Meet the ninja lanternshark. It's a newly discovered animal that's really weird. It hides in the deep - and its black skin keeps it camouflaged - but it also glows in the dark.
The ninja lanternshark was discovered by a team at the Pacific Shark Research Centre, in Moss Landing, California. Its official Latin name is Etmopterus benchleyi, after Jaws author Peter Benchley.
The ninja lanternshark is roughly half a metre, or 18 inches long, and it lives at a depth of about 1,000 metres off the Pacific Coast of Central America. Its odd combo of dark and light helps it creep up on its prey, according to its discoverers. [ ... ]
Can you spot the cat amongst the pigeons? This is Hungarian artist's - Dudolf - latest optical illusion that has some several viewers puzzled. The cause of all this difficulty is likely to have something to do with the way in which the brain processes visual information, by identifying repeating patterns and then using this to automatically fill in the gaps in peripheral vision. This makes it very difficult to spot minor details or irregularities in our visual field without focusing directly on these elements, which means you probably won't see the cat unless you stare straight at it. [ ... ]
In the reproductive tract of the Hawaiian bobtail squid, there is a mysterious gland that releases bacteria that protect the squid’s eggs from fungus. When researchers applied antibiotics to freshly-laid squid eggs, fuzzy fungus soon moved in, smothering the eggs of the gemlike creatures.
This lady beetle (Coccinellidae) is protecting its enemy. The cocoon between its legs holds a parasitoid wasp larva (Dinocampus coccinellae), which fed on the beetle’s insides before bursting from its belly. Researchers have discovered what makes the beetles act as babysitters: They are infected with a brain-controlling virus. When the larva emerges and spins its cocoon, the virus makes the beetle freeze in place, protecting the baby wasp from predators.
The Mydas fly (Gauromydas heros) is the world's largest fly. It can reach body lengths of 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) and a wingspan of 4 inches (10 centimeters). Mydas fly are found in arid and semiarid regions of the world, but are infrequently encountered as the adult lifespan can be quite short.
According to the Lucara Diamond Corporation, this diamond is so big (pictured above) that it did not fit into the onsite scanners, and had to be sent to Belgium for assessment. This gem, named the Lucara diamond, weighs in at 1 111 karats and is almost entirely devoid of impurities. Since it was recovered in Botswana (South Central Africa), the country will make a 10% royalty on the diamond, and collect 10% in export taxes when the diamond’s value is decided. As of yet, the company has no idea what the diamond is worth, though some have estimated a value above $65 million. [ ... ]
According to a new study, it's your voice that is to blame if your joke ever falls flat. Researchers recorded men and women telling corny one-liners and then manipulated the pitches of their voices. Artificially lowered voices made the speakers sound more dominant; higher pitched voices made them sound less so. Volunteer listeners then rated each joke’s funniness. Female listeners laughed or groaned regardless of the comic’s voice pitch, but for men it depended on how burly and dominant they were. Guys with bigger biceps and higher self-rated attractiveness were more likely to prefer lower-pitched jokes than less dominant listeners, and vice versa, according to a study in press in Evolution and Human Behavior. The researchers suggest humor [ ... ]
Taken from a range of just 17 000 km, these images were snapped during the spacecraft's closest approach to Pluto, from its flyby of the dwarf planet in July this year. They document an 80-kilometre strip of the planet's surface, offering an intimate perspective of its cratered, mountainous and glacial terrains. The photos scan from Pluto's jagged horizon about 800 kilometres north-west of the informally named Sputnik Planum, across the al-Idrisi mountains, over the shoreline of Sputnik, and across its icy plains.