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Mt. Ontake, a volcano in central Japan erupted unexpectedly yesterday surprising scientists and some 200 hikers on its slopes. So far, more than two dozen bodies of victims have been recovered by rescuers. Volcanoes in Japan are monitored closely and checked for signs of imminent eruption such as increased earthquake activity. But Mt. Ontake came alive yesterday without any warning whatsoever, blanketing its slopes - and everything on them - under a thick layer of ash.
Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), researchers on the Nautilus Live expedition came across something they hadn't seen before - a rare, purple siphonophore. Personally, I wasn't aware such a bizarre organism existed until I saw this video. But there it is, scooting across the ocean floor, probably looking for something to eat. It may look like a single organism but it's actually a whole colony of single organisms called zooids. Siphonophores are members of Cnidaria, an animal phylum that includes true jellyfish, corals and hydroids.
Imagine the thrill of doing something like this. Adventurers George Kourounis and Sam Cossman, along with two other fellow explorers spent four days investigating Marum Crater on Ambrym Island in the South Pacific. Kourounis and Cossman made two descents into the cauldron to capture this spectacular (if not totally insane) footage. Somebody had to do it.
The Icelandic volcano, Bardarbunga, has been rumbling over the past week but is erupting now providing spectators (and the rest of us) with some very stunning views. Go here to enjoy some of the spectacular photographs available on the Guardian website.
This is so cool. Cameras attached to the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters (SRB) give an out-of-this-world view (literally!) of a launch from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The video is compiled from a couple different missions flown during the shuttle program's hey-day. All the audio comes from microphones mounted on the shuttle and was mixed and enhanced by the guys over at Skywalker Sound. If you want more, you can watch video of the SRBs' recovery at sea or enjoy various camera angles of several shuttle launches. What a tremendous ride!
This video is both fascinating and unsettling. I feel sorry for the poor little avian dinosaur.
This video, alleged by some viewers to show a humanoid figure and its shadow on the surface of the Moon, has gone viral (over 3 million views!). If it is a man or alien being, he's a very, very big boy. It's also been pointed out that his shadow is going the wrong way when compared to shadows made by nearby moonscape features. Fanciful fun, but that's about it.
Here are the co-ordinates (27°34'26.35"N 19°36'4.75"W) if you want to find the exact location yourself on Google Moon, which is accessed under the Saturn-shaped menu in the toolbar of the latest version of Google Earth.
Since we're smack dab in the middle of Shark Week, I thought this would be the perfect time to show the exciting time my niece's husband, Todd Redig, of St. Paul, MN had during a recent Florida fishing trip. I would have loved to been on board to see this. Be sure to watch the slowed down version of the event that's at the end of the video.
NOTE: the clip, understandably, contains some mild expletives.
Courtesy Public domain via Mark RyanToday marks the anniversary of the birth of Edward Drinker Cope, American naturalist and paleontologist born 174 years ago in Philadelphia. A child prodigy, Cope had little formal training in the natural sciences yet became very noted in several fields including herpetology, paleontology, and comparative anatomy. He published over 600 scientific papers during his lifetime, and described and named over 1000 prehistoric species, including several dinosaurs. Cope and his former friend, Yale paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh, became bitter rivals and were the principal generals in the famous "Bone Wars" that took place in the field of vertebrate paleontology from the late 1870s until their deaths in the late 1890s. Cope's huge 1000 page and wonderfully illustrated tome, The Vertebrata of the Tertiary Formations of the West is known as "Cope's Bible".
Every summer, we get to see incredible photos of massive mayfly hatchings somewhere along the Mississippi River. This year, however, a huge sudden hatching was captured on the National Weather Service radar based in LaCrosse, Wisc. Click through the link to see this incredible phenomenon.