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212 posts tagged Nature

Here’s an awesome icy creation to help those of us in the northern hemisphere take our minds off the heat of the summer. French designer Arturo Erbsman created these beautiful Polar Light ice chandeliers. Designed to be hung from tree branches in winter, they’re composed of metal frames covered in soft white woven fishnet that catches precipitation.

"At dawn, when the morning dew deposits micro droplets on the surface, it gradually freezes and turn into stalactites. Over course of the day, the structure stiffens coated with ice.

At nightfall, it glows as rays pass through the ice, thus highlighting the beauty and delicacy of crystallization of water. This ephemeral work of nature exudes a timeless boreal light.”

Visit Arturo Erbsman’s website to learn more about this enchanting project.

[via designboom]

The Department of Extraordinary Lobsters just gained a new member. This colorful calico crustacean was caught in a trap off the coast of Maine by Josiah Beringer, Captain of the fishing vessel Patricia Lynn. Captain Beringer donated the lobster to the Explore the Ocean World Oceanarium in Hampton, New Hampshire, where the 1.5 lb male lobster immediately became a main attraction. However he’s only going to live at the oceanarium until Labor Day. After that he’ll be released back into the ocean.

This calico coloring is an extremely rare occurrence:

Naturally brownish green, lobsters can come in a variety of colors, including blue, two-toned—with colors split strikingly down the middle—and albino, which may be as rare as 1 in 100 million.

According to Ellen Goethel, a marine biologist and oceanarium director, the chance of finding a calico lobster is between 1 in 30 million and 1 in 50 million, according to some estimates.

Head over to National Geographic to learn more about this captivating crustacean and scientists’ theories about how he came to have such an unusual shell.

[via National Geographic and the Star-Telegram]

Rosemary Mosco, field naturalist and artist responsible for the creator of the webcomic bird and moon (previously featured here) just shared this delightful illustration that we love because it’s a terrific reminder of everyday awesomeness that’s all around us.

A year ago I got to illustrate one of the endings in Ryan North’s brilliant Hamlet choose-your-own-path book To Be or Not To Be. These are all things you may be able to find outside right now (if you can bear to put down this amazing book).

Rosemary Mosco, field naturalist and artist responsible for the creator of the webcomic bird and moon (previously featured here) just shared this delightful illustration that we love because it’s a terrific reminder of everyday awesomeness that’s all around us.

A year ago I got to illustrate one of the endings in Ryan North’s brilliant Hamlet choose-your-own-path book To Be or Not To Be. These are all things you may be able to find outside right now (if you can bear to put down this amazing book).

Reblogged from birdandmoon

"You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say."

Thanks to the work of Italian photographer Elido Turco we’ve all been invited to an Entmoot. Turco has a great eye for trees and uses a mirroring technique to transform the the natural textures of their trunks and branches into faces that could only belong to J. R. R. Tolkien’s mighty Ents.

Visit Elido Turco’s Flickr account to view more of his photos of Middle Earth’s forest shepherds.

[via Junkculture]

Leaf-cutting Artist Omid Asadi was born in Iran and now lives in Sale, Greater Manchester, England where he gathers fallen leaves and uses a craft knife and needle to transform them into exquisitely beautiful and expressive works of art. He even recreated The Scream by Edvard Munch on a leaf.

"Art for me is the way of looking differently to this world and around myself.I started to think why nobody paid attention to these beautiful leaves and trod on them, because of their name - if they were called flowers we wouldn’t tread on them at all! I wanted to give the leaves another Life and make art from them."

Visit Omid Asadi’s website and Facebook page to check out more of his hand-cut leaves. You can also follow him here on Tumblr at omidasadi.

[via Bored Panda]

For even more awesome leaf-related artwork, check out our posts about Lorenzo Duran Manuel Silva, Susanna Bauer, and LadyTinuz.

Meet two of the tiniest avian members of the Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders, a Green-crowned Brilliant hummingbird (Heliodoxa jacula) (top) and a Green Violetear hummingbird (Colibri thalassinus) (bottom). These stunning macro photos provide an remarkably close look at two incredibly small and fast-moving birds - both covered in the itty-bittiest feathers you’ll ever see. They were taken by photographer Chris Morgan in Costa Rica at the Bosque de Paz biological reserve in 2011.

"The hummingbirds were so tempting to photograph to the point of madness! Eventually with patience you get quite close, and I love seeing the details of these little guys," says Morgan.

Head over to Chris Morgan’s Flickr page to check out more of his wonderful photos, including an entire album of beautiful bird photos.

[via Lost At E Minor]

Because this is a fun sentence one rarely gets to use: Here’s an awesome example of nature imitating terrifying candy. This giant earthworm bears a remarkable resemblance to the World’s Largest Gummy Worm we first posted about a couple years ago.

This colossal creepy-crawly was found by Project Noah member Hoppy4840 in rich, wet forest soil in the foothills of the Sumaco Volcano in Ecuador. It measured approximately 1.5 meters (~4.9 feet) long and weighed at least 500 grams (~1.1 pounds). Funny thing is, we can’t help but think that, while it’s quite likely the earthworm is more nutritious, there’s no way it’s as tasty as the gummy version.

[via Geekologie]

Check out the awesomely bushy tails on these squirrels! These are tufted ground squirrels (Rheithrosciurus macrotis), an incredibly rare rodent which likes to hide out in the hilly forests of Borneo and sports a tail more voluminous (relative to its body size) than that of any other mammal. These splendid tales are 30% larger than the volume of the squirrel’s body.

It’s not clear why Rheithrosciurus needs so much tail, but Emily Mae and her co-authors believe the bobbing mass of fur might confuse clouded leopards and other predators, or prevent them from getting a good grasp when they strike. That idea sounds plausible to Hawkins, who says that when her field crew saw the squirrels in Borneo, they at first thought it was a much larger animal.

The tufted ground squirrel is twice the size of most tree squirrels and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Vampire Squirrel’ because it supposedly has a taste for blood.

Local legends suggest that Rheithrosciurus, which is thought to mostly eat giant acorns, can be savage. Hunters say that the squirrels will perch on low branches, jump onto a deer, gash its jugular vein, and disembowel the carcass. “It sounds pretty fantastical,” says a skeptical Roland Kays, a zoologist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. “Even more than its fluffy tail.”

We’d like to add that it doesn’t matter how huge their tails are, these squirrels are still naked and thus in dire need of some tiny tighty-whities.

Photos by Rona Dennis

Visit Science news to learn more about the elusive vampire squirrel.

[via Science news and HOSCAP Borneo]

Nature + Science + Art = Super Awesome!

These amazing gifs, created from a video by Jonathon Bird’s Blue World, show a diver releasing a non-toxic fluorescent dye at the base of different sponges in the Caribbean to beautifully demonstrate how they feed on microscopic plankton by pumping and filtering the water through their bodies.

Click here to watch the actual video.

[via the io9 Observation Deck and reefs.com]

Today the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders transports us to the Indian Ocean. About 1200 miles from the southeastern coast of Africa is the island nation of Mauritius, and it’s there, at the southwestern tip of the island, that we’ll find a spectacular natural optical illusion:

When viewed from above, a runoff of sand and silt deposits creates the impression of an ‘underwater waterfall’. Satellite views (as seen in the two Google Maps screenshots above) are equally dramatic, as an underwater vortex seemingly appears off the coast of this tropical paradise.

With some optical illusions, the longer one looks at them, the more one can make sense of what’s actually there. But this stunning, false underwater waterfall looks completely real, no matter how long we stare at the photos.

Visit Twisted Sifter to learn more about this awesome natural spectacle.

Top photo via KULfoto.com, satellite photos by DigitalGlobe via Google Maps.