Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Most toxic insect venom - part II

One of the most venomous insects are the caterpillars of the Moth genus Lonomia. To date, no one has calculated the LD50 values of Lonomia venom; the rate of human fatality has been documented as 1.7%, compared to a rate for rattlesnakes at about 1.8%, despite the fact that the amount of venom is only a minute fraction (less than 0.001) of the amount in a snake bite. Accordingly, it seems likely that when measured, the LD50 for Lonomia venom will be among the lowest for any natural toxin known. While there are many species in the genus, the most troublesome species is Lonomia obliqua (on the photos) from Brazil, and it is this species which most of the medical research has centered upon. Other famous species is Lonomia achelous from Venezuela.

See more: Most toxic insect venom
Source: Wikipedia, AFPMB, Mundobutterfly

Most toxic insect venom

Harvester ants in the genus Pogonomyrmex have the most toxic venom documented in any insects based on mice LD50 values, with P. maricopa venom being the most toxic. The LD50 value for this species is 0.12 mg/kg injected intravenously in mice, equivalent to 12 stings killing a 2 kg (4.4 lb) rat. A Pogonomyrmex sp. sting produces intense pain in humans that lasts up to 4 hours.

See more: Most toxic insect venom - part II
Source: University of Florida, Wikipedia

Longest range sniper kill

The current world record for the longest range sniper kill is 2,430 meters (7,972 feet), accomplished by a Canadian sniper, Corporal Rob Furlong, of the third battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), during the invasion of Afghanistan, using a .50 BMG (12.7mm) McMillan TAC-50 bolt-action rifle. This meant that the bullet had a flight time of ≈ 4.5 seconds, and a drop of ≈ 70 meters (230 feet).

The previous record was held by US Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock (on the photo), achieved during the Vietnam War, at a distance of 2,250 meters.

Source: Wikipedia

Monday, July 30, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Legendary Kung Fu Masters

See and judge yourself!

On this video we can see the legendary founders of Kung Fu styles. In Wikipedia we can found about this fight the following:
In the 1950s there was much debate about which Kung Fu style was the best, and somehow Master Wu Kung-i's Wu Style Tai-Chi Chuan and Master Chan Hak Fu's White Crane Kung Fu were among the most debated styles. Therefore, a famous fight took place in Macau on 17th January, 1954 between Master Wu Kung-i (吳公儀) and Master Chan Hak Fu (陳克夫), and the fight was conducted as a charity event to raise money for the Chinhu Hospital. This charity fight captured the attention of the press and public, and thousands of spectators witnessed the fight in Macau.

Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Woman vs Man- part II

Lucia Rijker vs Somchai Jaidee. Lucia is one of the best world's female muay thai champions and Somachai is not first class but enough good competitor. However, rather predictably Lucia loss via KO in the second round.

Woman vs Man fight

The world kickboxing champion Deborah "Sunshine" Fettkether versus construction worker Randy Pittman on 21 October 1999. For 1 min she won via KO with kick on the head.

Top 100 Science Sites

Very useful list. Top 100 Science Sites.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Women MMA fight

Something interesting, women professional fighters. On the video is the second part of the fight on 10 February 2007 between Julie Kedzie and Gina Carano Both girls on the video are very cute and the fight is not bad at all either.

Tennis matrix

Very funny.

The Largest Beetle - part II

In my opinion the Titan Beetle (Titanus giganteus) is the largest and longest one. The biggest recorded specimen is about 17 cm long. Is powerful, fast and aggressive insect that can cut flesh to bone on human finger.

Source: University of Florida, Wikipedia
See also: The Largest Beetle - part I

Friday, July 20, 2007

Largest flying bird ever

Photo from Thunderbird site listApparently Argentavis magnificens is the largest flying bird ever discovered. Dr. Kenneth E. Campbell, (one of the discoverers) in front of the 25 ft. wingspan Argentavis Magnificens. Display seen at the Natural History Museum, Los Angeles.
Currently accepted estimates:
* Wingspan: 5.7 to 8.3 m (19 - 28 ft)
* Length: 3.5 m (11.5 ft)
* Height: 1.8 to 2 m (5.9 ft - 6.5 ft)
* Weight: 65-100 kg (143 lb - 220 lb)

Source: Angelfire, Wikipedia

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cobra vs Mongoose

The Mongooses have very fast reactions and interesting tactics when they decide to attack a snake. It looks like a fencer or martial artist. They make feints, provocations, counter attacks, true fighting art. The Small Asian Mongoose is particularly famous snake-eater, they eat even King Cobras.


Saturn's satellite Iapetus (or Japetus) is one of the strangest objects in our Solar system. There is equatorial ridge about 20 km wide and 13 km high extending 1300 km through the center of Cassini Regio. Parts of the ridge rise more than 20 km over the surrounding plains. The ridge forms a complex system including isolated peaks, segments extending for more than 200 km and sections with three near parallel ridges. A an conclusion I'd say that all this seems to be way too unnatural in my opinion.

Source: Wikipedia

The Largest Beetle

Photo from University of Florida
Which one is the world's largest beetle is a very difficult question. All depends what exactly means "largest". Is it the heaviest? May be the longest? But in this case with the antennae or with the horns or without them? Or something else? So, according to what feature is measured the answer is variable. On the picture above we can see top, side, and bottom views of five of the bulkiest insects in the World, compared to a 15-cm (6-inch) scale at left. Images are graphically-sized representations of the five species at their maximum known sizes. Scale was achieved by comparing widths first, then body length. From left to right the species are:
Titanus giganteus – 16.7 cm French Guiana, Brazil
Megasoma actaeon – 13.5 cm Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil
Megasoma elephas – 13.7 cm Mexico through Venezuela
Goliathus regius – 11 cm Ghana, Ivory Coast
Goliathus goliatus – 11 cm Equatorial Africa, central and east
Ghosted to the right of the documented sizes, also to scale, is the mythical "9-inch Titanus" from the popular lore.

See more: The Largest Beetle - part II
Source: Coming soon

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Godfather: Opening Scene

Another one of my favourite movie scenes. Without expensive computer effects, only actor's play and producer's art.

Largest Turtle

Photo from Marine Conservation Society
The largest turtle ever recorded anywhere in the world washed up dead at Harlech North Wales in 1988. It was a male leatherback that drowned after becoming entangled in buoy ropes and it weighed 916kg and measured 2.91 metres in length (pictured above). It is now on display at the National Museum and Galleries of Wales in Cardiff.

Source: Marine Conservation Society

Largest Crocodile

The largest species of crocodile is the Saltwater Crocodile and one of the biggest specimens was Gomek (on the photo), measured 5.5 m (17.9 feet) and weighed well over 2,000 pounds (roughly 900 kg) when he died in February 1997. Gomek was captured by George Craig in Papua New Guinea and sold to St. Augustine Alligator Farm in Florida. George also captured even larger crocodile, Oscar, who currently lives on Green Island in Queensland.

Gomek feeding on the famous video record.

In other web-sites we can find that the two largest crocodiles in captivity are Cassius at Marineland Melanesia on Green Island, Australia and Chai Yai (probably on the picture with Steve Irwin), a saltwater/siamese hybrid.
Cassius is 18 feet (5.5m) long. Yai is listed by the Guinness Book of Records at being 19 feet 8 inches (6 m).

Sources: Crocodilian Biology Database, crocodilian.com

Huge Goliath African Tigerfishes

Photo from Dan Douglas
Once we determined that the largest species of African Tetra is the Goliath African Tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath), we have to try to find also the biggest specimen on record, which is slightly more difficult task. So far what I found we can see on this picture of particularly large exemplar with weight of 36 kg (this is the photo of the biggest one that I found and there was information for slightly bigger specimen but without photo). Supposedly the Tigerfish can reach up to 50 or even 70 kg.

Photo from Greatfish
Another big Tigerfish.

Huge turtle

Photo from Chelydra.Org
The largest species of freshwater turtles is The Alligator Snapping Turtle. There are notes that the biggest specimen on record was either one who had a weight of 107 kg (236 lb) and was housed at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois according to Wikipedia, either another one who weighted 113 (249 lb) from the Tennessee Aquarium. Actually this one on the photo is named Big Bill and while not the biggest one, it is still likely to be near 100 kg (220 lb).

Source: Chelydra.Org

Most Successful Sniper Ever

Simo Häyhä (December 17, 1905–April 1, 2002) a Finish soldier with 505 confirmed kills against Soviet soldiers is widely considered to be the most successful sniper in history. The unofficial Finnish frontline figure from the battlefield of Kollaa places the number of Häyhä's sniper kills at 542. Besides his sniper kills, Simo Häyhä was also credited with as many as two hundred kills with a Suomi M-31 SMG submachine gun, thus bringing his credited kills to at least 705. All of Häyhä's kills were accomplished within 100 days prior to injuries caused by an enemy bullet.

Source: Wikipedia

Soviet Snipers

Many people think that Vasily Zaytsev is the best (may be better to say deadliest) Soviet sniper, but there is another man - Fyodor Okhlopkov. I have done some researches and apparently he was the best Soviet sniper. Zaytzev had 242 verified kills and Okhlopkov 429. For Zaytsev the real number may be much higher, some argue it might have been as many as 400, but the same is true as well for Okhlopkov, who is on other hand Yakut and often overlooked because that. Despite his ethnics he had typical Russian name. Probably his record is beaten only by Simo Häyhä.

Similar posting: Most Successful Sniper Ever

Monday, July 16, 2007

African Goliath Tigerfish

Photo from sensingtheshift
The African Tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath) has one of the most horrific aspects, which fresh-water creature can have and also is the largest Tetra, which fact brings to mind the parallel between the house cat and the tiger, which seems oddly fitting in this case. They can grow up to 1.80 m (6 feet). There is something unnatural in their appearance, the teeth are somehow too big and sharp for the rest of the body, also the colour of the teeth is yellowish which looks also abnormal for fish, which would've been a bit more ordinary if it had at least white teeth. And overall it plainly looks like a movie monster.

Source: Sensingtheshift, Wikipedia

Cultural Peculiarities - Stoning

TIL that the stoning is a legal sentence in some countries. In Wikipedia we can see that:
Stoning is a legal sentence for certain activities deemed criminal in some of the Islamic countries governed by Sharia law, including the following:
* Nigeria
* Saudi Arabia
* Iran
* Sudan
* Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
* Pakistan
* and the United Arab Emirates
Source: Wikipedia

Huge hailstone

The largest hailstone ever measured, 17.8 cm (7.0 in) in diameter, with a 47.6 cm (18.75 in) circumference.

On this video we can see the result of an amazing hail. It surely will kill a man if he is outside in similar hailstorm.

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Terrible Grasshoper - largest insect title holder

Little Barrier Island giant weta or Wetapunga (Deinacrida heteracantha) from New Zealand is regarded to be the world's biggest insect, more certainly to say the heaviest. The scientific name of the genus is Deinacrida, which in means "Terrible grasshopper" in the Greek language. There is documented specimen of 71gr, which is heavier than sparrow or mouse. As well there are more insects pretending for the title largest, mostly of them beetles, but there is not documented heavier specimen as far as I know.

Update: There are actually bigger insects if we consider also the larvae of some beetles. However the Wetapunga is still the biggest adult (imago) form.

Update N2: Also, apparently Wetapunga means "God of ugly things" in Maori (for the authenticity of which I can't guarantee, but I don't see reason why the guy from the comment section is going to lie)

Source: Wikipedia

Bad birds

This picture is called "bird vs rabbit", but there is no much in therms of "versus", the poor rabbit is adversary in the same sense a Big Mac is an opponent for me. The bird actually is Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) and the rabbit is most likely to be pet dwarf rabbit (at least in my opinion, we can judge from the shape of ears, head and the colour, also it seem too dark for young Hare). It looks bizarre and abnormal for us, but the Herons usually will eat all small enough animals they can catch.

In this video is shown the St James's park in London, where a pelican swallows alive pigeon. The moment was caught on camera by the photographer Cathal McNaughton. The pelicans usually eat fish, but if they are starved, they will eat almost anything they can catch. There are known cases where they have eaten ducklings for example.

All is OK, all it's natural, but the last one is already excessive.

Sources: Daily MailBBC

Deadliest jellyfish

                             Photo from AFPMB
The Box jellyfish, called Sea Wasp (Chironex fleckeri) is the deadliest species of jellyfish. Also it is wide regarded as the deadliest creature ever. They can kill human only in 3 min and the sting is extremely painful.

Few notes of interest: First, they look like jellyfishes, but they are not actually real jellyfishes from the systematics' point of view. And second, there is antidote and few treatments which may help the victims survive the sting and I recommend these interested in the issue to read the more in debt explanation from the Wikipedia's article.

Source: AFPMB, Wikipedia

Most dangerous spiders

Apparently the most venomous spider is the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria spp.). Phoneutria nigriventer's extreme toxicity in a table showing that the amount necessary to kill a 20gm mouse was only .006mg (intravenously) and .0134 subcutaneously as compared to Latrodectus mactans (Black Widow) at 0.110 and 0.2 respectively. Recent studies suggest that these spiders only inject venom in approximately one-third of their bites and may only inject a small amount in another third. The evidence, so far, clearly shows that both P. nigriventer and P. fera (on the photo) are extremely dangerous.

The funnel web spiders are another very venomous genus. Atrax robustus (on the photo) and Atrax formidabilis arguably are the most venomous and dangerous spiders in the world according with AFPMB.

The widow spiders are very dangerous too. The venom is not as potent as in the case of the two genuses above, but the evidence shows that there is comparable amount of deaths and health problems caused by these spiders. Relatively to the most of the spiders their venom is still very potent, (15 times more potent than that of the rattlesnakes; it is also reported to be much more potent than the venom of cobras and coral snakes). For Latrodectus mactans the amount of venom necessary to kill a 20 gm mouse was 0.110 mg (intravenously) and 0.2 mg subcutaneously. 63 deaths were reported in the United States between 1950 and 1989. Prior to the development of antivenom, 5% of reported bites resulted in fatalities. On the photo black widow (possibly Latrodectus mactans) - one of the most dangerous in the genus.

Source: Washington.edu, Wikipedia, AFPMB

Some paintings I like

Aleksander Nevsky is one of my favourite paintings from Nicholas Roerich.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Centipede beast

                   Photo cortesy from: Mark M. LucasThe world's largest centipede is Scolopendra gigantea. They can exceed 30 cm length and they are very fierce arthropods, which are also venomous, aggressive and fast. They will attack and eat even mice and small birds. On this video (YouTube) we can see a smaller specimen, only 23 cm.

Source: Ugly Overload

Kendo vs Fencing

I found this in youtube. To be honest I used to wonder who will beat in fight between musketeer and samurai, or at least what will look like such fight. So, now I have finally found some kind of an answer.

Lucky Luck is back

This guy is definitely one of the fastest shooters not only in the west, but in the world. Imagine bar in the 18 century wild west and there are five villains inside. The distance will be approximate the same, the targets (human heads) actually bigger. That guy reacts and strikes all five of them for 0.88 sec, which is faster than what most people will need to pull out the gun from the holster alone. He really can defend himself.

Red Square Nebula

The Red Square Nebula is a very unusual celestial object. Also it is one of the most symmetrical celestial objects ever discovered. It is amazing how can exist similar thing in the space.

Source: Wikipedia

Dino wasp

In search for the biggest wasp in the world, I stumbled across the Tarantula Hawks (Pepsis heros), which often are considered to be the world's largest wasps with body length of up to 7 cm and wingspan of 11 cm. There are some more species in the same genus Pepsis (for example Pepsis apicata) with similar dimensions and nearly indistinguishable shape and colour. Also the sting is among the most painful of any insect. Actually on the picture is suggested to be the smaller Pepsis toppini, but is very difficult to be sure even for a specialist.

Source: Paul Nylander, Bugman (Collection of pictures, curious facts and topics of personal interest)

Youngest mother

Generally it is accepted that the lowest possible age for a human female to be able to give birth to be around 12 years, which is not big exception in certain places and countries, but there are very strange cases of births at 5, 8 or 9 years. Lina Medina who gave birth at the age of 5 years, 7 months and 21 days is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history.

See more: Wikipedia (List of youngest birth mothers)

Very, very big jellyfish

Lion's Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata)Courtesy Foto: E. Svensen
The Lion's Mane Jellyfish (Cyanea capillata) is considered to be the world's largest species of jellyfish. Also often is cited Cyanea arctica, but is most likely to be subspecies or variety. The biggest recorded specimen had a bell with a diameter of 2.3 m (7 feet 6 inches) and the tentacles reached 36.5 m (120 feet).

Nomura's jellyfish (Nemopilema nomurai ) is one of the largest species of jellyfish. It lives near to Japan and is known in Japanese as echizen kurage. They are growing up to 2m (6 ft 7 inches) in diameter and weighting up to 200kg (440 lb).

Another massive species is Black sea nettle (Chrysaora achlyos).

Source: Marinbi, Jellieszone, National Geographic

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - The Ecstasy of Gold

Another great scene and music from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

See more: Wikipedia

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - The Triple Duel

I like a good cinema. Here is a scene of one of my favourite movies.

See more: Wikipedia

Glowing fishes

GloFish is the name of genetically modified fluorescent zebrafishes. Basically they can be red, orange, yellow or green, but there are a few more developments with other types of fluorescent protein expressions. They are healthy and normal in all other aspects. The price of one piece is about 5 dollars.

Source: GloFish

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Girl versus Tief

Here I found another very funny video, amazing suplex. I'd like it to be true, which is highly probable if I can judge from the general aspect of the record. The thief assaulted the wrong girl :).

The Starchild skull

The Starchild skull is a real existing object and target of scientific studies. It is very unusual and abnormal human-like skull which was found in Mexico. Its origin and nature are contested by scientists and paranormal enthusiasts. The volume of the interior, where the brain lies is about 1600 cubic centimetres, which is 400 cc more than the brain's volume of an adult human with comparable size. There is an overload of collagen in it, much more than it is usual for the human bones and also there are no frontal sinuses. The carbon 14 tests gave a result of 900 years ± 40 years since death. Also it have other features unknown in others humans or animal species. There are not known diseases or causes that can cause similar shape and structure of a human cranium.

Sources: Wikipedia, Starchild project,

Mind the frog

The Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis) found in the South America's jungles has poison which contains the most potent toxin produced by an animal, called Batrachotoxin, with LD50 1 to 2 µg/kg. The lethal dose for human in the blood stream is approximately 100 micrograms or weight, which is the equivalent of two grains of fine table salt. A wild adult specimen has up to 2 milligrams of the toxin, or 50 times the lethal dose for the humans. Currently there is no effective antidote and treatment for batrachotoxin poisoning doesn't exist. Shot with poison darts made from batrachotoxin provoke nerve paralysis almost instantaneous. The poison preserve quality even dried up for nearly 2 years. However in captivity this frog will lose the poison and will become harmless.

Source: Wikipedia

The Hexagon on Saturn

It is an old news, but it still impresses me. This hexagon (or rather hexagonal formation) lies on the north pole of the planet Saturn and its about 25,000 kilometres (15,000 miles) across. Nearly four Earths could fit inside it.
"This is a very strange feature, lying in a precise geometric fashion with six nearly equally straight sides," said Kevin Baines, atmospheric expert and member of Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
There are some explanations involving possible standing wave but I think it doesn't look convincing enough. Here is an example.

Sources: NASAPhysorg

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Glowing mice

As an result of gene engineering experiment were to created fluorescent green mice. The gene which produces the glowing protein is from a species of jellyfish. These mice are really neat looking creatures and I'd like to buy couple of them.

Also in other case create in China scientists managed to expressed red fluorescent protein.

As well it is possible to make only the eyes glow. I bet here are a lot of people that will want to do the same with themselves :). If only it was possible to do that with humans ...

Sources: ForbesDiscovery Magazine

Klerksdorp Spheres

The Klerksdorp Spheres are strange objects found and collected in South Africa's 2.7-3.0 billion years mineral deposits by miners. They are between 5 and 100 mm in diameter and have variable spherical or disc shape. They can have also grooves on the equator. They are often claimed to be evidence of technology of very prehistoric non-human civilizations, remainder of extraterrestrials or similar believes. Below I am listing some sources with pictures and different explanations.

Sources: VirtuescienceOOPArt, The TalkOrigins (skeptical point of view).

Most venomous snake

The Inland Taipan from Australia is considered to be the world's most venomous land snake. It has LD50 of 0.025 mg/kg. The venom contained in a single bite is enough to kill 100 humans. Compare this with some other snakes here.

Source: Wikipedia, Vency's Site

The most poisonous mushroom

The Death Cap is considered to be the most poisonous mushroom in the world. It is estimated that half a cap (30 grams) is enough to kill a human. Cooking, boiling, freezing, drying or any other process don't reduce the toxicity. It is widely distributed on all continents except of Antarctica.

Source: Wikipedia