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Animals Technology

Watch a Chimpanzee using Instagram

This video of a chimpanzee scrolling through Instagram is eye-opening.

Touch is intuitive; the candy-colored screen all too addicting. 

Generation thumbs transcend humans.

Still, it is the ability to communicate and tell stories that released humans from the prison of biology. 

This video echoes what Yuval Noah Harari noted in his book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind on the difference between humans and other animals. 

We control the world basically because we are the only animals that can cooperate flexibly in very large numbers. And if you examine any large-scale human cooperation, you will always find that it is based on some fiction like the nation, like money, like human rights. These are all things that do not exist objectively, but they exist only in the stories that we tell and that we spread around. This is something very unique to us, perhaps the most unique feature of our species.

You can never, for example, convince a chimpanzee to do something for you by promising that, “Look, after you die, you will go to chimpanzee heaven and there you will receive lots and lots of bananas for your good deeds here on earth, so now do what I tell you to do.”

But humans do believe such stories and this is the basic reason why we control the world whereas chimpanzees are locked up in zoos and research laboratories.

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Categories
Nature Travel

Colombia is home to the tallest palm tree in the world, the palma de cera

The tallest palm tree in the world resides in the Colombian Andes in Los Nevados National Park, amid the Cocora Valley.

Colombia’s national tree, the palma de cera or wax palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense), stands up to nearly 200 feet tall.

But seeing it is no easy trek — hikers have to walk through a cloud forest that extends six-miles long.

Hosting some of the planet’s most diverse wildlife and surreal landscapes, it’s no wonder that the Cocora Valley reminds people of a scene out of Jurassic Park.

Reaching up into the sky and nearly touching the clouds, the wax palms create a marvelous paradise.

Categories
Architecture & Design Travel

Mirrored ceilings at Zhongshuge bookstores, China

Zhongshuge Bookstore is a popular book chain in China. Each of its stores leverages mirrors in its architectural design to give off a kaleidoscope effect on the interior. 

However, one of its stores in the city of Chongqing features a magical and elaborate bookcase. The location features a ceiling mirror that creates an optical illusion of intertwined staircases, a magnified room, and an infinity of books. 

Designed by architecture firm X+Living — Zhongshuge bookstores are mind-boggling for readers and viewers alike. Can you imagine if JK Rowling wrote her next book in one of these inception-like wonders?

Photos: Feng Shao/Arch Daily

Categories
Nature Travel

The Devil’s Bridge in Kromlau, Germany

The Devil’s Bridge (Rakotzbrücke) is a 19th-century stone structure located in the 200-acre Rhododendron Park in Kromlau, Saxony, Germany

Legend says that not only did the devil build the bridge, but Satan himself should be the only one to cross it. 

What looks like an entrance to a fairy-tale, the arched bridge reflects a perfect circle over the water of Lake Rakotzsee. 

Categories
Animals Nature

Valais Blacknose sheep from Switzerland

Strange-looking but cute — if you can even see their faces — the Valais Blacknose sheep is a type of mountain-breed sheep from the Valais region of Switzerland.

These fancy-looking lambs are called ‘luxury sheep’ for their magical faceless features, shaggy coats, and spiral horns.

Although they’re used for their wool and meat in Switzerland, the sheep are growing in demand in the UK as pets with a value of up to £10,000 each for newborns.

Categories
Animals Nature

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

The rainbow of different colors on the lilac-breasted roller bird is gorgeous.

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

Multicolored and aggressive — 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
Nature Science Travel

The Wave in Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

The Wave is a sandstone rock located in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument on the Arizona and Utah borders.

The swirling formation combines water and wind eroded sandstone dunes calcified vertically and horizontally and fossilized over 190 million years.

Only 20 people are permitted to visit the natural wonder daily, which can only be reached by foot.

Categories
Nature Travel

The edge of the Earth: Australia’s Nullarbor Cliffs

What looks like the end of the Earth is really just the end of Australia.

The Bunda Cliffs of Nullarbor Plain, Southern Australia, form part of the longest uninterrupted line of coastal cliffs (62 miles long) in the world.

These limestone sea cliffs, which are 200 feet to 400 feet high, drop off into the Great Australian Bight, one of the most pristine ocean environments on Earth.

The cliffs also head 7 centimeters north every year, thanks to continental drift.

PS: The Bunda Cliffs are not to be used as evidence for flat Earth believers.

Categories
Animals Nature Photography

Attenborough’s fan-throated lizard

Attenborough’s fan-throated lizard (Sitana attenboroughii) is a species of fan-throated lizards endemic to India, primarily found in the state of Tamil Nadu.

The males flaunt their colorful dewlaps — loose skin on their necks — to woo potential mates during mating season. They also flash the fan-structured throat to challenge a potential rival in a territory. Females, meanwhile, have smaller white colored dewlaps.

This superb lizard lives mostly on the ground in open ground patches and takes its name after natural historian, David Attenborough.

Categories
Animals

Gorgeous eyelashes of the Secretary bird

The Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is your new favorite bird.

Endemic to Africa and the national bird of Sudan, the Secretary bird looks like a combination of an eagle and a crane. It’s snake-stomping legs can deliver up to 43 pounds of force.

But what’s most recognizable about this 4-foot terrestrial bird of prey is its beautiful, elongated eyelashes and eyelash-like feathers.

Don’t be ashamed to admit if the Secretarybird has better eyelashes than you.