Video:Divers capture fascinating footage of a giant squid in Japan

A massive (technically “giant”) squid was found swimming among the boats in Toyama Bay, Japan, earlier this week, and some very brave humans jumped in the water to get these stunning views of the beast.

squid

It’s difficult to tell exactly how long the creature is, but the shot of a diver next to the squid shows that it’s around the length of three humans.


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From Moon With Love:NASA Releases Newest Earth Picture Taken From Moon

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured a view that's reminiscent of the famous "Blue Marble," except this one comes with something extra: the moon's surface. On October 12th, the LRO's Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) and Wide Angle Camera (WAC) captured a series of black and white and colored photos, respectively, of the Earth rising over the moon. The spacecraft was traveling 83 miles above a lunar crater called Compton at the time, and it had to roll to its side to be able to take the images it needed, all while going faster than 3,580 mph.

NASA says the final product you see above isn't a single shot, but a composite of the high-resolution images taken by the NAC and the colored ones taken by the WAC. The LRO, by the way, sees a dozen Earthrises everyday, but it doesn't photograph the view frequently. As we mentioned earlier, the process is quite complicated: the spacecraft has to snap images while it's moving, and while the Earth and the moon are also in motion. Plus, the LRO's cameras concentrate on the moon's surface. It just so happened that in October, the Earth was in the cameras' field of view while they were pointing into space to calibrate, allowing them to capture this stunning view of our planet. 

[Image credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University]

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Video:Monstrous 100 Pound, 200-Year-Old Giant Salamander Found Alive In China ...



200-year-old giant salamander discovered by fisherman in a Chinese cave

A 104-pound giant salamander was discovered in a cave by a fisherman in China.
A 104-pound giant salamander was discovered in a cave by a fisherman in China. Photo: CCTV
A fisherman in a cave outside Chongqing in southwestern China stepped on something “soft” and “slimy,” and also rare, as it turns out.
Wang Yong discovered a Chinese giant salamander that is estimated to be 200 years old, according to reports by CCTV, RTcom and UPI
The giant salamander, often described as a “living fossil,” is 4 1/2-feet long, weighs 104 pounds, and is currently in the care of conservationists at a nature preserve.
CCTV posted video of the giant salamander, which is the world’s largest and oldest amphibian:
The species is part of the Cryptobranchidae family that dates back 170 million years, hence the “living fossil” reference.
If the age is accurate, it means this giant salamander came into the world in 1815, or six years after Abraham Lincoln was born. It was unclear how the age was determined. The typical lifespan of the species is said to be about 80 years.
The giant salamander is often referred to as a living fossil.
The giant salamander is often referred to as a living fossil. Photo: CCT
Chinese giant salamanders are critically endangered and protected.
Once upon a time they were fairly common, but since the 1950s their population has decreased by 80 percent and they have become increasingly more difficult to find. Habitat destruction and overhunting are the main culprits, as the Chinese consider the species a delicacy and use them in traditional Chinese medicine.
RT.com reported that instead of eating it, Yong contacted scientists who determined the giant salamander was ill and took it to the nature preserve, where the world was given a chance to see the incredible creature.
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Over 700,000 flee as powerful typhoon Melor slams Philippines

Manila (AFP) - More than 700,000 people in the central Philippines fled to safer areas for fear of giant waves, floods or landslides as Typhoon Melor slammed into the archipelago nation Monday, officials said.
Melor brushed the northern tip of Samar, a farming island of 1.5 million people, early Monday with winds gusting up to 185 kilometres (115 miles) per hour, the state weather bureau said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Samar was among areas devastated in 2013 by Typhoon Haiyan, when giant waves wiped out entire communities and left 7,350 people dead or missing.

Authorities warned that Melor's powerful winds might whip up four-metre-high (13-feet) waves, blow off tin roofs and uproot trees. They said heavy rain within its 300-kilometre diameter could trigger floods and landslides.

In Albay province in the southeast of Luzon island, almost 600,000 people were evacuated due to fears that heavy rain could cause mudslides on the slopes of nearby Mayon Volcano, according to the national disaster monitoring office.

Residents carrying bags of clothes and water jugs clambered onto army trucks in Albay's Legazpi City as authorities sounded an evacuation alarm, according to an AFP photographer at the scene.

Huge waves crashed into the city's deserted boulevard as palm trees swayed from the wind.

"The whole province is now a ghost town. We shut all establishments. No school, no work," Albay governor Joey Salceda said on ABS-CBN television.

Albay, a province of 1.2 million people, has become a model for disaster preparedness. It recorded zero casualties from Typhoon Hagupit last December due to prompt evacuations.

Children at a school building being used as an …
Children at a school building being used as an evacuation center in Legaspi (AFP Photo/Charism Sayat …

An additional 130,000 people were evacuated in Sorsogon province south of Albay.

The typhoon is expected to cut across the central heartlands in the early hours of Tuesday before heading out to the South China Sea in the west.

The storm's outer rain bands could hit the capital Manila, where the second lowest in a four-step storm warning system may be raised Monday night, state weather forecaster Robert Badrina told AFP.

Stormy weather has forced the cancellation of 40 domestic flights and halted 625 passenger and cargo ferry trips, the disaster monitoring agency said.

The government had prepared more than 200,000 food packs and other emergency items before the storm's landfall, social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman told DZMM radio.

The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 typhoons annually. Two of these usually hit in December, Badrina said, and are often among the strongest. 

Last year Typhoon Hagupit brought floods and landslides to the central region, killing 53 people.

A low-pressure area, which could either strengthen into a typhoon or dissipate because of cold winds blowing from the north, was spotted east of the main southern island of Mindanao, Badrina said.

The weather bureau is studying the link between the increasing strength of year-end storms and climate change, he said.

Typhoon Koppu, the last deadly storm to hit the country this year, killed 54 people and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes after it pummelled the north in October.

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This is How dolphins 'see' Humans:Claims Marine Scientists



Scientists Create First Image Ever of How Dolphins See Humans


This is the first 3D echolocation image produced, as dolphins perceive humans.
This is the first 3D echolocation image produced, as dolphins perceive humans. (Photo : SpeakDolphin.com) 

For the first time ever, scientists have reproduced an image of what a dolphin would see when it encounters a male diver.
This image projected what the dolphin is seeing, when a submerged man was detected by the dolphin via echolocation, with somewhat accurate details. Scientists now believe that dolphins even share these images with each other as a previously unknown marine mammal form of communication. 

According to lead researcher Jack Kassewitz from SpeakDolphin.com, this recent breakthrough left us speechless and and now it can be safely assumed that dolphins use a "sono-pictorial" type of language where they use pictures to share with each other, providing exciting clues about inter species communications. 
This new study is conducted in the Dolphin Discovery Center located in Mexico along with colleague Jim McDonough who submerged himself in the research pool with the dolphin test subject "Amaya". McDonough avoided using a breathing apparatus that may produce bubbles to avoid disrupting the recreation of the image later.  
When Amaya directly beamed her echolocation on McDonough, the team used their high specification audio equipment in order to record this signal. Researchers then sent this recording to CymaScope Laboratory in the U.K., where acoustic physics researcher John Stuart Reid used this signal to make an imprint on a water membrane where it was later enhanced digitally as the final image.
Reid explains how CymaScope captured the dolphin's conceived images and then revealing the holographic qualities of sound in relation to the water. The final image revealed a fuzzy silhouette of an almost full man however, with no distinct facial features.
Apparently, Amaya the dolphin has been echolocating McDonough from seven feet away before she hovered closer, where researchers captured her more distant signals.
Researchers conclude that using CymaScope to capture what the dolphin saw, this research shows how dolphins can at least see a full silhouette via their echolocation sound senses. However, scientists still believe that these dolphin echolocation signals can still reveal clearer signals and more detailed mental images since human technology still cannot match with the  marine mammals' signals.
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Rare mark from biblical king's seal found in Jerusalem

Rare mark from biblical king's seal found in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli archaeologists have discovered a mark from the seal of biblical King Hezekiah, who helped build Jerusalem into an ancient metropolis.

The circular inscription, on a piece of clay less than a centimeter (0.4 inches) long, may very well have been made by the king himself, said Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University who directed the excavation where it was uncovered.

Hezekiah ruled around 700 BC and was described in the Bible as a daring monarch - "There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him" (II Kings 18:5) - who was dedicated to eliminating idoltary in his kingdom.

"This is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever come to light in a scientific archaeological excavation," Mazar said.

The clay imprint, known as a bulla, was found at a dig at the foot of the southern part of the wall that surrounds Jerusalem’s Old City, an area rich in relics from the period of the first of two ancient Jewish temples.

It had been buried in a refuse dump dated to the time of Hezekiah and was probably tossed from an adjacent royal building, Mazar said. It contains ancient Hebrew script and the symbol of a two-winged sun.

The bulla was initially catalogued and put in a closet, along with 33 others, after a first inspection that failed to establish its true identity.

Only five years later, when a team member scrutinized it under a magnifying glass and discerned dots in between some of the letters, did the meaning become clear.

The dots help separate the words: "Belonging to Hezekiah (son of) Ahaz king of Judah."

Mazar said the back side of the clay imprint of the seal had markings of thin cords that were used to tie a papyrus document.

"It’s always a question, what are the real facts behind the biblical stories," Mazar said. "Here we have a chance to get as close as possible to the person himself, to the king himself."

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Nicaragua's Momotombo Volcano Erupts for 1st Time in 110 Years

A view of Momotombo Volcano close to Leon in Nicaragua.
A view of Momotombo volcano close in Nicaragua, during its lengthy quiet stint.
Credit: LMspencer / Shutterstock.com
View full size image


Nicaragua's Momotombo volcano has erupted for the first time since 1905.

Although volcanoes can experience periods of dormancy and activity, very little is known about why a volcano might stay quiet for 110 years and then rumble back to life, said Erik Klemetti, a volcanologist at Denison University in Ohio.

"There is no 'norm' for volcanoes, because it's all going to be up to the individual systems," Klemetti told Live science.

Momotombo is a cone-shaped stratovolcano (a cone-shaped volcano composed of layers of lava and ash) near León, Nicaragua. The same fiery geology that powers the volcano also powers a geothermal plant nearby.

The volcano began spewing ash and lava yesterday (Dec. 1). Today, a webcam shows a haze of smoke still emanating from the crater. According to the Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program, Momotombo had a particularly active period in the late 1800s, with 10 confirmed eruptions between 1858 and 1905. It also erupted several times in both the 1600s and the 1700s; in 1610, an eruption destroyed the original site of the town of León.

The volcano, like others in Nicaragua, sits in a seismically active spot where the Cocos Plate slips under the Caribbean Plate, in a process known as subduction. According to the Smithsonian, Momotombo's current cone is relatively young — it started forming about 4,500 years ago. Prior to this eruption, it stood 4,255 feet (1,297 meters) tall.

No one knows why Momotombo slept quietly for a century, nor why it woke up now, Klemetti said. The geological processes that are subducting the Cocos Plate create conduits for magma to escape to the surface, but these pathways are idiosyncratic. Geoscientists study crystals in lava to gauge how long the cooked rock was at a given temperature (and thus, a particular depth and pressure). This can provide clues as to how long it took the magma to get to the surface after it formed, Klemetti said. But studies turn up very different rates of travel at different volcanoes, ranging from hours to centuries, he said.

Here a view of Lakes Managua and Nicaragua near the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, with Momotombo volcano (the conelike feature) in the foreground.

"Different volcanoes are going to have different periods of time based on all sorts of different things going on in the crust," Klemetti said.

Likewise, there's no clear answer as to why some volcanoes go quiet for a century — or even tens of centuries — and then erupt again. Researchers have searched for links between earthquake activity and later eruptions, and haven't found much of a connection, Klemetti said. There may be some rough correlations between extremely large earthquakes in Chile and volcanic activity six to nine months later, he said, but the relationship is small.

Central America has been relatively eruptive lately, Klemetti said, but there's no link between the eruptions other than the ongoing subduction of the Cocos Plate, where all of the volcanoes sit. Guatemala's Fuego volcano has been erupting periodically all year, and Nicaragua's Telica volcano, one of the country's most active, is also in a period of minor eruptive activity.


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