Asian Leopard cats

9. Asian Leopard cat

Asian Leopard cats nowadays are the most numerous wild cats specie on our planet. Also, they are the most genetically close to the ancient specie domestic cats came from. In India, where the Asian Leopard cats population is particularly large, the wild females are often mating with domestic males living among people in villages. The hybrids are known as Bengal cats.

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An Egg of a Kiwi

Adult kiwi bird with the egg

To continue with the adorable Australians, let's talk about kiwi birds. Those are endemic to New Zealand, but that's ok, New Zealand is still closer to Australia than anything else. Also, being a size of a small cat with the feathers almost as smooth as cat's fur, they are totally adorable. And undoubtedly interesting:

  • There are few birds who can't fly. Kiwi have the smallest wings among all of them;
  • Most birds rely heavily on their vision. Kiwi are almost blind and use sense of smell to find their food;
  • In most bird species females take care about the eggs. Kiwi males take care about the eggs for the whole three months of the incubation period.

But the most interesting kiwi fact is not about the bird itself but about its egg. Kiwi eggs are huge. In fact, the kiwi keep the record of the largest egg to the body size ratio. Kiwi egg could be 20% of the size of the bird and weights as much as 450 grammes. Not bad for a creature not much heavier (the largest species weight only two kilos). And to push the degree of nature's madness higher, sometimes kiwi can have two eggs simultaneously.

Adult kiwi bird with the egg Skeleton of the kiwi bird with the egg Kiwi egg compared to the eggs of other New Zealand birds Skeleton of a brown kiwi with the egg The skull and egg of a brown kiwi Southern brown kiwi egg

Square Roots

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Since the down of the agriculture and the human civilization itself ten thousand years ago people are tend to constrain and contain the nature, put it into the strictly-defined limits. This is how we are transforming our area of habitat, this is what defines us as a specie.

The nature says nothing against it. It is silent. It uses all the space available for growth and proliferation. If we draw it in squares, nature will shape itself in squares even though there are no perfect squares and cubes in the wild. Nature will fit the ever changing environment not matter if it is changing due to cosmic reasons or by the will of the people.

Here are some good illustrations for this. In urban environment trees are shaping their root system to replicate the man-made patterns: squares, cubes, octagons…

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Python Eating Goanna

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Carnivores aren’t really picky about their prey. They hunting herbivores and carnivores and anyone who looks tasty enough. In nature, nobody asks what your culinary preferences are before eating you whole, with your socks on. Carnivores are eating carnivores, and reptiles eat reptiles. Like in this case in Australia. The python is eating the goanna, Australian monitor lizard.

python eating goanna

python eating goanna

python eating goanna

The whole process is taking about two hours. Look how much Australians are caring about their murderous wildlife—they put a sticks and do-not-cross tape around the scene so nobody would interrupt the lunch.

Deer Fishing in Alaska

Deers fished out of the water

What would you expect from a fishing in Alaska? Tons of fun, of course, if you are into fishing. But would you really expect to return from your fishing trip with the catch good enough for the most skilled hunting party?

This story is from Alaska. The Alaska Quest boat was on a usual fishing trip in the Taku Inlet, when the captain Tom Satre spotted something strange in the water. Even for Alaskan wilderness the seeing a group of deers swimming in the salt water 1.2 miles off shore was strange.

Deers were exhausted and barely saw anything behind the waves. However, Tom Satre and his fellow fishermen managed to lift the deers out of the water (and it was pretty tough task to get a 80 pound of deer with its fur fully soaked aboard) and in an hour deliver it to the closest settlement, the Taku Harbor.

Deers fished out of the water

Electrocuted python

Electrocuted python

Sometimes, dine and dash goes wrong. In the human world the failed dash attempt most commonly turns into a couple of hours of doing dishes in the restaurant kitchen or a talk with the police officer. Nature is not so forgiving. In the wild, if something goes wrong it often goes fatally wrong.

This python snuck into a sheep farm in Illinois and dined with the lamb, the whole one as the pythons usually do. The troubles (for python, not the lamb) started when the time comes to dash without a mere “thank you”. Apparently, the hungry python is much thinner than the full one. On his way out of the farm the python stuck in the electrified fence.

Python stuck in the electric fence

Such fences are designed not to kill but to detergent any leaving creature. It pulsing with the high voltage power which shocks anyone who touches the wire for a period of time. One shock does no harm but it’s extremely unpleasant, so the animals and humans alike are tend to learn from the first time.

The distance between electrified wires of this particular fence is 10 inches (25cm). It was enough for the hungry python to creep in but didn’t let him out with the lamb inside. Python stuck, got shocked, attacked the fence with his teeth, got shocked again and again…

Electrocuted python

Hell theme-park in Thailand

10. Thai Hell theme-park

The Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden located on the outskirts of the Thailand’s capital Bangkok is the whole theme park depicting Buddhist hell and all the tortures over there. It’s just like your average theme-park but built upon the other imaginary universe. Instead of Mickey Mouse you will find there zombies, and people eaten alive by the not-so-friendly cattle instead of Donald Duck, and a choir of singing and dancing skeletons instead of seven gnomes.

1. Statues depicting torture by the spears and the raven in the Hell Garden park in Bangkok

2. The whole park is actually endless scenes of torture

3. And the tortures over there are morbidly imaginative

4. Thai Hell theme-park

5. Thai Hell theme-park

6. Thai Hell theme-park

7. Thai Hell theme-park

8. Thai Hell theme-park

9. Thai Hell theme-park

10. Thai Hell theme-park

Snow sculptures of Sapporo

13. Traditional Japanese house made of snow

On the northernmost Japanese island Hokkaido winters are still comparably mild but extremely snowy. After particularly fierce blizzards the whole island could be paralyzed for a several days.

If all you have in surplus is snow it’s really great idea to put it to work. In the 1950 such idea came into minds of Sapporo students. They have build some snow sculptures in the city park. Since that time every year one week of February turns the capital of the Hokkaido prefecture in Japan into the capital of snow sculpture building festival.

1. The Snow sculpture at Sapporo Snow Festival. Photo by Tony Lin

Last years hundreds of artists from all over the world are taking part in the Sapporo Snow Festival. They are building more than 400 snow statues and installations in three different locations in Sapporo. More than two million people visiting the event every year.

2. Snow sphinx sculpture at 59th Sapporo Snow Festival. Photo by Keiko S

3. Snow castle at 59th Sapporo Snow Festival. Photo by Keiko S

4. Snow Buddha. Photo by Angie Harms

5. Snow horseman and the tower

6. The World snow sculpture

7. The Power of Women snow sculpture presented by the Indonesian artists at the 63rd Sapporo Snow Festival

8. Sea mammals snow sculpture at the 63rd Sapporo Snow Festival

9. Taj Mahal built entirely of snow

10. UBH TV channel snow bas-relief depicting channel's most famous characters

11. The Leaping Dragon. Hong Kong's addition to the 63rd Sapporo Snow Festival exhibition

12. Snow Manohra from Thailand

13. Traditional Japanese house made of snow