Greenbird

A sail-car
A sail-car

It’s green. It’s a car. It has no engine. It uses wind-power only.

And it can travel at a speed of more than 200 kph!

Richard Jenkins from the UK designed, built and drove this car, and it just broke the world record speed for a wind-powered car.

Transparent green spider

A jumping spider
A jumping spider

In the forests of Papua New Guinea it is thought that there are thousands of plants and animals which have never been seen by human eyes.

Recently a new kind of spider was discovered, a green jumping spider. In fact it is so new to humans that it doesn’t yet have a name. It is thought to belong to the Orthrus group of jumping spiders. There were only 4 species in this group, now we have 5.

Mountain cherry blossom

It is now the famous cherry blossom season in Japan, a time of change, a time to start anew. In many places there are avenues of cherry trees which come into bloom at the same time and provide a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the blossom.

But on the mountainside near my house I can see cherry trees in their natural environment, among the pine trees and bamboo groves, it is a gorgeous sight.

Actually it is a hill, 300m.
Actually it is a hill, 300m.

Bearded vulture

A rare photo of a bearded vulture on land
A rare photo of a bearded vulture on land

This bird is sometimes known as the bearded eagle, or the lammergeier, but is usually referred to as the bearded vulture. It has a wingspan of about 3 metres and is found high in the skies around the world.

Pink Elephant

When we ‘see a pink elephant’  it is usually some kind of illusion or hallucination often caused by drinking too much.

This pink elephant is no illusion
This pink elephant is no illusion

However, although they are very rare, they do exist. The pink elephant in the picture lives in the jungle and wetlands of Botswana, and is thought to be an albino.

Apparently pink elephants often die at a young age because lack of skin pigment does not give enough protection against the sun’s rays. But observers of this particular pink elephant believe that it has adapted its behaviour to endure the fierce sunshine and its chances of survival are very good.

Brain test

Among all the coffee beans in the picture below is a man (yes, a man, no kidding).

If you can see this man in less than 3 seconds you are either a genius or lucky (or a lucky genius).

If you take less than 3 minutes then your brainpower is normal.

Bean looking long?
Bean looking long?

World’s highest structure II

In the past there has been a lot of debate about what is the world’s tallest building.

It was argued that it was the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. But this is not a ‘building’, it is a ‘tower’ said many people. And I guess that is true. It is a concrete block with outside elevators, no floors, and a revolving restaurant at the top. However it is man-made and it is high.

So the CN Tower became the world’s highest structure. But wait a moment, if a tower is a structure then so is a TV mast. At more than 600m high a TV antenna/mast in North Dakota, USA is therefore the world’s highest structure.

After all this argument it is now a relief to report that the world’s tallest building/structure/ antenna/anything is the Burj Dubai, in (of course) Dubai. It is 818m high and has 162 floors and it looks like this:

This is where the money we spend on gasoline goes.
This is where the money we spend on gasoline goes.

I wouldn’t like to be the guy operating the crane at the top.

Slender Loris

Wrapped around your finger
Wrapped around your finger

This is a slender loris, a baby slender loris to be precise. This animal is highly endangered and only lives in Sri Lanka and the south of India.

Its numbers are decreasing because of habitat loss, and hunting. What is it hunted for? Its eyes.

Ganymede

Ganymede is the small one
Ganymede is the small one

Ganymede is a moon. It is the largest moon in our solar system but, as you can see in the photo, it is nowhere near as big as its mother planet, Jupiter. Jupiter has three moons, the others are Io and Europa.

Ganymede is 7% of the size of Earth, though it is a little larger than Mercury. It takes about a week to orbit Jupiter. It was discovered by Galileo in 1610. Is there any chance of life? Not as we know it; the surface temperature is about -160C!

Colliding galaxies

What happens when two galaxies collide?

I'm glad that sound doesn't travel through space
I'm glad that sound doesn't travel through space

Answer: billions of suns are formed in an explosion that lasts a billion years. This picture was taken a few years ago, but the galaxies are so far away that what we can see happened about 500 million years ago!

Huahine

Just look at the turquoise sea
Just look at the turquoise sea

An island in the Tahiti chain of French Polynesia, Huahine must be one of the most beautiful islands on this planet. I got the chance to visit it many years ago, and it’s imposssible to take a bad photo.

Why are pencils hexagonal?

a classic American pencil
a classic American pencil

Some pencils are round but most of them seem to be hexagonal.

A hexagonal is more comfortable to use, easier to make, and harder to roll off a table. Personally I find pencils too thin to hold with any comfort so I like to put a kind of rubber tube around the waist of the pencil.

Golden Rays

Golden Ray migration
Golden Ray migration

These are not golden rays of sunshine. These are fish with a sting. They migrate in their thousands once every two years to and from the seas around Mexico and Florida.

It looks like a submerged patchwork quilt.

Each ray is about 2 metres wide
Each ray is about 2 metres wide