Here’s the last island you’d ever want to be stranded on.
This uninhabited volcanic rock formation is part of a 552 square mile Russian island called Urup, which means ‘salmon trout’ in Ainu.
Urup island sits south of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean.
One can imagine this upstanding volcanic plug off the coast of Urup appearing in a future James Bond film.
According to the Neatline antique map collection website, Urup used to be known as “Company’s Land” as discovered by Maarten Vries of Dutch East India Company in 1643. Vries map (see below) is considered the westernmost region of America, a widely held view in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Somali Sengi, also known as the Somali Elephant Shrew, is back after a 50-year hiatus. The small insectivorous mammal endemic to Somalia was deemed extinct since the 1970s by the Global Wildlife Conservation’s list of lost species.
But scientists recently rediscovered a thriving population of Somali Sengi in Djibouti.
“Here we report new evidence that the Somali Sengi is currently extant,” says the study.
“These data include voucher specimens, georeferenced occurrence localities, body measurements, habitat parameters, and DNA sequences. While the species is historically documented as endemic to Somalia, these new records are from the neighboring Republic of Djibouti and thus expand the Somali Sengi’s known range in the Horn of Africa.”
The adorable mouse-sized creature features a long snout that allows it to suck up ants into its trunk-like nose. The animal is also known to pick up speeds of 19 miles per hour.
The shrew is neither elephant nor shrew, to be exact, but a distant relative to aardvarks, hyraxes, and manatees.
Lost for half a century and found, let’s hope we never lose sight of the adorable Somali Sengi again.
On December 26, 2019, amateur photographer Elias Chasiotis captured an incredible ‘red devil horns’ sunrise over the Persian Gulf during a rare solar eclipse.
The Athens-based photographer was vacationing in the coastal city of Al Wakrah in Qatar just before the new year when he snapped the rare spectacle of the moon blocking the sun. The sun appears to rise in two pieces amid the cloudiness.
“Astronomy has attracted me since I was a kid,” Chasiotis said in an interview with Bored Panda. “I’ve been an amateur astrophotographer for the last 15 years as well. I took these photos in the coastal city of Al Wakrah, Qatar, on the morning of December 26, 2019, when an annular eclipse was in progress.”
“I was worried that nothing would come out of the eclipse. However, when the sun finally began to rise, it looked like two separate pieces, some sort of red horns piercing the sea. It soon took the form of a crescent, with the so-called ‘Etruscan vase’ inferior mirage effect visible. Due to its shape, the phenomenon was nicknamed the ‘evil sunrise.’”
Interestingly, images of the red crescent sunrise emerged a few days before the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Make of that what you will.