Bali is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. The varied landscape, rugged coastlines, tropical beaches, lush rice terraces and volcanic hillsides all provide a picturesque backdrop to its colorful, deeply spiritual and unique Hindu culture.
Shiny silver Dyscrasite crystals with Allergentum in Calcite from Morocco
Azulillo - Pasithea caerulea
Pasithea is a monotypic genus in the Xanthorrhoeaceae family from Chile. The only species, Pasithea caerulea, has grasslike keeled leaves and blue flowers with yellow stamens. It is one of the most widespread “bulbous” plants in Chile growing in the coastal zones to altitudes higher than 2,000 meters above sea level. It even grows in the Desert of Atacama.
Photo credit: ©Alejandro Soffia | Locality: Choapa Province, Coquimbo Region, Chile (2009)
Glittering Sapphire - Lasaia agesilas
Like all species of the genus, males of this neotropical butterfly of the species Lasaia agesilas (Riodinidae) have extremely reflective wing scales, shimmering in metallic turquoise, blue or steely grey. Females are rarely seen. They are generally a dull earthy brown color. Both sexes have a similar pattern of black spots. The undersides however are completely different, marbled in grey and white, and marked with black spots similar to those on the upperside.
Photo credit: ©Rubens Araujo | Locality: Monteiro Lobato, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2014)
The maned wolf is the largest canine species in South America and closely resembles a red fox on stilts because of its long legs. It is neither a wolf, fox, coyote, or dog but rather a member of its own Chrysocyon genus, making it a truly unique animal. They possess a mane that runs from the back of the head to the shoulders which can be erected to intimidate other animals when displaying aggression or when they feel threatened.
Unlike other wolves that live in packs, maned wolves do not form or hunt in packs but prefer to live alone. Maned wolf is considered as the last surviving species of the Pleistocene Extinction, which wiped out all other large canids from the continent.
sorry to ruin such a lovely day, but I’m going to bring up the Grind since it’s August.
every year, the faroe islands kill thousands of endangered long-finned pilot whales for sport. it is considered a tradition that goes back to the 1500s and is carried out still today. it is called The Grind.
some argue ruining a tradition so old is immoral and disrespectful to those living there, but considering the endangerment of these animals and the brutality that takes place, it should be easy to say that a stop needs to be put to this.
long-finned pilot whales travel in nearby, warmer waters to give birth. those that take part in The Grind could care less that they are slaughtering, torturing, and ripping out fetuses from pregnant whales.
what happens to the meat? some of it is divided up among the locals, yet most of it is left to rot on the beach. the meat is also quite poisonous due to pollutants in the water and is not considered okay for consumption.
WARNING: Gruesome Description
So how does an entire community manage to go out and kill pilot whales? Do they use harpoons like Japanese whalers, or large boats? No.
Boats go out to herd up the whales who are usually far from the shore area. They push them towards the shore in a similar way the infamous Taiji Cove does; by creating loud noises and vibrations in the water to get the whales in the direction they want. the whales are chased to shore, where they become stranded and trapped. Those that are not lead to shore are hooked near the blowhole and dragged.
then the community begins the slaughter. those that are stranded are stabbed with knives. Their veins and arteries are cut to prevent blood from reaching their heads. The process is not only gruesome and gory, but long. it can take 30 seconds to 5 minutes for a pilot whale to die. not only do the individual whales face this ordeal, but they are surrounded by family going through the same thing and are aware of everything that happens to them.
children take part in this, often getting help from parents to slaughter the whales. they pose on dead carcasses for pictures and smile. others rip out the fetuses of the whales or continue mutilating them for enjoyment.
This event is technically illegal, considering the species most often killed is endangered. However, the Faroese government allows it.
Sea Shepherd is beginning to take part in ending it. They are going out this year to try and prevent the Grind from happening and bringing awareness to those performing the actions to understand that the cetaceans they are killing are fully aware of themselves, their family, and have the same emotions as humans and perhaps more.
This year, luckily, the presence of Sea Shepherd prevented the whaling from occurring. No whales have been killed this year.
A local guide demonstrates a tree root bridge being developed to replace an older, circuitous route across a gorge deep in the jungle near Mawsynram. The village of Mawsynram in Meghalaya receives 467 inches of rain per year. One of the most fascinating and beautiful features in the region are the “living bridges” spanning rain-soaked valleys. For centuries, locals have been training the roots of rubber trees to grow into natural bridges, far outlasting man-made wooden structures that rot in just a few years. The bridges are self-strengthening, becoming more substantial over time, as the root systems grow.
Photo credit: © Amos Chapple
Kawah Putih or White Crater is a striking crater lake and tourist spot in a volcanic crater about 50 km south of Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. Kawah Putih is one of the two craters which make up Mount Patuha, an andesitic stratovolcano. The smell of sulfur is strong because there is a good deal of steam and sulfurous gas bubbling from the lake.
Photo credit: János Hajas
STORIES I CANT STOP POSTING ABOUT:
If A Fish Grows Up On Land, Will It Learn To Walk?
Flipping your fins actually does get you pretty far.
by Lauren Grush
The old idiom about “being a fish out of water” just lost some of its luster. Researchers from McGill University in Canada successfully trained a group of fish to live on land and strut around.
The idea was to simulate what might have happened 400 million years ago, when the first group of ancient fish moved from water to land, eventually evolving into the amphibians, reptiles, birds and other animals roaming the Earth today. The researchers wanted to see if their land-dwelling fish looked and behaved similarly to the ancient fish, based on what has been learned about them from fossil records.
For their experiment, the research team raised 111 juvenile Polypterus senegalus – African fish also known as the “dinosaur eel” — on land. These fish already look a lot like the ancient fish that evolved millions of years ago, and they’re already capable of “walking” with their fins and breathing air. According to the Verge, their terrestrial environment had mesh flooring covered in pebbles, as well as 3 millimeters of water, so the fish didn’t dry out completely…
(read more/ watch video: Popular Science)