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Animals Nature

Lost and Found: The Somali Elephant Shrew is back!

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.  

Lost and Found: The Somali Elephant Shrew is back!
Photo: pum_eva from Getty Images via Canva Pro
Lost and Found: The Somali Elephant Shrew is back!
Photo: Courtesy of Steven Heritage
Categories
Architecture & Design Nature Science Travel

Photographer captures rare Devil Horns solar eclipse over the Persian Gulf

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.

See more of Chasiotis’s photos on Facebook.

Categories
Architecture & Design

Yarn artist Liisa Hietanen makes human embroidered figures

Knitting is a popular hobby in Finland. But 30-year-old artist Liisa Hietnanen takes the practice to a whole new level.

She uses wool to create life-size crocheted sculptures of the neighbors in her village.

“The slow handcraft techniques work as a counterforce to the accelerating pace in different areas of life,” says the
artist, who uses photographs and face-to-face meetings to help create these fiber people.

“To me the more important values in my works are not likeness or resemblance.

“The works are rather about encountering someone very concretely, seeing the other for real and getting to know them slowly. I see these as relevant values and balancing actions especially in contrast to quick stirs and thin encounters in social media.”

Check out more of Hietanen’s creative vision below.

Categories
Architecture & Design Health Nature Travel

Beautiful apples from around the world

William Mullan is a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of rare apples from around the world.

The golden Knobbed Russet, the star-shaped api etoile, hard red Black Oxford apple — these are just a few of the varieties that appear in Mullan’s 200-page photo-book, Odd Apples.

Writes Atlas Obscura on how Mullan’s fascination with apples came to be:

Mullan was born in the United States, but grew up in the United Kingdom, where a teenage encounter with an Egremont Russet led to his love of apples. Its spicy, persimmon-like flavor “just blew my mind,” he says. But many of the apples he’s photographed were born in North America, including such romantic cultivars as the Black Oxford and Hidden Rose.

“There’s just this sense of infinity with [apples] that I love,” Mullan says. While he imagines he’ll move on to other subjects in the future, for now, he’s still entranced by apples.

Even better, during his exhibits, he slices the apples open and passes the edibles around for his audience to enjoy.

You can follow Mullan’s work on Instagram.

Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
Beautiful apples from around the world
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 increase the impression of darkness. 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 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.”

Cities lit 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.

NYC at night
New York City
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

Subway mice wins People’s Choice Wildlife Photographer of the Year award

Photographer Sam Rowley’s image of two mice fighting over leftover food in the London Underground won People’s Choice Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The snap was selected by the public from more than 48,000 submissions to London’s Natural History Museum.

Entitled “Station Squabble,” the photo depicts how some wildlife have adapted to survive in urban environments.

Subway mice wins People's Choice Wildlife Photographer of the Year award

“I’m so pleased to win this award. It’s been a lifetime dream to succeed in this competition in this way, with such a relatable photo taken in such an everyday environment in my hometown,” says the 25-year-old photographer.

“I hope it shows people the unexpected drama found in the most familiar of urban environments.”

Rowley spent an entire week in the London Underground following the critters around and waiting for the perfect shot. Thankfully, he was rewarded for his patience.

Take a look at some of the other finalists.

Categories
Nature

The 2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Yongqing Bao’s photo of a fox surprising a marmot in the Qilian Mountains in China won the top prize in the 2019 Wildlife Photography Awards.

The photograph entitled “The Moment” is a suitable title of a freeze-frame that foreshadows the fox’s imminent attack.

What makes the marmot’s palpable shock more extraordinary is that the animal had just ventured outside for a hunt of its own after spending 6 months in hibernation.

Writes the Natural History Museum in London which hosts the prestigious annual awards show:

This Himalayan marmot was not long out of hibernation when it was surprised by a mother Tibetan fox with three hungry cubs to feed. With lightning-fast reactions, Yongqing captured the attack – the power of the predator baring her teeth, the terror of her prey, the intensity of life and death written on their faces.

As one of the highest-altitude-dwelling mammals, the Himalayan marmot relies on its thick fur for survival through the extreme cold. In the heart of winter it spends more than six months in an exceptionally deep burrow with the rest of its colony. Marmots usually do not resurface until spring, an opportunity not to be missed by hungry predators.

Check out more of the best wildlife photos of 2019 here.