Nature

This Is All The Time It Takes For a Dog to Die in a Hot Car

The soaring temperatures in Europe and North America have seen a rise in reports of dogs being rescued from hot cars. Police across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, and Canada have all saved dogs from certain death.   But in the US, a Great Dane in Juneau, Alaska, a Pitbull Boxer mix in Trussvile, Alabama, and three Rottweilers in …


Nature

We Hate to Tell You But This Moth With Tentacles Is Completely Real

What has six legs, two antennae, four furry appendages sprouting from its backside – and a big chunk of the Internet freaked out? The world’s most viral and terrifying moth. A man in Indonesia posted a picture and video of the insect on Facebook in October last year, drawing more than 36,000 comments, many from people expressing alarm and asking …


This Is The Most Complete Brain Map to Date, Showing Every Single Neuron in a Fruit Fly’s Brain

Mapping the human brain in detail could help to unlock some of its mysteries, but our own brains are such amazingly intricate organs that we’re going to be waiting a while for that to happen. Still, scientists just took an important step towards that goal.   A team has just created a high-definition, 3D picture of something a little smaller – …

Lighting Has a Smell, And The Science Behind It Is Beautiful

You’ve seen it, you’ve heard it, but have you ever smelled it? As bizarre as it sounds, lightning has a distinct odor. But unlike its blinding flash or deafening roar, the scent of a lightning bolt is much more subtle. In fact, you’ve probably experienced it before.   Whenever lightning strikes, it heats the air to 30,000 degrees Celsius (50,000 …

This Armored Dinosaur With a Spiky Head Just Changed What We Know About Their Migration

Back in 2008, researchers found a weird set of dinosaur fossils in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. Most ankylosaurid dinosaurs found in the area have smooth bony armour on their skull. This one was spiky.   After 10 years of hard work the research has just been published, confirming this weird spike-armoured oddity is, in fact, a …

Geologists Have Finally Defined a New Chapter in Earth’s History, And We’re Living in It

After years of debate, the current geological epoch has finally been cut into three sections. While some geologists clearly think it’s a justified change, others feel the move was premature and deserved further discussion.   The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) recently ratified the division of the Holocene into the Meghalayan, Northgrippian, and Greenlandian ages after siding with arguments …

Cracks Are Appearing in The Rocks Near Yellowstone. Here’s Why You Don’t Need to Panic

Rangers have temporarily closed off parts of Grand Teton National Park after guides noticed growing fissures in the area just over a week ago. Since Grand Teton is connected to Yellowstone, and Yellowstone is well known for sitting on top of what could well be a giant volcanic time bomb, the news has rung some alarm bells. It really shouldn’t. …

Scientists Have Found a Quadrillion Tonnes of Diamonds Lurking Deep Beneath Earth’s Surface

That diamond on your wedding ring isn’t as rare as you might think. Using sound waves, scientists uncovered a cache of diamonds distributed deep below the Earth’s surface, and it amounts to over a quadrillion tonnes of the precious mineral. (Yes, you read that right.)   That’s according to a new study published by a team of researchers from MIT, …

A Jaguar Escaped Its Zoo Habitat And Moved From One Enclosure to The Next Killing Animals

A jaguar at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans slipped out of its enclosure and went on a territorial killing rampage sometime overnight, attacking four alpacas, an emu and a fox trapped in their own habitats before zoo officials managed to sedate it.   The big cat was first reported missing at 7:20 am, before the zoo opened, officials said …

Eight Rare Rhinos Have Died in an Attempt to Save The Species

Eight critically endangered black rhinoceroses died after being moved from parks near Kenya’s capital to a sanctuary in a national park in the country’s southeast, the government said Friday.   Preliminary investigations suggest the rhinos suffered from salt poisoning as they adapted to water with higher saline levels than they were accustomed to, according to tourism and wildlife minister Najib …

Here’s an Important Reminder to Stay Away From This Giant Horror Plant That Causes 3rd Degree Burns

If Hollywood wanted to make a movie about a horrifying plant invasion, giant hogweeds would make a great candidate for the lead role – they are absolutely massive, incredibly toxic, and readily spread wherever their seeds take root.   Listed as a noxious weed in at least eight states, back in June the giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) was spotted in …

A French Farmer Found an Incredibly Rare Fossil And Kept It Secret For Years

Quick question – if you found a strange-looking fossil on your property, would you a) call the press, b) call the experts, or c) do neither because, well, who needs that kind of attention?   For those who went with c, you have a kindred spirit in a farmer who stumbled on a giant four-tusked skull near the French town …

Unique Bone Discovery Shows Dinosaurs Grew Gigantic Way Earlier Than We Thought

The discovery of some rather large dinosaur bones in Argentina has got scientists wondering whether the creatures may have grown to their biggest sizes earlier in history than we previously thought.   This trend towards gigantism or above average growth in sauropodomorphs – the biggest dinosaurs and indeed the biggest land animals in history – marks a crucial step in …

It’s 2018, And We Still Don’t Know Why Zebras Have Stripes

Zebra stripes do not help regulate their body temperature. That’s the conclusion reached by researchers in Hungary, trying to narrow down a longstanding mystery about the animals’ amazing coats.   Zebras are magnificent animals, with the tall stature and long faces shared with their horse family (equid) cousins. Unlike equids, though, they’re dazzlingly striped black and white. It’s a colouration …

A Gigantic Crocodile Was Just Caught in Australia After 10 Years on The Run

Following a nearly decade-long hunt, a massive saltwater crocodile has been captured in northern Australia, according to wildlife authorities. Rangers caught the crocodile Monday after setting a trap on a private property near Katherine, a town in Northern Territory, Australia.   The evasive crocodile is said to be one of the largest trapped in the region, which is not far …

World’s Oldest Colour Pigment Has Been Found in 1.1 Billion-Year-Old Fossils

Traces of fossilised chlorophyll detected inside seriously ancient rocks have shattered records for the oldest sample of an organic pigment by 600 million years. And that pigment was a fetching shade of pink.   Not only does the find provide tangible evidence of ancient photosynthesis, analysis of the compounds indicates they were left behind by bacteria, which helps explain why …

This Timelapse of a Huge Stinky Corpse Flower Is Surprisingly Beautiful

Visitors to the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) were in for an incredibly rare treat in June, when its resident corpse flower burst into bloom. And for those of us who couldn’t get there, the garden staff recorded the event in a spectacular timelapse.   The corpse flower or titan arum – Amorphophallus titanum (a name which means “giant deformed …

Are Crows And Ravens Friends? A New Study Says Hell No

Crows and ravens do not get along. The two corvid species, while very similar to each other, are often at loggerheads. But according to new research, it’s not the larger ravens that are the aggressors. As it turns out, crows – the smaller of the two – are instigating 97 percent of the altercations between them in North America.   …

This 6-Minute Video Explains How It Really Works

If you’re a vocal science lover, there’s one question we’re pretty sure you’ve been asked at least once: “If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” Most people pause for a second before spilling out the facts on natural selection, common ancestors, and each species adapting to its unique ecosystem.   But while that’s mostly correct, it’s not …

These Tiny Monkeys in Panama Appear to Have Entered The Stone Age

For years, scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama had whispered about the remote island where monkeys used stone tools. A botanist had witnessed the phenomenon during a long-ago survey — but, being more interested in flora than fauna at the time, she couldn’t linger to investigate.   A return to the site would require new funds, good …

Scientists Just Solved One of The Biggest Mysteries About Whale Sharks

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, but much of its lifecycle remains shrouded in mystery. These gentle giants gather in just a handful of places around the globe – something which has long baffled scientists – but our new research has started to explain why.   Better understanding of whale shark movements could help prevent further …

North America’s First Dogs Disappeared, And May Have Left Behind a Terrifying Legacy

They wandered in from Siberia a few thousand years after humans first undertook the same perilous journey onto the North American continent, looking for a new home. For millennia the two species shared the land. Perhaps even hunted together. And then, for some reason, the first non-wolf dogs to set foot in the New World disappeared, leaving not just a …

A Gang of Suspected Rhino Poachers Has Been Eaten by Lions in South Africa

The remains were so mauled, it’s hard to say how many of them there were. But Nick Fox, the owner of an eco reserve along South Africa’s Sunshine Coast, suspects at least three rhino poachers were killed in the early hours of Monday morning, when a pride of lions savagely descended on the park’s criminal intruders.   “Judging from the …

32 Years On, This Is How Life Thrives in The Radioactive Chernobyl Zone

Shortly after midnight on 26 April 1986, the name Chernobyl became synonymous with nuclear disaster. A nuclear power station in northern Ukraine exploded after a safety test, casting a radioactive shadow over the land.   The literal and figurative fallout of the event continues to inspire a strange mix of fear and hope over the risks of nuclear power. But …

We Just Found Out Spiders Can Use Electricity to Fly Through The Air

Sometimes, when it rains or when they feel the urge to migrate, spiders get out their little silk knapsacks, and balloon away. This ballooning behaviour is well understood by spider scientists, but researchers have recently discovered that electric fields can not only trigger the behaviour, but also provide lift – even without the slightest breeze.   “When one thinks of …

Japan’s ‘Psychic’ World Cup Octopus Has Been Killed And Sold For Lunch

A giant Pacific octopus named Rabio caught off the coast of Obira, Japan, last month became something of a national sensation when its snack selections ‘predicted’ Japan’s 2018 World Cup victories.   Now the fisherman who found the celebrated cephalopod has declared Rabio’s fifteen minutes of fame is up and given him the chop. Literally. For some reason, humans love …

Scientists Just Found The Cause of Earth’s First Global Warming That Triggered Mass Extinctions

The emergence of life on Earth was obviously a time of great change for our wee blue marble. Plants and algae had evolved some time before, helping convert the atmosphere from carbon dioxide to oxygen, which paved the way for fauna.   But the change did not stop there: when animals did turn up around 520-540 million years ago, new …

For The First Time, Scientists Tracked a Wolf Leaving The Radioactive Chernobyl Zone

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986 left a landscape that was highly toxic, but in the 30 years since we’ve seen small signs of nature recovering. The latest is evidence of a young wild wolf boldly making its way far out of the designated Chernobyl Exclusion Zone or CEZ.   Covering some 4,300 square kilometres (1,660 square miles), the zone …

The Earth’s Magnetic Field Reverses More Often – Now We Know Why

Underneath our feet, deep down in the Earth, liquid iron is producing the magnetic field that we all take for granted. But every now and then that magnetic field reverses or flips its polarity. What was once magnetic north becomes south – and vice versa. When these reversals take place – and why they do so – has been an …

Here’s Why Cats Have Such Strange, Haunting Eyes, Explained by Science

Cats have some of the most unique eyes in the animal world: Instead of having circular pupils like humans, the black parts in the centres of their eyes are vertical – which can adapt quickly and can open and close like the aperture of a camera.    Why are cat eyes so special? It all comes down to how they …

Goats Are as Smart And Loving as Dogs, According to Science

Goats might not seem like the most cuddly animals, but researchers have found evidence that goats are as clever as dogs, and just as capable of building emotional relationships with humans as all the other domesticated animals we’ve let into our hearts and homes.   The 2016 study showed that goats stare intensely at their owner when they’re struggling to complete …

The 4th State of Matter Is The Most Amazing And Full of Potential. Here’s Why.

When I was at elementary school, my teacher told me that matter exists in three possible states: solid, liquid and gas. She neglected to mention plasma, a special kind of electrified gas that’s a state unto itself.   We rarely encounter natural plasma, unless we’re lucky enough to see the Northern lights, or if we look at the Sun through …

There’s a Forest in Poland Filled With Crooked Trees, And No One Can Explain Why

Deep in the woods of the West Pomerania region of Poland, an entire section of trees bends at sharp angles near their bases, forming an odd and entrancing phenomenon known as ‘The Crooked Forest’.   Why do the trees bend like this? No one is quite sure. Some have theorised that harsh weather conditions made them this way. Others have said …

We’re Getting Closer to Solving The Mystery of The Hanging Testicle

The scrotum is a mystery. Why do most male mammals have their reproductive glands so vulnerably located in a sack of skin and muscle outside the body? According to new research, the answer might be found in those unusual mammals that have testicles located inside the abdomen. These includes elephants, aardvarks and others from a group that originated in Africa, …

Stunning Video Shows a ‘Lava Boat’ Carried by Molten Hot Rock in Hawaii

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is continuing to erupt, with lava gushing throughout a swath of Hawaii’s Big Island and pouring into the Pacific Ocean. The volcano – which has been slowly and continuously erupting for decades – entered a new, more violent eruption phase in May.   Thousands of local residents were forced to evacuate following a series of explosions, and …

‘Sea Lice’ Have Broken Out in Florida, And They’re as Nasty as They Sound

Florida beaches are being adorned with purple flags to warn swimmers of an almost invisible hazard – an outbreak of “sea lice” in the warm summer waters. Although the creatures can’t survive out of the water, they can sting bodies within – leaving victims with an itchy rash.   The name is not entirely accurate – the tiny creatures aren’t …

Gay Swans in Austria Attacked Humans to Protect Their Adopted Baby: A Plastic Cup

A pair of swans in Austria have been forcibly removed from the lake they called home after a series of violent, escalating attacks to defend their nest from intrusive humans. The twist in this case is the swans weren’t biological parents, but appear to have been two gay male swans who had formed an inseparable bond – and the nest …

The Atlantic Ocean Is Getting Bigger, And We Didn’t Even Realise

Scientists studying one of the fastest-warming regions of the global ocean say changes in this region are so sudden and vast that in effect, it will soon be another limb of the Atlantic Ocean, rather than a characteristically icy Arctic sea.   The northern Barents Sea, to the north of Scandinavia and east of the remote archipelago of Svalbard, has …

29 New Wasps Have Been Found, And Their Life Cycle Is The Stuff of Nightmares

Scientists have recently discovered and described 29 cool new species of wasp, and their life-cycle is enough to give you nightmares for weeks. Here’s how it goes. Parasitoid wasps lay their eggs in other animals so that their larvae will have something to snack on when they hatch. Oftentimes, this means that the ‘hosts’ are still alive while their insides …

An Ocean-Dwelling Fish Genetically Adapted to Freshwater in Just 120 Years

Steelhead trout, members of the salmon family that live and grow in the Pacific Ocean, genetically adapted to the freshwater environment of Lake Michigan in less than 120 years, according to new research.   Steelhead were intentionally introduced into Lake Michigan in the late 1800s in order to bolster recreational and commercial fisheries. In their native range, which extends from …

Great White Sharks Are Uncannily Attracted to These Specific Ocean Features

Marine biologists studying the movements of adult female white sharks in the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Ocean have discovered, to their surprise, that they prefer warm-water eddies—ocean whirlpools that spin clockwise north of the equator.   “We’ve decimated some open-ocean shark populations to a fraction of what they were 100 years ago. And yet we don’t know the basics …

In Happier News, April The Giraffe Might Be Pregnant Again

Now before you stop and ask yourself why you’re reading a story about a giraffe — one who may be pregnant but hasn’t even been confirmed to be — you need to travel back to the winter of 2017.   April, the giraffe in question, was then an unknown giraffe, maybe even a little-down-on-her-luck giraffe, having ended up at a …

This Magical Tree Produces 40 Different Types of Fruit

Sam Van Aken grew up on a family farm before pursuing a career as an artist. Now he works as an art professor at Syracuse University, but his most famous achievement – the incredible Tree of 40 Fruit – combines his knowledge of agriculture and art.   In 2008, Van Aken learned that an orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment …

These Award-Winning Nature Photos Will Make You Fall in Love With Our Planet All Over Again

A young girl hugs a frog protectively cupped in her hands. A maddened shark gapes its maws at a scurrying school of fish. A sand dune envelops an abandoned house. These and many more visions have been highlighted this year in a global photo contest held annually by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a charitable environmental organisation working to protect our world’s …

Genetically Modified Pigs Resistant to Deadly Disease Are Now a Thing

There’s a virus called PRRS that’s every pig farmer’s nightmare – it attacks young pigs and is estimated to cost farmers around US$2.3 billion a year. But now scientists may have found a gene editing method that can block the spread of this terrible disease.   A team of researchers have bred genetically engineer pigs resistant to PRRS or Porcine Reproductive …

T. Rex May Have Been Terrifying, But It Couldn’t Even Stick Out Its Tongue

If you ever find yourself staring directly into the jagged, gaping jaws of a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex, take a moment to observe its placid, composed tongue. Remarkably still, no?   Despite what pop culture would have us believe about the wildly elongated, lashing tongues of these marvellous, extinct creatures, new research suggests the towering T. rex and most of its …

A Bear Broke Into a Home to Look For Candy, And It Wasn’t Even The First Time

This is what it looks like when a bear breaks into your home to steal M&M’s while you’re out. And we totally empathise with those candy cravings. Footage of the break-in was captured last week by security cameras set up in the home of Lane Sykes and Carole Scofield in South Lake Tahoe, California. The couple had been out for …

One of The Biggest Manta Ray Secrets Has Just Been Discovered by Sheer Chance

The mystery of where manta rays keep their babies has started to unravel, with the lucky discovery of a rarely seen manta ray nursery. It’s off the coast of Texas, in the NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico, where marine scientists have observed unprecedented numbers of juvenile manta rays.   Since manta ray pups …