Please do not touch the model…
Blue Ocean Slug (Glaucus atlanticus) - “The Blue Dragon”
Photograph by Daniel Coleman, My Shot
The blue ocean slug, a type of nudibranch, is a striking specimen with extraordinary hues that provide two types of camouflage. On the sea surface, the animal’s blue topside provides protection from hungry birds above, while its silver subsurface hides it from predatory fish looking up from below.
The blue ocean slug is itself a formidable predator that feasts on dangerous animals like the Portuguese man-of-war. Not only is the slug unfazed by the man-of-war’s stinging cells, it ingests them and transports the toxic weapons internally to the ends of its own appendages for self-defense.
(via: National Geo)
World’s Most Beautiful Abandoned Places
Italian product manager and web designer Francesco Mugnai recently added a collection of images to his blog touting some of the most beautiful images of abandoned spots and modern ruins that he’d ever seen. The images Mugnai has captured come from empty castles, shuttered power plants, and dilapidated churches around the world. From a sunken yacht in Antarctica to a forever-closed amusement park in Japan, these images all make up a sort of anti-phoenix; rather than rising as new from the ashes, these husks remain preserved in decomposition, forcing viewers to confront the strange beauty of ruination.
What you can see and hear…
Stunning View of a Phytoplankton Bloom From Space
by Phil Plait
This shot of a bloom in the southern Atlantic Ocean was taken by the ESA’s Envirosat, which — duh — is designed to observe our environment. In this case, scientists keep a keen eye on phytoplankton blooms: while this bloom is breathtaking and gorgeous, many can be hazardous. Besides producing toxins that can harm sea life, they can also consume more oxygen in the water than usual, which is obviously tough on any life in the area. The color of the bloom can be found quickly using satellite imagery like this, and the algae species determined. Also, phytoplankton are sensitive to some climate changes, so observing them can act as a “canary in the coal mine” for climate change.
Sometimes, the best view of the Earth around us is from above. And sometimes that view is amazing, but a reminder that our ecosystem is a dynamic balance… and it’s best that we understand all the forces that can upset that equilibrium.
(via: Bad Astronomy - Discover Magazine) (image: ESA)
A small terrestrial snail in the genus Gulella, found on reuinion Island (a small island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar).
(photo: John Slapcinsky)
California Sea Lions gather in the surf at Channel Islands National Park, CA, USA.
(Photo: Michael Field) (via: Sierra Club)
Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) gets deep…
Nacreous CloudsNacreous clouds, observed on January 6, 2011. These polar stratospheric clouds at 80,000 feet are the highest of all clouds. They only occur in the polar regions when the stratospheric temperature dips below 100 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (-73 C). They are also the site of chemical reactions that break down ozone in the upper atmosphere and contribute to the creation of the ozone hole above Antarctica.(read more) (photo: Kelly Speelman) (via: NSF Science 360)