Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

Giant Snails Invade Florida!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013


It wasn’t too long ago that North America’s Hellmouth of a state was calling for people to go out into the wild and bag/kill as many giant pythons as they possibly could.
Now that that’s yesterday’s Nature versus Humankind battle is over, everyone’s favorite birthing place of weird EVERYTHING is taking us back to the good old days of that era of 1970s horror films when piranha, worms, snakes, rats, bears and even tadpoles decided they were tired of sharing the planet with us.

Just what the hell is this new scourge that’s coming to wreak havoc upon us now?

Brace yourselves, people…

Snails.

SNAILS!

And they’re exactly the kind of snails some of you are imagining right now…
Giant African Snails that can grow to 8 inches long, devour 500 different species of plants and (you’re going to slap your face like Maculay Culkin in Home Alone right about now) they are tearing through stucco and peoples’ homes! Not only that but the snails’ shells are big enough to puncture car tires because they’re Frogger-like skills are nonexistent!

Good luck, Florida.

[Huffington Post]

Chimp Gets Cable – Prefers Sexier Premium Channels

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

While we all wait for the scenes in Planet of the Apes to play out in real-life, a female chimp named Gina will give us all a glimmer of hope that at least a small percentage of our future primate overlords will need us for a little sumthin’ sumthin’…

Even if that something’s acting out her favorite love scenes from high-quality fare like ‘Slappin’ Bumpies 2′.

For those still catching up…

Gina is a female chimp at the Seville Zoo in Spain. As part of the zoo’s enrichment program, Gina was given her very own remote control for a television mounted to a wall near her cage.

Not long after Gina began figuring out how to work the remote, she also found that she preferred certain channels over others.

Those ‘certain channels’ were the ones that featured the people that kept her in cages riding one another like pack animals (obviously we’re skirting the ‘P’ word because that tosses red flags).

Pablo Herreros, the zoo’s primatologist wrote in his paper on Gina and her viewing preferences:

“The surprise was when they found that within a few days, Gina was not only using the remote control perfectly well, but that she also used to choose the p**n channel for entertainment, as many of us would have done.”

At least we know there’ll be a few sympathizers we can count on when we end up in cages with bad day-time television blaring at us.

Even if they just want us for our bodies.

We went there.

[New York Daily News]

Dolphins Decide Humans Are Alright – Share Their Food!

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

Christmas has come and gone. Statuses everywhere are lit up with the swag given by friends and family.

Someone’s aunt got them this. Someone’s brother got them that.

Big flippin’ deal.

Why?

Because a group of scientists have been given gifts from freakin’ dolphins since 1998!

Dolphins!

Dolphins that offer gifts to humans!

Though the dolphins at the Tangalooma Island Resort in Australia haven’t been dropping PS3s or brand new iPhones they have been presenting gifts of food to human recipients. Scientists that have been studying these particular dolphins on a regular basis and in frequent contact with them have received everything from eels to tuna to squid.

Animals sharing food is a rare occurrence and typically takes place when an animal can’t fend for itself so others of its own kind help out. Most of the time it’s more ”you rub my back and I’ll rub yours” kind of a thing where the animal doing the giving expects something it can’t get for itself in return.

When they start offering up empty coffee cups they’ve found floating in the surf for Starbuck’s gift cards, though? THAT’S about the time we should all start questioning our place in things.

[Discovery.com]

Mysterious Ocean Crop Circles Perpetrator Discovered!

Monday, September 24th, 2012

What you’re looking at isn’t the newest trend in ‘crop-circling’. The thing that created this spectacular-looking sand sculpture isn’t an alien trying to communicate with humankind, either.

The master craftsman behind this amazing looking design is something far less scary and almost kind of adorable.

Yoji Ookota, an office worker who left his cubicle life to pursue his love of underwater photography, recently discovered something that no one had seen until his camera caught sight of it.

A six-foot-wide, elaborate geometric shape 80 feet under the surface of the water on the sea floor. Then he began to spot more of them. Ookota dubbed them the ‘mystery circles’.

As Ookota began to study the circles to find out how they were created, he found the culprit.

An adorable little male puffer fish.

In an amazing display of engineering and the need to be loved, the male puffer fish uses its fins and works day and night to create these things in order to attract females to mate with them. Once the puffer fish creates the ridges, males have even been seen filling their mouths with shells and blowing them onto the ridges they created like they were doing some primitive, animal form of bedazzling.

Females, attracted by the final design, join the male in the center of the design and mate. Later on the female returns to the center of the ‘mystery circle’ and lays her eggs.

These ‘mystery circles’ aren’t just for decoration either. Those shells used to ‘bedazzle’ the ridges appear to serve as nutrients to the young fish when they hatch. According to the most recent research, the design isn’t just for decoration and attracting a mate. The design also features a small bit of engineering. Scientists are discovering that the ridges also serve to protect the eggs from predators and currents that could scatter the eggs across the ocean floor.

This fish has more motivation and interior design abilities than most guys we know.

Weirdly amazing.

[Spoon & Tamago]

Yosemite Park – Scenic Vistas Spoiled by Deadly Virus!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Yosemite. The word conjures up postcards and beautiful nature photography.

Not anymore.

It’s beginning to conjure up bad horror movie dealing with parasites and viruses.

That’s right, kids…

Yosemite’s hiding something creepy.

Health officials have made an announcement to 22,000 nature lovers that they may have been exposed to something called the Hantavirus.

A park-goer infected with the Hantavirus in July died just last week.

While investigators believed that only a small area in the Curry Village section of Yosemite had been affected, an eighth person infected with the virus spurred health officials into warning visitors of the problem.

Since 1993 only 602 cases of the deadly Hantavirus have been reported. But out of those 602 cases? 216 of those infected have died.

The CDC lists the symptoms of the virus which appears similar to the flu…

Fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups — thighs, hips, back and sometimes shoulders … There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Within a week your lungs begin to fill with liquid and it’s practically guaranteed that it’s game over, man.

The transmission of the disease is rare and is typically transmitted by being in contact with infected mice feces or urine.

We’re suggesting that when you’re in the area, you hit a battered gas station, snag a postcard from one of those squeaky, spinning racks and just keep driving past all the fun that those nature-loving hikers are probably experiencing (yes…that’s sarcasm).

[NYTIMES]

Southern California Infested with Brown Widows!

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Since face-eating and bath-salting have finally jumped the shark, a new trend is beginning to emerge…

Only days ago we reported that the base of Mount St. Helens in Washington is swarming with tent caterpillars.

Insects are now climbing the list of things signaling the apocalypse might actually arrive just in time for Christmas.

The LA Times is reporting that the brown widow spider, not to be outdone by the caterpillars in Washington, have had a recent population explosion that guarantees people living in Southern California will be dealing with the less-poisonous cousin to the black widow on a more frequent basis.

Black widows generally hide in darker places like sheds, woodpiles and under porches. Usually they’re tucked away in places people instinctively don’t go. You can already guess where the next piece of information is going…the brown widow is much more extroverted than its deadlier relative.

Brown widows like to relax in peoples’ things outside. Outdoor patio furniture, plastic playground equipment, under the curled lip of a potted plant, your bbq, your ‘outside shoes’ and in drought-free landscaping. Fortunately out of 72 data sites used to get a better understanding of how big this population explosion is, none of the spiders were found in peoples’ homes.

Since 2003, when the brown widow first began appearing in California, the population has exploded compared to the black widows.

Bright-side? Brown widow spider bites generally hurt initially, burn for a little while and then? Really nothing happens. Carry on.

Down-side? These things like to cluster. Turning over a patio chair you’re sitting in to interrupt a small party of these spiders that dwarf their darker cousins in size? Nature’s way of going “Boo!” and making you paranoid about every nook and crannie in your immediate area.

[LA Times]

BOOM! Possible Supernova Recorded in 774AD

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Centuries ago, in AD 774, some guy in Britain is keeping a written record of life’s goings-on.

In that year he mentions witnessing something strange…a weird “red crucifix” hanging in the sky.

Fling yourself forward in time. Researchers are unable to explain a strange spike in carbon 14 levels that manifested in unique growth rings in Japanese Cedar trees that year.

UC Santa Cruz biochemistry major Jonathon Allen was listening to a Nature podcast when he heard about the trees and something clicked.

According to Allen’s theory, the spike in carbon 14 that caused the change in the ring patterns of the trees and the ancient text reporting the glowing crucifix in the sky, which seemed to occur around the same period in time, may have both been the same incident…a possible supernova or massive solar flare.

Most scholars that Allen has presented his theory to seem to agree that some kind of massive stellar event took place back in the eighth century and that both nature and the author of an ancient text witnessed it.

[Nature]

Another Reminder: Nature Wants to Kill You, Eat Your Children

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Seriously, nature wants you and your whole family dead. Remember that the next time you’re thinking about saving the planet. It really hates you.

[CNN]

Woman Injecting Horse Blood, Feels Strong

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

As part of an art experiment that was set to blur the line between species a woman named Marion Laval-Jeantet decided to inject herself with horse plasma.  She is half of the French art duo called “Art Oriente ojet” (who you can check out here).  She could not inject the plasma initially but had to build up a tolerance by injecting horse immunoglobulins and glycoproteins over several months.  In February of this year, she was ready for plasma that contained the entire range of foreign immunoglobulins.  What happened was interesting in that her body did not reject them, but entered her blood stream and bonded with her own proteins.  The results are stunning.

“the artist, during and in the weeks after the performance, experienced not only alterations in her physiological rhythm but also of her consciousness. “I had the feeling of being extra-human,” explained the artist. “I was not in my usual body. I was hyper-powerful, hyper-sensitive, hyper-nervous and very diffident. The emotionalism of an herbivore. I could not sleep. I probably felt a bit like a horse.’”

[we make money not art]

Giant Sinkhole Opens In Germany

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Check out this huge, 20-meter deep sinkhole that opened up in that appeared overnight in Schmalkalden, Germany. Officials are unsure what caused the crater that took a car and parts of a garage, but say they plan to fill the gaping hole with gravel. Kind of boring if you ask me.

Bro-Nado: The Autotuned Version

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Can we call them or what? As we predicted in our post on Friday the Gregory Brothers of AutoTune the News have released a musical version of the ‘Bro-nado’ video. So grab a cool bottle of Smirnoff Ice and rock out!

Dude… Two Bros And A Brooklyn Tornado

Friday, September 17th, 2010

In a video that could well be this month’s Double Rainbow two Brooklyn ‘bros’ marvel as a tornado passes in front of their apartment window. Dude. Look at it… It’s funneling. Oh my god, Dude.

How long until Autotune The News gets their hands on this remains to be seen.

Helium Set To Fly Away Within 30 Years

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Forget peak oil, peak helium is set to upset children’s parties and squeaky voices by 2015.

Due to legislation passed in 1996, the United States reserves of helium must be sold off within the next five years, which has led to the lifting gas being criminally under-priced. According to Nobel laureate Robert Richardson:

The Earth is 4.7 billion years old and it has taken that long to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will dissipate in about 100 years. One generation does not have the right to determine availability for ever.

Unless we find another hidden reserve of the stuff, expect highly-flammable hydrogen balloons to replace helium once it runs out.

[New Zealand Hearld]

Transformer Owl… TRANSFORM!

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Check out this crazy footage from Japanese TV of the Northern White-faced Owl’s amazing transformation defense. Watch it until the end for the creepy Owl-Cat transformation!

Snakes Disappearing At Alarming Rate, M. Nigh Shmyamalan Prepares Boring Movie About It

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Snake Disappearing

We all remember a couple of years ago when all the bees started disappearing. Now it seems non-winged animals are also taking flight.

A new study has revealed that eight species of snakes have seen their number dwindle since the mid-90′s. Some populations have lost 90% of their members. Researchers are baffled as to why this is happening. Some blame El Nino, while others see it as a broader trend among animal populations as a response to pollution and global warming.

Unfortunately nobody has suggested the most obvious solution: Check the Plane.

[BBC News]

Silver Lining To Recent Flood Victims, It Could Have Been A Megaflood

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

skitched-20100506-143102.jpg

With all the talk of flooding in Tennessee, it helps to look back into history to gain perspective. After all, at least it wasn’t the megaflood that completely redefined that Alaskan landscape 15,000 years ago.

One of at least four megafloods from ancient Glacial Lake Atna, the deluge breached ice dams and covered more than 3,500 square miles (9,065 square kilometers) of land of what is today the Copper River Basin northeast of Anchorage. (The lake would’ve covered Rhode Island three times.)

Megafloods by definition have a flow of at least 264 million gallons of water per second (1,000 million liters of water per second). The largest known freshwater megaflood released about 4,500 million gallons of water per second (17,000 million liters of water per second) and originated out of Glacial Lake Missoula in Montana.

The megaflood from Atna likely had a flow of about 792 million gallons of water per second (3,000 million liters of water per second), and released a total of as much as 336 cubic miles (1,400 cubic kilometers) of water – enough to cover an area the size of Washington, D.C., to a depth of 5 miles (8 km).

So, at least they have that going for them.

In all seriousness, if you’d like to help by donating money or time to the relief effort in Tennessee, head here for more information.

[Live Science]