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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
Categories
Nature Travel

The beauty of Madagascar’s giant Baobab trees

The Grandidier’s Baobabs (Palmate adansonia) are giant trees indigenous to Africa, predominantly on Madagascar’s beautiful island.

Baobabs can live up to 800 to 1000 years with their unique ability to act as a water storage tank—the trees can store up to 32 gallons of water in their thick trunks. Both the animals and locals tap the trees for H20 during the dry season.

The heart of many African remedies and folklore, the iconic Baobab is often referred to as the “Tree of Life.”

The beauty of Madagascar’s giant Baobab trees
Photo: Beth Moon

The 80-plus foot trees have a circumference of 108 feet. They also feature on a 250-meter path called the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar’s Menabe region. The tree is famous for producing surreal white, bat-pollinated flowers as well.

“A Caliban of a tree, grizzled, distorted old goblin with the girth of a giant, the hide of a rhinoceros, twiggy fingers clutching at empty air and the disposition of a guardian angel,” once wrote the novelist Ernestine Hill about the Baobab’s immensity.

Unfortunately, baobab trees are at risk of extinction due to climate change, with more than ten thousand disappearing each year.

Categories
Nature

The unique Queensland Bottle Tree

The Queensland Bottle Tree, or narrow-leaved bottle tree, is native to (you guessed it) Queensland, Australia.  

The gorgeous tree sports a potbelly of sorts that gives it the look of a bottle. But its swollen trunks of water help the tree withstand temperatures of -17 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The bottle tree is also known for its intriguing squiggly lined tree bark.

The trees contain flowers that grow into seed pods as well. It sheds leaves during a dry spell.

Categories
Animals Nature Photography

The pink-eyed hover goby

The pink-eyed hover goby (Bryaninops natans) is a fish with a see-through body and yellow organs. 

No bigger than an inch, it’s so transparent you can even see its bones in its body. 

The pink-eyed goby hovers above the tips of Acropora corals in shallow lagoon reefs of the Indo-Pacific area.  

Here are few more images of the cool little fish.  

The pink-eyed hover goby
The pink-eyed hover goby
The pink-eyed hover goby
Categories
Nature Travel

The magnificent Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland

The magnificent Dynjandi in Iceland cascades over 300 feet to give off the impression of an enormous wedding veil

The jewel of Westfjords, one of the most remote areas of the country, Dynjandi waterfall is a set of 7 cascades that span 98 feet wide at the top and 197 feet wide at its base. To get an idea of the waterfall’s scale, take a look at the human in the yellow jacket in this picture. 

The magnificent Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland

The Icelandic term dynjandi means thunderous or resounding.

No wonder the Dynjandi waterfall is big and beautiful, one of the most impressive gushing waterfalls on Earth, and even more majestic to see it up close. 

See more images below. 

The magnificent Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland
The magnificent Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland
The magnificent Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland
Categories
Nature Science Travel

How Australia’s Lake Hillier gets its pink color

Lake Hillier in the Recherche Archipelago of Western Australia off the coast of Cape Arid National Park is known for its pink color.

Scientists postulate that the lake’s solid bubblegum pink color results from the intermixing of Halobacteria and a salt-tolerant algae species called Dunaliella Salina.

How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color

Halobacteria produce red pigments mixed with salt-tolerant Dunaliella Salina, creating a stunning strawberry milkshake color.

The chemical reactions between the salt and the microorganisms make the lake ten times saltier than the ocean nearby.

There are 29 other pink lakes in the world. But unlike other pink lakes that morph into different colors, Lake Hillier retains its pink hue all year round. It’s also safe to swim in.

How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color
How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color

The contrast between the bright pink and dark blue ocean water is also striking when viewed above. Learn more about Australia’s pink lake below.

How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color
Categories
Animals Nature

Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth

See the universe in the marvelous googly-eyed cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth (Eudocima phalonia), and you’ll never be the same.

Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth

While dazzling as the cosmos, the caterpillar is a serious pest in its moth stage, destroying ripe and riping fruit harvests across Hawaii, Australia, to West Bengal, India.

Here are some more pics of the cosmic caterpillar in its advanced larva stage and its appearance as an adult moth. It does an incredible leaf mimic.

Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth
Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth
Cosmic caterpillar of the Pacific fruit piercing moth
Categories
Animals Nature

The giant crowned flying fox is a human-size bat from the Philippines

Here’s a creature from the Philippines that will stop you in your tracks. The giant golden-crowned flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) grows as large as 3 feet with a 5-6 feet wingspan.

It is quite simply one of the largest bats in the world.

giant crowned flying fox

You’d think that the megabat the size of a 6-year-old kid would be a threat, but it’s harmless — the animal is vegetarian and primarily munches on fruit. For that reason, it is also known as the golden-capped fruit bat. The bats even help spread seeds as pollinators. 

Unfortunately, the species is endangered and facing extinction due to poaching in the forest.

giant crowned flying fox
giant crowned flying fox
giant crowned flying fox
Categories
Animals Nature

The flamboyant cuttlefish

The cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus) is a real master of color change. 

The bioluminescent fish can modify their appearance and shape using flashing LCD-like bands to hypnotize prey before snatching it up. 

That’s right — these fish use their strobing disco lights to psyche-out crabs and small fish!  

Like the octopus, the cuttlefish have pigmented chromatophores in their skin, allowing them to camouflage with their surroundings. 

Learn more about the cuttlefish in the video below. 

Categories
Nature Travel

Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world

With a population of 51,803 people, Coron Island, located in the north of the Palawan Province, Philippines, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful islands.

With endless shades of tropical blue, beautiful white beaches, lagoons, and stunning ecological features, including shallow-water coral reefs and freshwater lakes, Coron Island does look like paradise.

On a historical note, Japan used the island as a refueling base during World War II. So there’s known to be some shipwreck-diving tours around as well.

Learn more about Coron Island below.

Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world
Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world
Coron Palawan: The most beautiful island in the world