Plants

The amazing Snapdragon Flower Seed Pod looks like a human skull

They’re beautiful when alive but once they shrivel up and die, things get a bit creepy.  Meet the Snapdragon flower seed pod which bears the stark appearance of a human skull (or a human face screaming in agony). The Snapdragon flower (aka Antirrhinum or dragon flower) can be found in many household gardens and gets its name from its flower which resembles a dragon’s head (squeeze the snapdragon flower and the “dragon” mouth will open and close making it “talk”). Yet once the flower has died it leaves behind a seed pod with the macabre appearance of a human head. The Snapdragons name (Antirrhinum) comes from the Greek words “anti,” meaning like, and “rhin,” meaning nose.  Many years ago, people thought the plant possessed mystical…
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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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miscellaneous

How to create a terrarium (or vivarium or self-contained bottle garden)

Making a terrarium, a self-sustainable ecosystem with a living, growing plant inside a sealed bottle, is a pretty easy project and the plant growing inside can survive for decades without any watering or other care.  Here’s how you can build a terrarium on your own. How to make a terrarium, vivarium, or garden in a bottle First, find a suitable sealed glass bottle or jar. A bottle with a wide mouth will be much easier to work with. Make sure the bottle has a lid or cork which can be sealed tightly. Fill the bottom of the bottle with pebbles. You need at least enough pebbles to cover the bottom of the bottle but can add more if the bottle is taller. Try to fill…
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Biology

Uh oh. How come this map just released by NASA is glowing RED!!!

NASA just released this satellite image of an eerie red glow over the Midwestern and Eastern United States.  If your reaction was similar to Reeko’s (he threw on his hat and ran to the closet to grab his suitcase), you might think this is a bad thing.  It’s not.  As plants carry out photosynthesis, their chlorophyll also creates a very small amount of fluorescence, a type of radiation.  This radiation is invisible to our eyes but the superhumans at NASA however, have the technology to detect the fluorescence on satellite images and display on this map.  The brighter red areas show where greater amounts of photosynthesis have taken place from 2007 through 2011.
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Pressure

Extracting life from a plant

Extracting life from a plant Plants are living creatures just like Dad (OK, so plants are a little smarter). Plants need food and water just like people. But how do plants get food? Plants get their nutrients via the water they take in. Nutrients from the soil get mixed up with the ground water. The plant takes in the ground water with the sneaky nutrients concealed inside. OK Reeko, so how do plants take in water, I've never seen them slurping it up with a straw? This experiment should shed some light on this question. Fill the bottle with water. Take a freshly cut leaf or flower, wrap clay around the stem and place the stem into the bottle. Make sure the clay fits snugly…
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