Animals Travel

A rare look at a great horned owl swimming through a canyon

Behold this rare video of a great horned owl “swimming” (read: trying to fly) through a canyon in Lake Powell. The great horned owl is a type of force eagle-owl native to the Americas.

The young swimming owl – identifiable by the spot of nestling feathers — accidentally fell from its nest on the cliff edges during a snooze. Luckily, the owl treaded enough water to make it to shore. Surely it won’t be as careless as a grownup.

Known as the “tiger of the sky,” great horned owls excel at hunting using their keen eyesight and powerful talons. The owl can exert 28 pounds of force to split the spine of large prey. Imagine being wrapped in such an intense grip.

Animals Nature

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider

Let’s hope this animal doesn’t upset your sleep tonight. Below is a close-up facial expression of the Wolf Spider (Lycosidae).

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Photo: Meidienbunker Produktian (via Twitter/Solbrah)

If you don’t think the energy the creature gives off is weird enough (see the Oni Mask), look more closely at the additional four more little eyes near the mouth.

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Photo: Meidienbunker Produktian

Despite looking like an angry muppet, the wolf spider takes the parenting role seriously.

The mothers carry the kids on their backs until the Spiderlings are old enough to hunt independently.

When spotted at night, the baby spiders look like little sparkly eyes.

Here are some other more zoomed-out images of the Wolf Spider so you can identify it just in case you cross paths.

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider
Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider

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 neat-colored creature!

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
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.

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

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. 

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.

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.

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.