Thursday, 17 August 2017

14 Badass Trees That Refuse To Die

It is estimated that trees have been around us about 370 million years, and as you can have an idea from these unbelievable pictures, there's a good reason why they've survived for so long. Whether they're growing in the middle of gale-force winds, on the tops of rocky platforms, inside concrete tunnels, or even growing out of each other, because trees know very well how to survive in places that few living organisms can, which explains why the earth planet is host to more than 3 trillion adult trees that cover an expected 30% of the earth's land. Moreover considering that plants produce the massive amount of the oxygen that we breathe every day, we should all think ourselves very fortunate that trees are as resilient as they are. We wouldn't even be here if they weren't.


Crown Shyness, A Natural Phenomenon Where Trees Avoid Touching

Crown shyness is a naturally occurring phenomenon in some tree species where the upper most branches in a forest canopy avoid touching one another. The visual effect is striking as it creates clearly defined borders akin to cracks or rivers in the sky when viewed from below. This intriguing behavior was first observed in 1920’s, but somehow researchers yet have to reach a consensus on what causes it.

Thus, various hypotheses have been presented since then in an attempt to explain it. It might simply be caused by the trees rubbing against one another, although signs also point to more active causes such as a preventative measure against shading (optimizing light exposure for photosynthesis) or even as a deterrent for the spread of harmful insects. Some believe it occurs to reduce the spread of harmful insects, while some believe that trees are attempting to protect one another's branches from getting cracked and broken in the wind, and it's also been suggested that "crown shyness" happens so that trees can optimize light exposure in order to maximize the process of photosynthesis.

One theory suggests that this empty space around the crown might be caused by breakage of twigs and branches from violent collision that happens during storms and high winds. Experiments show that if trees with crown shyness are artificially prevented from swaying and colliding in the wind, they slowly fill in the empty space in the canopy. Similarly, some research suggests that continuous abrasion at growth nodules disrupts bud tissue such that it is unable to continue with lateral growth. Despite these various theories however, nobody knows for sure why this occurrence occurs, but it serves to remind us of just how breathtaking Mother Nature can be. The next time you're out walking through the forest, take a moment to look above you and you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

WWII Long Lost Airplane Discovered on the Riverbed of a Remote Pacific island

A long lost airplane that crashed during WWII is lastly discovered almost without a glitch preserved on the riverbed of a remote Pacific island. Holiday tourists visiting the Micronesian archipelago of Palau discovered an unusually rare sight, recently - after stumbling across a doomed WW2 plane. They are expecting to witness numerous unexpected wonders when they explore the world. It is believed the craft is a Japanese Aichi E13A long range reconnaissance seaplane - was found in a shallow river on the archipelago of Palau, which boasts 500 attractive islands.

 A remarkable image which surfaced on Imgur, shows the plane largely intact with the wings still attached to the fuselage. Hence weirdly positioned upside-down, it's not clear which country the military craft belonged to, but the undisturbed site has now become something of a makeshift grave. It clearly, exerts a charm with holidaymakers, two of whom can be seen canoeing past the plane's rusted body. Unsurprisingly, the image has stunned people across the internet, with one saying, “Looks like a movie set or the beginning or end of a novel.”

If was the pilot that died with that plane I would be happy with my final resting spot so beautiful and serene. A third chimed-in, it's the juxtaposition between the wreck and the person kayaking carefree right next to it. It seems disrespectful given that someone could have died in that wreck. It's an A13 floatplane. It is inverted and has lost its floats. This is a rare beast, an increasingly popular location; Palau is described by Lonely Planet as scenically enchanted. For such a tiny area of land, it packs a big punch.
It's hard not to be overwhelmed by its amazing array of natural wonders: this is an archipelago of pristine limestone and volcanic islands, blanketed in emerald forest, surrounded by a shimmering turquoise lagoon. Obviously, diving is the number-one activity here, with truly world-class dive sites. Divers swear by Palau's thrilling seascape, fascinating wrecks and strikingly diverse marine life it's not dubbed 'the underwater Serengeti for nothing.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Swiss Photographer Caught Sperm Whales Nap Vertically Between 6 to 25 Minutes

Swiss wildlife photographer Franco Banfi and a team of scuba divers were following a pod of sperm whales off the Coast of Dominica Island in the Caribbean Sea, when suddenly the large creatures became motionless and fell into vertical slumber.  The underwater photographer has captured a rare set of photographs which capture a pod of sleeping whales. You’d probably never see before that. But Franco Banfi, caught the superb creatures around 65ft underwater as well as his partner, free diver Sabrina, just off the coast of the Caribbean island Dominica. Almost 40ft long sperm whales, known to be quite social, spend around 7% of their time sleeping and nap vertically for six to 25 minutes in this case it was ten.

Mr Banfi 58, from Cadro, Switzerland, said: This was a group of around ten sperm whales all sleeping together. I don't know why they sleep vertically, perhaps because they can use the sonar they have in their head to sense any danger approaching. I was extremely lucky to see such a memorable moment in nature, and I'm highly thankful the whales trusted me and gave me the opportunity to show up the show. It doesn't happen like that every time you see them. This rare phenomenon was first discovered in 2008, when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan inadvertently drifted into a group of sperm whales floating just below the surface, completely oblivious to their surroundings. The 2008 incident advised that whales might sleep with both sides of the brain turned off.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Chinese Red Eggs

Chinese red eggs are bright pink colored cooked chicken eggs. The eggs are first hard boiled and then a wet red calligraphy paper is wiped over the eggs to create a pink coloring. In the Chinese culture, it is common to hold at the baby´s first-month birthday a red egg and ginger party. For the Chinese, one month is the first huge milestone of a baby’s life, so it is celebrated with Red eggs. They are nutritious, symbols of fertility, rebirth. Red means happiness.

Generally the baby's name is announced to friends and relatives at this party, and one might find a bowl of brightly colored cooked chicken eggs on the guests' buffet or serving tables. The hosts might hand out the red-dyed eggs, symbolizing happiness and renewed life. These days, some people also will give red eggs to their friends and families to celebrate their birthday. Moreover, same to Western Easter eggs, in Chinese culture eggs symbolize birth or a new start. For eggs to be served to invitees during a significant birthday such as the first month or first year is very important. The color red means prosperity and good fortune to the Chinese, while white or beige is considered the color of death.

Monday, 5 June 2017

The Black Eggs of Owakudani

Owakudani or “the Great Boiling Valley” in Hakone, Japan, is barely the perfect tourist spot. However it’s a large volcanic caldera formed almost three thousand years ago following a large eruption of Mount Hakone. It was also known as "Jigokudani" (the Valley of Hell) by locals some time ago. Once you step foot on its wondrous soil, it will surely will take your breath away.  Owakudani is still active with boiling pools of sulphur-rich water and huge vents spewing forth steam and volcanic fumes of hydrogen sulphide and sulphur dioxide. Because the whole area has a robust smell of rotten eggs, but it’s the eggs the tourists who visit the Great Boiling Valley are seeking for.

The Owakudani black eggs or “Kuro-tamago” are regular chicken eggs that are tough in the naturally hot water pools. The sulphur in the water renders the eggs’ shell black while also imparting a particular smell to it. Thus the local peoples say that taking one can prolong one’s life by 7 years. If you take two, and you’ll get 14 extra years added to your life. Therefore, the eggs are boiled on top of a hill which peoples can reach by a kilometer long hike or by taking the Hakone Ropeway. Here from this vantage point one can have a superb view of Mt. Fuji that lies next door. This area is prone to landslides due to the continuous volcanic activity. In potentially dangerous conditions, the walkways to the egg boiling springs may be closed.

The eggs are continually cooked in large batches in the waters of a spring located on top of a hill. They’re loaded onto large metal crates and plunged into the 80˚C spring water for about an hour. Then they are steamed at 100˚C for 15 minutes. They come out perfectly black, with the insides still white and yellow like a regular boiled egg. The eggs are eaten right there, also the spring where they are boiled and sold. So, small wooden tables are laid out in the open for guests to peel the blackened shells and enjoy the soft sulphur tinged flesh inside. The black eggs are so popular throughout Hakone and one need not always visit Owakudani to eat them. They’re sold in numerous shops around the town in small bags of six for 500 Yen. There is nothing wrong about eating sulphur boiled eggs, actually. If you think they are gross, you should sense how the Chinese like their eggs.