75% of the world is covered with it. Look at some of the more peculiar phenomenons under the sea!
Good News, Bad News
Arachnophobia is fairly commonplace … and some experts think the fear of spiders might be written in our DNA. But here’s an interesting fun fact … Did you know the arachnids play a role in *protecting* we humans? Experts say that each year, spiders consume up to 800 million tons of prey. While their menu includes snakes, birds, and frogs, the arachnids primarily feast on insects — which comprise about 90 percent of their diet. As the natural enemy of insects, spiders help maintain an ecological balance. That’s the good news. The bad news is that a recent report estimated the total weight of humans on Earth at around 360 million tons. That means that the total amount of food mass eaten by spiders each year exceeds the mass of we humans. So if the arachnids ever acquire a taste for human flesh, they could take us out within a year — in theory, anyway. But that’s some info you might want to chew on:
Circles of Influence
Strange patterns found under the waves of Amami-Oshima Island in Japan kind of resemble crop circles that have been found at various places around the world. In fact, the picture does seem to display a pattern that looks geometrically designed, not unlike a wheel with spokes, or the symbol of a sunburst. The design could fit in pretty well with those terrestrial crop circles … like those mysterious patterns, some people thought these designs might have been created by aliens. But the circles are actually the creation of a talented terrain artist … which happens to be a tiny male puffer fish. They build these elaborate designs in the sand in order to attract a mate … but because the creatures are so elusive, the origin of these odd designs wasn’t discovered until 1995. Experts found that the pufferfish can spend up to six weeks creating a structure that’s around 20 times bigger than itself. And to make it even more attractive to the ladies, the male will often adorn the circle with seashells and sand dollars! Once a potential mate is attracted, the female will hover in the center of the circle as a sign of acceptance. Thereupon, the mating is finished within only a few seconds … after which the female swims away, never to return.
This kind of sounds like something from out of a sci-fi horror movie … Researchers wanted to find out how organisms are affected by the lack of normal gravity … so, in 2015, they sent planarian flatworms aboard the International Space Station for five weeks. Specifically, they wanted to know how the lack of normal gravity might affect the creature’s behavior and anatomy as well as their ability to regenerate missing parts. The worms were left either whole or amputated, then sealed in tubes that contained a 50/50 mix of air and water. Two sets of control worms were also created and stayed on Earth. After the space-faring worms returned to the planet, they were analyzed for around 20 months. Several differences were found between them and their terrestrial counterparts … but the biggest surprise was when one of the amputated worms sent to space regenerated as an unusual double-headed creature! When the two heads were amputated, the headless middle portion regenerated into another two-headed worm … indicating the anatomical change was permanent … And that the worms had altered their biology in response to their environmental environment. Experts say the research will help them assess the impact of spaceflight on the health of humans as we become as a space-faring species. Does it indicate that two heads are better than one?
Last Male Standing
Sudan is a male white rhino that enjoys a pretty pampered lifestyle …. but it comes at a cost. He lives at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy (reserve) where he has an on-call personal attendant who applies mudpacks to moisturize his skin and keep away insects … Sudan even has his own Tinder account. And he also has a 24-hour armed guard. That’s necessary to keep him safe from the poachers who have slaughtered rhinos over the years to take their horns. Sudan is the world’s last northern male white rhino — once he’s gone, there’ll be no more like him — in captivity or on the wild. Including him, there is a total of 3 northern white rhinos in the world … the other two are females that live at the same reserve, who are also guarded around the clock. Attempts to have Sudan breed with the two younger cows have failed, due to his advanced age. Experts say that repopulating the species will depend upon the successful implantation of a lab-created embryo into a southern white rhino female … if that’s unsuccessful, the other option is an attempt to clone the animals in the future.