The Mystery of the Missing Sea Lions Is Solved!

Anyone who has ever visited San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has probably hung out with the sea lions of Pier 39, who first appeared after the 1989 earthquake. You should have heard by now about their recent mysterious mass departure, which had left some speculating that they had some sixth sense about an impending disaster such as another major quake. Now, it appears, it has been determined that there is a simpler explanation. In this El Nino season, they have simply gone after their shifting food source. (SFist) This is not to say, it seems to me, that they are not canaries in a coalmine with respect to a different sort of impending disaster, climate change.

Deciphering Cryptozoology

“Loren Coleman defines cryptozoology and says, once and for all, that it is science. On the one hand, Loren Coleman is a skeptic, firmly grounded in scientific principles. On the other hand, his particular branch of science, cryptozoology, gives equal credence to suspected bird species, say, and near-mythical creatures like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. Cryptozoology—the search for and study of animals whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated—is frequently treated as an easily dismissed bastard child of science. If that’s the case, then Coleman is the unrepentant modern father of the field. Besides authoring nine books on the topic, he also owns the International Cryptozoology Museum, which he runs out of his home in Portland, Maine. A former psychiatric social worker and university professor, he now makes his living writing, lecturing, and consulting about cryptozoology, which he’s studied since before the word existed in English. Coleman’s out to show that there’s much more to cryptozoology than chasing down Bigfoot or plumbing the depths of Loch Ness for its most famous resident.” (The New York Review of Ideas)

Giant salamanders

The hellbender and Asian giant salamanders (family Cryptobranchidae) are aquatic amphibians found in brooks and ponds in the eastern United States, China, and Japan. They are the largest living amphibians known today. The Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus), for example, reaches up to 1.44 metres (4.7 ft), feeds on fish and crustaceans, and has been known to live for more than 50 years in captivity.[1] The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) can reach a length of 1.8 metres (5.9 ft). (Wikipedia)

10 Strange Species Discovered Last Year

Hippocampus sp.

It turns out that the real world is totally like the internet: If you look hard enough, you can find just about anything. This year, scientists found caffeine-less coffee plants, tiny seahorses and a 23-inch long bug that looks like a branch, not to mention a strange white slug no one had ever described that was found in a Welsh garden.

Below, you’ll find the top 10 species found and described in 2008, according to The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University.” (Wired Science )


‘Hallucination’ fish netted in English Channel

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A fish that has been reported to cause LSD-like hallucinations when eaten has been found in the English Channel, many hundreds of miles away from its normal habitat.

The fish, Sarpa salpa, is commonly caught off the coast of South Africa and in the Mediterranean but turned up in the nets of Cornish fisherman Andy Giles.

Sarpa salpa is a popular dish in Mediterranean restaurants but cases of it supposedly causing hallucinations have been reported.” (Guardian.UK).