Marine scientists studying the carcass of a rare colossal squid said Wednesday they had measured its eye at about 11 inches across — bigger than a dinner plate — making it the largest animal eye on Earth.
One of the squid’s two eyes, with a lens as big as an orange, was found intact as the scientists examined the creature while it was slowly defrosted at New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa. It has been preserved there since being caught in the Ross Sea off Antarctica’s northern coast last year.
“This is the only intact eye (of a colossal squid) that’s ever been found. It’s spectacular,” said Auckland University of Technology squid specialist Kat Bolstad, one of a team of international scientists brought in to examine the creature.
“It’s the largest known eye in the animal kingdom,” Bolstad told The Associated Press.
(The image is of the meteor, not the dung.)
Some dinosaur dung was snapped up at auction in New York even as a 4.5 billion year old meteorite which was supposed to top the sale went unsold. The two chunks of 130-million-year-old coprolite, otherwise known as fossilized dinosaur dung, fetched $960 (482 pounds) at Bonhams in New York on Wednesday, the auction house said.
The Jurassic-era rocks were sold for more than double their maximum estimate, said spokeswoman Staci Smith.
A 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite, on which a Chinese desert hiker habitually ate lunch before he discovered it was valuable, failed to meet the minimum reserve however. Bonhams had expected the space rock to sell for $2.25 million to $2.75 million.
- In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
- George Orwell
English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 – 1950)
Researchers have discovered why the entire population of a tiny Pacific island speaks with a West Country accent. It’s because they’re all descended from one Gloucestershire man, William Marsters, a carpenter and barrelmaker who settled there in 1863.
Researchers had long been puzzled by the strong rural drawl spoken by the 63 inhabitants of Palmerston Atoll, reports the Daily Telegraph. Now linguists have matched their accent to that of their very distant cousins 12,000 miles away in Gloucestershire.
Mr Marsters had four wives, 17 children and 54 grandchildren on Palmerston Atoll, one of the smallest and most remote of the Cook Islands, before his death in 1899.
John Roberts, a former BBC journalist, is researching his story and wants to contact anyone who thinks they may be related to Mr Marsters to solve the mystery of his origins.
Mr. Roberts is from Warrington, Cheshire but I have no further information on contacting him.
Estonian police were shocked after stopping a car in a city centre and finding the driver was not only drunk but also blind.
Traffic police in the southern Estonian city of Tartu said Kristjan Gradolf, 20, who is completely blind, was being given directions by a pal in the passenger seat.
A breath test revealed Gradolf was two and a half times over the legal drink drive limit.
An aspiring record label owner is singing the blues after he was arrested last week for allegedly trying to pass a $360 billion check at a Fort Worth bank. Employees at the Chase Bank…grew suspicious after seeing all those zeroes (10 to be exact) and called the check’s owner…
[Charles Fuller] was arrested on suspicion of fraud, along with unlawfully carrying a weapon and possession of marijuana after officers found less than 2 ounces of the drug and a .25-caliber handgun and magazine in his pockets.
While inside a patrol car, police say Fuller blurted out that he is starting his own record label and had been given the money by his girlfriend’s mother to help him start it.
A Ball State professor is under arrest after fighting police officers,slamming a door on an officer’s knee and biting the police car Saturday night in Muncie, Indiana.
But the part that is most fun is that he called 911 himself.
Men who flirt publicly with women in northern Saudi Arabia are to be punished by being given haircuts. Prince Fahd bin Badr ordered police to administer the trims after seeing a group of men with long hair pestering female students as they left school in the town of Skaka.
“A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.”
Iran’s top prosecutor has warned of the “destructive” social and cultural consequences Barbie dolls are having on his country.
“The irregular importation of such toys, which unfortunately arrive through unofficial sources and smuggling, is destructive culturally and a social danger,” Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi wrote in a letter to Parviz Davoudi, Iran’s vice-president.
Increased oil revenues in recent years have led to a dramatic rise in purchasing power in Iran, and markets have been flooded with smuggled Western toys, reports the Daily Telegraph.
A Chinese man performed a breathtaking stunt by driving a car across two steel cables suspended 150ft above a river.
Liu Suozhu, 48, of Henan province, completed the 750ft journey over Miluo River in Pingjiang city, Hunan province.
It took a half hour.
Ontario’s new anti-street racing laws were enforced for the first time when a garbage truck was clocked doing about 70mph in a 40 mph zone. The Record reports that the Great Lakes Waste Management truck would be impounded for seven days, and the driver’s license suspended for a week– on top of a $2,000 fine for street-racing.
A religious beekeeper in Serbia has started making beehives shaped like tiny monasteries and churches “because bees have a soul too”.
Slobodan Jeftic, 58, from Stari Kostolac, said: “By doing this, I am bringing together the two great loves of my life, beekeeping and my religion. It means that as well as taking care of my bees so that they have a place to live and make their honey, I am also taking care of their souls.”
From pickled cows to elephant dung, the art world is no stranger to offbeat ideas. But a group of lice-infested Germans? Seven young artists from Berlin are trying to stretch the boundaries of art by living in an Israeli museum for three weeks with lice in their hair.
“Art is no longer just a painting on the wall,” Milana Gitzin-Adiram, chief curator of the Museum of Bat Yam near Tel Aviv, told Reuters. “Art is life, life is art.”
A chihuahua in a scuba suit has won a canine fashion show in the Philippines. Five-year-old Mondex wore a four-legged wetsuit, air bottle, four little flippers and goggles for the day.
A public lavatory that looks like Darth Vader’s spaceship has been shortlisted for the best new building in Britain award by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Tauranga [New Zealand} police were soon on to the pair when security alarms went off about midnight on Wednesday at a scrap metal yard.
Police arrived to find one of the men inside the yard perimeter fence, said Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter. During the arrest a text message came through on the man’s mobile phone.
“It was from his mate waiting down the road in a getaway car wanting to know if he had finished,” Mr Hunter said. “The message read, to the effect, “wots happng, r u redy 2 go’.”
Police grabbed the phone and sent a reply – ‘yep cum now we r redy 2 go.’ Within minutes the second offender duly appeared – and walked into the arms of the waiting law.
While relatively new to the game, Frank Peter has become a familiar presence at city golf courses. One aspect of the game that has eluded him, however, was the coveted hole-in-one.
All that changed last week when he aced the 139-yard, Par 3 14th hole on the Battlefield course at Legends on the Niagara.
“I have always dreamed of getting a hole-in-one. I grabbed the flag stick and yelled out a big, ‘woo hoo,’ ” Peter said with a laugh.FIRST TO OFFER
What makes his accomplishment all the more rewarding is the fact the 41-year-old Niagara Falls man is a paraplegic and uses a specially designed golf cart to play his new-found favourite game.