We have so many reasons to be thankful for the times in which we live: air conditioning, television, cell phones, cars, and no creepy Victorian-era Christmas cards. It may be difficult to imagine, but our ancestors of the 19th and early 20th centuries either had a distorted idea of what the yuletide season is supposed to represent or they had too much alcohol and not enough sex.
Whatever was wrong with them, we can undoubtedly determine their bizarre mindsets from a glance at some of their holiday cards. I mean…what reasonable person would glean Christmas joy from images of dead birds and dancing frogs? Then again, look who’s talking!
The oceans and seas remain one of the most mysterious realms on Earth. We still know more about the surface of our moon – and perhaps the surface of Mars – than what all lies beneath the world’s deepest waters.
Recently Australian photographer Kristian Laine took pictures of a truly remarkable submarine creature: the world’s only documented pink manta ray. Spanning about 11 feet and nicknamed Inspector Clouseau, after The Pink Panther, the animal lives near Lady Elliot Island, which is part of the Great Barrier Reef.
“I had no idea there were pink mantas in the world, so I was confused and thought my strobes were broken or doing something weird,” Laine told National Geographic.
Project Manta, established to study and preserve the creatures within Australian waters, discovered Clouseau in 2015. Organization officials were able to conduct a skin biopsy on the animal and determine its unique coloration is not due to disease or its diet; rather, it’s the result of a genetic mutation called erythrism, which causes reddening in melanin expressions. Most manta rays are black, white, or a combination of the two.
This is individual, however, is unbelievably astounding and proves just how fascinating our own planet really is!
As the horror of the wildfires continues to unfold in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison felt the heat of anger from residents forced to evacuate, when he visited them at an encampment in the town of Cobargo, New South Wales on January 2. With the death toll for both humans and animals rising, it didn’t seem appropriate for Morrison to take a vacation as the fires grew. As people are wont to do even in the worst of situations – especially to political figures – Australian artist Scott Marsh has done what artists do best: made a stinging rebuke. His “Merry Crisis” tee shirts have already proven popular. Marsh isn’t just expressing bad sentiments towards Morrison. Proceeds from sales of the shirts will be donated to helping victims of the fires. Someone, of course, must always keep our elected officials in check.