It’s six days till Halloween! Get in the spirit by turning down the lights and watching this surprisingly suspenseful video about zombie snails (spoiler: PARASITES)! It is much scarier than I anticipated!
Paul Nicklen’s picture of emperor penguins in the Ross Sea, “Bubble-Jetting Penguins,” has won the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. This is amazing, right? Apparently he captured it by “[lowering himself] into the only likely exit hole … wait[ing[ for the return of the penguins … [and lock[ing] his legs under the lip of the ice so he could remain motionless, breathing through a snorkel so as not to spook the penguins when they arrived.” Crazy, right?
You can see more of Nicklen’s penguin photos at National Geographic (they are UNBELIEVABLE), and check out all the winning photographs. The one with the shark fins is horrifying, but the sneaky tiger is adorable.
The U.S. is melting! We’re burning up! To ease your summertime hots, fall into this photograph of a coyote in Yellowstone National Park, taken by Timothy Brooks as part of the National Geographic Expeditions Student Photo Contest.
With a strong vision and sense of smell, and the ability to reach up to 40 miles per hour, coyotes are symbolic of adventure. I was fortunate enough to find this wild coyote while visiting Yellowstone National Park. It leaped and ran under tree branches and between boulders. I made sure not to disturb the coyote, and when it lay down on top of a hill I was able to include the coyote’s environment in the background. This image displays the coyote’s vast habitat, and a sense of mysteriousness and exploration, through its single eye staring back at the camera.
I love the NatGeo photo of the day.
"A pelican and an iguana rest on rocks in the Galápagos Islands," by Paul Coleman for National Geographic.
This looks like a scene from a buddy comedy, right? Like, the iguana is hungry for adventure, and the pelican is all jaded from seeing too many jerk humans steal his food and pollute his oceans, but he promised the iguana they’d explore the sea together (you know marine iguanas can swim, right?), so now they’re staring past the horizon, considering which direction to take to start their big summer trip. Into the great unknown, Galápagoans!
Owl monkey dads are the best! After tracking this owl monkey fam, a scientist documented that the monogamous owl monkey couple shares parenting duties—with the dad taking on most of the jobs other than nursing! The video says that monogamy is rare among primates. National Geographic says the scientist believes that “monogamy goes hand in hand with the upbringing.” If pops is going to be taking care of the babies, he can’t be busy stepping out with other owl monkeys!
Photographer Brian Skerry had “a magical day with a right whale” and you know what? It sounds pretty magical. Right whales are so weird-looking and also amazing! And apparently this one wanted to hang out with some tiny harmless human beings for hours and hours.
National Geographic is the best! Love those crazy photographers.
[Ed.: Also, “The testicles of right whales are likely to be the largest of any animal, each weighing around 500 kg (1,100 lb)” Dang, son! - Laura]
Orphan elephants being socialized in Kenya, by Michael Nichols. According to National Geographic, “What a scared orphan elephant needs more than anything is other elephants. The process of becoming socialized begins as soon as the worst injuries heal.” My heart!
So sad! So sweet! Read the whole article (from the September 2011 issue of National Geographic) and find yourself tearfully resolving to give money to an elephant-related charity in 2012.
A Portrait of Iorek Byrnison as a Young Man.
OK not really. It’s “Young polar bears sparring in Svalbard.” Only slightly less thrilling, I know. This magnificent image is a National Geographic photo of the day, by Paul Nicklen. Click through to see it much bigger. Polar bears, am I right?
This recording was made as part of the Eyes on Leuser project, which aims to “create a visual database of Leuser’s exceptional biodiversity.” The Leuser ecosystem is in northern Sumatra, and is the only place in the world where the Sumatran elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, and orangutan all live together. Eyes on Leuser uses HD video trail cameras to capture the endangered, nocturnal, people-averse, timid animals living in the area.
The project has only existed since June of this year, but it’s pretty neat, I think. Much better to see these animals recorded unobtrusively on cameras in their natural habitat than in zoos, right? RIGHT. UGH. Check out their photos and videos and see what’s happening in a place you’ll probably never physically visit.
No, it’s not a painting, it’s National Geographic's photo of the day, this one of an octopus off the coast of Italy by Pasquale Vassallo. Click through to see it even bigger, it’s just amazing.