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Nature

Watch this octopus change colors as it dreams

New research suggests that octopuses experience ‘quiet’ and ‘active’ sleep states like humans, even undergoing brief dreaming periods. While there’s no evidence to conclude that they dream the way people do, they do light up in different colors when they snooze.

That’s according to a marine biologist who captured this octopus snoozing away in a fish tank.

The neuroprocessing abilities of cephalopods (i.e., brain with tentacles attached) like the octopus activate their color-changing cells in response to their environments.

What does an octopus dream about?

While we don’t know exactly what the octopus dreams about, the shift to a darker color represents the octopuses movement off the seafloor. Meanwhile, the camouflage sequence mimics the change that happens when octopuses hide from prey.

Watch the snippet below and the entire clip on PBS.

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Architecture & Design Culture & Society

Meet Bolivia’s powerful female wrestlers, Flying Cholitas

Photographer Todd Anthony took pictures of Bolivia’s indigenous female wrestlers for his new project, Flying Cholitas.

This unique group of athletes wear more than stylish dresses and beautiful petticoats — they come together to demonstrate pride in their history.

Once colonized by the Spanish and rejected as lower-class citizens, pejoratively known as “cholita,” they have since embraced the name to symbolize their persistent fight against subjugation and hierarchy.

Symbolizing the culmination of strength, power, and beauty, the cholitas will not be denied in activism nor aesthetics.

Categories
Nature Travel

Jimmy Chin joins Masterclass to teach adventure photography

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Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jimmy Chin is renowned for his work with National Geographic and other outdoor adventures.

His two most recent films Meru and Free Solo are some of Discvr.blog’s most favorite adventure documentary films.

Even more, the producer has now turned teacher.

Together with the education platform Masterclass, the action photographer is now offering a once-in-a-lifetime adventure photography course.

So get ready to pack the bag and camera and hit the outdoors.

Push the limits of photography with Jimmy Chin on Masterclass

If you follow the world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin on Instagram, you’ll know he’s a daredevil climber and mountaineer with a keen eye for landscape shots.

In this course, he’ll teach you all the techniques you need to know for capturing stunning photos.

He also details his approach for more commercial and editorial shoots as well, including the daily gear he uses to work his magic. 

“Things aren’t that interesting to me unless the stakes are very high,” says Chin in the intro class video.

In addition to urging his students to get out there, move, and shoot, Chin shares many of his own creative lessons along the way.

“Sometimes, it’s easy to get trapped into one lens…and I force myself to change the lens, change the perspective, and then to move,” advises Chin. “One scenario can look dramatically different just by moving,” he adds.

If one thing is certain in this course, you’ll learn the entire process of adventure photography from the initial concept of a shoot, to gear selection, to the final edit.

About MasterClass

Jimmy Chin joins other notable creators at MasterClass offering unique online courses. photography, writing, music production, filmmaking, and even cooking.

We would also encourage Discvr.blog readers buy the Annual Membership ($180) and take astrophysicist Neil deDrasse Tyson’s five-star course on Scientific Thinking and Communication.

Invest in your future and see where your curiosity takes you.

Categories
Architecture & Design Space

What cities look like at night without electricity

In his series Villes éteintes (Darkened Cities), French photographer Thierry Cohen imagines the world’s biggest cities at night without urban light.

Cohen uses a special exposure technique called day for night which enables him to capture the cities in the daytime but increases darkness levels. Then, he combines the city skylines into the backdrop of starry skies captured at the same altitude.

“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” Cohen told Wired.

“Photography is a way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”

NYC at night
New York City

What cities would look like if lit only by the stars

What appears to be an eerie blackout in some of the world’s biggest cities (Hong Kong, LA, New York, Paris, Rio, Shanghai, Tokyo) nonetheless creates a beautiful mirage.

“Photography is about poetry more than it is about reality,” added Cohen. “It is how you see the world. You can show the world you want to show.” See more images on the artist’s website.

Hong Kong at night under stars
Hong Kong
Paris at night under stars
Paris
Tokyo at night under stars
Tokyo
San Francisco at night under stars
San Francisco
Categories
Animals Nature

Meet the Dracula Parrot, the most metal birds on the planet

Thinking of parrots usually conjures up images of the brightly colored blue, red, and green creatures.

But with the shape of a parrot and the dark beak of a vulture, Pesquet’s parrot, commonly known as the Dracula parrot, is one of the more unique-looking parrot species.

The rare vulture-parrot hybrid found in New Guinea’s rainforests

The vampiric-looking bird from the mountains of New Guinea looks bloodthirsty but snacks on a diet of figs. Its unusual goth-like appearance, a mishmash of black and red plumes, is also quite beautiful. Male Dracula parrots have an extra red dot behind the ears.

Unfortunately, the Dracula Parrot’s mesmerizing feathers make it attractive to poachers. The bird has been listed on the endangered species list by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Pesquet's parrot aka Dracula Parrot
Pesquet's parrot aka Dracula Parrot
Categories
Animals Nature

How the Honduran white bat converts large leaves into tents

Some of the most bizarre wildlife exists in the Honduran rainforest. Take the Honduran white fruit bat (Ectophylla alba), for example.

The size of a golf ball, these tiny fluffy creatures love to snuggle together like peas in a pod in leaf tents. Polygamous, each little colony houses up to six females and one male.

The tent-making bats

These white-winged cotton-ball-looking bats create their nook by nibbling the side veins jutting out from the Heliconia plant, causing the large leaves to fold down to form a tent.

The leaf tents allow the bats to avoid parasites such as bat flies. When sunlight filters through the canopy, their white fur appears green — superb camouflage!

While most bats sleep in caves, these magic bats, also called Caribbean white tent-making bats, spend their leaves eating figs and roosting in peace.

Honduran white bat
Honduran white bat
Honduran white bat
Categories
Nature

Mount Roraima: An island in the clouds

Mount Roraima is a tabletop mountain located in the deep rainforest of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park. It serves as the tripoint of Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil.

One of the series of Pakaraima chain plateaus that rise above sea level, Mount Roraima is the highest peak at 9,200 feet with a 12-square-mile summit area with 1,300 foot high cliffs. Roraima and the surrounding plateaus look like islands floating in the sky.

A roaring beauty that dates back two billion years to the Precambrian era, it is no wonder that Mount Roraima has become known as a lost world. It’s commonly perceived as a home for living dinosaurs to this day so high, flat, and rich in unusual species of plants and animals.

At the top of the mountain also lies rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and caves looking like a picturesque scene out of Jurassic Park.

Categories
Animals Nature

The beautiful yet feisty Lilac-breasted roller bird, Africa’s most colorful bird

The plumage on the lilac-breasted roller bird is gorgeous. The creature sports eight different colors to give it the impression of a mesmerizing rainbow.

Native to sub-Saharan Africa and the national bird of both Botswana and Kenya, the lilac bird is known to perch on treetops by the roadside so it can pounce on rodents and insects moving about on the ground.

An aggressive little fluff—especially when intruders get too close to their nest—these birds are also renowned for the rolling flight pattern that sees them dip and dive from high in the sky in torpedo-like motion.

Categories
Animals

The cassowary is living proof that birds are living dinosaurs

The cassowary is further proof that birds are living dinosaurs.

Native to Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia, the flightless Cassowary bird can grow up to a whopping 7 feet tall and weigh as much as 120 pounds. It’s the third-tallest and second-heaviest living bird.

But even more dinosauric are the cassowary’s razor-sharp talons that it uses to defend itself. Known as the “world’s most dangerous bird,” the cassowary can quickly kill a human with one strike of its dagger-like feet.

Interestingly, the cassowary also lay bright green and pale green-blue eggs during the breeding season. That’s almost as fascinating as the bird’s turquoise neck, shark fin-shaped casque, and glossy feathers — such a mythical and neat-colored creature!

Categories
Nature

Hooker’s Lips: The world’s most kissable flower

The tropical plant Psychotria Elata aka ‘hooker’s lips’ or ‘Hot Lips’ is Latin America’s most kissable flower.

Native to Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama, the flower’s enchanting red bracts mimic a woman’s luscious lips. Some shapes and colors are biologically universal. 

Hooker's Lips
Photo: corridor91 from Getty Images via Canva Pro

The plant has evolved its big red shape to pucker up and attract pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds. White flowers emerge from the plant’s smoochy center between December and March.

Sadly, deforestation and climate change are wiping the species of the Earth. People in Central America are also known to exchange the plant during Valentine’s Day — go figure!

Photo: Mabelin Santos from Getty Images via Canva Pro