Month: October 2014

Bet you can’t look at this fungus without getting hungry

Found in North America and Europe, the “strawberries and cream” fungus, known affectionately to scientists as Hydnellum peckii or the Bleeding Tooth Fungus, is a fungus that looks like a delicious sweet treat. When young, this organism excretes a red fluid that looks like blood giving the Bleeding Tooth Fungus its unique creamy-dotted appearance. It is not believed to be poisonous although it is considered inedible due to its horribly bitter taste. Its common name (Bleeding Tooth Fungus) comes from the teethlike spines that hang down from its underside and release spores. Other names for Hydnellum peckii include bleeding Hydnellum, red-juice tooth, and Devil’s tooth. It is found around the Pacific Northwest (e.g. Washington, Orgeon) in North America and around Italy, Germany, and Scotland in Europe.

Street-toughened “steamer duck” has equivalent of brass knuckles – beats snot out of any duck that looks at it wrong

You do not want to run across this duck in a dark alley. The Fuegian steamer duck has the equivalent of brass knuckles on the edges of its wings and with a body built like a feathered tank, can easily beat the snot out of any other bird that looks at it the wrong way. If are unfortunate enough to run across one, avert your gaze – quickly. Keep your head down and make no sudden movements as you quietly sneak away. The heads and necks of steamer ducks are massive, much thicker than normal ducks, and their bodies are equipped with thickened skin for additional armor-like protection. All of this extra protection pushes the steamer duck's weight to a hefty 10 pounds (mallard ducks weigh

Puppy-sized spider makes horrifying clicking sound when walking and shoots barbed webs into your eyes

Harvard entomologist Piotr Naskrecki’s was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot. When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum, raccoon, or a rat. Instead… "When I turned on the light, I couldn't quite understand what I was seeing.” What he was seeing was a nightmare come to life – the South American Goliath birdeater spider, which has legs about a foot long (the size of a child’s forearm), a body the size of “a large fist”, and weighs about ½ pound. For those trying to form the visual – that’s the size of a small puppy!  In addition, the birdeater spider’s body is covered with

Countdown to extinction – Suni the white rhino dies. Only six white rhinos remain on the planet.

Calling it a “sorry testament to the greed of the human race”, rangers found the lifeless body of Suni the white rhino in his hut on a Kenyan wildlife conservancy this week. Suni was 34 years old when he died and was one of only seven northern white rhinos left on the planet. That leaves six white rhinos on Earth, only one of which is a male, so sadly, the countdown to extinction has begun. The northern white rhinoceros is also called the “northern square-lipped rhinoceros” [Editor Note: Reeko said he has yet to hear of a scientists getting punched for calling the rhinos this to their face but suggests we remind the kids that he cannot promise the same if they call any of their

Greenpeace submarine attacked by pair of Red Devil Squid – attempted “squidnapping” narrowly avoided… [video]

Straight from the “Stuff of Nightmares” department, two Greenpeace submarine divers had their submersible attacked by a pair of Humboldt squids (aka jumbo squid). The workers were on an expedition in the Bering Sea when the attack occurred and caught the whole episode on video which they posted to Vine. Check out the video of the squid attack below:   The workers were working inside the Dual Deep Worker submersible when the encounter occurred. The jumbo squid, affectionately known as red devil squid, are famed for their aggression and red ink they squirt when attacking. They can grow up to 7 feet in length, weigh as much as 100 lbs, and have tentacles lined with tiny, sharp teeth! [Editor note: Reeko says we are not to make any corny jokes about the squid

Sun gets in Halloween spirit – makes spooky jack-o’lantern face for all its fans

The Sun showed its Halloween spirit this week by putting on its best spooky jack-o’lantern face.  The incredible image above was captured by NASA on October 8, 2014 and shows active regions on the sun combined to create the spooky image.  The sun's active regions, a storm of magnetic fields, appear brighter because they are emitting more light and energy.  This image above blends together two sets of wavelengths at 171 and 193 Angstroms, typically colorized in gold and yellow, to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance. Sources: NASA, ABC News

Most terrifying Great White Shark photo ever! And you’ll never guess who took the picture…

National Geographic reported this unbelievably terrifying photo of a Great White Shark lunging for bait dangling from a shark cage. The photo was taken by 26-year-old Amanda Brewer who acts as a courageous cage diver by night and a, wait for it… New Jersey school teacher by day! She took the photo of the female great white shark off Seal Island in Mossel Bay, South Africa. She told Nat Geo: “I wasn't afraid at all. Once you see them up close, you gain an enormous respect for them. They're beautiful, powerful, and intelligent, and it erases all the fear.” Mrs. Brewer (should we kneel and address her as “your honor”?) says she took the picture with a GoPro camera she picked up before her trip to South

Sharks locked in an intimate kiss? No! It’s a rare case of two sharks attacking each other! [Video]

You can usually tell if a shark is hungry by, well, let’s face it – if they’re breathing, they are hungry. But they usually don’t attack each other. In the video below, two sharks go at each other off the coast of Neptune Island in Australia. It’s hard to tell if they purposely attacked each other or accidentally locked jaws while going after the same piece of bait but in the end, the result is the same – we end up with two sharks embraced in some sort of weird, angry kiss. Check out the video below (we’ve added post processing slo-mo’s and zooms for intimacy). Two sharks attacking each other off coast of Neptune Island in Australia

This woman can sing two musical notes at same time (which freaks Reeko out) [VIDEO]

Singer Anne-Maria Hefele can sing two notes at the same time and the result is nothing short of amazing (Reeko says freaky). The otherworldly sounds (Reeko calls them spooky) that she makes are created by moving the fundamental and overtones in opposite directions. She makes these wonderful sounds (Reeko thinks they’re creepy) by shaping her mouth and throat and positioning her tongue to change the path of air as it travels from her lungs past her vocal chords. This type of singing is called throat singing or polyphonic overtone singing. And for those little scientists who are wondering – she is not an alien nor a freak of nature. She has trained her voice to do this! Woman sings two notes at same time (throat singing)   The “fundamental” tone

35,000 walrus unable to find sea ice to rest on – beach themselves instead

Pacific walrus are looking for sea ice in Arctic waters and finding that available ice is now much harder to come by. The walrus seek the sea ice to rest on. When they cannot find sea ice, they take the next best thing – an empty beach. In the photo above, an estimated 35,000 walrus beached themselves on a beach north of Point Lay in Alaska (just north-west of Anchorage) after being unable to find an ice sheet to rest upon. Pacific walrus spend winters in the Bering Sea. Unlike seals, walrus cannot swim indefinitely and must rest. The female walrus also uses the sea ice as a platform to give birth on and as a “home base” as they search for snails, clams, and worms