Author Archive

Can We Take An Example From Nature To Live Forever?

We may not all want to be invincible, because wouldn’t it just be depressing to outlive all of your friends and family? But..there are definitely some moments when we wish we were.
Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by interesting - September 26, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Categories: Creatures   Tags:

Nature’s Terrifying Night Light

The Vampire Squid has big shoes to fill with its intimidating name. This “scary” critter is all bark and no bite. Measuring in at a mere 6 inches in length, this spiny fella can appear to be the Dracula of the deep sea. Starting with its head, you will see two “wings” that flap up and down to propel the squid through the water (at a leisurely pace). If the squid is in more of a hurry, it can use the jet propulsion of water through its mantle as a means of acceleration as other squids do. They may be tiny, but they are fast little suckers. Vampire squids can move at speeds upwards of two body lengths per second.

Moving down from its head-flaps, the eyes of the Vampire Squid can be as big as those of a large dog. Imagine if your eyes took up most of your face. And were red or blue depending on the light. You would probably look like you walked straight out of an anime illustration. Although they can move two body lengths per second, that sill don’t get far enough fast enough when speedy predators are on the hunt. When threatened, they pull their legs (with connecting webbing) up over their heads exposing their suction cups and rows of fleshy spines as an attempt at intimidating larger predators.

Due to their love for the deep sea, they are equipped with photophores that give them the ability to carry out the bioluminescence chemical process. In other words, they can literally turn themselves on and off, just like a nightlight. A nightlight with big red eyes and rows of spikes under its cape. Maybe not the best choice for a child who is afraid of the dark.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by interesting - at 11:56 am

Categories: Creatures   Tags:

Tardigrades: We are all Jealous

Tardigrades are water-dwelling micro-animals. They love mosses and lichens when they have a choice of habitat and measure in at approximately 1.5 millimeters long. Called “water bears” because of their appearance under a scanning electron microscope, these little guys actually resemble a cross between a gummy bear you found under your sofa and some fat creature from Star Wars.

Coochie coo!

Coochie coo!

Tardigrades aren’t a new species to the planet (fossils of Tardigrades have been found dating back to over 500 million years ago), nor have they just been recently discovered (they were first discovered by a German scientist in 1773). Their recent boom in popularity is a product of their incredible attributes and the power of social media. Many tardigrade enthusiasts stumbled upon an article about or a picture of these incredible creatures and got hooked after reading about them.

With such a glowing introduction, you are probably asking yourself, “Okay, so what is it that makes these tiny eight-legged water gummy bears so special?” The answer: they are pretty much invincible when it comes to environmental stresses. If you’re that jerk that is thinking “They aren’t invincible, they could be eaten,” then pat yourself on the back, but no one else cares that you felt the need to make this obvious point. Tardigrades are remarkable because they have the ability to survive the harshest of climates and atmospheric conditions by resorting to a state of deeply suspended animation. With a metabolic rate dropping to 0.01% of its norm, this state (called a “tun”) closely resembles death.

How do they do this? By retracting their heads and legs and essentially dehydrating themselves, they can withstand incredibly environmental stress. Think about it. The damage caused by extreme low and high temperatures has to do with the water in our cells. Without the water, these tuns are virtually indestructible. They have been tested and studied extensively, and have proven able to survive being heated to 150 degrees Celcius, frozen to almost absolute zero, exposed to extreme amounts of radiation, and even sent into space.

Can someone pass the baby oil?

Can someone pass the baby oil?

By simply adding water back to these tuns, even after almost a decade, they will reanimate and continue on with their lives. Talk about a power nap. Tardigrades are fascinating creatures because of their insane ability to cope with life, but also because of the mystery behind their powers. Many processes that other organisms use to survive extreme heat or cold do not occur in tardigrades. They seem to have their own unique ways of protecting or repairing their DNA after exposure to harmful environments. Expect to hear a lot about these water bears in the future, as they will surely be a hot topic among researchers. After all, they have an Octonauts episode about them. You know you’ve made it as an actor when you get invited to be on Sesame Street, and you know you’ve made it as a marine organism when you are the subject of an Octonauts episode.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by interesting - September 8, 2015 at 5:35 am

Categories: General   Tags:

How California Got Its Name

The names of some states have pretty obvious origins: Virginia (known of course for its 100% population of virgins), Washington (OCD levels of personal hygene), Maryland (half your stuff disappears upon crossing the border), etc. California, though, doesn’t really have any obvious source unless you count the fact that it houses the pornography captial of the world, but “Californication” didn’t hit the airwaves until much later.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by interesting - September 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Categories: General   Tags: , ,

Is There a Best Hangover Cure?

Of the hundreds of half baked hangover cures we’ve all heard are 100% sure-fire effective, there actually may be one that does in fact work, and not according to an equally hungover drinking buddy this time. This time it’s according to science!

The extra observant may have already deduced what it might be after having seen the thumbnail, but for the rest of us who don’t have the patience for time wasters like thumbnail viewing, science’s best hangover cure is a … (drumroll please) … bacon sandwich! That’s right. If bacon alone wasn’t already one of the highest rewards for having achieved our top-of-the-food-chain status, science has stepped in and declared that it comes with super powers to boot. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by interesting - September 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Categories: General   Tags: , , ,