Although extremely rare, ice disks, also known as ice circles, do indeed appear naturally from time to time when conditions are perfect. Above are a few examples of people who have been lucky enough to stumble onto one while holding a camera.
Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a force called ‘rotational shear’, which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around. As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice — smoothing into a circle. A relatively uncommon phenomenon, one of the earliest recordings is of a slowly revolving disc was spotted on the Mianus River and reported in a 1895 edition of Scientific American.
"The scaly foot gastropod is probably the worst snail name ever invented. Especially for one of the most incredible organisms on the planet. How many creatures can you name that have an iron shell? None. No creature can grow a metal sheath around itself—except Scaly G. Living nearly 2,400 meters (8,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, near hydrothermal vents, the scaly foot gastropod incorporates the heavy metals floating in its habitat into its shell.” - harvestheart
From sinobug: As members of the orb-weaver family of spiders, these amazing creatures build the typical circular web of their cousins across pathways so you can walk into them in the dark. The purpose of the disproportionately long body horns however remains a mystery. This is one of the larger individuals I have come across; each horn is about 45mm in length.
Lungs are by most accounts mundane. Everybody has them, few give it much thought. But sequestered within darkness of the chest cavity, enveloping the fluttering heart, there’s a incredible wonder to this oddly inflatable organ.
Dissection is a destructive process. Rudely excised from membranous mooring and nourishing vessels, the deflated lungs appear little more than bloodied meat; amorphous and exposed…….until a breath of air unfurls its secret glory.
Here, a set of cat lungs is inflated with a straw. Comprised of hundreds of millions of microscopic air sacks called aveoli, Mammalian lungs harbor air capacity that is difficult to believe unless seen. The color of the entire organ lightens into a soft pink, as each microscopic sac fills with air.
A debt of gratitude is owed to cyborgraptor for her assistance in creating these gifs, as well as the students that help me film this demo.
Sunfish are the heaviest bony fishes in the world, with an average adult weight of 1000 kg (2,200 lb). Individuals up to 3.3 m (10.8 ft) in length 4.2 m (14 ft) across the fins and weighing up to 2,300 kg (5,100 lb)have been observed.
Despite their size, sunfish pose little danger to humans. Injuries can arise when the fish accidentally jumps into a boat.
Extraordinary documentary about a 1991 expedition into the interior of the Chernobyl plant, concentrating in the area of reactor number 4, to check the status of solidified radioactive material that remains after the accident in 1986. The expedition was exposed to high doses of radiation.
Join UT-Austin biologist Ulrich Mueller as he observes leafcutter ants in the field. It’s a fascinating look at unintelligent individuals developing advanced behaviors when they operate as a socially intelligent colony. Each ant only makes simple decisions, but the colony operates like a living superbrain.
These little bugs evolved farming tens of millions of years before humans did, burying plant material deep in their expansive subterranean antropolis and feeding off of the nutrient-rich fungus that grows on it. This relationship is known as mutualism, with the ants cultivating the fungus in return for a food source. These two organisms have co-evolved, intricately benefiting each other’s survival without ever communicating.
Their tunnels can stretch tens of meters down from the surface, and dozens outward, their complex architecture providing ventilation, dozens of farming chambers, and access to deep groundwater.
Titanoboa is an extinctgenus of snake that lived approximately 60–58 million years ago, during the Paleoceneepoch, a 10-million-year period immediately following the dinosaur extinction event. The only known species is Titanoboa cerrejonensis, the largest, longest, and heaviest snake ever discovered, which supplanted the previous record holder, Gigantophis.
For World’s Oddest-Looking Antelope, Signs of a Comeback
Thanks to conservation, the saiga antelope returns to Kazakhstan’s steppes.
by David Stern
With its tubular, bulbous nose, it may look like a character from a Dr. Seuss book or the bar scene in Star Wars.
But don’t be fooled by its droll appearance: The saiga antelope is one of the animal world’s great survivors.
Saiga (Saiga tatarica) are about the size of a small goat—males weigh on average 90 pounds (41 kilograms) and females around 60 pounds (27 kilograms)—and live in the steppes, the arid grasslands that encompass parts of Eastern Europe and most of Central Asia.
Saigas, an endangered antelope species, are returning to Kazakhstani wildlife, thanks to conservation efforts…