Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

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A nurse fleeing California’s raging wildfires said “neigh” to leaving her pony behind. Lauren Mesaros decided to drive away from the Tubbs Fire flames Monday with her pony, Stardust, in the backseat, after realizing the trailer she had could only fit two of her three horses, SF Gate reported.

“He actually walked right into the car like a dog would,” Mesaros said.
The quick-acting woman lured her steed in the back of her 2001 Honda Accord. Her sister-in-law posted a Facebook photo of the pony filling up the backseat, his snout fogging up the window, with the caption: “When Lauren has to evacuate her pony from Santa Rosa but no transport is available—you do what you have to do.”

Hell yes you do what you have to do, and what Lauren Mesaros had to do was get Stardust out of harms way as soon as possible. Honestly, look at that face –  no way you could leave that pony behind. And Stardust hopped right into the backseat. He knew what was up. Anyway, kudos Lauren Mesaros. Kudos indeed.

So some bro named Tim Newton from Alaska woke up the other morning to an amazing sight – a family of lynx frolicking and rough-housing on his front porch. I have one reaction to this. I want a family of lynx frolicking and rough-housing on my front porch and I want it now!

[Click the pics, man!]

Istanbul, not Constantinople.

New research shows pressure beneath Yellowstone could build much quicker than previously thought, and such an eruption could make Earth uninhabitable. Research presented by the Arizona State University at a recent meeting in Oregon goes against previous findings which that it could take thousands of years to build up. Scientists say it could happen within tens of years after a study analyzing crystals in volcanic rocks found in the area.
As the crystals grew, they were increasingly prone to being influenced by their surroundings, such as pressure, heat and water content.

Lead researcher Hannah Shamloo of Arizona State University told the New York Times: “It’s shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption.

The usually peaceful volcano has now experienced some 2,750 tremors since June 12th which could indicate that it is ready to burst back into life.

This is the second most active swarm of quakes since records began.

If the volcano were to erupt it would kill an estimated 87,000 people immediately and make two-thirds of the USA immediately uninhabitable.
The large spew of ash into the atmosphere would block out sunlight and directly affect life beneath it creating a “nuclear winter.”

Hey-O!  Saving up for little Hunter’s college fund? Screw that. Spend that dough while you can, folks, because well, this winter could be a bad one. A Nuclear Winter you might call it. Seriously man, a large spew of ash blocking out the sun just sucks. Pretty much what happened to the dinosaurs with that little meteor incident thingy. Turned out bad for them. And isn’t it wild that the Supervolcano is in Yellowstone National Park? Hell, that’s where Yogi Bear and Boo Boo live. Supervolcanos are supposed to be in Siberia or somewhere.

Fun Fact: The volcano system under Yellowstone has enough lava to fill 11 Grand Canyons. Sweet Mother of God. 

Wombats are short-legged, muscular little dudes that are native to Australia. They are about 40-inches in length with small, stubby tails. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae, because of course they are. They are adaptable and habitat tolerant, and are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia. However, here’s the coolest Wombat fact: Every evening, the average wombat deposits 80 to 100 dry, cube-like droppings around its territory. Yes kids, the Wombat poops square poop. Anywho, Wombat.

[Bonus Wombat square poop below]

Check out the Pork Tapeworm, man. Freaky for days. The Pork Tapeworm is an intestinal parasite found throughout the world, and is most prevalent in countries where pork is eaten. The adult worm is found in humans and has a flat, ribbon-like body, which is white in color. Eeeww. Its distinct head contains suckers, which is cool as well as terrifying. It is transmitted to pigs through human feces and to humans through uncooked or undercooked pork. Wait. What? Anywho, Pork Tapeworm.

Well, it isn’t exactly diving but still . . .

People are going to Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin City, Australia, to dive with 16-foot crocodiles. As you can see, they get in this plastic jar looking thing and are dropped right into the water with these monsters. Probably safe enough, but would you do it?

[click to peruse]

 

Incredible.

Shocking really. Who’d ever think a lion would bite you?

Lake Natron is located in Tanzania, and it’s one of the most unique bodies of water in the world. The water within it has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that almost nothing can live in it. Blood-red from the bacteria that live in it, the salt lake is steaming hot, with temperatures that can reach up to 140º Fahrenheit.

The soda and salt causes creatures that enter its water to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry. They’re so hard they’re almost like rock. No one knows for certain exactly how the animals die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, causing them to crash into the lake.

Below are photos of animals photographer Nick Brandt found along the shores of the lake. Although he reposed them, the bodies are exactly the way he found them. Amazing, ghostly stuff.

[click to enlarge]

Magpies are one of the most intelligent animals on earth. They’re the only non-mammal species able to recognize itself in the mirror.

Washington Post: Mammalogist Tyrone Lavery has learned of a giant rat known to locals as Vika that lives in the trees, is a foot-and-a-half long, and has teeth so sharp it can punch through a coconut. Yes, the Vika is very real.

Its scale-covered tail, great jaws and a few rare photos were revealed Wednesday in the Journal of Mammalogy.

Uromys Vika is the first rodent species to be discovered in the Solomon Islands in nearly a century, at the end of Lavery’s long search.

He was first drawn to this chain of hundreds of islands in 2010, as he researched mammals at the University of Queensland. Far off the coast of Australia, the Solomons are renowned for elusive, unique species that evolve in near isolation from the rest of the planet — like the Guadalcanal monkey-faced bat.

The PhD student was sitting around a fire with village elders on the island of Vangunu, in the thick-forested caldera of an ancient volcano. As rice and sweet potato cooked in the flames, Lavery recalled, he asked the elders what things he might find in the forests.

“They told me about this giant rat they called Vika,” he said. They said Vika lived in the trees, was a bit smaller than a possum, and was so strong it could chew through thick-shelled Ngali nuts.

And then one day in late 2015, back in Australia, he got a phone call from the island. Loggers in a camp outside the village had felled a Kapuchu tree — particularly prized for its wood. After the tree hit the ground, something big and brown came scampering out of it. The loggers knew an Australian scientist had been searching for Vika for years, and word of the animal spread through the village.

Two friends of Lavery — John Vendi and Hikuna Judge — managed to catch the animal.

It looked like an adolescent, and it had lost part of its tail in the fall or subsequent capture. Still, it was estimated to be a foot-and-a-half long, and might grow to weigh more than two pounds — four times larger than your average garbage rat.

Well, sweet Jesus. This is all we need, right? Monster possum-sized rats that live in the freaking trees? That’s just horrifying. But hey, they can only bite through coconut shells and thick-shelled Ngali nuts, so nothing to worry about.

PS- That Guadalcanal Monkey-Faced Bat is downright petrifying, huh? Looks like someone experimented with a Chihuahua and a Fruit Bat.

Or moon. I’m not sure.

Check out the Wallago Leerii, man. Dude is ugly as hell. This guy lives in Southeast Asia and can grow to up to 7-feet in length and weigh over 200-pounds. I’m no expert but that seems like a big-ass catfish. According to Southeast Asians, this bad boy makes excellent eatin.’ Anyhoo, Wallago Leerii.

Let’s begin will the coolest fact of all – Laysan Albatrosses mate for life. Boom. Man that’s impressive. And get this – the Laysan Albatross can glide over the open oceans for hours without a single freakin’ flap. Dudes just glide like you read about, and their long wings carry them hundreds of miles in a day’s time.
These cool birds live to be really old too. At last count, the world’s oldest Laysan Albatross had reached the age of 66. One last thing – when Laysan Albatrosses court they perform a pretty amazing mating ritual, making mooing noises and clicking their bills together. That’s cool, man. Insanity. Anyhoo, Layton Albatross.

[I demand that you watch the video below because it’s awesome]

Beautiful. I beseech you to click and enlarge.