Monday, May 12, 2008

What's Stopping The beetlesFrom Getting Even Bigger?

Some Paleontologists have discovered fossils of some infamous beetles (cockroaches) that were far bigger during the Jurassic period than they are today. Scientists aren't really sure why they were bigger back then (wasn't everything?), but it may have had to something to do with the warmer climate. Earth today has warm, tropical zones only around the equator, but during the Jurassic and Triassic periods temperatures around the globe were warmer. If it was the warm climate that contributed to the large size of the ancient species, we may be seeing larger species of beetles appearing as global warming continues. They may even be evolving as we speak.

World's heaviest insects

The first species of insect that could be called a beetle appeared on earth over 300 million years ago. And they've been here ever since, increasing their numbers, evolving into countless different varieties, and adapting to climates in almost every environment possible. Of all the billions of insects on earth those belonging to the beetle family are the most numerous of any other species. By sheer numbers alone, beetles have won the title of The Most Successful Form of Life. Beetles inhabit every corner of the globe in all kinds of weather. You could say that we're living on the planet of the beetles.

The Goliath beetle belongs to the scarab family, which contains more than 30,000 species. Not insects - species of insects. That's just 30,000 different types of scarab beetles. There are hundreds of thousands of living beetles of each type, and there are many more types of scarab beetles that have yet to be discovered. The numbers just boggle the mind.

World's greatest waterfall

The Natives in Venezuela had known about the "Salto Angel" since the beginning of time. Then United States pilot Jimmie Angel was flying over the area in 1935 when he landed on the top of a lone mountain in search of gold. His plane got stuck in the boggy jungle on top of the mountain and he noticed a pretty impressive waterfall plunging thousands of feet down. He wasn't too happy about the 11 mile hike back to civilization, and his plane remained stuck and rusting upon the mountain as a monument to his discovery. Soon the whole world would know about the falls, which came to be known as Angel Falls, after the pilot who "discovered" them.

Angel Falls plunges from the top of a mesa, or what the natives call a Tepuyi. Named "Auyantepui", the Angel Falls mesa is one of over a hundred of its kind which are scattered about the Guiana highest of southeast Venezuela. Like so many slumbering giants, what characterizes these mesas (Tepuys) is their massive heights soaring up towards the sky, each with a flat top and totally vertical sides (check out the picture at left). Also called "table mountains" (which accurately describes their shapes) these Tepuys were formed out of sandstone billions of years ago. Their vertical sides are continually being eroded by the action of water from the heavy rainfall the Guiana Highlands gets.

World's hottest place

There are many places on earth that are plenty hot - record-breaking hot. In fact, there's a good chance on the day this record-breaking temperature was recorded by a meteorological station in El Azizia in 1922 there were other places hundreds of miles away that were even hotter. In all likelihood, this record temperature has been exceeded since then in many places on earth, but we have no official records of the temperatures. It is important to note that when atmospheric temperatures are recorded it is not the surface temperature, where it can sometimes reach 150° F/ 66° C, but rather the air temperature at about 5 feet (1.6 m) above the surface in an enclosed shelter. Of course, it's important that the temperature sensor is not exposed to direct sunlight - the shelter is louvered to permit air flow across the sensor. Most humans don't 'hang out' where some of the hottest tempertatures on earth are regularly experienced so there aren't a lot of meterological stations in these places to reliably record extreme temperatures.

Coldest place of earth

You want to talk about world records, Antarctica is the land of extremes. It is the coldest, windiest, and highest continent anywhere on earth. With an average elevation about 7,544ft/2,300 meters above sea level it is the highest continent. Even though it is covered in ice it receives some of the least amount of rainfall, getting just slightly more rainfall than the Sahara Desert, making it the largest desert on earth. Most people have the misconception that a desert is a hot, dry, sandy, lifeless place, but the true definition of a desert is any geographical location that receives very, very little rainfall. Even though there's ice on the ground in Antartica, that ice has been there for a very long time.Antarctica is the only continent that has never had an indigenous population of humans because it has always been such an extreme environment. Just the boat ride getting to the continent is over the most treacherous seas anywhere in the world. The inaccessibility of the place and the lack of reliable food and means for constructing shelter has kept humans away for thousands of years. But the new technologies developed over the last 200 years made it possible for people to reach these icy shores to explore and study the Antarctic for the first time in human history.

Since there are no people who claim Antarctica as their homeland, exploration of the continent has been shared by all nations of the world. Scientists from all over the world - Russia, Japan, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and many others - come to this place in an internationally cooperative agreement to study the truly unique qualities of Antarctica. Many scientific stations have been constructed on Antarctica to provide shelter and supplies for scientists doing field work there.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Weird New Fish Discovered off Antarctica

February 19, 2008—This otherworldly creature was among a haul of strange new fish trawled from the bottom of the oceans of Antarctica.

The eelpout Pachycara cousinsi is one of six previously unknown deep-sea fishes caught at depths of 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) during a British research expedition to the remote Crozet Islands in the Indian Ocean between Antarctica and Africa.

Team member Nicola King of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, recently announced the new species.

P. cousinsi is known from just a single, 1.35 foot (41 centimeter) long specimen caught during the 2005 to 2006 voyage. King named the fleshy-lipped species in honor of her fiancé, geophysicist Michael Cousins.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” the marine biologist said.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Unbelievable Obesity!!

Manuel Uribe Garza a 42-year-old man from Monterrey, Mexico. As a small boy, Uribe was a chubby kid and weighed more than 250 pounds as an adolescent. In 1992, he said his weight began ballooning further. He has been recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s heaviest man has also been certified by doctors as weighing 1,235 pounds. After being unable to leave his bed since 2001, doctors has helped him to loose 395 pounds since he began a high-protein diet a year ago. He now weighs about 840 pounds.Although still unable to leave his bed, he celebrated the milestone with six people pushed Uribe’s wheel-equipped iron bed out to the street as a mariachi band played and a crowd gathered. Then, a forklift lifted him onto a truck and the 41-year-old rode through the streets of San Nicolas de los Garza, a Monterrey suburb.

With dozens of reporters and photographers in tow, Uribe traveled along, passing the town’s plaza and church and waving at clusters of people eager to get a glimpse of him. Uribe has also been featured on “World’s Heaviest Man,” a television documentary about his bedridden life and attempts to lose weight.

He even has his own website and has started the Manuel Uribe Foundation to spread the word that weight loss for obese people is possible - and permanent. Manuel says his aim to get down to 120kg, or 264lb. It means losing a further 260kg, or 572lb.

Supernatural magnet man!!

In Malaysia, 78 years old Liew Thow Lin is known as the Human Magnet or Mr. Magnet. He can make metal objects, weighing up to 2kg, stick to his skin without any aid and he is a scientific mystery because there is no trace of a magnetic field around his body. Scientists say his skin is also normal and there is no explanation for his unusual talent.

In 2006 he even pulled a 10.6-tonne bus using only his body’s “magnetic force”. Liew Thow Lin placed a steel contraption under his armpit, hooked it to a chain with the other end tied to the bus. He then pulled the bus for 3.4 metres in less than a minute. A television station from Thailand recorded Liew’s achievement.

“I myself am surprised by my extraordinary ability although I’m already 78 years old” he told reporters after completing the act at a charity home for disabled children here. Liew began to make headlines at the age of 60 after making various household appliances made of steel stick without any aid.

Liew also seems to pass some of his forces to his friend. Tan Kok Thai, also has the ability to lift various objects including stones weighing 33 kilogrammes that stuck to his body.Previously, Tan made it to the Malaysia Book of Records after lifting objects weighing 102.9 kilogrammes even though his own weight is only 61 kilogrammes. Tan said that he realised that his body had magnetic force four years ago and besides steel, wood could also stick to his body.

According to newspaper reports, a group of professors from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia had found that Liew’s magnetic force was not due to magnet or electricity but because his skin had extraordinary sucking force.

Can nature be sooo... beautiful

These are the wonders of China.....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Angel Falls Venezuela

Angel Falls is the world’s highest free-falling, freshwater waterfall at 979 m (3,212 ft), with a clear drop of 807 m (2,648 ft). It is located in the Canaima National Park, in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State, Venezuela. The height of the falls is so great that before getting anywhere near the ground the water is buffeted by the strong winds and turned into mist. The base of the falls feeds into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River.

Yellowstone Wyoming, Montana, Idaho (USA)

Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,472 square miles (8,987 km²), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano on the continent. Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. The park is the centerpiece of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest remaining, nearly-intact ecosystem in the Earth’s northern temperate zone. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered or threatened. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Grizzlies, wolves, and free-ranging herds of bison and elk live in the park.

Galápagos Islands Ecuador

Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000km from the South American continent, the19 islands of the Galápagos have been called a unique ‘living museum and showcase of evolution’. Ongoing volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. Located at the confluence of three oceanic currents, the Galápagos is a “melting pot” of marine species. These processes, along with the isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finches – which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, following his visit in 1835.

Cerrado Protected Areas Brazil

The two sites included in the designation contain flora and fauna and key habitats that characterize the Cerrado – one of the world’s oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems. For millennia, the sites have acted as refuges for species during periods of climate change and will be vital for maintaining Cerrado biodiversity during future climate fluctuations.