Animals, Videos

Extremely rare footage shows sperm whales sleeping vertically


The sperm whale (also called the cachalot) the largest toothed predator. Mature males average at 16 metres (52 ft) in length but some may reach 20.5 metres (67 ft), with the head representing up to one-third of the animal’s length. The sperm whale feeds primarily on squid, which it hunts at impressive depths, usually deeper than 2 km. Researchers have believed for some…

Feature Post, Great Pics, Space

Planet Earth through the eyes of an Astronaut

On a clear day you can see forever (or at least form Havana to Washington, D.C.).

Col. Chris Hadfield is not your typical astronaut (as far as astronauts can be seen as typical). The first Canadian to walk into outer space, Hadfield caused sensation on social media channels on various occasions, be it after recording a song while surfing gravity in the ISS or when he showed us how to brush your teeth in micro gravity. He’s most popular posts…

Environment, News

UK to allow fracking companies to use ‘any substance’ under homes, despite 99% public opposition

Image credits: Rob Brooks.

A new proposed amendment in the UK would make a mockery of existing European shale gas regulation. If the new regulation would pass, it would allow fracking companies to put “any substance” under people’s homes and property and leave it there, as part of the Infrastructure Bill. The wording of the bill would also allow storing nuclear waste. Europe has much stricter…

Chemistry, Videos

The Pharaoh’s Snake: This Chemical Reaction looks like a Portal to Hell

Image credits.

Many chemical reactions are quite shocking, but this one is definitely something else. Take a look at the decomposition of Mercury(II) thiocyanate (Hg(SCN)2): Mercury thiocyanate is a white powder that looks pretty inconspicuous when you look at it. However, when you introduce heat (burn it), it produces a blue flame and creates a solid snake-like mass which seems to stem straight…

News, Space

The US and India sign Space Agreement

India's Mars Orbiter Mission got straight down to work on arriving at the Red Planet.

We were telling you a while ago how India launched a probe towards Mars, and how it was successful in reaching the Red Planet’s orbit – a magnificent achievement for any country, let alone India, which is still a developing country. To make their success even more remarkable, they are the first country ever to successfully send a probe to…

News, Physics

Gravity waves laid to dust: when scientists get way ahead of themselves

BICEP2 (in the foreground) and the South Pole Telescope (in the background). Credit: Steffen Richter, Harvard University

Nobel prizes, international press coverage, awards – these were all promises and cheers thrown about all over the web after a team of physicists trumpeted during a conference at Harvard that they’ve made one of the biggest discoveries in science: gravity waves. Some theories claim that these waves were generated brief moments following the Big Bang, and a team of researchers…

Animals, News

Newly Discovered Dart Frog in Amazon is smaller than a Coin

The newfound, orange-colored frog looks nothing like its relatives. Photograph by Abel Batista

Scientists have discovered a toxic, brightly colored and extremely small dart frog in the hilly areas near the Caribbean coast. Measuring just 12.7 millimeters in length, the newly described Andinobates geminisae is quite mysterious. The first strange thing about it is that it looks very different from its closest genetic relatives; namely, it’s bright orange. Andrew Crawford, a professor of evolutionary genetics and…

Animals, News

Weird cloud picked up on radar was actually Monarch Butterflies

monarch butterfly

Radars picked up a “strange cloud” with a bizarre shape above the US Midwest. Upon a closer look, it was revealed that the cloud was actually monarch butterflies traveling from Canada to Mexico – an iconic migration which has been less and less visible in recent years, but may make a resurgence in 2014. Monarch butterflies are the most iconic butterfly…

Anatomy, Biology, Diseases, News

Heart rate variability keeps the body in optimal shape


The heart regularly speeds up or down its beating frequency to adjust to the body’s needs. Even in stable conditions (when you’re not particularly active or your active for a constant time), the amount of time between heart beats is variable. A team of doctors and engineers at Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science have now found a better way to assess…

News, Space flight

India’s Mangalyaan shuttle has now successfully entered the Mars orbit


We were telling you yesterday about India’s Mangalyaan shuttle, which was set to enter Martian orbit. Here’s the update: everything went fine, Mangalyaan has entered the red planet’s orbit in a historic moment for Indian science. “History has been created today”, said  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We have achieved the near impossible. I congratulate all ISRO scientists and all my fellow Indians…