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Rodriguez Hernandez - Biggest Feet in the World

Jeison Orlando Rodríguez Hernandez, 20, from Maracay, Venezuela, has claimed a spot on the Guinness Book of World Records for 'The Biggest Feet in the World'. The youngest of four children, Jeison grew at a normal rate until he turned 10, when his feet suddenly grew from a size 5.5 to a size 11 in less than a year. His right foot now measures an incredible 40.1cm (15.79in) while his left measures 39.6cm (15.59in), making him a size 32 in the UK.  

Rodriguez Hernandez with his nephew
Photograph: Gil Montano/Guinness World Records

From the age of 14, Rodríguez Hernandez had shoes made out of cloth material that only lasted two to three weeks, forcing him to go barefoot at times. In school, Rodríguez Hernandez had to face verbal and physical bullying because of his feet and used to come home traumatized by the discrimination. He underwent medical scans that determined he suffered from an overactive pituitary that produced the excess growth. His parents were forced to seek medical help for Jeison when he went through his massive growth spurt at age 10, when he also suffered from severe headaches and joint pain.

Jeison Orlando Rodríguez Hernandez with his family
Photograph: Reuters

A German specialist shoemaker, Georg Wessels, introduced Jeison to the Guinness World Records after travelling to Maracay in the west of Venezuela to make Jeison’s shoes. Jeison now wants to return to studying, having beaten the bullies, to learn to bake and to help people who are suffering from depression. 

The shoes of Jeison Orlando Rodríguez Hernandez (L) are seen next to the shoes of his nephew
Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

The previous record holder for Biggest Feet was Turkish farmer Sultan Kosen, with a shoe size of 28. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Kosen also holds the record for the world’s tallest man, standing at 8ft 3in tall (2.51m) while Rodríguez Hernandez measures 7ft 3in.

Source: dailymail.co.uk
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Animals That May Live Forever

Tardigrade


Tardigrades, are commonly known as waterbears or moss piglets. These animals can survive in very extreme conditions, withstanding water temperature from zero to well above the boiling point. 

Tardigrade in Moss
Photograph: Nicole Ottawa & Oliver Meckes/Eye of Science

Tardigradescan be found in the deepest part of the ocean; they survived the vacuum of outer space and solar radiation, gamma radiation, ionic radiation, at levels hundreds of times that which would kill humans. They can also survive for a decade without water, by entering a state calledcryptobiosis. Their ability to withstand such extremes, which would kill other animals, is due to the use of a special sugar called trehalose.


Immortal Jellyfish


Turritopsis Doohmii, the so called "Immortal Jellyfish"
Photograph: Takashi Murai/The New York Times Syndicate/Redux

A tiny variety of jellyfish known as Turritopsis doohmii, or more commonly, the immortal jellyfish, has found a way to cheat death by actually reversing its aging process, according to National Geographic. If the jellyfish is injured or sick, it returns to its polyp stage over a three-day period, transforming its cells into a younger state that will eventually grow into adulthood all over again.


Lobsters


Photograph: Casey Mahaney/Getty Images

There is a debate among the scientific community whether these red ocean dwellers are biologically immortal; a common cause of death is disease, not old age, and unlike other animals, lobsters grow and reproduce until they die. One lobster captured off the coast of Newfoundland was estimated to be 140 years old, but most males survive into their early 30s while females live an average of 54 years, according to Smithsonian.


Planarian Flatworms


Planarian flatworms are masters of regeneration and an ideal model organism for researchers to investigate stem cells and their regulation.
Photograph: A Sánchez Alvarado/ HHMI

These creepy crawlers are famous for their regeneration abilities, where a worm cut across or lengthwise can form two separate worms. This apparently limitless regeneration also applies to aging and damaged tissue, allowing the worms to cheat death indefinitely, according to astudy at the University of Nottingham.


Hydra Magnipapillata


Hydra magnipapillata, are fresh water polyps, do not show any sign of deteriorating with age and, if kept in ideal conditions, may just live forever. 

Photograph: en.wikipedia.org

Like the above Flatworms, these animals can be cut in certain places and new parts will grow back. However, it is said the chances of a hydra living forever are low because they are exposed to the normal dangers of the wild -- predation, contamination, diseases. 

These creatures are only a couple of millimetres long though, with a tubular body type. They also have a sticky adhesive foot, but more importantly, they seem to be able to live forever, as they have an apparently limitless capacity to regenerate telomeres (which protect the end of the chromosome from deterioration). 


Turtles


A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) swims in the aquarium of the Haus des Meeres ('House of the Sea'), in Vienna on June 27, 2012.
Photograph: Alexander Klein/AFP/GettyImages

Slow and steady really does win the race. Turtles have been known to live for centuries, and researches have found that their organs don’t seem to break down over time. 

There is evidence that Marion's tortoise (Geochelone gigantia) can live over 150 years. And, the Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone nigra) has been shown to reach 177 years. 

The New York Times reports that turtles might even be able to live indefinitely if they are able to avoid predators and disease.
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Wedding Cake Rock, Australia

Wedding Cake Rock, also known as White Rock, is a unusual limestone rock formation located in the Royal National Park near Bundeena, New South Wales, Australia. This sand rock is unusually eroded into a perfectly cuboid shape and resembles the squared silky layers of a white wedding cake. Its colour is caused by iron in the sandstone leaking out and leaving it pure white. This has also contributed to the significant weakening of the rock formation. 

Image Source: photographyhotspots.com.au

Image Source: cnn.com

The rock is one of many limestone formations that appear north of Marley Beach, and is suspended 25 metres (82 ft) above sea level. Wedding Cake Rock is noted for its scenic location and popularity with bushwalkers and tourists, as an attractive location for photography. Its reputation, however, was damaged after the landmark saw a sudden spike in popularity in 2015, and subsequently fell victim to vandalism. 

For safety reasons, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) closed off public access in May 2015 to carry out investigations into the stability of Wedding Cake Rock. The closure of the rock came after hundreds of photographs were shared across social media of people performing dangerous stunts on the Royal National Park attraction. The study found that the formation was not only unstable, but was certain to collapse at anytime within the next ten years, with the entire structure being described as "precariously balancing on the edge of the cliff, and severely undercut", seeming to be only upheld by very few pieces of debris from a recent major fracture below the rock. The rock will remain closed to the public until its eventual demise, though there are plans to establish a permanent viewing platform near the landmark.

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Hanging Stone Pillar of Lepakshi Temple, Andhra Pradesh, India

Lepakshi temple, also known as Veerabhadra temple, located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India.  The temple features many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas.

Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple
Image Source: flickr.com

One of the most astonishing wonders in this temple is, among the 70 stone pillars, there is a monolithic pillar hanging from the roof of the Veerabhadra temple barely touching the floor. This one is the best known and a tribute to the engineering genius of ancient and medieval India’s temple builders. Visitors can pass objects such as paper, towel, etc in the gap between temple floor and the bottom of the pillar. People who come to the temple strongly believe that passing objects under the pillar brings them prosperity and peace of mind. Hanging pillar is a bit dislodged from its original position. It is said that during the British era, a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

Lepakshi Temple
Image Source: stockpholio.net

Visitors demonstrating the hanging pillar of Lepakshi Temple
Image Source: amusingplanet.com

The temple was built for deity Veerabhadra in 16th century by the brothers, Virupanna and Veeranna, who were initially in the service of the Vijayanagar kings. However, Puranic lore has it that the Veerabhadra temple was built by the sage Agastya. It has idols of Ganesha, Nandi, Veerabhadra, Shiva, Bhadrakali, Vishnu and Lakshmi.

Another legend gives the town a significant place in the Ramayana. This was where Lord Sri Rama met the huge mythical bird 'Jatayu' whose wings had been struck by the king of Lanka Ravana(Lankeswaran) who was on his way back home with his hostage Sri Sita Devi, wife of Sri Rama. Sri Rama said compassionately to the wounded bird  ''Le Pakshi'' (Arise bird in Telugu). Hence the name LePakshi.

The monolithic Nandi at Lepakshi
Image Source: thehindu.com

Besides the Hanging Pillar, another draw is the spectacular Nandi, located almost a mile before the main temple — the first structure you will encounter. At 27ft in length and 15ft in height, it is a colossal structure, reputedly India’s biggest monolithic Nandi. Besides the record size, the perfectly proportioned body, finely-carved ornaments, and smooth contours add to its grandeur and make it a popular photo-op with visitors.

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Aurora, A Mysterious Light In The Night Sky

An aurora is a mysterious and unpredictable display of light in the night sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions.  Auroras in the northern hemisphere are called aurora borealis or northern lights, and in the southern hemisphere aurora australis, or southern lights.

A green aurora swirls across the night sky in Nord-Trondelag, Norway
Photography By Tommy Eliassen

Aurora seen at Hakoya island, Norway, on October 25th, 2011
Photography By Frank Olsen

Northern Light appear to touch down between two Scandinavian mountain peaks on February 14, 2013
Photography By Ionnais Ksanthakis

Auroras can appear as long, narrow arcs of light, often extending east to west from horizon to horizon. At other times they stretch across the night sky in bands that kink, fold, and swirl, or even ruffle like curtains. They can spread out in multi-colored rays usually green but often showing shades of blue and red, and sometimes yellow or white.

Auroras are caused at altitudes of 100 to more than 400 km (60 to more than 250 miles) by fast-moving energetic particles (electrons and protons) from the Earth’s magnetosphere, the region of space controlled by Earth’s magnetic field. When a large number of energetic particles enter the upper atmosphere and bombard the gases in the atmosphere, causing them to emit enough light for the eye to detect, giving us beautiful auroral displays.

The color of the aurora depends upon how fast the electrons are moving, or how much energy they have at the time of their collisions with upper atmosphere gased (Oxygen and Nitrogen). High energy electrons cause oxygen to emit green light (the most familiar color of the aurora), while low energy electrons cause a red light. Nitrogen generally gives off a blue light. The blending of these colors can also lead to purples, pinks, and whites. The different shapes of auroras are a mystery that scientists are still trying to unravel. The shape seems to depend on where in the magnetosphere the electrons originate, what causes them to gain their energy, and why they dive into the atmosphere.

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