Animal Kingdom

Algae invasion! Sea Ghosts create beautiful light show on China’s beach

China's Xiangbi'ao beach shone with a majestic sparkling glow-in-the-dark blue hue last week after a natural phenomenon called "Sea Ghosts" invaded the waters.  Sea Ghost or "Sea Sparkle" is created by the growth of an algal bloom called Noctiluca scintallans, a type of single-cell animal that loves to munch on plankton.  The organisms multiply when nitrogen and phosphorus from farm fertilizer run-off enters the water.  Beautiful, yes - but harmful to the ecosystem.  When the blooms die, they sink to the bottom of the sea where they decompose, consuming huge amounts of oxygen and killing other marine life. Check out the Sea Sparkle on China's Xiangbi'ao beach in the pictorial gallery below.  
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Space

China’s Yuto rover sends back remarkable hi-def, full color pictures from Moon

China's Chang'e 3 lander and its little companion rover, Yutu, have sent back a set of truly remarkable pictures of the Moon's surface – all in full color and hi-def resolution!  These are the first photos taken from the surface of the moon in nearly 40 years. On December 23, 2013, the Chang'e 3 lander sent back this four-segment mosaic of Yutu (which means "Jade Rabbit" in Chinese) as it set off to study the Moon.   Chang'e 3 landed in a lava-filled crater, Mare Imbrium, the largest basin on the moon's near side.  In 2014, Chang'e 3 sent back this mosiac showing Yutu's seemingly willy-nilly tracks as it trekked across the surface of moon.   Here's what the rocks on the moon look like up…
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Space

Did you know China has a telescope on the Moon?

Did you know China has a telescope on the Moon? The 15-centimeter telescope was delivered to the moon aboard the Chang’e 3 lunar lander which landed on the moon in December 2013.  In the photo above, the small arrow points to the Chang'e 3 rover and the big arrow points to the Chang'e 3 lander and telescope base. If you’ve looked through a telescope before, you know that because of the earth’s rotation, the stars do not stay fixed in the viewfinder for very long. Since the moon rotates 27 times more slowly than Earth, the scope is much easier to stay fixed on stars.  The scope sees in ultraviolet light too, a big advantage for any telescope outside of the earth’s atmosphere. The telescope is remote…
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Space

Scientists discover black hole that is 12 billion times larger than the Sun

Researchers in China have discovered a massive black hole that is 12 billion times the size of the sun. 12 billion times as big as our gigantic Sun! For reference, a billion is a thousand millions or 1 with nine zeroes after it. If you counted every second of your life, you’d only live a bit longer than 2 billion SECONDS. A billion pennies stacked on top of each other would reach 870 miles into the sky. The black hole they found is larger than any of its age ever found. A black hole is a dense region of space that has collapsed in on itself in a way that nothing can escape – not even light. This one was given the typical goofy astronomer…
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Plants

The Skeleton Flower magically transforms into glassy, crystal-clear blossoms when it rains

The Diphylleia grayi or Skeleton Flower, grows in the moist, wooded areas of Japan and China and in the eastern United States. It’s large, fuzzy green, umbrella-shaped leaves are topped with small clusters of beautiful pearly white flowers that bloom from mid-spring to early summer. In late summer, the stalks of flowers are replaced with eye-catching cobalt blue fruit.  Oddly, as the petals of the flowers are soaked with water, they lose their white pigmentation and turn into magnificent crystal-clear flowers. Once they dry out, the pale coloring slowly returns and the flowers turn powdery white again. Check out pictures of the Skeleton Flower in the pictorial below (click picture for expanded view).
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Animal Kingdom

Here’s what happens to blood when one drop of snake venom is mixed with it

The Daboia, or Russell’s Snake Viper, is found in Asia throughout the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan. Not only is it very aggressive, but it is very poisonous. For the lucky few that survive, they may face a lifetime of chronic internal injuries as a result of the venomous bite. Why does the bite of the Russell’s Snake Viper do so much damage to the human body? Because it causes the blood of the victim to coagulate. Do what? Check out the creepy video below which shows what happens to blood when a single drop of snake venom is mixed with it. Here’s what happens when snake venom is mixed with blood Sources: BBC, Wikipedia
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Animal Kingdom

Can a chopped-off snake head still bite you?

Once during a very dangerous experiment, Reeko was bitten by a poisonous snake. After five days of blinding-white visions, sweltering fever, icy chills, mind-numbing headaches, icky red swelling, and unbelievably excruciating pain – the snake died. A chef in China found himself in a similar situation in August 2014 while he was preparing a popular dish known as cobra soup. In addition to water, salt, and spices, cobra soup contains, you guessed it – cobra meat. The chef, who took great pride in the freshness of his ingredients, butchers the cobra during the preparation of the soup. The Chinese chef decapitated the cobra (cut off the snake’s head) and set the head to the side while he finished tossing tasty ingredients into the stew. Once finished,…
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Animal Kingdom

China discovers world’s largest bug – grab something and hold on tight!

Scientists in China, ever eager to freak us out, have discovered what they believe is the world’s largest aquatic insect. With a wingspan of nearly a foot, the enormous new insect is part of the Megaloptera group which includes dobsonflies, fishflies and other similar species. It’s as big as a sparrow bird and if its size doesn’t give you the shivers, it’s horn-like jaws will set you to quivering. Standard warning/disclaimer: Reeko takes no responsibility for children’s nightmares. Any resemblance between the character in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle (and anyone resembling said character is better off moving to an isolated island and spending the remainder of their lives in solitude). Said insect has been known to carry off…
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Physics and math

Scientific research reveals how to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors

Regular visitors to Reeko’s Mad Scientist Lab know that on occasion, Reeko likes to pull their leg (meaning he tricks them). Reeko doesn’t do this to confuse the little scientists but rather, to make sure they stay on their toes (meaning walking around on your toes makes it harder to have your leg pulled). What follows is a true news story and not one of Reeko's sneaky tricks. Chinese discover there is more to Rock-Paper-Scissors than meets the eye Scientists in China have studied the Rock-Paper-Scissors game and released findings that indicate the game is more than a simple game of chance. Indeed, there is a strategy that can be used to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors. Seriously, we’re not making this stuff up. We could discuss the…
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