Thai Police Arrest Notorious Asian Trafficking Kingpin

Thai Police Arrest Notorious Asian Trafficking Kingpin


Animal trafficking takes many forms and encourages other illegal activities like poaching. That's why fans of wildlife may be heartened to see the arrest of a man believed to be at the centre of the black market trade.

Yesterday Thai police arrested Boonchai Bach, a 40-year-old Thai man of Vietnamese descent who is believed to be a key figure in one of the biggest illegal wildlife trading networks in Asia.

Police process suspected wildlife trafficker Boonchai Bach, a 40-year-old Thai of Vietnamese descent, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, in Bangkok, Thailand. During a press conference Saturday, police announced the arrest of Boonchai who allegedly fueled much of Asia's illegal wildlife trade for over the last decade. (AP Photo/Tassanee Vejpongsa)


Credit: PA

Bach was detained in a town on the border with Laos and may now faces up to four years in jail for smuggling protected animal parts, including parts like rhino horns and elephant ivory.

The anti-trafficking group Freeland, which helped find the evidence to arrest Bach, believes that his arrest will cause serious disruption to his alleged smuggling operation.

The Bachs have 'long run the international supply chain of illicit wildlife from Asia and Africa to major dealers in Laos, Vietnam and China', Freeland said in a statement.

Bach is believed to be the ringleader of a 'major smuggling syndicate' which has been operating for more than ten years, police have stated according to the BBC.

Bach was arrested under suspicion of smuggling 14 rhino horns from Africa to Thailand, a haul worth around $1m (£700,000).

Police stopped the batch of rhino horn from reaching its intended destination last month and say they have enough evidence to charge Bach after tracking the people involved.

Credit: PA

Bach's business ran from a small border town on the Mekong river which is notorious for being used to smuggle illegal goods into the neighbouring country of Laos.

Laos is one of the main ways in which buyers in Vietnam and China are able to obtain animal parts which have been poached from Africa and Asia.

Despite Thai police's recent efforts in intercepting illegal wildlife shipments, they haven't yet managed to break up the trafficking networks behind the shipments until now, the BBC reported.

Rhino horns are, sadly, extremely popular in the illegal wildlife trade. Their horns can fetch up to $60,000 (£45,306) per pound - more than their weight in gold.

The problem is largely driven by the art and antiques market in China, with rhino horns regularly used to make high-value carvings like bracelets, as well as being used in traditional medicine.

If an allegedly powerful wildlife trafficking figure like Bach has been taken down, then surely that's good news for wild animals everywhere.

17 Really Stupid Inventions You’re Going To Wish You Thought Of

17 Really Stupid Inventions You’re Going To Wish You Thought Of









The Bear That Ate 15 Million Dollars Worth Of Cocaine

The Bear That Ate 15 Million Dollars Worth Of Cocaine

 Yogi had one wild night.

13 Things You Should Never Google: Nature Edition

13 Things You Should Never Google: Nature Edition

The Internet is full of any number of horrific and disturbing things, even when you're researching something as seemingly innocent as the natural world. There are so many nature things you shouldn't Google, be they animal, vegetable, or mineral. True, morbid curiosity drives a lot of what people search for. If that's your thing, here are all of the nature-oriented things you should never Google because they're either sad, disgusting, or unspeakable.

The results won't be shown on this list, but there will be descriptions of what you'll find if you do go down the rabbit hole. Warning: these may include animals you shouldn't Google because they're incredibly weird-looking or off-putting. They may also include gross nature phenomena, and anything generally creepy that is found in nature in general. From weird animal mouths to alarming animal penises, to bugs and sea creatures that are straight up nightmare fuel, here they are in all their glory.



FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Unusual Facts About Taste

FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Unusual Facts About Taste

The seemingly simple sense of taste is anything but clear-cut. Science cannot explain all its complexities, and the underlying biology is so powerful that marketers successfully manipulate customers with suggestion.

There are taste buds in strange places and people who taste the unbelievable. The tongue is also amazingly uncharted—sensing the tasteless, switching sensations, and even producing virtual flavors.


10 Expensive Wine Tastes Better

Certain information can skew a person’s ability to taste what is really being served. In the case of a marketing test for wine, tongues and brains were fooled for the better.

In 2015, volunteers were told that they were about to sample five bottles. Prices ranged from £3–£55 per bottle. In reality, they sipped three brands with two different price tags.

Blissfully unaware that they were being served cheap slosh, the volunteers reported—and reacted physically—as if the wine was tasty and refined. The belief that the glass contained a quality drink was enough to change their neurological chemistry. Incredibly, the brain molded the person’s taste according to his or her expectancy of the product’s worth.[1]

Price was not the only thing capable of this mental tweak. Researchers also discovered that consumers shelled out more for a heavy bottle and that alcoholic beverages taste better in a heavier glass—all because the brain associates weight with quality.

9 The Bloody Mary Mystery

In 2013, the German airline Lufthansa noticed something on their planes that was not really seen back on land. Once in the air, passengers craved tomato juice. Around 1.8 million liters (476,000 gal) were being served annually, making a Bloody Mary as popular as a beer.

The unusual phenomenon even encouraged those who would not otherwise drink tomato juice. Once again, volunteers were gathered, this time in a grounded Airbus A310. Drinks were served, but the passengers found the concoction “musty.” However, during simulated flight conditions, the Bloody Mary’s popularity took off. Happy passengers now described it as “pleasantly fruity.”

The curious culprit is umami, our fifth taste sensation. The other four (sweet, salty, sour, and bitter) are fearful fliers. Airplane noise, low humidity, and cabin pressure dampens them but not umami, which picks up on savory flavors.[2]

Flying conditions could partly be responsible for notoriously bland airline food, but they also explain why a Bloody Mary is a high-altitude favorite. Tomato juice is very savory, which is appreciated by the passengers’ only surviving taste buds.


8 Taste Can Improve Depression Treatment

The ability to taste is intricately woven into emotions. On the darker spectrum, anxiety and depression numb flavors. There is evidence that the blues hamper recognition of how fatty a snack or even milk is. Bad news for those who turn to comfort eating after a stressful day.

But taste itself may help people suffering from depression and anxiety to receive more effective treatment. When healthy volunteers were given antidepressants, which contain certain neurotransmitters, their ability to detect bitterness, sucrose, and sourness increased.

This pointed to a chemical imbalance in individuals who taste less because of their heavy emotions. This group will benefit from medication but not sufferers who still enjoy a flavor-packed lunch. Since their anxiety or depression does not stem from imbalance, talking therapy may be more successful than pills.[3]

Therefore, a simple taste test could either prevent people from lacking medication they need or taking an unnecessary prescription drug. Incredibly, researchers discovered that the antidepressants worked on chemical transmitters within taste buds long before reaching the brain.

7 Battle Of The Sixth Flavor

Convention once stated that the human palate could only detect four flavors. The arrival of umami proved the rule wrong. Some scientists believe that there may even be a sixth flavor. In fact, there are seven sensations vying for recognition.

Mice have two receptors to taste calcium. One exists on the human tongue, but its link to the chalky flavor remains unproven. Japanese researchers believe that the calcium receptor is responsible for another unrelated flavor called kokumi (“heartiness”). They claim that compounds in yeast and milt enhance food’s existing flavors. Western scientists have yet to experience it despite eating kokumi-rich food provided by their Japanese counterparts.

Then there are piquance (burning) and coolness, which convince the brain of false temperatures. Some feel that these are physical feelings rather than tastes. Two more controversial suggestions hold that fat is a flavor and metals or “metallicity” is another.[4]

The most unusual but perhaps the strongest candidate for a new taste sensation is carbon dioxide. The gas adds the fizz to carbonated drinks. In mice, taste cells with the enzyme carbonic anhydrase 4 detect CO2. Mountain climbers take acetazolamide, an altitude sickness drug which inhibits the enzyme. This could be why climbers report flat fizzy drinks—proof of a drug-disabled ability to taste carbon dioxide.

6 The Unusual Tasters

Photo credit: BBC

Nobody shares an identical palate with another person. However, most of the population falls into a group that experiences the same basic tastes with approximately the same intensity.

For a small percentage, things get strange. There are “thermal tasters” who register cold items as sour and hot items as sweet. Certain individuals are genetically sensitive to coriander. For them, it is like eating soap.

At the extreme opposites are tongues that taste little or remarkably well. Nontasters have few taste buds and find food dull. But supertasters have twice as many taste buds as most of the population. Bitterness is the ultimate bane of supertasters, who also enjoy sweeter sugar and saltier sodium.[5]

About 25 percent of people are supertasters, but most agree that it can be troublesome. Their pronounced ability to detect minute flavors makes them less likely to enjoy alcohol, rich desserts, and healthy green vegetables. In particular, broccoli is unbearably bitter to supers.

Oddly, even though salt tastes strong, most supertasters cannot get enough of it. Researchers believe that it might be because salt mutes bitterness.


5 The Taste Of Water

Almost everybody feels that water has no flavor. If it does, it is usually due to the chemicals in tap water or a container’s aftertaste. Scientists are not ready to agree. If water is truly void of culinary character, then animals’ drinking behavior does not tally.

As water is critical for survival, it makes sense that organisms need to identify it by smell and taste. Indeed, water-detecting cells already exist in amphibians and insects. There are signs that such cells could also be in mammals.

When an animal feels thirst, the sensation is triggered by the brain’s hypothalamus. The same region also tells it when to stop drinking. But most animals stop long before the gut signals the brain that it feels full.[6]

The only explanation is that the mouth and tongue sends messages to the brain. To do this, taste buds must somehow be able to taste water. The human cortex also appears to react specifically to water. Despite the clues, researchers still know very little about how water signals from the mouth and throat reach the brain.

4 Intestines Have Taste Buds

It may sound unbelievable, but the human intestines have taste receptors. Gut buds are not as alien as they sound. The mouth is the start of a long tube known as the gastrointestinal tract, including the intestines.

However, taste buds lining the tract function differently than those on the tongue. The latter is all about telling the brain, through taste, what is being placed in the mouth. If palatable, the person swallows. The food reaches the gut buds, which can recognize different tastes.

One won’t taste a meal in the intestinal tract, but its receptors’ reactions can be felt as hunger and fullness. Once the brain “tastes” something in the gut, it triggers the release of energy-processing hormones in the tract. This keeps blood sugar levels steady.

In this sense, taste buds in the gut have an important health role to play. If faulty, they can cause weight gain or, worse yet, mess with glucose absorption and potentially worsen type 2 diabetes. In the future, a better understanding of gut receptors may be the secret to controlling blood glucose and obesity.[7]

3 The Flavor-Bending Berry

Photo credit:

A small red berry from West Africa makes vinegar taste like liquid sugar. In an ironic twist, the so-called “miracle berry” has a bland taste. But once the berry is eaten, one never needs to fear another lemon.

Miracle berries turn any acidic food into an intensely sweet experience. The berries contain miraculin, a protein that coats the tongue’s sweet receptors. When the mouth is neutral (neither alkaline nor acidic), miraculin blocks other sweeteners from fastening to the receptors. It even goes as far as deadening the tongue’s ability to taste, which is why the berry’s own flavor disappoints.

The fun begins when something sour is added. The protein steals a few protons, changes shape, and distorts the sweet receptors. They turn supersensitive with crazy results.[8]

This phenomenon is not unique to miracle berries. The Malaysian lumbah plant pulls the same trick with a protein called neoculin. What is interesting is that neoculin and miraculin are unrelated and differ completely at the molecular level. Also, each attaches to different parts of receptors and yet both do the exact unusual thing.

2 Virtual Flavors

Photo credit:

Recently, scientists worked with the elderly and patients who had received chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Both cancer treatments and aging can cause a severe loss of tasting ability.

The researchers’ approach was cutting-edge and creative. They used cutlery that virtually enhances the flavor of a meal. Like your lemonade really sour? They invented a cup that can dial the intensity up or down. Another device, a smart spoon, can create or supplement the tastes of a meal. Similar to the cup, a button on the spoon’s handle can lessen or intensify the sourness, bitterness, and saltiness of every bite.

Using tiny silver electrodes, flavors are delivered by zapping taste buds with electrical pulses during eating or drinking. Apart from enhancing lunch or restoring taste, the technology also shows promise in another field. Developers believe that people might relax someday in a virtual reality environment where they can sit down and taste those digital nachos.[9]

1 People Who Taste Words

It may sound like fiction, but there are people who can taste words. They even have a name—synesthetes. Individuals with synesthesia experience the overlapping of senses, such as vision and hearing or touch and taste.

The rarest of this unusual group are the language tasters. When tested, they even experienced flavors for the unknown names of objects. Cold-called years later, test subjects recalled the flavor of every item. This 100 percent accuracy is something that sets synesthetes apart. Non-synesthetes who are given a list of word-taste associations will forget most within a fortnight.

While elusive words produced strange flavors, food names tasted of the actual items. The word “mint” will taste like a mint. Many synesthetes also describe the same word in a similar way. This led researchers to discover that certain sounds within a word, rather than the word itself, triggered taste.[10]

The reason why two or more senses blend remains unsolved. One theory states that everyone is born a synesthete, with every sensory region in the brain connected. Eventually, they separate with age. It is suggested that the process does not complete in synesthetes and leaves active links between the senses.

Dog Faces Off Against Giant Crocodile - But The Dog Is Australian So He Has The Advantage


These people seem unreasonably chill about their dog sprinting at an 11-foot crocodile.


A Crazy 1882 Rodent Trap Design Starring "The World's Luckiest Rat"

A Crazy 1882 Rodent Trap Design Starring "The World's Luckiest Rat"


Of course a gun trap is made by a guy in texas.





Photo Shoot Of Woman ‘Giving Birth’ To A Kitten Is Freaking Everyone Out

Photo Shoot Of Woman ‘Giving Birth’ To A Kitten Is Freaking Everyone Out

I know there are some people out there that adore their cats, hell I have one of my own. And I know some people like to dress up their cat and whatnot. But please, for the love of everything that is holy, don’t freak everyone out by pretending to give birth to a kitten like the woman below did.

A Denver-based photographer named Lucy Schultz recently adopted a kitten so she decided to share the news in the most bizarre manner she could think of: a photo shoot of her “giving birth” to it.

People are obviously freaked out, with most calling these photos “distasteful, disturbing and creepy.” Here’s what Schultz had to say to Denver TV Station KUSA:

“So I’ve been thinking of this idea for a while because I’m totally a crazy cat lady who didn’t have any cats, so, I decided as soon as I got a cat, it’s a big milestone for me and sort of like the hallmark of me settling down and starting my menagerie of future cats, and so the first one is pretty special.”


Man, I’m pretty damn disturbed by all of this.

If you want to see all the photos to this bizarre photo shoot you can see them below:


Indian Man Busted Having 'Unnatural Sex' With Three Cows

Indian Man Busted Having 'Unnatural Sex' With Three Cows

I mean, is there any other kind?

According to Metro, a sick fuck in Vadodara, India was arrested earlier this week after he allegedly humped three cows, leaving one of them dead on the floor after he was finished with it.

Police said the cows’ owner, Lalji Rabari, brought one of his workers to the cop shop after discovering that somebody had tied three of his cows’ legs together with rope and likely had intercourse with them. The worker is known only as Rathodiya, and Rabari suspected it was him because he was busted plowing a calf two years ago.

How he managed to keep his job after that shit show is anybody’s guess, but not firing him really backfired on Rabari, as one of the three cows was not only a victim of “unnatural sex” but also murder.

Police interviewed Rathodiva at the station, and he actually admitted to taking all three cows to pound town sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning. Police and locals have come to the conclusion that Rathodiva has “psychological problems,” something that easily falls under the “no shit” umbrella.



“Think I would rather be face to face with a shark than one of these creatures – not that either would have a pretty outcome!” A fisherman’s joy at hooking the big one quickly turned to terror as a monster crocodile burst out of the water to snatch his catch. Luke Robertson was in the Northern Territory at a notorious crocodile-infested waterway, when he decided to go for a fish. Things quickly went south.


This Octopus's Active Camouflage Is Amazing

This Octopus's Active Camouflage Is Amazing

This video from a diver in Mozambique is one of the best demonstrations of octopuses super-quick camouflage abilities.






FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Interesting Stories Behind Mascots

FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Interesting Stories Behind Mascots

We recognize brands from their mascots. A mascot is the face of a brand. They are a way to entice the audience and attract them to the products. Some mascots like the Michelin Man have been around for more than a century. Some are beloved like Ronald McDonald of McDonald’s. But each of these mascots has a story behind them. We bring to you 10 such interesting stories behind famous mascots that will simply blow your mind.

1. Snoopy is NASA’s safety mascot. Since 1968, every astronaut wears a silver Snoopy pin when they go into space. Upon their return, the pins are given as a special token of recognition to the people who work to keep astronauts safe.

Image credits: RadioFan at English Wikipedia/WikimediaNitrorat/WikimediaNASA

After NASA’s devastating Apollo 1 mission, NASA accepted a great responsibility to rebuild its image. They decided to create a program that would work towards safety in space missions. They went to Charles Schulz, the creator of the comic strip Peanuts, and requested to use Snoopy as their safety mascot.

It was a tough call for Schulz because if any of the new Apollo missions failed, the reputation of his beloved character would be at risk too. But according to his son, Craig Schulz, Charles Schulz believed that if astronauts could risk their lives, then he could risk his characters.

After Snoopy became the mascot, there were many comic strips that featured him on space adventures. One of the initial sketches of Snoopy exploring space with his fishbowl helmet was turned into a silver metal pin. This pin has been worn by astronauts since 1968 while going on missions. Once they return, they present the pin as a token of appreciation to the people on the ground who contributed to the safety and success of these missions. Very few people in the NASA workforce have received the honor making the pin one of the most honorable and prestigious awards in the space industry.

The Apollo 10 mission took up Snoopy as their official mascot. They used to pet his nose before launching as a sign of good luck. The flight modules were also given names of the Peanuts characters – the Commander Service Module was named Charlie Brown while the Lunar Module was named Snoopy.(source)

2. The mascot for the Colorado Rockies is a triceratops because, during the excavation for the construction of the stadium, a dinosaur rib bone was found.

Image credits: Onetwo1 at the English language Wikipedia/WikimediaDavid Zalubowski, Special to The Denver Post via

The Colorado Rockies have a purple triceratops, known as Dinger, as their team mascot. There is a reason for using this cuddly dinosaur as their mascot. When Coors Field, the official home field of the Colorado Rockies, was being constructed, workers discovered a number of dinosaur fossils while digging up the ground. The most notable discovery was a 7-foot-long (2.1 m) 1,000-pound (450 kg) rib of a triceratops. This made the authorities consider “Jurassic Park” as a name for the field.

Later, the baseball team adopted a purple triceratops as their mascot in honor of the discovery made.(source)

3. Domino’s stopped using “The Noid” as their mascot after Kenneth Lamar Noid, a mentally ill man, held two Domino’s employees as hostage thinking that the character was based on him. He later killed himself.

Image source: villains.wikia.comDetroit Free Press Wed, Feb 1, 1989 via

Many of us have heard about the “The Noid.” It was a character used by Domino’s as their mascot and was one of the most popular mascots in corporate history. But there was a real-life crime inspired by the mascot which led to the elimination of the mascot by Domino’s.

In the ad by Domino’s, “The Noid” was portrayed as a character whose main objective was to delay pizza deliveries. But Domino’s was Noid-proof which meant that you would always get your pizza in 30 minutes or less. The Noid became so popular that he was featured in video games and a line of merchandise. What ended the career of “The Noid” is a tragic story.

On January 30, 1989, Kenneth Lamar Noid walked into a Domino’s store in Georgia and held two employees hostage at gunpoint. Even though the employees managed to escape, they were held hostage for about five hours. Later it was found out that Kenneth was mentally unstable and believed that the “Avoid the Noid” campaign by Domino’s was directed at persecuting him. He served a few months at a mental institution but was unable to shake off his belief. He finally committed suicide in 1995.

Even though the damage to “The Noid” was already done when Kenneth stepped into the Domino’s store with a gun, the character made a small appearance in a Facebook game in 2011 that marked his 25th birthday. He has never been seen since then.(source)

4. In the 1920s, the mascot for the Georgetown Hoyas was Sergeant Stubby who was the most decorated war dog in WWI. He was the only dog to be nominated for rank in the army and promoted to the position of sergeant through combat.

Image credit: National Photo Company/Wikimedia, Image source: Wikimedia

In July 1917, Stubby was roaming around in the grounds of the Yale University where the 102nd Infantry of the US Army was training. The dog roamed the grounds as the men trained, and one of the soldiers became fond of him. Corporal Robert Conroy hid Stubby and took him with him when he was shipped out. When they reached France, Conroy hid Stubby under his overcoat. But he was eventually discovered by the commanding officer. Upon his discovery, Stubby saluted the officer who allowed him to stay.

Stubby served in the infantry for 18 months and was part of 17 battles. He has been known to show courage and saved his regiment from numerous, surprise gas attacks. Stubby used to find and comfort the wounded. He even caught a German soldier once by the bottom of his pants and held him there until the American soldiers discovered them.

Stubby is the only dog in history who held a rank in a regiment. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and that was through combat. He is also the most decorated war dog in the world.

An animated film is scheduled to be released in April 2018 based on the life of Stubby.(source)

5. One of the mascots for MGM, Jackie the lion, has been known to survive two train wrecks, one earthquake, a boat-sinking incident, an explosion at the MGM studio, and a plane crash in which he was left stranded alone in the wilderness for a couple of days.

Image credits: P & A-Pacific and Atlantic Photos/Wikimedia© Fair Use {{Non-free logo|10 Interesting Stories Behind Famous Mascots}}/Wikipedia

It’s still hard for people to believe that the lion that roars at the start of movies by the MGM studio is actually a real lion. And it’s not the same lion! There have been seven lions who had offered their service to MGM. Leo, the seventh and the current lion, is by far the longest-used lion by MGM. He has been appearing in MGM films since 1957.

But the most interesting lion is the second lion, Jackie. Jackie served between 1928 and 1956. He was also the first to roar, with his roar being recorded by a gramophone. Apart from being the face of the MGM logo, Jackie has also appeared in more than 100 films, one of them being the original Tarzan.

But that is not what makes the lion intriguing. Jackie is a survivor. He has survived five severe catastrophes. Two of these were train wrecks, one was an earthquake, and one an explosion in the studio itself. In the fifth and most popular case, Jackie was on a plane when the pilot crashed in the wilderness of Arizona. Jackie was left stranded in the forest with only some water and a few sandwiches for about four days. This earned him the nickname “Leo the Lucky.”(source)

6. Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, chose a donkey as his party’s mascot because his enemies called him a “jackass.”

Image credits: Thomas Sully/WikimediaSteven Braeger/Wikipedia

In the United States, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are the two major political parties. The modern-day Democratic Party was founded by the supporters of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. It was formed around 1828 and has attained the status of being the oldest political party in the world.

When it comes to mascot for the party, the donkey or the jackass has been the most famous and most common symbol. It so happened that Andrew Jackson’s opponents used to call him “jackass” to ridicule him. They compared him to a stupid and stubborn animal. But the party members liked the inference made to the common man and took it up as the party symbol.

Even though the donkey symbol never became the official logo of the party, it is still one of the most popular political symbol.(source)

7. Willard Scott was the first to portray Ronald McDonald, the mascot for McDonald’s, but he was dropped for being too heavy to play the part of the “active” Ronald.

Image credits: Alan Light/WikimediaChrisO/Wikimedia

The McDonald’s mascot is one of the most famous mascots in the world. The mascot is known by the name of Ronald McDonald. In his book, The Joy of Living, Willard Scott, a legendary TV personality and American weather presenter, claimed that he was the one to create the character at the request of the food chain brand. He even portrayed the role regularly from 1963 to 1966 and after that occasionally until 1971.

But later, he was replaced as McDonald’s was worried that Scott being heavy would hurt the image of the brand.(source)

8. Tux, the penguin, became a mascot for the Linux OS as a result of a joke made by the founder about contracting a disease called “penguinitis” after being bitten by a penguin.

Image credits: Sebastian Lammermann/Wikimedia[email protected] Larry Ewing and The GIMP/Wikimedia

Whenever anyone talks about Linux OS, the image of a penguin comes instantly to mind. This penguin, Tux, is the mascot for the renowned operating system. The concept was introduced by Linus Torvalds, the creator and founder of Linux. Torvalds is known to have a fascination towards penguins. Once he joked about being bitten by a penguin and said that he had contracted “penguinitis” as a result of the bite. He even added that this disease makes a person stay awake at night and feel great love towards penguins.

This gave Larry Ewing the idea to create Tux as the brand mascot. The name Tux was first used by James Hughes who said that it was an abbreviation for (T)orvalds (U)ni(X).(source)

9. The real name of the Michelin Man, the mascot for Michelin Tyres, is Bibendum, and he’s white because originally tires were gray-white or light in color. It was only after 1912 that tires became black when carbon was added as a preservative and strengthening material to rubber.

Image credits: APPER/WikimediaRico Shen/Wikimedia

We are all familiar with the white mascot, Michelin Man, of the Michelin tire company. Unknown to many, the real name of the Michelin Man is Bibendum. He is also called Bib in short.

Once the founders of the tire company, Édouard and André Michelin, came upon a stack of bicycle tires that had the impression of a man. The only thing missing was a pair of arms. Years later, a French cartoonist showed the founders an image of a king drinking that he had created for a brewery. Seeing the image, the founders asked the cartoonist, Marius Rossillon, to replace the image of the king with a man made of tires. Rassilon came up with a poster in which Bibendum was toasting with a drink while his competitors were destroyed by the problems encountered on road. The poster had the quote, “Now is the time to drink … That is to say, to your health. The Michelin tire drinks up obstacles.”

Bibendum was kept white in color because, at that time, all tires were white. It’s only in the early 20th century, around 1912, that carbon began to be added  to the rubber that is used as a raw material for the production of the tires for preservation and strengthening purposes.(source)

10. The alien mascot for Reddit is called “Snoo.” Originally the creators of Reddit wanted their site to be called Snoo as in “What’s New?,” but due to the unavailability of the domain, they had to compromise by calling the mascot Snoo.

Image credits: Steve Huffman via nymag.comReddit, Inc/Wikipedia

In 2005, the co-founders of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, and Steve Huffman, created an online food-ordering service business. They named it MyMobileMenu. They went ahead to pitch the idea to Paul Graham, the co-founder of Y Combinator. But unfortunately, they were rejected.

Dejected, the duo prepared to get back home the next morning. When they were on the train, they received a call from Paul Graham. He told them that even though he didn’t like their food-ordering service idea much, he liked both Ohanian and Huffman. He also urged them to build “the front page of the Internet” together.

Inspired by his words, the duo wrote the code for Reddit in only three weeks. Ohanian wished to call the website “Snoo” which is the short form for “What’s New?,” but the Snoo domain name was already bought by someone else. They contacted the owner of the domain but he refused to sell it to them. So, they decided to temporarily name the website Reddit (which fortunately stuck!) and compromised to just calling the alien mascot as Snoo.(1,2)






8 Grossest Items Found In Food

8 Grossest Items Found In Food

You know, sometimes it’s just better not to know what goes into your food.

If there’s one thing that can scare the cholesterol out of people it’s finding a vile item in their food. And let’s be honest: if you find something in your food that should in no way, shape or form be there, it’s vile. Ordered a hamburger without mayo and it’s on there? That’s okay — it’s a mistake. Ordered a hamburger and you spot a syringe? That’s definitely NOT okay and somebody somewhere really dropped the ball (most likely in a biohazard bin).

Discovering bizarre, unsanitary and altogether disgusting things in your food is as surefire a way to turn your stomach as picturing your parents doing it (you just cringed, didn’t you?).

With that in mind, here are 8 gross things found in food that you can only hope never show up at your dinner table.

It Was a Condom-ent

Do you know what’s worse than finding a condom in your food? Choking on a condom in your food. A woman took a bite of her French toast that she ordered at an IHOP in Homewood, Ala. when she bit into the prophylactic. The popular breakfast chain denied the charge, but the woman stands by the allegation.

“While consuming her meal the Plaintiff felt something become lodged in her throat, which caused her to have difficulty breathing,” reads a lawsuit filed by the woman that gives some gritty and vidid play-by-play of what took place. “As a result, she ran to the women’s bathroom along with her minor grandson. While in the women’s bathroom the Plaintiff attempted to dislodge the material in her throat by vomiting.” When that didn’t work, she “proceeded to place her fingers in the back of her throat in an attempt to pull out the material.”

Well, that’ll teach ya to order French toast at an IHOP, right?

Oh-So-Delicious Dead Mouse

Source: Jayme Sowers

Dead mouse: popular DJ and, apparently, a surprise ingredient. A woman who stopped into the 7 Bar and Grill in Amarillo, Tex. came across a dead mouse in her salad. Lettuce? Check. Cucumbers? Check? The corpse of Mickey? Uh…check.

To be fair, the eatery acted swiftly in apologizing to the woman, although we can’t imagine any number of gift cards are going to persuade her to come back.

A manager for the restaurant contacted the health department, which did an inspection it passed, while the salad went to a lab to find out what went wrong, as if no one realizes “dead mouse in a salad” is what went wrong.

The manager, meanwhile, stayed in a total spin zone while encouraging the public to come on out. “I just want to let you know, it is completely a safe, clean environment to come bring your family, eat dinner, watch a football game, and enjoy the atmosphere,” he said. How could anyone not believe that?

Taking the Bait

Unless you’re a fish or still a really big fan of “Fear Factor,” chowing down on worms is not appetizing.

A woman in Detroit bought some cod at Whole Foods only to notice a worm on it while she seasoned the fish. She didn’t know if it was dead or alive (does that even matter?), but she did see parts of it spread throughout the cod.

Whole Foods said the creature is a nematode, adding, “Nematodes are naturally occurring parasitic roundworms that affect small percentages of fish. They are not harmful when the fish is cooked property to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.” Safe or not, Whole Foods refunded the money.

You can’t really blame the woman for getting upset, either. Who’d want to swallow something called a “nematode?” Heck, it’s got the word “toad” in it.

The Ultimate Finger Food

Okay, cue up the “finger food” jokes. A 14-year-old boy in Jackson, Mich. took a bite of his roast beef sandwich from Arby’s only to discover he had bitten into a human finger. Perhaps not so coincidentally, an employee had cut her finger on a meat slicer and was replaced by some co-workers who were not aware there was an accident and that a finger may have been on the loose.

One witness said “The piece appeared to be the back of a finger, including the pad and extending beyond the first knuckle.”

The Arby’s in question later cleaned the establishment top to bottom, while the boy was “traumatized” over the unusual topping. And no, we don’t know what finger it was, not that it matters because you can bet the boy didn’t give the sandwich a thumbs up.

This Will Really Bug Ya

Insect larva? Um, no thank you.

A family in Omaha, Neb. got more than just chocolatey goodness when it opened a Ferrero Rocher chocolate ball purchased at Walmart and bit into it, only for worms to come pouring out of it like gasoline from an unattended pump.

It turns out the little critters were Indian Meal caterpillars, so, if you want to be literal about the whole thing, they should’ve probably been better suited in a pot roast or casserole.

Ferrero Rocher addressed the snafu in a statement, which said, in part, “Rare occurrences of infestation have occurred in Ferrero Rocher, similar to other chocolate and food products whose packaging makes them more vulnerable to infestation. Pests can penetrate nearly any type of confectionery packaging on the market today, except glass or metal.”

Lesson learned: only get chocolate sold in Coke cans.


We’ve all heard that candy is bad for your teeth, buy who knew it was for this reason?

A woman in Brownsboro, Tex. bit into a tooth that was lodged in a Milky Way bar she was eating. It’s unclear if it was a human or animal tooth.

None of her teeth were damaged and she elected not to mail it back to Mars, which owns Milky Way, out of concern the company would hold onto the evidence.

Mars did the next best thing, if that’s actually possible, when it offered her coupons for free candy bars, as well as a letter of apology. Still, she probably didn’t break into a whole box of Fun Size bars come Halloween. “Every time I think about it, I kind of get sick to my stomach because I don’t know what kind of mouth it come out of,” she said.

Mars released a statement, which said, in part, “All Mars products are manufactured and tested through a series of strict processes, based on recognized international standards.  We remain confident in the quality and safety of our products.”

An Un-Lung-ly Customer

Fried chicken is awful for you, but it’s okay because it’s so good. Except when, you know, you find a lung in it. An Australian man who ordered three pieces from KFC got a bonus part: a lung. He took a bite of some bird and spotted something not quite right. When he told employees, they said it may be a lung. What’s more surprising — the fact a lung was in some fried chicken or employees at a KFC are smart enough to know what a lung even looks like?

The restaurant didn’t offer a refund, electing instead to tell the man to contact customer service. We’re guessing he would’ve had to bite into a spleen or an intestine for him to get his money back.

In the end, KFC said it most likely was a chicken lung or kidney that was never removed. The man, meanwhile, said he’ll never eat there again. So, score one for Bojangles.

Black (Spider) Grapes


Maybe organic isn’t the way to go. A woman who bought organic grapes at a grocery store in Epping, N.H. may be thinking just that after she claims a black widow spider was mixed in with the fruit.

“As I washing some of the grapes in bunches, I noticed there were some cobwebs,” she said. “I started getting a little paranoid since I’ve heard stories about spiders in grapes, so I picked up the bin and there it was: a big, huge black widow spider at the bottom of the container.”

The woman’s husband played the part of gallant hero by killing the arachnid. No one was hurt.

The woman has no interest in cashing in on the incident. The store offered a refund, but she declined, saying she merely wants to make sure nothing like this happens to another family.

That’s pretty nice, but we’re betting it’s a totally different response than the one she’d have if the spider had managed to bite someone in the house.


This Bear Diving Into A River Gets The Photoshop Treatment


This Bear Diving Into A River Gets The Photoshop Treatment



These Monkeys In Florida Apparently Have Killer Herpes

These Monkeys In Florida Apparently Have Killer Herpes

It’s official: The only reason left to go to Florida is Mickey Mouse.

According to Ars Technica, some dude in the 1930s and 40s released around a dozen rhesus macaques on an island along the Silver River outside of Silver Springs, Florida because he was the captain of a glass-bottom boat and thought the monkeys would be something funny for his customers to see along their journey.

Well, nobody is laughing 80 years later because those dozen or so monkeys have turned into some 800 littler fury fuckers, and they apparently can swim like nobody’s business and have made their way off the island and into the nearby Silver Spring State Park and Ocala National Forest.

The problem with that? You guessed it – they all have killer herpes.

No, seriously. While the virus—macacine herpesvirus 1 (McHV-1) – is common amongst the rhesus macaques and will only cause mild infections in them, it unfortunately can be fatal for humans who come into contact with it.

Ars Technica:

But when McHV-1 gets into humans, it can cause serious problems in the central nervous system. The virus can be spread to humans by monkey bites and scratches, as well as infectious fluids/feces getting splashed into the eyes (which happened once). Depending on the route of infection and the number of virus particles transferred, the infection in humans can progress from flu-like symptoms to neurological problems. These include double vision, lack of voluntary control of muscle movements, and paralysis. If neurological symptoms develop, the infected person will likely die even with antiviral therapy.

Since McHV-1 was identified in 1932, researchers have only documented 50 cases of human infections, all from captive macaques. Of those cases, 21 resulted in death.”


So there you have it, kids. If you see a monkey in Florida, don’t fuck it.

World's Biggest Carnivorous Plant?

World's Biggest Carnivorous Plant?

At this time of year we have to start being extra watchful – our lambs are vulnerable to attack from this silent killer..

Not everyone is going to agree with this thesis – but I’ve been rescuing sheep from bramble patches for decades, and often I’ve come across the remains of sheep that were killed in this way, and it makes perfect sense to me. After all, why shouldn’t brambles be carniverous plants?

Arguments against include – they can only catch sheep, and the sheep will probably be eaten first by something else before it rots away. My response to the first is – only sheep seem to be vulnerable these days, but possibly baby wooly rhinos and other species that are now extinct might also have been victims at one time too.

And my response to the second is that unless the body is carried away whole (which is impossible) then there will always be plenty of bits left behind – intestines, liquids, wool, bones, blood, etc. – all excellent plant food..


What Happens When You Tickle A Rat

What Happens When You Tickle A Rat -

By studying how rats react to tickling, scientists are gaining insight into how a brain processes and responds to the sensation.





Alabama Man Accused Of Sexually Molesting A Horse

Alabama Man Accused Of Sexually Molesting A Horse

If you’re friends with Daniel Bennett of Irvington, Alabama, do the guy a solid and buy him an Xbox.

According to Fox News, the 18-year-old man has allegedly been spending his free time “repeatedly sexually molesting a horse” at a nearby farm, and naturally, the horse’s owners are sick and tired of it.

The last time around, Francine Janes and her husband, who was armed with a gun, found Bennett hiding in a barn stall, and when they asked him what the hell he was doing there, he allegedly said he “likes horses” and wanted to “pet the horse.”

Well, maybe the definition of “pet” in Alabama is different than the one I learned because Bennett was found in a trench coat with a “burglar’s tool” inside. And while that’s seems rather odd, it’s nowhere close to other things Janes and her husband have found after Bennett allegedly went to town on one of their horses named Polly “multiple” times in December alone.

“I would say seven maybe 10 times,” Janes said. “Toilet paper had been left. The hay stacks had been removed. Items had been turned over. And that’s as far as I want to go.”

It’s unknown exactly what Bennett did to Polly, but his arrest warrant lists his crime of bestiality as a misdemeanor and claims he “engaged in or submitted to any sexual contact with an animal, to-wit: a horse,” so you know it was pretty fucking gross.





The stunning video biologist Nan Hauser and her team were able to capture, including point-of-view footage, show how the whale pushed the woman with his head and his mouth, tucked her under its pectoral fin, even lifted the biologist out of the water.




Alligators Survive Freezing Waters By Keeping Their Noses In The Air

Alligators Survive Freezing Waters By Keeping Their Noses In The Air

A viral video of alligators frozen in an icy pond at North Carolina’s Shallotte River Swamp Park has been the talk of social media, with many people wondering whether cold blooded alligatorilians can survive in brutally cold temperatures. Check it out.










Guy Tests Out A Ruthless 427-Year-Old Mousetrap Design

Guy Tests Out A Ruthless 427-Year-Old Mousetrap Design -

Back in 1590, Leonard Mascall designed a bunch of diabolical mousetraps, including this one that can handle multiple mice in a night.









Sir David Attenborough Furious With Bear Grylls Over Scene In New Series

Sir David Attenborough Furious With Bear Grylls Over Scene In New Series

Sir David Attenborough has some strong words for celebrity survivalist Bear Grylls after shooting some controversial scenes for his new show.

Grylls, an ex-SAS serviceman and survival specialist, is no stranger to controversy – after all, this is a man who once drank his own urine just to stay hydrated in a desert.

Animal Rights groups have been calling him out for years for filming and airing, what they see as disturbing content for his documentaries where he kills animals as means to ‘survive’.

While he’s been able to brush off the criticism for the most part, it seems he now has one critic he might not be able to ignore – the legendary Sir David Attenborough.

Attenborough, the veteran broadcaster - whose latest series of Planet Earth aired on the BBC just before Christmas - believes Grylls has a lot to 'answer for' in regards to his method of filming for his documentaries.

In an interview with The Sun, Attenborough said:

Bear Grylls will have to answer for himself.

I wouldn’t willingly kill an animal just to get a shot.

Attenborough, who's been making nature documentaries since 1952, claimed he and his production crew 'never killed an animal' throughout his illustrious career.

His criticisms come after animal right's groups slammed the recent series of Channel 4's, Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls.

During the show, former Olympic medalist Iwan Thomas, along with former Coronation Street star, Ryan Thomas, took flack from the public when they were filmed killing wildlife for food.

The ex-Corrie actor was filmed grappling and then killing a crocodile, while the former 400-metre athlete was forced to kill, cook and eat a caiman in order to ease his hunger.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain the Olympic silver medalist said:

It was a do or die situation.

It sounds cruel, but I felt no remorse when I killed that caiman – I know that's horrible.

There was no pleasure in killing it, but we were starving. I feel bad that we took an animal's life, but we had to eat.

A previous statement from Channel 4 defended the contestant's actions saying:

An important part of the series is to find out if the celebrities are capable of surviving alone and able to find sources of food, including hunting and killing for meat; a vital part of their survival as it's a source of valuable calories and protein.

The celebrities were trained in the humane capture and dispatch of live animals as part of their survival training and the adult caiman was killed humanely.

In 2014 there was a similar outcry against the regular series of The Island when a caiman was killed on camera for food by its contestants.

Despite sparking 93 complaints, broadcasting regulators Ofcom said the show broke no rules.

Animal Rights group PETA claim:

The Island is the result of some worn-out idea about showing crude dominance over the wonders of nature, a deep ignorance of who animals are and a callous disregard for life.

There was no reason other than a desperate quest for ratings to harm and torment the animal.

They also said the contestants on the show, who caught and killed the caiman, 'should be prosecuted'.

It's Funnel-Web Spider Season, So Be Happy You Don't Live In Australia

It's Funnel-Web Spider Season, So Be Happy You Don't Live In Australia


If you are deathly afraid of arachnids, we’d venture to guess you don’t spend a lot of time in The Land Down Under. If you do, we’d have to assume you’ve gotten yourself as used to spiders as humanly possible considering some of the deadliest ones in the world reside and flourish there.

But enough beating around the bush, as time is of the essence in just about every conceivable way. It’s mating season for the venomous funnel-web spider, and with a bite that can kill in 15 minutes without being properly treated, it’s best you prepare yourselves.

news report out of Australia details a startling discovery by local New South Wales woman Bec Sheedy, who recently discovered a deadly funnel-web spider on a wall in her home. Describing it as “probably about 5cm in diameter, so smaller than an open palm,” these jet black nightmares literally have fangs powerful enough to puncture a human fingernail. Sheedy goes on to say that she’s “seen more redbacks this year than in the past but [she hasn’t] seen a funnel-web since [she] was a kid.”


Funnel-web spiders are common on Australia’s east coast and even extend from Queensland to New South Wales. However, due to the fact that it’s presently mating season, the odds have increased slightly that residents will bump into them, especially in the evening hours. According to Paul Hare, Invertebrate Keeper at Taronga Zoo, this is due to male funnel-webs going on the hunt for females. Considering the species thrives on cool, damp environments (often hiding in pools, bathrooms or the household laundry when detected), nighttime is go time.

And just to add an extra layer of anxiety, it should be understood that these ugly buggers can survive submerged underwater for a couple of days. Hence, why you should never reach into a pool filter or garden without a fairly thick pair of gloves on.

Of course, not all is as doom and gloom as it seems. Hare also makes a point to mention that “the reality is [funnel-web spiders are] just not as bad” as they used to be. “These days if you were to die from one, there’s something else going on,” he goes on. That’s because there hasn’t been a fatality since 1981 when Dr. Struan Sutherland created an antivenom.

Bottom line: If you’re bitten by a (mostly defensive) funnel-web spider, get yourself treated immediately and all will be well. Never go out of your way to kill one, either, as they play an important role in the ecosystem by killing more irritating bugs like cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes. Plus, as Hare puts it, due to their incredible resilience, they’re “alive until it’s proven otherwise.” So if you’re going to murder one, you’d better do a damn good job of it or they’ll hunt you down in the night.










The protest follows the release of a new PETA US exposé of a Canada Goose down supplier, which reveals that workers rounded up panicked geese, grabbing and carrying them by the neck, as they struggled with their entire weight hanging from their necks, and crammed them into densely packed cages for transport to slaughter.






FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Useful Science And Behavior Facts You Wish You Knew

FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Useful Science And Behavior Facts You Wish You Knew

From health to the paranormal, we all have an opinion on many things. Maybe you’re convinced that aliens are real. Perhaps you’re not into quinoa. And maybe, just maybe, you liked The Dark Tower this summer.

Whatever your opinions, they’re probably based on knowledge. Well, here is a list of things you may or may not know that will simply make you wonder and maybe change your opinion on certain topics. One thing is sure—this list will make you go, “Whaaaaaat?”

10 Do You Have HIV?

Let’s start with a culprit responsible for the deaths of millions. No biggie, right?

Human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV, is no picnic. Terrible symptoms and a slow decline for the infected were a common fate. Now, many believe it to be something hard to catch, especially since sexual education has advanced so much in recent years, but recent studies have shown that around 30 percent of new HIV infections in the US are transmitted by people who have no idea they have the virus.[1] To this day, the only way to know if you carry the virus is to get tested.

9 Antibacterial Or Regular Soap?

Do you wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom? Do you reflexively gag when you find there is no antibacterial soap but instead only that old regular soap—or even worse, an old bar of soap?

Well, if your argument for preferring antibacterial soap over regular is that it kills more bacteria, we’ve got bad news for you. New studies have shown that antibacterial soap containing triclosan (a very common compound in antibacterial products) is no better than regular soap when it comes to killing germs.[2] So the next time you can’t find your favorite antibacterial soap, give that old soap bar a try; anything is better than not washing your hands.

8 If You Want To Study Better, Hit That Coffee Shop


Have you ever been to your favorite coffee shop and wondered why there are so many people studying or concentrating on anything other than drinking coffee? Well, you’re not the only one; for a long time, I wondered the same thing. The allure of a coffee shop to anyone who needs time to do work or study is undeniable, and now science tells us why.

Turns out that the best noise level to carry abstract thought and any creative task is 70 decibels.[3] Care to guess where can you find said level of noise? Why yes, that is the average noise level in that coffee shop you love.

7 Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

One of the hardest things to do is overcome a temptation, be it avoiding that piece of chocolate cake when you’re on a diet or wasting your time in Stumbleupon or Netflix instead of studying. Procrastination is a beautiful delight to indulge in, but sometimes, we really need to do whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing. In those cases, telling yourself or others “I don’t eat unhealthy food” instead of “I can’t eat unhealthy food” will help you stick to your goal.[4]

This simple change in the way you express your blocks or goals changes the way you think about those same things.

6 Go For An Actual Walk

Walking is one of America’s favorite exercises. It even has its own magazine, yet it’s something that you would hardly consider a worthy exercise to burn calories or fill those activity rings on your iWatch. If you only have time for a walk instead of time at the gym, fear not: You can burn significant calories by just walking.

The trick is in varying the speed at which you walk. Doing so burns more calories than getting on a treadmill and setting a speed; you can burn up to 20 percent more calories by changing the speed you walk frequently rather than keeping a steady pace.[5] So toss away that treadmill, go for a walk, and smile—you’re burning more calories and enjoying the outside.

5 Grab A Burger, Not A Protein Bar


This one will come as a surprise without a doubt. For any who like to follow an athletic lifestyle, this will sound like heresy. Usually after a heavy workout or everyday exercise, people reach for energy bars, recovery drinks, and protein powders, generally because we tend to believe that dietary supplements provide a better boost than any normal food would. Well, here comes science to bring the roof down on you. When it comes to exercise recovery, supplements don’t hold a candle to fast food, a study has found.[6]

In a heavy blow to the sports supplement industry after spending millions of dollars in campaigns showing top athletes working out and preparing clever taglines and banners to convince people to use their products, it turns out that you can just go to McDonald’s to get the recovery energy you need. Who would have thought that fries, hamburgers, and even hash browns fare better against Gatorade, PowerBar, and Cytomax?

However, this doesn’t mean that you can replace your post-workout supplements and just go on a chicken nugget binge. For the body, energy is energy, and a simple carbohydrate is just a simple carbohydrate. But the next time after working out when you face the decision between a burger or Muscle Milk, you can smile knowing that choosing the golden arches every once in a while isn’t bad for you.

4 Teach Kids To Be Kind

As some parents might tell you, children have an innate feeling of good and wrong, and the role of their parents is to reinforce the good. In other words, teach empathy and kindness. But once the child goes to school, it falls to the teacher to keep the practice going. A study has shown that students (aged nine to 11) who were prompted by their teachers to do three acts of kindness a week for an entire month showed an increase in well-being as well as becoming more likable to others.[7]

Happy people have more satisfying friendships and are more likely to engage in prosocial behavior, so teach your kid to be kind. It will make them more happy and popular.

3 It’s Not A Ghost; It’s Just Your Brain Messing Up

Have you ever been in an old room and felt the sensation that something or someone is close by when no one is around? Have you ever thought that there is a ghost around you? Well, turns out that’s just your brain messing up. For a long time, science has struggled with finding out why we believe in ghosts and in determining what leads people to feel that something otherworldly was around them.[8]

Now, we finally have an answer. Scientists have found the parts of the brain that are responsible for generating these weird sensations, such as feeling someone is around when nobody is there. The brain essentially misreads signals from the body and then tries to attribute those signals to something external instead of internal.

2 If You Want To Smell Good, Eat Garlic

We’ve all heard of the benefits of garlic, from helping to cure infections to warding off vampires. But in the smell department, garlic has another property: the ability to ward off others. Think of the warnings to avoid eating garlic on a date unless you want to drive them away or the advice to not eat garlic before an interview. Well, it turns out that if what you want is to attract the opposite sex, then eating garlic might be the thing for you.[9]

During studies, researches concluded that women actually find the odor of a male more alluring after eating garlic, so much so that the men who ate two servings of garlic smelled better and had less pungent body odor. So fear not, garlic lovers, you can enjoy that savory meal knowing that your smell will attract more than repel.

1 Generous Welfare Makes You More Likely To Work

A big source of argument is whether welfare good is for society or just creates moochers. This subject is ranked high in social debate and has been a hot topic in the US for quite some time. Many believe that a society that gives generous welfare is just creating people dependent on the government.

For a surprising view, we turn to Europe. It turns out that European countries that give generous welfare benefits have populations more committed and motivated to work.[10] If you want to make people work and make the economy climb, give better benefits. Welfare with generous benefit levels makes people who aren’t employed more likely to want to work rather than the contrary. As social spending gets more generous for the population, there is an increase in employment commitment.

Top 10 Newly-Discovered Living Animal Species

Top 10 Newly-Discovered Living Animal Species

Space may be the final frontier, but there’s still plenty left for us to learn right here on Planet Earth. From the Xenoturbella, to the Cherax Pulcher, to the Scolopendra Cataracta, these incredible creatures have been hiding in plain sight… until now!

10 Examples Of Amazing Animal Camouflage

10 Examples Of Amazing Animal Camouflage

Animals have spent hundreds of millions of years evolving, so they’ve had plenty of time to come up with some pretty amazing designs. From hilarious results such as the duck-billed platypus and the blobfish to the majestic likes of lions and elephants, nature has proven that it can produce pretty much anything.

But perhaps most amazing are the animals we don’t see. Some animals have evolved so acutely with their environment that they continue to evade scientific observation to this day. Below are just ten such examples of animals with amazing camouflage.


10 Soft Coral Crab

Photo credit: What’s That Fish

Hoplophrys oatesii is a species of crab found in the waters surrounding Indonesia. Growing to a whopping 1.5 to 2 centimeters (0.6–0.8 in), these crabs spend almost all of their life living in soft coral, giving them their common name, the soft coral crab.

The coral they live in, Dendronephthya, is very bushy and fluffy, which has led to the nickname “cotton candy corals.” The crabs survive by feeding on plankton that gets caught in the coral, giving them few reasons to ever leave. Their shells are covered in tiny spindles that look like the branches of the coral. But the crabs take things a step further by plucking off bits of the coraland attaching it to the spikes on their shells, giving them their other name, candy crabs.[1]

9 Lichen Katydid

While most insects aren’t considered the most beautiful of creatures at the best of times, the lichen katydid looks like someone was asked to design a Satanic demon bug. Hiding away in the treetops, this animal has used its camouflage to avoid scientific observation until recently, so there’s not a lot we know about them just yet, other than they have been spotted in Australia as well as Central and South America.[2]

Although all camouflages work by using a combination of shapes and colors, the lichen katydid takes this to a whole new level. The spines protruding from its body combine with brightly colored lines on their mostly dark bodies to produce an effect that makes the insect look hollow. To look at it, you might think it was a piece of art made with wire, rather than a real, living insect.


8 Dead Leaf Moth

Uropyia meticulodina is a species of moth that can be found in both China and Taiwan. While flying, U. meticulodina looks just like any other idiot moth smashing its head repeatedly against a light. But when it lands, it looks like something completely different.

Much like its distant cousin, the dead leaf butterfly, the dead leaf moth does exactly what it says on the tin: It looks like a dead leaf. But as spectacular as both of these creatures are, the butterfly has one fatal flaw that the moth has overcome. Butterfly wings rest vertically, meaning that it doesn’t just look like a dead leaf; it looks like one that is perfectly balanced on its side. The dead leaf moth, however, gives a more convincing performance. Their wings not only look like dead leaves; they appear to be ones that have curled up.[3] The veins in their wings line up perfectly with their patterns, creating an incredibly realistic 3-D effect, complete with shadows.

7 Whitebanded Crab Spider

Photo credit: Judy Gallagher

Misumenoides formosipes, commonly known as the whitebanded crab spider, is found across the United States and Canada. It was considered a pretty unremarkable spider up until recently, when it was discovered that not only does this spider have camouflage; it has active camouflage.[4]

Rather than using a web to trap prey, this spider sits atop flowers and pounces on anything that comes too close. Since the arachnids themselves are usually either white or yellow, they tend to stick with plants of those colors. But it was only in 2015 that scientists realized that female whitebanded crab spiders can swap back and forth between the colors by moving pigmented fluid through their bodies. The reason we hadn’t observed this before is that it’s the slowest camouflage ever. It takes between three and nine days for the spider’s color to completely change, so it’s easier for them to find a flower that matches their current color than to match whatever flower they find.

6 Tasseled Anglerfish

Photo credit: Sascha Schulz

Native to Australia, the tasseled anglerfish is one of more than 200 species of anglerfish. As you may know, anglerfish use lures protruding from their foreheads to draw in prey. But unlike the fish in Finding Nemo, the tasseled anglerfish is not a great swimmer. Slow and clunky, these fish actually have to drag themselves along the seafloor with their fins.

For that reason, they are better off resting on the rocks and letting the food come to them. Their only hope of catching prey, therefore, is to be invisible. They accomplish this in several different ways.[5] Firstly, they can manipulate their coloring to match their background. They are also covered in warts, which gives their skin a rougher, more rocklike appearance. Finally, they are covered in long spines and fleshy filaments that make them look like seaweed or coral. Unsuspecting prey can be attracted to the lure or simply searching for food among the seaweed before being inhaled by the anglerfish’s giant, gaping mouth.


5 Moorish Gecko

Photo credit: Danny S./CC BY-SA 3.0

Chameleons are by far the most famous animal when it comes to camouflage. They change color by altering their lower layers of skin, which are lined with nanocrystals. Tensing the skin brings these closer together, while relaxing it brings them further apart, causing light to reflect in different ways and giving them their new color. But chameleons aren’t the only lizards that have mastered the art of camouflage.

The Moorish gecko is a common lizard that can be found in Europe, Africa, North America, and Asia, either in coastal areas or urban environments. Like the chameleon, it can change color to match its surroundings. But unlike the chameleon, or any other land animal for that matter, the Moorish gecko does this by using the same technique employed by octopuses and cuttlefish. Their skin is filled with proteins known as opsins, which react to light. In one experiment, the lizards were placed on a new color, which they then matched. They were then fitted with tiny lizard blindfolds and were still able to match the color. But when their skin was covered up and their eyes left uncovered, the geckos were unable to change color, making them unique among land-dwelling camouflagers.[6]

4 Lanternfly

The lanternfly is a moth-like creature found worldwide. If you manage to spot some, you’ll be immediately drawn to their hilarious heads, which can be shaped like peanuts, alligators, saws, or anteater snouts.[7] But apart from the fact that their numbers are dwindling, you’re unlikely to see one anytime soon, as they can camouflage themselves.

The outer wings of the lanternfly pictured above are colored and shaped so that they blend in with the trees, from which they suck sap to survive. If the animal is threatened or frightened, it will open these wings to reveal the lower layer, which are patterned to look like the giant, glowing eyes of a predator.

Adelpha Serpa Celerio

Before blossoming into a beautiful black and white butterfly, the young form of Adelpha serpa celerio is a nightmarish monstrosity.[8] As a caterpillar, this little creature is covered in fluffy little spikes that look remarkably like leaves. With its mostly green coloring, this makes the caterpillar resemble moss, keeping it safe from nearby predators.

But it doesn’t stop there. Before becoming a butterfly, it must make itself a chrysalis (cocoon). To keep the creature safe as it undergoes its transformation, the chrysalis is quite unlike those you would see from your everyday caterpillar. This cocoon is incredibly detailed, using a combination of green and metallic coloring to create the illusion of a beetle-like creature, complete with body segments, eyes, wings, and two enormous pincers. This threatening appearance serves to ward off hungry intruders until it can complete its transition into a relatively normal-looking butterfly.

2 Lizard Snakes

Photo credit: pondhawk

If there’s one thing we know about lizards, it’s that, unlike snakes, they have legs. Well, we were all wrong. Native to North America, the glass lizard looks exactly like a snake but is, in fact, nothing more than a long, legless lizard.[9]Fortunately, the animals aren’t considered dangerous to humans at all, but their striking resemblance to snakes no doubt serves to protect them from larger hunters. The name “glass lizard” was given since, like other lizards, it will shed its tail if picked up. Since the tail makes up half of its body, this can be quite a dramatic “shattering.”

There is a similar creature known as the Florida wormlizard, which, despite its name, is neither a worm nor a snake. In fact, it isn’t even technically a lizard but belongs to its own family, Amphisbaenidae. They have no eyes or earholes, are pink, and spend most of their lives living underground. But if one does surface, it will look like a giant, 28-centimeter (11 in) earthworm, which, though completely harmless, is pretty disgusting.

1 Poop Caterpillar

There are four main types of camouflage employed by animals. Concealing coloration is when their color matches their environment, like a polar bear for example. Disruptive coloration is when they use colored patterns to break up their shape, like a tiger. Mimicry is when they impersonate another animal, like the lanternfly. And disguise is when they look like an object, such as a stick insect.

Presumably after some deliberation, Apochima juglansiaria decided that the best disguise it could assume was one which few animals would try to eat: bird poop.[10] Using simple black and white colors, this caterpillar will curl up to resemble avian droppings, protecting it from birds and other predators who just aren’t into that sort of thing. One experiment found that curling up made no difference in how often green caterpillars are preyed upon, but the black and white caterpillars were three times safer when curled. It’s an interesting choice of defense, but the results don’t lie.






FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Bizarre Animal Mating Habits

FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Bizarre Animal Mating Habits

Ah, sex! We do it; animals do it; birds do it. It’s nothing to be intrigued about. But wait! Did you know that in case of some animals, their genitalia explodes after they have coitus? Or did you know that some fish disguise themselves as a female to protect themselves against rival males and sneak out the females right under their noses? Curious? Then read on to find more such intriguing animal mating habits.

1. Female ducks are known to have complex vaginas that are lined with several dead-end pockets and tunnels in order to confuse unwanted male ducks and prevent forceful fertilization.

Image source:, Image credit: Pixabay

Mating in the animal world is driven by competition. The same happens when it comes to ducks. Male ducks are always challenged by rival males who try to force themselves upon the female. To have a competitive edge over rivals, males have large corkscrew-shaped penises that are lined with ridges and spines which enable them to deposit their sperm further into a female compared to their rivals.

But it’s the female ducks that offer the most interesting scenario. With the mating war going on for some time, females have developed an evolved and complex vagina. Their vaginas are long and twisted, complementing the male penises, but are lined with dead-end tunnels, pockets, and spirals that curve in the opposite direction.

The complex detailing of their vagina ensures that if a male duck forces himself upon a female, the chances of him fertilizing her are quite slim. Even if the male duck does ejaculate, there’s no surety that the semen has been deposited anywhere near the egg.(source)

2. Male giraffes take a mouthful of the female’s urine to find out if she is a good mate. The male first approaches the female and rubs her back to instigate urination. He then tastes the urine to determine if she is willing to mate.

Image credits: Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia© Hans Hillewaert / CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia

Male giraffes use a strange way to determine whether the female is ready to mate or not. When a male giraffe approaches a female, he will first rub her backside until she urinates. When she urinates, the male giraffe tastes the urine to find out if the female is ready to mate. This is known as the “Flehmen sequence.”

If the male giraffe feels that she is willing to mate, then he starts stalking her. It has been observed in many cases that the female simply runs away from the male and keeps a lookout for better males. The male that tasted her urine keeps pursuing her until she agrees to the mating.

On the other hand, if a female develops an interest in a male giraffe, it is she who would pursue the male giraffe and get him to taste the urine. If the urine is to the male giraffe’s liking, then they end up having coitus very soon.

Another interesting case among giraffes is when two males fight over a female. It’s less fighting and more “necking” in which the males press their necks against each other until one of them gives up. They sometimes also swing their necks and try to hurt each other but that is very rare. Under such circumstances, it is the male with the long neck that wins a majority of the times. Once the fight is over, the males caress one another with their necks and end up having sex with each other! In fact, 75% to 94% of the time that male giraffes have coitus, it is with another male giraffe! The animal kingdom is strange!(1,2)

3. The testicles and penis of male bees “explode” and are ripped off right after sex with the queen bee. The queen bee goes on to mate with multiple partners leaving a trail of dead, penisless bees behind.

Image credits: Michael L. Smith/WikimediaMichael L. Smith/Wikimedia, Pixabay

The male honeybee exists for one and only one reason – to mate with the queen bee. Known as “drones,” this is the only service that the male bees contribute to their society. The queen soars into mid-air in the search for mates. The drones compete to mate with the queen and swarm around her as she flies.

Eventually, when a drone gets hold of the queen bee, he inserts his penis tightly into the queen bee’s reproductive tract with the help of pressure of his abdominal muscles. Without losing any time, the drone immediately ejaculates. The ejaculation requires such explosive force that the tip of his penis ruptures. The broken penis remains inside the queen. The drone collapses to the ground where he dies soon after mating with the queen bee.

Moreover, it’s not just one drone bee that gives his life to fertilize the queen. The queen mates with dozens of bees and during this, she leaves behind a series of dead bees who sacrificed their lives.(source)

4. Quolls are very violent and ruthless while mating and often get their females killed during the act. As if that’s not bad enough, the males put out so much energy during the mating season that they lose weight, get bald, and die within only a few weeks of their sexual rampage.

Image credit: Ways/Wikimedia

When you are a quoll, life is tough. You end up spending your life fighting for female attention and fighting with rival males, only to end up dead just after you have got it all. That too, before you even get to your first birthday!

Quolls have a lifespan of only 12 months. In that time, they travel long distances to find female mates. In the meantime, they are also required to fight off rival males who are in the same pursuit. They travel as far as 10 square kilometers, which is a long range away from home.

All the pursuit for mates wears out the male quolls. They begin losing weight and hair, and just within a few weeks of their reproductive cycle, they lose their life. According to Jaime Heiniger, a University of Queensland Ph.D. student who has been studying the behavior of quolls, this unusual reproductive behavior is known as “semelparity,” and even though it’s common in the animal kingdom, it occurs rarely in mammals.(source)

5. Gray whales mate in threes. One of the males involved is non-dominant and acts as a support to hold the female in place so that she doesn’t float away.

Image credit: Charles Melville Scammon/Wikimedia

Gray whales are one of the most majestic marine creatures. But their mating process can raise a few eyebrows! During the mating season, that is in the months of November and December, gray whales begin to be spotted in groups of three or more.

The reason being this is the time when they are on the lookout for eligible females to mate. The whales perform a behavior known as “Spy Hopping,” where they put their heads out of the water and scan the surrounding area for females, at the same performing some circular motions to attract them. After few hours, they split into groups of three comprised of one female and two males.

Both the males have a part to play in the mating process, but there is a dominant male who can be identified as the one extending a single flipper. He lies motionless on the surface of the water, waiting for the female. The female approaches him, grazing him with her flippers, and lies belly-to-belly with him. The mating then begins which can last up to an hour during which they mate several times.

Where is the second male in all of this? Well, he lies on the far side of the female, holding her tight to the dominant male so that she doesn’t float away in the middle of the ritual. That’s a strange kind of partnership that you wouldn’t see anywhere.(source)

6. When anglerfish mate, their bodies melt into each other. They then share their bodies forever. The male latches and fuses onto the female, losing his internal organs in the process, until they share a bloodstream.

Image source: Wikimedia

Anglerfish might just be the most angry-looking deep sea creature. Their females have a distinctive piece of the spine that protrudes above their mouths. It looks like a fishing pole and acts as a bait for prey.

But that’s not what we are interested in. Anglerfish literally become one when they mate. When a free-swimming young, male anglerfish encounters a female anglerfish, he latches onto her with the help of his sharp teeth. After some time passes by, the male fusses with the body of the female physically. He loses his eyes and internal organs in the process, and at the end of the fusion, they end up sharing the same bloodstream. The only organ that remains of the male is his testes. Since not just one male has sexual encounters with a female, the female carries around five to six males on her body! Crazy right?(source)

7. Male dolphins sometimes separate the females from their families and deny them food until they agree to mate.

Image credit: Pixabay

Dolphins are universally loved creatures. They are always happy and contribute their share of spreading happiness around. Also, their behavior and the large size of their brains indicate a high level of intelligence.

But the story is quite different when it comes to mating. A group of male dolphins would form an alliance with another group of male dolphins to seek help while luring fertile females from the hands of rival males. And after they have succeeded in stealing the female away, the alliance remains intact to ensure that the female behaves and complies with requests of courtship.

Two or three males surround the female like guards. If she tries to escape, then the males chase after her, bite her, slap her with their fins or slam into her with their heavy bodies. They even deny them food until they agree to mate with one of the males.

But once a dolphin gives birth, the alliance loses interest in her and goes off on their next adventure. The females raise their kids as single mothers for four to five years.(source)

8. The adult luna moths develop without a mouth as their only purpose is to mate during their 7-day lifespan. After this, they die of starvation.

Image source: creationwiki.orgWikimedia

Ever heard of anyone brought into this world for just seven days with the only purpose of mating? Sounds crazy, but that is the life of the luna moths. The luna moths stay inside their cocoons even after they have turned into adults via metamorphosis. It’s only when all the biological factors are suitable that they come out of their cocoon. Just after they emerge from the cocoon, their abdomens are swollen and their wings are yet to be fully developed. This takes around two to three hours.

The things that stand out is that they do not have mouths. Luna moths come to the world without any mouths and they just have a lifespan of one week during which they do not consume any food. Their sole purpose is to look for mates.

The females, on the other hand, give off pheromones to attract males. Normally, a female mates with the first male that approaches her. Once a male moth approaches a female, they mate and remain in the same position until the next evening if left undisturbed. After their separation, the female looks around for hosts on which to lay her eggs. Once a week passes by, the male moths starve to death.(1,2)

9. Mating for pandas is difficult because the sexual interest of the female lasts just 24-72 hours per year.

Image credit: Tim Evanson/flickrscreengrab via

Mating among pandas is a tricky business. This is because the female pandas are not always in the mood for breeding. They are just in the mood for one to three days in a year! That’s a very short time for the male pandas to woo the female as well as convince her to have coitus.

A few researchers have discovered that several months prior to the females entering their phase of ovulation, the males start getting ready. It’s also a possibility that the sperm production increases among males during the few months leading up to the time when the females are in the ovulation phase. This is in order to accommodate the brief window when the females express interest in breeding.

In China, a breeding and research center for pandas resorted to “panda porn” to get two grown-up pandas to mate.(1,2)

10. Weak, male cuttlefish pretend to be female by changing their skin color so that they can sneak past the bigger males and mate with the real females right under their noses.

Image credits: Nhobgood Nick Hobgood/WikimediaJoi Ito/flickr

Cuttlefish have taken sexual trickery to new depths. Cuttlefish have heightened the ability to change their color for communication purposes. Male cuttlefish are normally adorned with pulsating stripes, whereas females have dots on their body.

Scientists have observed an unbelievable phenomenon while observing cuttlefish mate. They noticed that weak, male cuttlefish tag along, disguised as females, with breeding male-female pairs. They wait for their chance to woo the female when the strong male is not around.  The strong male never doubts the cuttlefish in disguise and goes off to tackle other rivals. As soon as he is gone, the weak cuttlefish reveals its true colors to the female, woos her, and mates with her. In case the strong male returns back unexpectedly, the weak male cuttlefish quickly changes its color again to look like a female! This is some high-level social intelligence going on here!(source)



“While fishing off Semaphore Beach, I made a joke to my dad about how it’d be cool to see a shark in open waters. About 10-20 minutes later, a big great white popped up and luckily I managed to get my camera out in time. The footage is good but doesn’t compensate the monsters real size. When it swam under our boat, the head was at the front and the tail of the shark came back to the end of the boat which was 5.5m long. That makes the shark 5.5 to 6 meters long.”

7 Largest Animals You're Glad Are Extinct


7 Largest Animals You're Glad Are Extinct

While many theories such as higher oxygen content in the air and greater land masses have been formulated, the actual reason behind the enormous size of prehistoric animals is still a mystery.


22 Weird Craigslist Posts That Prove People Are Pretty Messed Up

22 Weird Craigslist Posts That Prove People Are Pretty Messed Up







FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Incredible Animal Facts We Discovered In 2017

FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Incredible Animal Facts We Discovered In 2017

With another year almost gone, we have taken a look back at some of the biggest stories from archaeology and space science. Now it is time to see what kind of interesting discoveries we have made in the animal kingdom.

Our understanding of the natural world around us is continually evolving, as new ideas and developments supersede those of the past. There were many unbelievable discoveries made in 2017 that scientists are incredibly excited about. Including some that could lead to significant advances in the fields of medicine and robotics.

10 Chimps Can Learn to Play Rock, Paper, Scissors

The gap between humans and our primate cousins got a little bit smaller this year after a Japanese study showed that chimpanzees have the ability to learn the rules of rock, paper, scissors and perform similarly to a four-year-old child.

The experiment was conducted at the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University and involved seven chimpanzees of differing ages and sexes and 38 children aged three to six who acted as the control group. Just to be clear, the apes did not play the game against one another. Instead, they were shown two hand gestures on a touchscreen and had to choose the winning signal.

During the trials, the chimps took longer to learn the relationships between various combinations than children, who usually corrected their mistakes after one wrong choice. The chimps seemed to struggle particularly hard with the idea that scissors beat paper.[1] The research team’s next goal is to teach chimpanzees how to play against one another.

9 Scientists Discover the Hidden City of Octlantis

Octopuses (or octopodes, if you prefer), are considered reclusive animals that usually live in solitude. During the day, they seek shelter inside dens which they typically block with rocks. At night, they go out hunting alone. However, Australian divers discovered a group of octopuses congregating at a site in Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, which puts into question what we thought we knew about this incredible animal.

The site, dubbed Octlantis,[2] consists roughly of two dozen dens made out of rocks and shells. The cephalopods have been observed assembling together, communicating, and even fighting with each other when one octopus got too close to another one’s den. While this is new information, it is not exactly surprising to scientists, as octopuses consistently rank among the most intelligent animals in the world. A bigger challenge is finding out the motivation for this behavior, although protection from predators and access to better food resources seem likely possibilities.

This is not the first discovery of its kind. Back in 2009, also in Jervis Bay, marine biologists found another cephalopod site dubbed Octopolis. However, that community formed around a large man-made metal structure left underwater. Seen as an “artificial reef,” that instance was considered an anomaly, but this new revelation shows that octopuses are, indeed, more social than we previously thought.

8 Marine Biologists Find the Spider-Man Snail

A newly-discovered marine snail is drawing comparisons to Marvel’s fictional superhero Spider-Man for its web-shooting abilities. First reported back in April, the worm-snail was named Thylacodes vandyensis after the location where it was discovered, an artificial reef made out of the USNS General Hoyt S. Vanderberg aka the Vandy.

Spider-Man can shoot ultra-resistant spider webs. Similarly, the sea snail has very potent, very large slime glands which it can use to generate mucus. The substance is then shaped into a mucus web which the snail shoots using tiny tentacles in order to nab dinner. Any microorganisms that get stuck on the web are pulled in and strained through a filter-feeding system similar to that of baleen whales.[3] At the same time, scientists have observed that while the mucus web is deployed, fish avoid eating any of the “Spider-Man” snail’s tubes. It is possible the net also contains certain chemical agents that act as deterrents to predators.

7 Naked Mole-Rats Have Plant-Like Ability

The naked mole-rat is one of the most bizarre-looking mammals on the planet, but also one of the most intriguing. For reasons we do not quite understand yet, this animal has a lifespan exceeding 30 years which is up to ten times longer than that of other rodents. Although not immune as previously thought, the naked mole-rat is also extremely resistant to cancer. This year, we added another unique trait to the list which explains how the rodent can go 18 minutes without oxygen without suffering any ill effects.

The naked mole-rat has a variety of characteristics which diminishes its oxygen requirements to suit its life as a burrower. It has small lungs, low metabolic and respiratory rates, and its heart rate can drop from 200 to 50 beats per minute in an oxygen-deprived environment. Still, this was not enough to account for the naked mole-rat’s durability in zero-oxygen atmospheres. As it turns out, the animal borrows a trick from plants.

The naked mole-rat’s body is capable of metabolizing fructose instead of glucose, a process which requires little to no oxygen. The resulting energy is delivered to vital areas such as the heart or the brain.[4] Other mammals are capable of using fructose as an alternative energy source, but only under specific conditions and only in certain organs. A transporter molecule named GLUT5 is necessary for this process. While most mammals only have it in their liver and kidney, naked mole-rats have it throughout their entire bodies.

6 Fire Ants Build Their Own Eiffel Tower

A new study from the Georgia Institute of Technology looks at fire ants and how they are capable of constructing tall structures out of their own bodies in order to navigate tall obstructions blocking their path.

Generally, these ants can build towers which are several inches tall without a leader or coordinated effort through simple trial-and-error. The ants start with a wide base and build vertically, narrowing the tower as it gets taller to better distribute the weight. Each new ant looks for a space to fill but will walk away if it starts getting crushed. This way, sections which are not structurally sound will break apart and fall away. The fire ants will try again until each one bears an equal load. Several researchers have noticed that the ant structures share multiple characteristics with the iconic Eiffel Tower.[5]

This is not the first time that fire ants proved their engineering prowess. Back in 2014, another study showed that they can also form rafts which are waterproof and can stay afloat for months. Researchers studying these animals are hopeful that understanding the basic rules which govern such complex group behavior can help them, eventually, program robot swarms to act in the same way.

5 Tuna Fish Improve Speed and Maneuverability Using Hydraulics

The giant tuna has many characteristics that establish it as one of the ocean’s apex predators. Even though it is one of the largest fish in the world, measuring hundreds of kilograms and up to 4.5m (15 ft) in length, it can still reach speeds exceeding 70 km/h (45 mph). The tuna can do this thanks to a newly-discovered locomotion system which is currently believed to be unique among vertebrates.

The tuna has a special pair of sickle-shaped fins centered above and below the body powered by a biological hydraulic mechanism controlled by the lymphatic system. The tuna can move the fins at different angles in order to increase its speed or maneuverability through the water, depending on the situation. At high speeds, the fish raises the fins to their full extension by pushing lymph fluid into their channels, thus providing extra stability. At slow speeds, lowering the fins means that the tuna has increased agility and can turn on a dime.[6]

The unique physical trait was first observed in bluefin tuna at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Subsequent examinations performed at a Stanford research center uncovered the strange fluid-filled chambers located below the dorsal and anal fins of the fish. Researchers will keep studying this hydraulic system to understand it better, hoping that it could even be used as a blueprint for faster underwater robots.

4 Dragonfly Wings Rip Bacteria Apart

People are spending a lot of money on research and development for bacteria-killing surfaces which would have a wide range of applications in various fields. Several projects are currently in development, such as one for a biomaterial surface coated in antimicrobial silver nanoparticles. Another team created a surface out of black silicon which consists of nanopillars capable of physically ripping bacteria apart. However, as we found out earlier this year, nature did it first using the wings of dragonflies.

On a molecular level, the surface of dragonfly wings resembles a “bed of nails.” However, although initially we thought that this kind of mechanism kills bacteria by puncturing the cell wall, recent research suggests a different method. The bacterium first attaches itself to the nanopillars using extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), natural polymers secreted by microorganisms. It gets stuck on the “nails” and, when it tries to move, the sheer force pulling on the EPSs is enough to rip the membrane apart.[7]

The key difference between dragonfly wings and their black silicon counterparts is the size of the “nails.” While lab-made, artificial nanopillars are the same size, the wing pillars alter between tall and short. However, to truly test the lethality of dragonfly wings, a wide range of bacteria needs to be tested, including ones with varying numbers of membranes or that do not produce EPS. If the wings pass muster, scientists are likely going to be mimicking the design.

3 Paleontologists Found an Amphibian Missing Link

Researchers have determined that two fossils belonging to a prehistoric creature represent the missing link between some of the most bizarre amphibians of the Triassic Period and some of the most bizarre amphibians today.

Named Chinlestegophis jenkinsi, the species represents the oldest relative of caecilians, a modern group of limbless amphibians. Found mostly in Africa and South and Central America, caecilians spend most of their time underground, making them very elusive and hard to study. They can measure anywhere from a few centimeters to over a meter in length and resemble worms in appearance. The discovery of Chinlestegophis jenkinsi traces their evolutionary timeline to a group of extinct amphibians called Stereospondyli. They appeared during the Late Permian Period and thrived during the Triassic, becoming the most diverse amphibian group of the era. Notably, they also had a bizarre appearance with their heads likened to a toilet seat.

Up until recently, scientists believed that Stereospondyli represented an evolutionary dead-end, meaning that they were not related to any extant species. However, this new discovery suggests that the current lineage of amphibians evolved from a common ancestor approximately 315 million years ago.[8] One of the members of the team described their findings as “textbook-changing” as it forces paleontologists to re-evaluate the origins and evolutionary history of modern amphibians.

2 Scientists Uncover Tardigrade Super Gene

The tardigrade is, undoubtedly, one of science’s most beloved creatures due to all of its puzzling abilities. Less than a millimeter in size, the tardigrade is regularly described as the toughest creature on the planet. It can survive without water for extended periods of time. It can withstand huge amounts of radiation, freezing temperatures, and even the vacuum of space. One study published earlier this year boldly proclaimed that the tardigrade, also known as the water bear, could survive any cosmic apocalypse that might hit out planet.

The focus of the latest paper on tardigrades was on their resistance to extreme dehydration. Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have decoded the animal’s DNA and found the genes which allow it to perform this impressive feat. According to the study, the gene is triggered by dry conditions. Once activated, it begins producing proteins to replace the missing water in their cells.[9] This process can last for several years or until the tardigrade has access to water again. Researchers are hopeful that further understanding this ability could lead to real-world benefits such as allowing the transportation and storage of vaccines without refrigeration.

As a side, the study also provided some unexpected clues that could settle a long-standing debate. What are tardigrades’ closest kin—insects, arachnids, or worms? Their appearance always suggested insects, but their DNA says worms. HOX genes determine head and tail development and the positioning of limbs. Most animals have ten HOX genes. Tardigrades, however, seem to be lacking five, which are the same ones missing in most roundworms.

1 Monkeys Love Deer

It is fair to say that the mating habits of animals can get pretty weird. Even so, one phenomenon which is exceedingly rare is interspecies sex. This year, however, researchers observed this bizarre occurrence taking place between Japanese macaques and sika deer.

The odd behavior was seen on two separate occasions, in two different places, between males and females of both species so it cannot be ruled an isolated incident. First, in January of this year, a male snow monkey was recorded mounting and trying to have sex with two different female deer on Japan’s Yakushima Island. The scientists who wrote the paper on the event from the University of Strasbourg presented several possible reasons for this behavior, including learning to mate and failing to recognize the deer as another species. However, they concluded the most likely motive was “mate deprivation”—the monkey in question was low on the hierarchy within his group so he had limited access to females.

The second instance occurred in Minoh, Osaka. This time, gender roles were reversed as adolescent female macaques interacted with stags. The monkeys exhibited behavior such as mounting, pelvic thrusting, biting, pulling on the antlers, and throwing tantrums if the deer walked away.[10]

This is the first observance of sexual interaction between a non-human primate and a non-primate animal. In general, these two species have a somewhat symbiotic relationship—the monkeys have been known to ride the deer in exchange for grooming. It remains to be seen if this new behavior is a fad or the start of a new cultural phenomenon.

10 Bizarre Explosions

10 Bizarre Explosions

Have you heard the one about the exploding toilet? No, this isn’t the setup for a bad joke. It really happened, and it’s not the only weird explosion to have taken place in recent years.

The bizarre blowups aren’t limited to latrines; they’ve involved furniture, animals, household appliances, and other things you probably wouldn’t suspect might blow up. The causes of some of these explosions have been identified, while others remain mysterious. Explained or not, the explosions on this list are definitely totally bizarre.

10 Toads

Photo credit: Florian Quand/AP

In 2005, Germany had a problem: exploding toads. They bloated, and then they blew up. That year, over 1,000 of their dead bodies were found floating in a Hamburg pond as well as in Denmark. Frank Mutschmann, a Berlin veterinarian, attributed the bizarre phenomenon to hungry crows. The birds, he said, peck out the toads’ livers, and other crows, watching the process, learn how to do likewise. In response to the crows’ pecking, the toads swell up in defense. The missing liver and the injury to the toads’ abdomens cause the amphibians’ blood vessels and lungs to burst and other organs to ooze from their bodies, Mutschmann explained. Although bizarre, the phenomenon isn’t really unique, he said. After they lose their entrails, the toads survive for several minutes, twitching in agony, said local environmentalists who’d witnessed the gruesome deaths.

Hamburg’s Institute for Hygiene and the Environment ruled out disease and fungal infection as possible causes of the toads bursting. Their experts agreed that Mutschmann’s explanation might explain the mysterious explosions, but the Institute’s spokesperson, Janne Kloepper, said that none of their personnel had witnessed crow attacks on toads. Others have also speculated as to the cause of the toads’ gruesome deaths. A virus was blamed by some. Others thought horses at a nearby racetrack may have somehow infected the toads. Still others believed the amphibians were committing suicide due to overpopulation.[1]

9 Flashlights

Photo credit: Meagan Fitzgerald/KUSA

In January 2015, Coloradoan Christopher Reid Carrington was searching for tools in the back of his truck. To free his hands, he held his flashlight in his mouth. A few seconds later, it exploded, causing third-degree burns to his lip, tongue, and throat. Blood gushed from his mouth, and he was unable to speak, but his seven-year-old son called 911. Carrington spent four days in the hospital, a tube down his throat helping him to breathe, before he was released. Doctors said he may never be able to taste anything again.

In a similar incident on November 7, 2017, in Bradley, Indiana, Caleb Joyner, 36, was injured when a flashlight exploded in his mouth.[2] After experiencing car trouble, he’d stopped in a parking lot to look under the hood of his car. The flashlight exploded when, while bending over for a better look, Joyner came too close to the vehicle’s battery. He died the next day in a local hospital.

8 Furniture

IKEA customers across the United States have reported explosions of glass tables. The furniture shatters spontaneously. A “Glasholm” glass-top desk exploded in her teenage son’s bedroom, said Holly Burns. She was cooking dinner in November 2017 when she heard the desk explode. The “boom” was so loud she thought a tree might have fallen on the roof. The exploding desk littered the floor with pieces of glass and showered her son’s bed with shards. Fortunately, the teen was at school at the time. Online research showed Burns that she hadn’t been the only one to have experienced such a bizarre incident. Over a dozen people had complained about exploding IKEA products, and some had posted videos about their experiences to YouTube.

According to IKEA, glass can appear to shatter spontaneously because, “Over time, small knocks and fractures can affect the durability of tempered glass.” The company admitted that glass explosions can be frightening but assured customers that such incidents aren’t dangerous because tempered glass is designed to shatter in such a way as to minimize risk of harm. An expert agreed. Although tempered glass shatters in a frightening fashion, unlike plate glass, it’s quite safe and “rarely cuts people, as the edges of each broken piece are rounded.”[3]

7 Manhole Covers

In large cities, electrical infrastructure is designed to prevent loss of power due to isolated malfunctions. When electrical wiring below a street fails, cables are deactivated, but burning wires release carbon monoxide, methane, ethylene, and acetylene as their insulation burns. In old wires, this mixture of gases is highly flammable. As they concentrate inside sewer tunnels, the gases reach “a critical mass.” Then, when a spark from an exposed electrical wire ignites the gases, they explode.

The problem is made worse by salt used to melt snow and ice on surface streets. Salt in melted water seeps into subterranean electrical cables, eroding their insulation. Eventually, a spark ignites an explosion. The explosion is powerful enough to rocket manhole covers well into the air, endangering pedestrians, motorists, and others nearby.

Although hundreds of exploding manholes were reported in 2014 in New York City alone, measures are being taken there and in other big cities to reduce these threats. Older wires are being replaced “as time and funds permit,” some manholes have been fitted with locking covers, and scientists have conducted studies to further learn how to prevent city residents, employees, visitors, and others from ever being threatened by flying heavy metal Frisbees.[4]

6 Manure

Midwestern US hog farms can be dangerous places. As early as 2005, their manure pits began to produce explosive foam which would cause barns to blow up, killing hogs by the thousands and costing farmers millions of dollars.

In large operations, pig excrement falls through spaces between floor slats and into a “catchment pit” below, but other items also find their way into these pits, including placentas, stillborn and crushed piglets, broken insecticide bottles, antibiotic syringes, and other debris. The antibiotics and growth-promoting drugs pigs receive are also part of the mix. When a pit’s contents create enough pressure, pipes connected to the chamber open, releasing the pit’s contents into a holding pond.

Explosions are rare, but the foam that sometimes produces them is all too common. It can become toxic, capturing methane and other gases. Agitated foam can emit these trapped gases, and methane, which is highly explosive, can ignite if exposed to a spark. Although researchers aren’t sure what causes the manure foam, they suspect it might result from a “new set of [bacteria] species” caused by “feeding pigs distillers grains.” A controversial short-term fix, scientists said, is to treat the foaming pits with Rumensin, an anitbiotic given to cows to increase their meat production and decrease their methane emission.[5]

5 Python

Photo credit: Michael Barron

A Burmese python exploded after ingesting an alligator too big to swallow. The snake was 4 meters (13 ft) long, and its prey was 1.9 meters (6.3 ft) long. In September 2005, wildlife biologists discovered the carcasses in the Everglades National Park in Florida, the hind end of the dead alligator protruding from the dead python’s midsection. The bizarre fusion of the reptiles’ carcasses made it difficult to tell where one animal began and the other ended.

Had it not been for the illegal importation of pythons as stock in the international pet trade, the alligator would never have met such a ghastly fate. The alligator is native to the Everglades; the python was brought to the United States from elsewhere. Bought young, pythons grow fast and can reach a length of 6 meters (20 ft). Many buyers abandon the snakes in the wild before they attain such a length, and now, the pythons, as invasive species, threaten indigenous wildlife.[6]

4 Sunroofs

US senators want to know how to build cars—or, at least, what materials US automakers use to make their sunroofs, how they design them, and what defects they contain. The senators’ sudden interest in the details of the automobile manufacturing process stems from 2017 reports of sunroofs exploding. The lawmakers also want to know whether the automotive industry is keeping track of the spontaneously shattering sunroofs.

“While, thankfully, severe injuries have not been officially linked to this hazard, the increasing trend of this risk requires immediate response and action,” one of the senators wrote to automakers. “It is vital that you take steps to assure consumers of the structural integrity of their sunroofs.”

The senators were reacting to a Consumer Reports investigation which showed that 859 incidents of exploding sunroofs involving 35 makes and 208 models had been reported through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s complaints database since 1995. The number was found to have risen sharply following the debut of larger, popular “panoramic sunroofs.”[7]

3 Toilets

New Yorker Michel Pierre, 58, is so afraid of his toilet that he uses a rope tied to the tank’s handle to flush the commode from a safe distance while standing outside his Brooklyn co-op’s bathroom. He has good reason to fear the porcelain throne. On October 2, 2013, he and three other tenants of the 19-story-tall Caton Tower development in Flatbush were injured by “powerful blasts from their bowls.”

It took 30 stitches to close the wounds the porcelain shrapnel caused to Pierre’s head, arms, and legs. Knocked unconscious, he awoke covered in his own blood.

The water had been turned off to allow a plumbing contractor to install a backflow prevention valve. It’s believed a buildup of air pressure inside the pipes caused the explosions. Pierre is suing the building’s management company. His lawyer said his client is entitled to receive damages for his injuries. “Toilets are supposed to flush, not explode,” the attorney said.

What happened to Pierre could have happened to millions of other Americans and Canadians. In August 2012, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada issued a voluntary recall of toilets manufactured by Flushmate after the company received 304 reports concerning the dangerous commodes. The recall warned of “laceration hazards.” The toilet’s vessel weld seam could burst, allowing the release of enough pressure to shatter the tank and send the lid flying, possibly causing injuries and property damage. Flushmate voluntarily cooperated in the recall.[8]

2 Washing Machine

Photo credit: KARE

In 2017, Sara Van Beck was knocked unconscious by her washing machine when the three-year-old appliance exploded during its spin cycle. The machine also shot ball bearings and other parts at her. The explosion’s force caved in the side of the Whirlpool Duet’s dryer. Van Beck suffered a concussion as a result of the freak explosion. After she posted an account of her horrifying experience on Facebook, she learned that others had endured the same terrifying experience with the appliance.

The cycle seemed to last longer than usual, and the machine began to make a “high, howl, whistling noise,” Van Beck said. Otherwise, there was no warning: “It did not smell hot. It was not overheating. None of those things were happening. It just basically blew up,” she said. Although Van Beck had trouble getting Whirlpool to respond, the company agreed to replace her washer and dryer with new ones.[9]

1 Whipped Cream Dispenser

French model Rebecca Burger, a lifestyle blogger, was killed when a faulty whipped cream dispenser exploded in June 2017. The dispenser struck her in the chest, causing her to undergo cardiac arrest. It seems defective connectors on the appliance’s gas capsules may have broken.

Similar incidents have occurred, dating as far back as 2010. In these accidents, teeth were broken, bones were fractured, and an eye was lost.[10]


6 Animals With Oddly Human Behavior

6 Animals With Oddly Human Behavior

According to research, some animals act in ways that seem oddly similar to the things we do.


How Migrating Birds Use Weather Conditions To Calculate The Best Route With The Least Resistance

How Migrating Birds Use Weather Conditions To Calculate The Best Route With The Least Resistance

In a flighty episode or MinuteEarth, host Emily Elert explains how migrating birds instinctually calculate their route according to which way the wind is blowing, the strength of ocean thermals and other weather conditions that help them locate the path of least resistance.