Another Friday and another fun installment of the Friday Smorgasbord. First off is the way cool glowing shrimp we found on NatGeo. The deep-sea shrimp Parapandalus has bioluminescence capabilities and actually hurls a glowing cloud of organic matter to confuse a potential predator. Found off the coast of the Bahamas, scientists found this shrimp along with a bunch of other glowing critters at depths around 3,280 feet.
From unreal-looking glowing creatures to unreal worlds. Ever wonder how filmmakers create those awesome alien worlds? Well before the days of CGI, these film artists used a variety of methods to take us to new, exciting worlds. This video shows how a fish tank, salt water and various food dyes are used to create these alien worlds. These techniques were used in some memorable flicks like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Poltergeist.
Release the Kraken! Or at least the Humboldt Squid. Scientists are studying why the giant squid and wondering why they are leaving their normal home in the Sea of Cortez in between Baja California and the mainland of Mexico causing issues with the local fisheries who depend on the squid for their livelihood. Scientists haven’t seen these mysterious beasts alive and at the immense Kraken-like size but they have seen carcasses washed up on shore (such as the 8-foot-long, 400-pound baby giant squid in Monterey Bay a few years back. El Nino, shifting food supplies, the climate? Read all about the search for the mysterious cephalopods at Wired.
An interesting partnership between game developer SGN and environmental non-profit Earth Echo International has yielded a game for the iOS called “Rescue Reef” that allows players to not only play a game but allows the player to donate to an ecological cause. The premise is simple, players save endangered animals and the more animals you save, the better you do. The gameplay is highly social and interactive encouraging players to want to come back, to take care of their animals, get more points, and of course brag to their friends.
[via The Verge]
The Crown of Thorns Starfish is a devastating, living bulldozer on reefs. In their search for food, the COTS can wipe out 40-90% of corals on the reefs where they are found causing more devastation and damage than bleaching. Scientiests at James Cook University have come across a harmless protein mixture that is used to grow bacteria in the laboratory. They have found that using this mixture can effectively destroy the COTS in as little as 24 hours. They believe that if they can show it is safe for other types of sea life, they could use their discovery to try to control outbreaks, if only to protect sites that are important for the tourism industry.
When fishing, you can pretty much expect the unexpected, but when strange things happen, it is still pretty startling. Now if you followed that last sentence, you might actually enjoy this video. As these saltwater fishermen were out filming for a TV show, one angler is reeling in a pretty big catch when suddenly the 40 lb. baracuda they were attempting to land, leaps out of the water and into the fishing boat. Now any huge fish flopping in a boat is pretty crazy and scary but add this streamlined demon with a mouthful of razor-like teeth and I’d be a bit freaked out.