10 Weird Science facts you didn't know

Thursday, January 13, 2011

10 Weird Science facts you didn't know

Published on 11/8/2006 under Weird Science - 222,482 views

Animals can rain from the sky

Raining animals is a relatively common meteorological phenomenon, with occurrences reported from many countries throughout history. The animals most likely to drop from the sky in a rainfall are fish and frogs, with birds coming third. Sometimes the animals survive the fall, especially fish, suggesting a small time gap between the extraction and the actual drop. Several witnesses of raining frogs describe the animals as startled, though healthy, and exhibiting relatively normal behavior shortly after the event. In some incidents, however, the animals are frozen to death or even completely enclosed in blocks of ice. These occurrences may be evidence for the transport of the victims to high altitudes, where the temperature is below zero, and they show how powerful meteorological forces can be. Most recent occurrences include the rain of frogs and toads in Serbia (2005) and London (1998), and rains of fish in India (2006) and Wales (2004).

In Honduras, the Lluvia de Peces (Rain of Fishes) is a unique phenomenon that has been occurring for more than a century on a yearly basis in the country of Honduras. It occurs in the Departamento de Yoro, between the months of May and July. Witnesses of this phenomenon state that it begins with is a dark cloud in the sky followed by lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy rain for 2 to 3 hours. Once the rain has stopped, hundreds of living fish are found on the ground. People take the fish home to cook and eat them. Although some experts have tried to explain the Rain of Fishes as a natural meteorological phenomenon, the fish are not sea water fish, but fresh water fish; they are not dead, but alive; they are not blind, they have eyes; they are not big fish, but small; and the type of fish is not found elsewhere in the area. There is no valid scientific explanation for this phenomenon. Many people believe this phenomenon occurs because of Father José Manuel Subirana, a Spanish catholic missionary and considered by many to be a Saint. He visited Honduras from 1856-1864, and upon encountering so many poor people, prayed for 3 days and 3 nights asking God for a miracle to help the poor people by providing food. The Rain of Fishes has occurred ever since.

The universe is beige

Cosmic Latte is the color of the universe, according to a team of astronomers from Johns Hopkins University. In 2001, Karl Glazebrook and Ivan Baldry determined that the color of the universe was a greenish white, but they soon corrected their analysis in "The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey: constraints on cosmic star-formation history from the cosmic spectrum", published in 2002. In this paper, they reported that their survey of the color of all light in the universe added up to a slightly beige white. The survey included more than 200,000 galaxies, and measured the spectral range of the light from a large volume of the universe. The hexadecimal RGB value for Cosmic Latte is #FFF8E7.

In a Washington Post article, the color was displayed. Glazebrook jokingly said that he was looking for suggestions for a name for the new color. Several people who read the article sent in suggestions. "Cosmic Latte" was selected.

Poisoning can make masses to dance hysterically

Dancing mania is the name given to a phenomenon that occurred mainly in mainland Europe from the 14th century through to the 17th century, in which groups of people would dance through the streets of towns or cities, sometimes foaming at the mouth or speaking in tongues, until they collapsed from exhaustion. The first major outbreak of the mania was in Aachen, Germany, in July 1374. The dancers went through the streets screaming of wild visions, and even continued to writhe and twist after they collapsed from exhaustion. The dancing quickly caught on, and spread rapidly throughout France and the Low Countries. The mania reached its peak in 1418 in Strasbourg. At at least one point, so many people had either been afflicted with the dancing mania, or caught up in the dancing, or were trying to give assistance, or simply watching the events unfold, that the town was brought to a complete halt.

Although no real consensus exists as to what caused the mania, some cases, especially the one in Aix-la-Chapelle, may have had an explainable physical cause. The symptoms of the sufferers can be attributed to ergot poisoning, or ergotism, known in the Middle Ages as "St. Anthony's Fire". It is caused by eating rye infected with Claviceps purpurea, a small fungus that contains toxic and psychoactive chemicals (alkaloids), including lysergic acid (used in modern times to synthesize LSD). Symptoms of ergot poisoning include nervous spasms, psychotic delusions, spontaneous abortion, convulsions and gangrene; some dancers claimed to have experienced visions of a religious nature.

The Moon is moving away from the Earth

The Moon's orbit (its circular path around the Earth) is indeed getting larger, at a rate of about 3.8 centimeters per year. (The Moon's orbit has a radius of 384,000 km.) The reason for the increase is that the Moon raises tides on the Earth. Because the side of the Earth that faces the Moon is closer, it feels a stronger pull of gravity than the center of the Earth. Similarly, the part of the Earth facing away from the Moon feels less gravity than the center of the Earth. This effect stretches the Earth a bit, making it a little bit oblong.

It is expected that in 15 billion years, the orbit will stabilize at 1.6 times its present size, and the Earth day will be 55 days long equal to the time it will take the Moon to orbit the Earth.

Belly button lint comes from your underwear

Many people find that, at the beginning and end of the day, a small lump of fluff has appeared in the navel cavity. The reasons for this have been the subject of idle speculation for many years but in 2001, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki of the University of Sydney, Australia undertook a systematic survey to determine the ins and outs of navel lint. His primary findings were as follows:
  • Navel lint consists primarily of stray fibres from one's clothing, mixed with some dead skin cells and strands of body hair. The rotting cells can create unpleasant odors.
  • Contrary to expectations, navel lint appears to migrate upwards from underwear rather than downwards from shirts or tops. The migration process is the result of the frictional drag of body hair on underwear, which drags stray fibres up into the navel.
  • Women experience less navel lint because of their finer and shorter body hairs. Conversely, older men experience it more because of their coarser and more numerous hairs.
  • Navel lint's characteristic blue-gray tint is likely the averaging of the colors of fibres present in clothing; the same color as clothes dryer lint.
  • The existence of navel lint is entirely harmless, and requires no corrective action.

Fly larvae helps to heal wounds quicker

Long ago, some doctors noticed soldiers that had maggots on their wounds healed quicker than those without maggots. Maggots eat the dead skin cells and bacteria. Maggot Therapy (also known as Maggot Debridement Therapy (MDT), larval therapy, larva therapy, or larvae therapy) is the intentional introduction of live, disinfected maggots or fly larvae into non-healing skin or soft tissue wounds of a human or other animal. This practice was widely used before the discovery of antibiotics, as it serves to clean the dead tissue within a wound in order to promote healing.

Animals can naturally explode

Natural animal explosions can occur for a variety of reasons. On 2004, a buildup of gas inside a decomposing sperm whale, measuring 17 meters (56 ft.) long and weighing 50 tons, caused it to burst in Taiwan. The explosion was reported to have splattered blood and whale entrails over surrounding shop-fronts, bystanders, and cars.

A significant population of toads in Germany and Denmark were exploding in April 2005 in an act described as a self-defence mechanism that failed, as it consisted of puffing up to look bigger while under attack by crows.

You can still have an erection once dead

A death erection (sometimes referred to as "angel lust") is a post-mortem erection which occurs when a male individual dies vertically or face-down with the cadaver remaining in this position. During life, the pumping of blood by the heart ensures a relatively even distribution around the blood vessels of the human body. Once this mechanism has ended, only the force of gravity acts upon the blood. As with any mass, the blood settles at the lowest point of the body and causes edema or swelling to occur; the discoloration caused by this is called lividity.

If an individual dies vertically such as in a hanging, the blood will settle in the legs and pool at the feet. The pressure will be greatest as the weight of the blood pushes down. This causes the blood vessels and tissues in the feet to engorge to their greatest elastic capacity and hold the greatest volume of blood possible. This effect occurs right up the legs although to a lesser extent than the feet and is also notable at the waist. The blood which remains in the torso attempts to move to a lower position due to gravity, and as the blood in the waist (which cannot move down due to the legs being full) causes the penis, consisting of erectile tissue, to fill with blood and expand. This is the death erection. As long as the body remains in this position the effect will continue.

Male seahorses can get pregnant

Seahorses reproduce in an unusual way: the male becomes pregnant. Pipefishes and seahorses are the only species in the animal kingdom to which the term "male pregnancy" has been applied.

The male seahorse has a brood pouch in which he carries eggs deposited by the female. The mating pair entwine their tails and the female aligns a long tube called an ovipositor with the male's pouch. The eggs move through the tube into the male's pouch where he then fertilizes them. The embryos develop in ten days to six weeks, depending on species and water conditions. When the male gives birth he pumps his tail until the baby seahorses emerge.

The male's pouch regulates salinity for the eggs, slowly increasing in the pouch to match the water outside as the eggs mature. Hatched offspring are independent of their parents. Some spend time developing among the ocean plankton. At times, the male seahorse may try to consume some of the previously released offspring. Other species (H. zosterae) immediately begin life as sea-floor inhabitants (benthos).

A fetus can get trapped inside of its twin

Fetus in fetu (or Foetus in foetu) describes an extremely rare abnormality that involves a fetus getting trapped inside of its twin. It continues to survive as a parasite even past birth by forming an umbilical cord-like structure that leeches its twin's blood supply until it grows so large that it starts to harm the host, at which point doctors usually intervene. Invariably the parasitic fetus is anencephalic (without a brain) and lacks internal organs, and as such is unable to survive on its own, though it may have almost human (albeit underdeveloped and bizarre) features such as limbs, digits, hair, nails and teeth. Fetus in fetu is such a rare condition that only some 91 cases worldwide have ever been reported. Fetus in fetu happens very early in a twin pregnancy, when one fetus wraps around and envelops the other. The dominant fetus grows, while the fetus that would have been its twin lives on throughout the pregnancy, feeding off its host twin like a kind of parasite. Usually, both twins die before birth from the strain of sharing a placenta. Sometimes, however, the host twin survives and is delivered

Top 10 Mad Scientists in History

Top 10 Mad Scientists in History

Published on 10/13/2008 under Weird Science - 311,709 views
TAGS: Mad Scientists, Evil Scientists, Crazy Scientists, Mad Scientist, Weird Scientists, Strange Scientists, Corpse Electrocutioner, Two-Headed Dog, First Human Cyborg, Dog Decapitator, Sensory Deprivation, Demikhov, Ffirth, Menge

Vladimir Demikhov: The Two-Headed Dog Surgeon

On 1954, soviet surgeon Vladimir Demikhov, revealed his masterpiece to the world: a two-headed dog. The head of a puppy had been grafted onto the neck of an adult German shepherd. The second head would lap at milk, even though it did not need nourishment — and though the milk then dribbled down the neck from its disconnected oesophagus. Although both animals soon died because of tissue rejection, that did not stop Demikhov from creating 19 more over the next 15 years. See a video of the surgery.

Stubbins Ffirth: The Yellow Fever Vomit-Drinking Doctor

During the 1800s, a doctor training in Philadelphia, Stubbins Ffirth, formed the hypothesis that yellow fever was not an infectious disease, and proceeded to test it on himself. He first poured infected vomit into open wounds, then drank the vomit. He did not fall ill, but not because yellow fever is not infectious: it was later discovered that it must be injected directly into the bloodstream, typically through the bite of a mosquito.

Josef Mengele: The Angel of Death

Joseph Mengele gained notoriety chiefly for being one of the SS physicians who supervised the selection of arriving transports of prisoners, determining who was to be killed and who was to become a forced laborer, and for performing human experiments on camp inmates, amongst whom Mengele was known as the "Angel of Death."

At Auschwitz, Mengele did a number of twin studies. After the experiment was over, these twins were usually murdered and their bodies dissected. He supervised an operation by which two Gypsy children were sewn together to create conjoined twins; the hands of the children became badly infected where the veins had been resected. Mengele was almost fanatical about drawing blood from twins, mostly identical twins. He is reported to have bled some to death this way

Auschwitz prisoner Alex Dekel has said: "I have never accepted the fact that Mengele himself believed he was doing serious work — not from the slipshod way he went about it. He was only exercising his power. Mengele ran a butcher shop — major surgeries were performed without anesthesia. Once, I witnessed a stomach operation — Mengele was removing pieces from the stomach, but without any anesthetic. Another time, it was a heart that was removed, again, without anesthesia. It was horrifying. Mengele was a doctor who became mad because of the power he was given. Nobody ever questioned him — why did this one die? Why did that one perish? The patients did not count. He professed to do what he did in the name of science, but it was a madness on his part".

Johann Conrad Dippel: The original Frankenstein

Johann Conrad Dippel was such a mad scientist that he was actually born in castle Frankenstein in 1673, a place near near Darmstadt, Germany. He is said to be the model for Mary Shelley's novel "Frankenstein", though that idea remains controversial.

After studying theology, philosophy and alchemy, he created an animal oil made of bones, blood and various other animal products, known as Dippel's Oil which was supposed to be the equivalent to the alchemists' dream of the "elixir of life." It is said that some of his work on anatomy involved boiling various body parts in large vats to make some kind of mad man stew, and that he also tried his hand at moving the soul from one corpse to another, possibly with a funnel, a hose and a lot of lubricant.

Giovanni Aldini: The Corpse Electrocutioner

Aldini was the nephew of Luigi Galvani. His uncle essentially discovered the concept of galvanism, when experimenting with electrical currents on frog legs. Aldini took those experiments further. Aldini conducted his experiments on corpses.

In front of an audience, he conducted an experiment on a hung murderer, George Forster. He applied conducting rods to the man's rectum, whereby the dean man began to punch the air, and his legs began to kick and flinch. Rods applied to the face made it clench and quiver. The left eye popped open. Several people present feared the man had come back to life, and had he actually sprung forth, he would have to be re-executed. One individual was so horrified, that shortly upon leaving the spectacle, he reportedly died.

Sergei Bruyukhonenko: The Dog Decapitator

Way before Vladimir Demikhov, Bruyukhonenko's mad experiments on dogs led to the development of open-heart procedures. He developed a crude machine called the autojektor (a heart and lung machine). By using this primitive machine, Bryukhonenko kept the heads of severed dogs alive. In 1928, he displayed one of the heads in front of an audience. To prove it was real, he banged a hammer on the table. The head flinched. When a light was shone in its eyes, the eyes blinked. And when it was fed a piece of cheese, the remnants promptly popped out of the esophageal tube, much to the displeasure of disgusted viewers.

Andrew Ure: The Scottish Butcher

Andrew Ure, despite his many accomplishments as a Scottish doctor, was more famously known for four experiments conducted on Matthew Clydesdale on November 4, 1818. The first experiment involved an incision in the nape of the neck. Part of the vertebra was removed. An incision was then made in the left hip. Then a cut was made in the heel. Two rods connected to a battery were placed in the neck and hip, which caused great, uncontrollable convulsions. The 2nd rod was then placed into the heel, whereby the left leg kicked with such force, that it nearly knocked over an assistant. The 2nd experiment made the diaphragm of Forster's chest rise and lower, as if he were breathing again.

Ure had reported that had Forster's blood not been drained, or his neck broken from the hanging, he was sure he could bring him back to life. The 3rd experiment showed the extraordinary facial expressions exhibited when Ure made an incision in Forster's forehead. The rod was inserted, and Forster's face began to show emotions of anger, horror, despair, anguish, and hideous, contorted smiles. The expressions scared viewers so badly, that one doctor who was known to have a strong stomach, passed out on the spot. The final experiment had people believing that Forster was indeed alive. A cut was made into the forefinger. Once the rod was inserted, Forster began to raise his hand and point to people in the audience. Needless to say, many were horrified.

Shiro Ishii: Dr. Pure Evil

Ishii was a microbiologist and the lieutenant general of Unit 731, a biological warfare unit of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He was born in the former Shibayama Village of Sanbu District in Chiba Prefecture, and studied medicine at Kyoto Imperial University. In 1932, he began his preliminary experiments in biological warfare as a secret project for the Japanese military. In 1936, Unit 731 was formed. Ishii built a huge compound — more than 150 buildings over six square kilometers — outside the city of Harbin, China.

Some of the numerous atrocities committed by Ishii and others under his command in Unit 731 include: vivisection of living people (including pregnant women who were impregnated by the doctors), prisoners had limbs amputated and reattached to other parts of their body, some prisoners had parts of their bodies frozen and thawed to study the resulting untreated gangrene. Humans were also used as living test cases for grenades and flame throwers. Prisoners were injected with inoculations of disease, disguised as vaccinations, to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhea via rape, then studied. Having been granted immunity by the American Occupation Authorities at the end of the war, Ishii never spent any time in jail for his crimes and died at the age of 67 of throat cancer.

Kevin Warwick: The First Human Cyborg

Kevin Warwick is a British scientist and professor of cybernetics with such a fascination with for robots, that he's endeavoring to be the first man ever to become a cyborg.

On 1998, a simple RFID transmitter was implanted beneath Warwick's skin, and used to control doors, lights, heaters, and other computer-controlled devices based on his proximity. The main purpose of this experiment was said to be to test the limits of what the body would accept, and how easy it would be to receive a meaningful signal from the chip.

On 2002, a more complex neural interface was implanted on his nervous system, getting access to his nervous signals. The experiment proved so successful, that the signal produced was detailed enough for a robot arm to mimic the actions of Warwick's own arm.

Later, a highly publicised extension to the experiment, in which a simpler array was implanted into Warwick's wife—with the aim of creating a form of telepathy or empathy using the Internet to communicate the signal from afar—was also successful, resulting in the first purely electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans. His experiments are still on.

John Lilly: The Sensory Deprivation Tank creator

To find out what would happen if the brain was cut off from all external stimuli, scientist John Lilly built the first sensory deprivation tank in 1954. Floating in warm water for hours in complete darkness and silence, Lilly began to experience vivid fantasies. "These are too personal to relate publicly," he reported later. The hallucinations of his test subjects were similarly difficult to categorize scientifically. This was one reason why his research did not take off.

Lilly later gave up scientific research and founded the firm Samadhi Tanks, which manufactured tanks for domestic use. On 1980 Lilly's work was the model for the film "Altered States". Having became something of a New Age guru, he died in 2001.

10 Fascinating Albino Animals

10 Fascinating Albino Animals

Published on 12/12/2008 under Weird Science - 114,289 views
TAGS: Albino Animals

Albino Alligators

From over 2 million alligators in the United States, only about 40 are albino. This 14 year-old albino alligator (Alligator mississppiensis), named 'White Diamond', was born in Louisiana in the U.S. grew up at the St. Augustin-Alligator Farm in Florida, and is now part of a travelling reptile show called 'Land der Reptilien'.
Albino Alligator

Albino Frogs

Albino Frog
Albino frogs are actually fairly common. These 19 identical male albino frogs were prepared by nuclear transplantation into unfertilized eggs of the dark green female frog, as part of an experiment on animal cloning.

Albino Penguin

Albino Penguin
This one-in-a-million albino African penguin chick was hatched at Bristol Zoo on 2002. The chick, named Snowdrop, was born alongside its black-and-white sibling and keepers suspected it was a first among zoos.

Albino Monkeys

Albino Monkeys
This albino Pygmy Marmoset monkeys were born at the Froso Zoo in Ostersund, on 2006. Both died just hours after they became the first albinos of their breed to be born in captivity. The Pygmy Marmoset monkeys are the world's smallest, growing up to just 35cm and weighting barely 100 grams.

Albino Whales

Albino Whale
'Moby', the all white whale, was first observed by Paul Hodda from the Australian Whale Conservation Society in the early 1990's. Since then he has been spotted at least 30 times. Moby is believed to be male, is probably an albino and is the first white whale for many decades not destined to meet the likes of Captain Ahab.

Albino Squirrels

Albino Squirrel
Only 10 in every one million squirrels are born with albinism, and have a very short life expectancy because they are easily seen by both predators and prey due to their obvious lack of camouflage.

Albino Deers

Albino Deer
At the foothills of the Erzgebirge Mountains in eastern Germany, this snow-white deer with pink eyes and skin was found by hunters. An albino deer is one in 100,000 according to by zoologists.

Albino Kangaroos

Albino Kangaroo
Albino Kangaroos are extremely rare, and found almost exclusively on Australian Zoos. Everyday the Kangaroo's care giver puts sunscreen on them, so they won't get sunburn.

Albino Pelicans

Albino Pelican
This albino pelican was found at Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil.

Albino Pythons

Albino Python
This Albino Type II Tiger Pythons sell for $15,000 each. An extremely rare breed, these pythons showcase a co-dominant tiger pattern.

10 of the World's Strangest Plant Species

10 of the World's Strangest Plant Species

Published on 9/2/2009 under Weird Science - by Gracie Murano - 152,883 views

Welwitschia mirabilis:World's Most Resistant Plant

Welwitschia mirabilis:World's Most Resistant Plant
It's not pretty to look at, but Namibia's plant Welwitschia Mirabilis can truly claim to be one of a kind. There really is nothing like it. Welwitschia plant consists of only two leaves and a sturdy stem with roots. That's all! Two leaves continue to grow until they resemble the shaggy mane of some sci-fi alien. The stem thickens, rather than gains in height, and can grow to be almost 2 meters high and 8 meters wide. Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years. It can survive up to five years with no rain. The plant is said to be very tasty either raw or baked in hot ashes, and this is how it got its other name, Onyanga, which means onion of the desert.
(Link | Photo 1 | Photo 2)

Dionaea muscipula: the Venus Fly Trap

Dionaea muscipula: the Venus Fly Trap
The Venus Fly Trap is the most famous of all carnivorous plants due to the active and efficient nature of its unique traps. It may be famous, but it's also threatened. The plant's two hinged leaves are covered in ultra sensitive fine hairs that detect the presence of everything from ants to arachnids. Trigger the hairs and snap! The trap will shut in less than a second. (Link | Photo)

Rafflesia arnoldii: World's Largest Flower

Rafflesia arnoldii: World's Largest Flower
There is one exotic and rare plant you wouldn't likely want to grow anywhere near your landscape no matter how famous it would make you for doing so. That would be growing the largest flower in the world. This exotic, very rare, speckled, though not particularly pretty, rust colored flower is called Rafflesia Arnoldii.

Rafflesia Arnoldii, recently assigned to the Euphorbiaceae family, is the biggest individually produced flower in the world. It gets to be 3 feet across and weighing a whopping 15- 24 pounds. That's pretty darn big but still you would not like this flower in your perennial bed. Why is that? If you could mimic a rainforest type environment for this plant, it gives off a most offensive odor when in bloom. This scent is somewhat like rotting meat. This is why it is often called the Corpse Plant by some natives of Indonesia where it originates.

Its blossoms only last three days to a week. But in those few days it needs a miracle or two just for survival. This hideous smell it produces attracts pollinating insects to it to help perpetuate the species. But even when this happens only 10-20 percent of the tiny seedlings make it. With any luck in nine months it blooms. (Link | Photo)

Desmodium gyrans: the Dancing Plant

Desmodium gyrans: the Dancing Plant
Darwin called the plant Hedysarum; modern botanists call it either Desmodium Gyrans, or more correctly these days, Codariocalyx Motorius. Its common name is Dancing Grass or Telegraph Plant or Semaphore Plant -- after the leaf movements, which resemble semaphore signals. For all of its uses this plant is easy to grow, dancing happily on a sunny windowsill and watered when dry. Some say it dances best to the "Greatful Dead!"


Euphorbia obesa: the Baseball Plant

Euphorbia obesa: the Baseball Plant
Euphorbia Obesa, also known as the Baseball Plant, is endemic to the Great Karoo region of South Africa. Unsustainable harvesting by plant collectors who value Euphorbia obesa for its interesting and curious appearance has severely impacted wild populations. Consequently, national and international legislation have been enacted to protect remaining populations. While Euphorbia obesa remains endangered in its native habitat, it has become very common in cultivation. By growing large numbers of Euphorbia obesa, nurseries and botanical gardens have been working to ensure that specimens being traded and sold among plant collectors are not obtained from the wild. (Link)

Amorphophallus titanum: the Corpse Flower

Amorphophallus titanum: the Corpse Flower
A flower taller than a man, stinking strongly of putrefying roadkill and colored deep burgundy to mimic rotting flesh, sounds like something from a low-budget science fiction movie. But Indonesia's titan arum—or "corpse flower," as known by locals—is a real, if rare, phenomenon, pollinated in the wild by carrion-seeking insects. This Indonesian plant, called titan arum or amorphophallus titanium, has the world's biggest inflorescence. Due to its fragrance, which is reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal, the Titan Arum is also known as a carrion flower, the "Corpse flower", or "Corpse plant". (Link 1 | Link 2)

Baobab: the Bottle Tree

Baobab: the Bottle Tree
Baobab is the common name of a genus (Adansonia) containing eight species of trees, native to Madagascar, mainland Africa and Australia. Also known as the Bottle Tree, not only do they look like bottles, but the trees typically store around 300 liters of water! No wonder why they often live over 500 years! (Link)

Dracaena cinnabari: the Dragon Blood Tree

Dracaena cinnabari: the Dragon Blood Tree
Dracaena Cinnabari is a Dragon Tree native to the Socotra archipelago. It is also referred to as the Dragon Blood Tree and Socotra Dragon Tree. It is one of the most striking of Socotra's plants, a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. It was first formally described by Isaac Bayley Balfour in 1882. A miniature Icon of this tree is in Windows as Network-Icon. Its red sap was the dragon's blood of the ancients, sought after as a medicine and a dye. (Link 1 | Link 2)

Mimosa púdica: the Shy Plant

Mimosa púdica: the Shy Plant
Mimosa Pudica (pudica = shy), or the Sensitive Plant, has a curiosity value: the compound leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken, re-opening within minutes. The species is native to South America and Central America, but is now a pantropical weed. Who would know that plants have feelings too?


Selaginella lepidophylla: the Resurrection Plant

Selaginella lepidophylla: the Resurrection Plant
Also known as Rose of Jericho, the Selaginella Lepidophylla is a species of desert plant noted for its ability to survive almost complete desiccation; during dry weather in its native habitat, its stems curl into a tight ball and uncurl when exposed to moisture. It is native to the Chihuahuan Desert. (Link | Photo)
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