From the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders comes this impressive geological formation - an enormous rock perfectly balanced atop a smooth mound. Located deep inside the forests of Finland, the balancing rock is called Kummakivi:
“There is still no scientific explanation for how the rock, whose given name translates as ‘strange rock’ in Finnish, has wound up in such a perplexing position.”
However it happened, it’s a pretty awesome sight. But we don’t recommend standing under it for too long.
[via My Modern Metropolis]
So: Little known fact.
Clouds like this actually scare me a bit. The shadowing just emphasizes how Incredibly Huge they are, and that freaks me out some.
Really? I love clouds like this, I just want to be completely enveloped by them. I love when I fly through them on planes, it’s like a surreal, watery wonderland, floating in the sky. It’s wonderful.
The head of a flower is made up of small seeds which are produced at the center, and then migrate towards the outside to fill eventually all the space (as for the sunflower but on a much smaller level). Each new seed appears at a certain angle in relation to the preceeding one. For example, if the angle is 90 degrees, that is 1/4 of a turn.…This angle has to be chosen very precisely: variations of 1/10 of a degree destroy completely the optimization. When the angle is exactly the golden mean, and only this one, two families of spirals (one in each direction) are then visible: their numbers correspond to the numerator and denominator of 2 consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, which is proved to converge toward the Golden Mean value of 1.6180339… (in the picture we have 21/34, the 7th and 8th terms of the Fibonacci sequence).The Fibonacci sequence is named after Leonardo of Pisa, who was known as Fibonacci. Fibonacci’s 1202 book Liber Abaci introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics, although the sequence had been described earlier in Indian mathematics. (By modern convention, the sequence begins either with F0 = 0 or with F1 = 1. The Liber Abaci began the sequence with F1 = 1, without an initial 0.)
Nestled under a South American palm leaf you might just be lucky enough to find this rare white bat, the Northern Ghost Bat (Diclidurus albus), or Jumby Bat as it is otherwise known.
I say you might find one alone under a palm leaf because although these bats would prefer to nest in large colonies, it’s very difficult to find the required cave space or rock crevices in their habitat to do so. Therefore, they only roost in small groups at best.
Check out this fossilized-ink-sac. Researchers confirmed that the pigment in it is chemically similar to the sort used by modern squids, chock full of eumelanin. The head researcher said:
The ‘aha moment’ for me was when we looked at the techniques for chemical bonding and we couldn’t find anything that distinguished the pigment in the fossil from the pigment in a modern-day cuttlefish, which suggests the pigment hasn’t changed in 160 million years. When I think about other evolutionary transitions that just amazes me.
Picture of the Day: Star Trails From the International Space Station
“Astronaut Don Pettit created this image of star trails as seen from the International Space Station approximately 240 miles above Earth. He explains, “My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.” The above picture combines 18 such exposures.”
Part adventurer, part artist, and part engineer, nature photographers travel the globe to document the beauty and mystery of its farthest reaches. The images they bring home help to broaden our awareness and appreciation of the natural world.
Ed note: The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has more photos and information on the exhibit.
Giant anteaters used to scare the heck out of me and actually still kind of freak me out a little bit oh fuck why’d I tell you that. But we can’t deny that they’re pretty interesting. They are a walking mullet: business in the front, party in the back. Look at this sassy motherfucker:
They can be 6 to 8 feet long.
That’s taller than I am.Take a look at those forearms, too; anteaters walk on their knuckles! Look at their skeleton:
[Those are some thick rib bones they’ve got, there, and a very strong tail that they can use to balance when they get up on their hind legs.]
See? Knuckle walkers! Also some massively nasty claws
that can be used to eviscerate youthat help them dig open ant hills, termite mounds, and defend themselves from enemies. Another thing we can see is their toothless jaws.
Anteaters don’t chew, not really: pebbles they swallow help break food down, as does a hard palate.
Anteaters actually eat all sorts of insects - but skip the kind that have chemical defenses, which anteaters actually cannot digest. With a schnoz like that, they have a scary accurate sense of smell
and will find you no matter where you’ve hidden yourselfwhich they use to locate youprey. Their superlong tongue flicks in and out over 150 times a minute, meaning they can drain your blood in record timeeat quite a lot of ants!
oh my god
This is the best post about anteaters