafish embryo. The zebrafish grew into adulthood with a bright green fluorescence. Eventually, more jellyfish genes and some genes from coral were introduced to the zebrafish to create a variety of colors.

The GloFish became popular in the United States in the early 2000’s. The FDA stated that it found no need to regulate the fish because they were for domestic use and not for consumption. The original intent for these fish was to identify pollutants in the water, which has been all but abandoned in favor of commercial use.

6. Spider Goats

A true spider goat would be quite the sight to behold. Unfortunately, it’s not what you’re thinking. This refers to the discovery by researchers from the University of Wyoming. These scientists found a way to inject the gene for creating spider silk into the body of goats, allowing them to produce silk in their milk.

Spider silk is an extremely useful resource. It’s stronger than steel and can be used for more applications. Acquiring a sizable amount of spider silk means that we could create more efficient bulletproof vests, casts, and even artificial ligaments and tendons.

Gaining a bunch of spider silk has always been tough. Spiders are territorial, meaning that if scientists try to set up a spider farm, the spiders will usually turn on each other. Creating spider silk in goat milk is one way scientists plan on getting an abundance of the substance in the future.

5. Massive Salmon

The raising and consumption of salmon is one of the more controversial subjects in genetically-modified food. Farm-raised salmon are plagued with problems, but scientists have been able to genetically engineer Atlantic salmon to grow twice as fast as those that are farm-raised.

The main concern with this type of genetic engineering–other than the questionable health implications–is the worry that these captive salmon would somehow escape into the wild. If they did, they would likely decimate the food population and leave other fish to starve. Genetically larger and faster-growing fish may help drive profits and feed more people. But if those salmons escape, no one really knows how devastating their effect on the environment would be.

4. Environmentally-Friendly Pigs

The meat industry is one of the largest polluters on the planet. Many environmental agencies claim that the pollution associated with meat production far outweighs that of the automotive industry, stating that the focus of activism should be on meat production rather than car emissions.

Scientists in Canada have begun to find a solution to this problem through more genetic engineering. They have created pigs that produce 65% less phosphorus in their urine and feces. This is most beneficial to bodies of water, which suffer the most from these harmful chemicals.

Scientists did this by fiddling around with the pigs’ genes, allowing it to break down the phosphorus in the food before passing it on. If this is implemented on a greater scale, it would mean a more environmentally-friendly product, although there are some who are skeptical. It’s always smart to be weary when people are messing with the genes of your food, so it’s unlikely we’ll see these pigs on the table any time soon.

3. Dolly

Dolly was the first mammal ever to survive the process of being cloned, and it shook the scientific world when she was born in 1996. I won’t burden you with all of the details of the process that was used–I don’t understand most of it anyway–but the result was a healthy cloned sheep and a breakthrough in the field.

Dolly was cloned by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland after 277 unsuccessful attempts. She lived for only 6.5 years before being euthanized due to her ailments. Cloning animals isn’t yet an efficient means of reproducing these animals, but Dolly’s life breathed new life into the area of cloning.

Since then, countless animals have been cloned by various scientific outlets. Some have even started the undertaking of reviving extinct species through cloning. Russian scientists are even looking to clone a woolly mammoth in the near future.

The biggest breakthrough of Dolly’s existence, though, is the work in stem cell research. Stem cells are now seen as extremely beneficial tools that may be able to extend the lives of the human species.

2. Rainbow Carrots

If you’re a carrot purist, you may not be aware that there are actually a wide variety of colored carrots. Geneticists have been experimenting with changing the color of carrots for a while now, and the practice is spreading to the point where local farmers can even be seen peddling their purple carrots.

Rainbow carrots are more popular in other places in the world, but they’re slowly trickling to the United States. These carrots are genetically modified to have more nutrients and a slightly different flavor than traditional orange carrots. More nutrients are always a good thing, but like all genetically modified food, people are skeptical of the possible downside to meddling. People are inherently–and rightly–suspicious of modified foods. If they are nothing but positive, it’s a step we’ll need to overcome.

1. Golden Seahorses

Using the genes of jellyfish to get other sea creatures to emit light or change color is pretty hot in the science streets at the moment. Glittering seahorses or golden seahorses were the first genetically-altered animal ever to come out of Vietnam, and they did so by using a similar method to that of those who created the GloFish.

Scientists in this field believe that the implications of these experiments is far greater than simple aesthetics. Sure, it would be cool to have a glittering gold seahorse in your fish tank, but researchers believe that there are countless applications for this type of method. They believe it will revolutionize farming, although GMOs are usually frowned upon by the public, as well as used in humans to replace harmful or unwanted genes.


Watch This Sea Turtle Devour A Jelly Fish Like Spaghetti

Watch This Sea Turtle Devour A Jelly Fish Like Spaghetti

Humans aren’t the only animals to like their meals with a spice mixed in.

In this video, a young green sea turtle munches on a jellyfish snack in the shallow waters around Hook Island, Australia, in Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef. Watch as the turtle slurps up the jellyfish like spaghetti.

 

Though almost all sea turtles are omnivorous—meaning they eat pretty much anything, most turtles are herbivorous during adulthood.


 

 

 


Is It A Forest Or A City? Actually, It's Both

Is It A Forest Or A City? Actually, It's Both

A new city being built along the Liujiang River in China's Guangxi Province will include houses, recreational spaces, offices, hotels, schools, and a hospital—and yet it's "unlike any before," per Inhabitat. The Liuzhou Forest City, to be connected to the much larger city of Liuzhou via an electric rail line, will look much like an actual forest with all buildings spread over 175 hectares covered in 40,000 trees and almost 1 million plants. The greenery, more than 100 different species of it, is expected to produce 900 tons of oxygen per year while absorbing 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants in an effort to combat air pollution, which is linked to 1.1 million deaths in China per year, reports CNET.

The plants will also serve "to decrease the average air temperature, to create noise barriers and to improve the biodiversity of living species, generating the habitat for birds, insects and small animals," say architects at Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architetti, whose design for a "vertical forest" tower in Milan, Italy, is now being replicated in the Chinese cities of Nanjing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The Liuzhou Forest City will also use geothermal energy for heating and cooling and solar panels for electricity. Some 30,000 people are expected to move in when construction is completed in 2020, reports New Atlas. The Guardian reports a second forest city in Shijiazhuang is expected to follow.


Watching Ice Crystals 'Grow' On Dry Ice Is A Near-Magical Experience

Watching Ice Crystals 'Grow' On Dry Ice Is A Near-Magical Experience - 

 

And it's also incredibly soothing to watch those ice crystals then dissolve once the dry ice disappears.


Researchers Say They've Found Lost Wonder of World

Researchers Say They've Found Lost Wonder of World

They were considered the eighth natural wonder of the world and the greatest tourist attraction in the Southern Hemisphere in the mid-1800s—and then they were gone: The Pink and White Terraces of Lake Rotomahana in New Zealand's North Island spellbound visitors until June 1886 when Mount Tarawera erupted, wiping the silica sinter (a kind of quartz) formations off the map. Now researchers say they have located the fabled wonder, claiming the formations may well have survived the disaster but are now buried under mud and ash. Rex Bunn and Dr. Sascha Nolden say they've corrected past attempts to identify the location of the terraces thanks to the 19th-century field diaries of a German-Austrian geologist. Bunn tells the Guardian the terraces were never surveyed by the government, meaning their exact latitude and longitude weren't determined.

But someone did record their compass bearings: Ferdinand von Hochstetter, whose diary data the researchers used to reverse engineer the terrace locations. The researchers believe they're buried no more than 50 feet under the surface skirting the shoreline and not beneath the lake, as previously believed, or totally destroyed, as government scientists recently have claimed, NewsNow reports. The pair are raising funds to conduct a full archaeological study and prove their claim—and say that if they're right, it's possible the terraces could be brought back to life. In 2016, the BBC explained just why they were so stunning: Not only were they the largest silica sinter formations on the planet, they sat at opposite ends of the lake, one white, one slightly pink, their positioning making them "greater than the sum of their parts."

SOURCE


These Trees Know Where They Are On The Planet

These Trees Know Where They Are On The Planet

Most trees grow straight, but the Cook pine leans another way. As a new study reveals, the tree leans toward the equator no matter where it grows, giving it what Science Alert calls a "drunken-looking slant." Matthew Ritter of California Polytechnic State University first became curious about the trees after noticing specimens in both California and Hawaii were leaning southward. But when he spoke to researchers in Australia, he was surprised. There, Cook pines leaned in the opposite direction. A study of 256 Cook pines on five continents soon after revealed more than 91% leaned toward the equator, per Science World Report, with an average tilt of 8 degrees, or twice that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

But the farther it is from the equator, the more the tree leans: One Cook pine in southern Australia has a 40-degree tilt. The tree appears to be "sensing where it is on the planet," Ritter tells CBC News. "That has never been seen ever in any plant, let alone trees." It's possible the Cook pine leans toward a light source, as many plants do, but that some sort of abnormality keeps Earth's gravitational pull from straightening it out, reports Discover. Or as researchers write in Ecology, the lean could be a response to "annual sunlight, gravity, magnetism, or any combination of these." Whatever the reason, it's "a scientifically interesting thing" and shows "plants are responding to their environment in ways we don't understand," Ritter says.

 


Antarctica About To Lose 1 Of Biggest Icebergs Ever

Antarctica About To Lose 1 Of Biggest Icebergs Ever

 

Experts say one of the biggest icebergs in recorded history—it would be about the size of Delaware—is "very close" to separating from Antarctica, USA Today reports. According to the BBC, a 124-mile-long crack on the Larsen C Ice Shelf grew more than 10 miles over just six days to end the month of May. The crack, which had been running parallel to the edge of the ice shelf, also took a right turn toward the shelf's edge, CNN reports. The crack is now only eight miles from the edge of the shelf, and it appears there's nothing left stopping a major chunk of the shelf from calving free.

When the iceberg does split off, it will take 10% of the Larsen C Ice Shelf with it. The iceberg will be more than 1,900 square miles in size and 1,150 feet thick, Gizmodo reports. The loss will make Larsen C less stable, and one researcher says the entire shelf could fall apart "in a day or two." The Larsen A and Larsen B ice shelves already broke up after similar events in past years. The loss of the ice shelf can increase the speed of glaciers flowing from the land to the ocean and therefore the speed of rising sea levels. Researchers are also concerned that larger and larger ice shelves appear to be breaking up.


CHECK OUT THE MOST PHOTOGENIC TORNADO EVER SEEN IN CANADA

CHECK OUT THE MOST PHOTOGENIC TORNADO EVER SEEN IN CANADA

Yes, That's a Tornado in This Lawnmowing Photo

Listen, that lawn isn't going to mow itself, tornado or no tornado. A photo of a man in Alberta, Canada, taking care of his lawn chores with a twister in the background has gone viral, reports UPI. Cecelia Wessels posted it to Facebook with the caption, "My beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hair," referring to her husband, Theunis.

The tornado touched down in the Three Hills area of Alberta, Canada
The twister did not injure or kill anyone, though some property was damaged, I guess the tornado was too busy looking spectacular.

Check out the video and pics below... and how brave is the guy in red watching the twister towards the end? I would still be running... and running... and running.

 


Skier's GoPro Captures Him Falling Into A 60-Foot, Hidden Glacier Crevasse

Skier's GoPro Captures Him Falling Into A 60-Foot, Hidden Glacier Crevasse

Jamie Mullner was skiing down a slope in the Swiss Alps when he fell 60 feet down a glacier crevasse.


It's Getting Harder To Find The 'Call Of The Wild'

It's Getting Harder To Find The 'Call Of The Wild'

The call of the wild is getting harder to hear. Peaceful natural sounds—bird songs, rushing rivers, rustling grass—are being drowned out by noise from people in many of America's protected parks and wilderness areas, a new study in the journal Science finds. Scientists measured sound levels in 492 places, from city parks to remote federal wilderness, the AP reports. They calculated that in nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48's parks, the noise can at times be twice the natural background level because of airplanes, cars, logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling. That increase can harm wildlife, making it harder for them to find food or mates, and make it more difficult for people to hear those natural sounds, the researchers say.

In about one in five public lands, there has been a tenfold increase in noise pollution, per the study. Except for city parks, though, the researchers—including a National Park Service unit—didn't find sound levels people would consider unusually loud (think changing from the quiet of a rural area to a still pretty-silent library)—but that difference masks crucial sounds, especially to birds seeking mates and animals trying to hunt. Colorado State University biologist George Wittemyer, a co-author of the research, says people hear only half the sounds that they would in natural silence. And it makes a difference for peace of mind. "Being able to hear the birds, the waterfalls ... those are really valuable ... [to] help in [humans'] rejuvenation and their self-reflection," he adds. Study lead author Rachel Buxton notes there are still places to escape to, such as Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park.

SOURCE


A Cruise Ship Was Rocking So Hard In The Rough Winds We Were Afraid It Was Going To Tip Over

A Cruise Ship Was Rocking So Hard In The Rough Winds We Were Afraid It Was Going To Tip Over

This couple was strolling at the harbor when they noticed the sea was quite rough and the wind was very forceful. They then spotted a ship that was wobbling back and forth and looked like it was going to fall over. Luckily, the ship made it safely to the harbor.

 


Australian Family Watch Their House Float Away In Flood After Rescue

Australian Family Watch Their House Float Away In Flood After Rescue

A massive flood in Queensland, Australia put a family in danger. They made it out okay, but their house took (and caused) some damage after it came loose in the rushing waters.


Freak Rainstorms In The Desert City Of Lima, Peru Cause Huge Mudslides

Freak Rainstorms In The Desert City Of Lima, Peru Cause Huge Mudslides

60 people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed.


TV Crew Forced To Run For Cover While Mt. Etna Erupts Above Them

TV Crew Forced To Run For Cover While Mt. Etna Erupts Above Them

 

At least 10 people were injured by the eruption, with one BBC crew member describing the terror of "running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam."


Snake Tries To Swallow A Whole Antelope, Quickly Realizes It's Made A Huge Mistake

Snake Tries To Swallow A Whole Antelope, Quickly Realizes It's Made A Huge Mistake

Nature, while often terrifying, can also provide some moments of (dark) humor. Take this African rock python, which thought it could gulp down an antelope before realizing that, yeah, nope, that's not going to work.


Crazy Wind Literally Stops Cyclists In Their Tracks

Crazy Wind Literally Stops Cyclists In Their Tracks

The Cape Town Cycle Tour was forced to cancel by high winds, but our question is: If they turned around and rode the other way.... how fast could they go?


GRAPHIC: Circus Trainer Puts Head In Crocodile’s Mouth And SNAP! WOW That’s A Lot Of Blood

GRAPHIC: Circus Trainer Puts Head In Crocodile’s Mouth And SNAP! WOW That’s A Lot Of Blood

If you’re going to stick your head in an animal’s mouth, the worst possible creature would be a saltwater crocodile, who have the strongest jaws in the world. Crocodiles can slam their jaws shut with 3,700 pounds per square inch (psi), or 16,460 newtons, of bite force. For comparison, humans have a weak force of 150 to 200 psi (890 newtons) and tigers generate around 1,000 psi (4,450 newtons). This guy said fuck the science and danger – go big with half my face ripped off or go home.

 

A circus trainer was attempting to wow the crowd in Ha Nam province, Vietnam by putting his head inside of a crocodile on Saturday night. Super bad idea. In an instant, the fierce crocodile snapped down on the man’s head with its powerful jaws. Then the beast thrashes from side to side to inflict even more devastating damage.

And there goes that guy’s chances of being a male model.

Once the modern-day dinosaur released the man’s face from its jaws, the man ran away with his hands covering his face as blood poured.

“Prior to the performances, the circus brought a crocodile but unfortunately it died and the replacement crocodile was put on instead,” said Pham Van High, Thanh Liem District Chairman. “There was rainy weather on Saturday evening but the circus entertainers did not want to betray the audience.”

Easy for you to say, Pham.

The trainer was wounded and is being treated at the hospital in Henan province.

It’s not like there’s already videos on the interwebs of men putting their heads in the mouths of crocodiles and getting viciously maimed.

But on the bright side, this man is in the running for a Darwin Award.

 


Bald Eagle Carries Off A Cat, Striking A Blow In The Cat Vs. Bird War

Bald Eagle Carries Off A Cat, Striking A Blow In The Cat Vs. Bird War

Make the American Bald Eagle Great Again ...let your cat outside.


Guy's Waterfront House Completely Encased In Ice (Literally) During Cold Snap

Guy's Waterfront House Completely Encased In Ice (Literally) During Cold Snap

A combination of high winds and frigid temperatures left ​New Yorker John Kucko's house on Lake Ontario completely covered in ice. And when we say "completely," we mean completely:

 

Kucko posted the footage to refute people saying photos of the house were fake.

Bit overwhelmed by the reaction the "Ice House" is getting. Many people think the images are photoshopped, they're not.


California Flooding Has Prospectors Seeing Gold

California Flooding Has Prospectors Seeing Gold

 

This winter's flooding in Northern California has done more than bring relief after years of drought; it's created the prospect of the best gold prospecting in 20 years. Gold hunters in the area tell the Chico Enterprise-Record the floods have "rearranged the rivers" and "move things around." That means gold veins that have been hidden for 200 years are suddenly exposed. According to CBS San Francisco, the floods also swept gold out of abandoned mines and washed it downriver. While KCRA reports that gold can simply be picked off the ground following major flooding, the best prospecting will come in the summer months when the water has receded.

Right now, rivers are still high and government workers are trying to keep would-be prospectors away while they get things under control. But in the summer—which experts say could be the busiest since the one that followed major flooding in 1997—stream beds will be exposed for better gold hunting. "I'm going to have a ball," one prospector tells the Chico newspaper. The epicenter for the new gold rush could be the Oroville Dam, which nearly catastrophically flooded this winter and required the use of an emergency spillway for the first time.


MORE CRAZY WAVES! - Rogue Wave Crashes Headon Through Restaurant Window

MORE CRAZY WAVES! - Rogue Wave Crashes Headon Through Restaurant Window

No one was hurt by flying glass.

But the poor food.

 


Surprisingly Chill Passengers Watch Huge Waves Batter Their Third-Floor Cruise Ship Window

Surprisingly Chill Passengers Watch Huge Waves Batter Their Third-Floor Cruise Ship Window

Unlike your rickety old windows at home, cruise ship windows handle 120 mph winds and monster waves without breaking a sweat.


Watch An Eagle Hunt Down A Fox From A GoPro Strapped To Its Back

Watch An Eagle Hunt Down A Fox From A GoPro Strapped To Its Back

An important reminder from GoPro that eagles are as savage as they are majestic.


Porcupine Vs Anaconda/Lion/Leopard

Porcupine Vs Anaconda/Lion/Leopard

A fight to the death, nature is fucking brutal man.


California's Eye-Catching 'Glory Hole' Spillway Opens Up For The First Time In Nearly A Decade

California's Eye-Catching 'Glory Hole' Spillway Opens Up For The First Time In Nearly A Decade

Lake Berryessa's curiously named spillway is not some spiraling portal to another dimension (to our knowledge) but is instead a giant water funnel that gets rid of excess water that could cause flooding. As California has been experiencing drought, this is the first time in nearly ten years that it has opened up.


More Than 180K Evacuated Near America's Tallest Dam

More Than 180K Evacuated Near America's Tallest Dam

About 188,000 residents near Oroville, Calif., were ordered to evacuate Sunday after a hole in an emergency spillway in the Oroville Dam threatened to flood the surrounding area. Thousands clogged highways leading out of the area headed south, north and west, and arteries major and minor remained jammed as midnight approached on the West Coast — though by early Monday, Lake Oroville’s water level had dropped to a point at which water was no longer spilling over, and the crisis appeared to be stabilizing.

 

 

The level in the massive man-made lake reached its peak of 902.59 feet at about 3 a.m. Sunday and dropped to 898 feet by 4 a.m. Monday, according to the Sacramento Bee. Water flows over the emergency spillway at 901 feet.

“The drop in the lake level was early evidence that the Department of Water Resources’ desperate attempt to prevent a catastrophic failure of the dam’s emergency spillway appeared to be paying dividends,” the Bee reported Monday.

Officials doubled the flow of water out of the nearly mile-long primary spillway to 100,000 cubic feet per second, with the hope of lowering the lake level by 50 feet to leave room for upcoming rain. The normal flow is about half as much, but increased flows are common at this time of year, during peak rain season, officials said.

Officials also warned that damaged infrastructure could create further dangers as storms approach in the week ahead. During a midday news conference on Monday, they said they’re continuing to monitor the spillways for erosion. It also remains unclear when residents will be allowed back into their homes. Inmates at the Butte County Jail also have been moved to Alameda County about 170 miles away.

“I recognize that this is displacing a lot of people,” Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters. “We did this because our primary purpose is to ensure public safety. It was a hard decision to make.”

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An early-morning inspection of the main spillway revealed no additional erosion, the Bee reported, and the Department of Water Resources said water would continue to flow at 100,000 cubic feet per second.

Officials also will have to determine whether the damaged primary spillway will be able to handle high levels of water through the rest of the rainy season, Jay Lund, a civil engineering professor at the University of California at Davis, told the Bee.

Lake Oroville is one of California’s largest man-made lakes, with 3.5 million acre-feet of water and 167 miles of shoreline. And the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam is the nation’s tallest, about 44 feet higher than the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The lake is the linchpin of California’s government-run water delivery system, sending water from the Sierra Nevada for agriculture in the Central Valley and for residents and businesses in Southern California.

After a record-setting drought, California has been battered by potentially record-setting rain, with the Northern California region getting 228 percent more than its normal rainfall for this time of year. The average annual rainfall of about 50 inches had already been overtaken with 68 inches in 2017 alone.

There was never any danger of the dam collapsing. The problem was with the spillways, which are safety valves designed to release water in a controlled fashion, preventing water from topping over the wall of the colossal dam that retains Lake Oroville.

Earlier this month, unexpected erosion crumbled through the main spillway, sending chunks of concrete flying and creating a large hole. Then sheets of water began spilling over the dam’s emergency spillway for the first time in its nearly 50-year history.

Water from rain and snow rapidly flowed into the lake, causing it to rise to perilous levels, and sending water down the wooded hillside’s emergency spillway, carrying murky debris into the Feather River below.

“Once we have damage to a structure like that, it’s catastrophic,” Bill Croyle, acting director of the state’s Department of Water Resources, said at a news conference late Sunday, in reference to the erosion of the main spillway. “We determined we could not fix the hole. You don’t just throw a little bit of rock in it.”

Anticipating a possible catastrophe for the Lake Oroville area, located about 75 miles north of Sacramento and about 25 miles southeast of Chico, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office ordered evacuations, adding in a news release that it was “NOT a drill.”

But as the reservoir’s water levels lowered, the flows over the emergency spillway ceased late Sunday night.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) issued an emergency order to boost the state’s response to the evacuation efforts and spillway crisis, which Brown called “complex and rapidly changing.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent an incident management team to the governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Despite the minimized threats, Honea, the sheriff, said that he would not be lifting the mandatory evacuation order until water resources officials had a better grasp on the anticipated risks.

The evacuation took residents by surprise.

April Torlone, 18, was at work at a Dollar General in Live Oak, Calif., Sunday evening when she received a flood emergency alert on her phone. She hurried home, she said, where she had about 10 minutes to gather some clothes and her late father’s ashes.

Torlone drove with her mother and sister to her grandmother’s house in Sacramento, arriving well after midnight. The roughly 40-mile trip took six hours, she said. Gas stations were packed and stores were running out of food. Along the way, they saw more than 30 people camped out in their cars on the side of the road, many with trunks full of belongings, Torlone said.

“I just hope everyone is safe and finds a place to stay, and that no one’s homes are damaged,” she told The Washington Post. “It’s honestly so sad.”

Shelters, churches, schools and seven Sikh temples opened their doors, and people offered to open their homes to strangers via Twitter messages. Hotels and motels out of harm’s way filled up quickly, creating communities of the suddenly displaced. Beale Air Force Base, east of Marysville, also opened its gates to area residents and said early Monday that it had received approximately 250 evacuees.

The dam itself remained structurally sound, the state Department of Water Resources said, and officials said helicopters would be deployed to drop bags of rocks into the crevice and prevent any further erosion.

Croyle, the acting Department of Water Resources director, said Lake Oroville would need to lower almost 50 feet to reach levels at which the system would normally operate. Croyle said that personnel were unable to access the eroded emergency spillway Sunday to do repair work. Officials aimed to continue to discharge as much water as possible ahead of upcoming storms, without adding too much pressure to the already damaged infrastructure.

“Our goal is to be able to use that infrastructure throughout this wet season,” Croyle said. Forecasts indicate that dry weather will dominate through Tuesday, but a series of Pacific storms are expected to arrive across the region Wednesday into Thursday, bringing up to four inches of rain to parts of the Central Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

Honea called the evacuation order a “critical and difficult decision” and said he recognized it would cause significant dislocations and traffic jams, which it did. Residents of Oroville, a town of 16,000 people, were ordered to head north toward Chico, while other nearby residents drove south toward Sacramento.

“I recognize how tough this situation is on people,” Honea said Sunday night. “I recognize that we’ve had to displace a lot of people.”

The California National Guard will provide eight helicopters to assist with emergency spillway repair, Adjutant General David S. Baldwin said. All 23,000 soldiers and airmen statewide received an alert to be “ready to go if needed,” Baldwin said. The last time such an alert was sent out to the entire California National Guard was the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which erupted after a trial jury acquitted four officers of the Los Angeles Police Department of the use of excessive force in the videotaped arrest and beating of Rodney King.

Officials said 250 law enforcement personnel were being deployed to patrol the evacuated areas.

Travelers reported traffic at a standstill on some routes, especially on Highway 99 between Oroville and Chico.

Nicholas Mertz, a front desk supervisor at Oxford Suites Chico, told The Post that when he started his shift at 3 p.m. on Sunday, the hotel’s 184 rooms were at 54 percent occupancy, but within an hour or two, the rooms reached full capacity. What began as a normal night quickly turned into “hectic craziness, everything all at once,” Mertz said. The hotel’s five phone lines were ringing nonstop, and hundreds of guests came pouring in.

“It’s never happened that fast,” Mertz said. Larger families of five to eight people packed into rooms, without having to pay the usual fees for additional guests, Mertz said, because “in this scenario, it’s whatever you can do.”

Many guests expressed confusion and frustration, while others spoke of their fears: What would happen to the pets they left behind? Would there be looting in the evacuated neighborhoods? Would their homes still be standing when they returned?

“Not only are you just a front desk person you’re kind of like a therapist as well,” Mertz said.

Kyle Dobson, 41, said he was visiting the dam Sunday afternoon from Yuba City, Calif., and noticed that the lake was higher than he had ever seen it. He said he got a call later in the day that Oroville was being evacuated. By the time he got home, Yuba City had also been ordered to evacuate.

Dobson said he and his wife packed about a week’s worth of clothes for themselves and their four young children, and moved pictures and other belongings to the second floor of their two-story home. For now, they are staying put, but if the situation gets worse, they will drive to Sutter, Calif., to stay with family, Dobson said.

“I’ll stay up probably all night, listen to the police scanner and watch the reports come in,” he said. “The river levels — that’s what you’ve got to watch out for.”

Adriana Weidman of Marysville, Calif., said she heard about the evacuation around 5 p.m. Fearing that nearby rivers would overflow, she rushed to pack as much as she could, then got into the car with her husband and two children, she said. By 10 p.m., the family was still sitting in gridlocked traffic on the way to Colfax, Calif., about 45 miles east.

“It’s scary,” Weidman told The Post. “I’m terrified I’m not going to have a home to come home to.”

Out of an “abundance of caution,” inmates were in the process of being evacuated from the Butte County Jail Sunday night, the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

 

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“We needed to get people moving quickly in order to protect the public and save lives if the worst case scenario did come to fruition,” Honea said.

The damaged primary spillway caused water flowing downstream to become muddy and brown with debris earlier this week, threatening the lives of millions of baby Chinook salmon in the Feather River Hatchery below. In a rescue operation, officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife successfully moved about 5 million Chinook salmon to a nearby annex, the department said on Facebook.

The other 3 million baby salmon will remain at the main hatchery, where staff and engineers have rigged a system of pumps, pipes and generators and a sediment pond in the hopes of filtering the water enough to support the fish.

Ironically, the state’s five years of drought caused Lake Oroville’s water levels to plunge to a low of 33 percent of capacity, according to the Los Angeles Times. The lake became a poster child for the drought. In a dramatic shift, Northern California witnessed an extraordinarily rainy winter this year that caused waters to rise to their highest levels in decades.


Grain By Grain, Earth Is Losing All Its Sand

Grain By Grain, Earth Is Losing All Its Sand

 

More beach means less damage from storms... but in addition to beach erosion accelerating, we use tons and tons of sand to make buildings. We're running out, and there will be consequences.


Scary-Ass Worm Snatches Fish Straight From Its Hole In The Ocean Floor

Scary-Ass Worm Snatches Fish Straight From Its Hole In The Ocean Floor

 

Damn, the ocean isn’t here to play around. This worm, known as a sand striker, buries itself in the ground and can grow up to twice the length of a human. It has no eyes and no brain and yet it can snatch the body and soul (and everything else) of a fish from right out of the ground. It’s like a terrifying death trap, shooting itself out from the floor and making the fish disappear in an instant. Damn.


Soap Bubbles Quickly Freezing Into Beautiful Icy Globes In -20°C Weather

Soap Bubbles Quickly Freezing Into Beautiful Icy Globes In -20°C Weather

Photographer Pablo Zulaska filmed soap bubbles quickly freezing into beautiful icy globes in -20°C weather. Zulaska made a similar video last year and said it has become a tradition with his children.

It became a tradition since last year, so as there was almost -20 degrees (Celsius), I made some freezing bubbles for my kids. Couldn’t stop myself from filming it again :)


Shark Vs. Killer Whales: The Poor Shark Never Stood A Chance

Shark Vs. Killer Whales: The Poor Shark Never Stood A Chance

If it was a 1-v-1 battle I’d still take a killer whale over a shark. Even if we’re talking a semi-juvenile killer whale vs. a great white shark, I feel like I’d be inclined to take the whale because of their massive brains, but I do think that fight would be close. But when you’ve got a pod of killer whales versus one solitary shark, I think we can all agree that the shark didn’t stand a fucking chance.

That shark was D.O.A. the second that pod of killer whales arrived on the scene, and even though there are two juveniles in this pod the shark was quickly vanquished and turned into a meal for the migrating whales. According to The Huffington Post, these four whales were actually part of a larger pod of up to 25 killer whales migrating past Monterey Bay, California.


Miami Beach's Sand Comes From Elsewhere ... Problematically

Miami Beach's Sand Comes From Elsewhere ... Problematically

 

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Sand may seem like an infinite natural resource, but as cities with beaches around the world know all too well, it's anything but. And Miami Beach, Fla., is standing at a crossroads now that it, along with the US Army Corps of Engineers, has spent years pumping up sand from the seafloor to refill its receding beaches in a fight against rising sea levels that it ultimately can't win, reports the Verge in a lengthy feature. As far as that seafloor pumping goes in Miami Beach, the sand that could be pulled from the nearby ocean is all used up. That's because what's been brought to shore eventually washes back out, and most can never be reclaimed. "If it's sucked out past a certain depth, it’s scattered along the continental shelf, too dispersed to be gathered back," writes Josh Dzieza.

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Dzieza digs into some of Miami Beach's options, both theoretical and tried: an inland mine; getting the sand off the counties to the north; buying premium sand from the Bahamas. But then there's the trouble of paying for sand. Without income tax in Florida, property taxes—and thus property values—need to continue rising even as the beaches are washing away. "The irony is ... the way to deal with rising sea levels is to build more condos," one expert says. But another notes that you can't have both buildings and beaches, and that there will soon be a rush to build seawalls to protect at-risk properties. Dzieza predicts a future shoreline that's "a fortress of concrete and rock," with our only beaches being pricey "amusement parks" maintained by sand piped in from a more extreme distance. Read the full piece for more on the rub with the Bahamian sand idea.

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