The GIANT squid is an amazing and mysterious creature. They are the largest invertebrate that we know about. The largest discovered was 59 feet long! They also have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom, reaching 10 inches in diameter. The wildest part is that they have never been observed in their natural habitat...until recently. The only previous observations have been specimens caught in fisherman lines or washed up on shore. The ocean deep is a difficult place to explore - pitch dark, incredible pressure, and untouched.
Japanese zoologist Tsunemi Kubodera and his team were the brilliant adventurers who discovered the elusive animal. They were largely successful because they used tactics that were never used before.
"A giant squid would never appear before a pool of light, that possibility is extremely slim", Kubodera told NBC News in an interview. "That's why we had to use lights that they wouldn't be able to detect. In fact, they're lights even humans wouldn't be able to see either."
“If you try to approach making a lot of noise, using bright lights, then the squid won't come anywhere near you," Kubodera added. “So we sat there in the pitch black, using a near-infrared light invisible even to the human eye, waiting for the giant to approach.''
Their idea worked! They caught the large animal on film!! This specimen was only 10 feet long which is small for a giant squid and it was missing the signature two longest tentacles, but nevertheless, it was a giant squid!
Photo of the giant squid caught on camera
“This was the first time for me to see with my own eyes a giant squid swimming,'' Kubodera said. “It was stunning. I couldn't have dreamt that it would be so beautiful. It was such a wonderful creature.”
The amazing footage will be aired January 13th on a prime-time documentary on Japanese TV station NHK with the title, "Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid". The special will also appear on the Discovery Channel on January 27th.
Clip from the Giant Squid video footage
This is Good News from the ocean deep! New discoveries are constantly being made in our beautiful planet.
Peace & Love,
- The Good World News
Imagine plowing your field and running over a 1,600 square foot ancient Roman mosaic. Sounds impossible, but that's exactly what happened in southern Turkey. In 2002, Nick Rauh, a classics professor from Purdue University was walking through a recently plowed field. He noticed that the plow dug up a piece of mosaic tile. He tried getting the local history museum to help excavate the site, but they did not have the funds. So the site was left alone.
Amazing Roman mosaic discovered in Southern Turkey
Then in 2011, the museum received the needed funds and they decided to uncover the hidden gem. They employed the biggest and baddest team of archeologists to rock out with their shovels out. Michael Hoff, a Lincoln art historian from the University of Nebraska, was the director of the excavation....wait did we say "Lincoln art historian"? We didn't even know that field existed, but that's cool :).
The mosaic turned out to be an enormous bath complex built by the Romans. It featured a 25 ft long marble outdoor pool. The Romans knew how to party! This is the largest mosaic ever discovered in southern Turkey. This particular area of southern Turkey is near the ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum. This mosaic proves that the Romans had a much larger influence in this area than was once believed. The excavation will continue in 2013 and then will be open to the public!
- The Good World News
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Stephon Tull was looking through dusty old boxes in his father's attic in Chattanooga a few months ago when he stumbled onto something startling: an audio reel labeled, "Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960."
He wasn't sure what he had until he borrowed a friend's reel-to-reel player and listened to the recording of his father interviewing Martin Luther King Jr. for a book project that never came to fruition. In clear audio, King discusses the importance of the civil rights movement, his definition of nonviolence and how a recent trip of his to Africa informed his views. Tull said the recording had been in the attic for years, and he wasn't sure who other than his father may have heard it.
"No words can describe. I couldn't believe it," he told The Associated Press this week in a phone interview from his home in Chattanooga. "I found ... a lost part of history."
Many recordings of King are known to exist among hundreds of thousands of documents related to his life that have been cataloged and archived. But one historian said the newly discovered interview is unusual because there's little audio of King discussing his activities in Africa, while two of King's contemporaries said it's exciting to hear a little-known recording of their friend for the first time.
Tull plans to offer the recording at a private sale arranged by a New York broker and collector later this month.
Tull said his father, an insurance salesman, had planned to write a book about the racism he encountered growing up in Chattanooga and later as an adult. He said his dad interviewed King when he visited the city, but never completed the book and just stored the recording with some other interviews he had done. Tull's father is now in his early 80s and under hospice care.
During part of the interview, King defines nonviolence and justifies its practice.
"I would ... say that it is a method which seeks to secure a moral end through moral means," he said. "And it grows out of the whole concept of love, because if one is truly nonviolent that person has a loving spirit, he refuses to inflict injury upon the opponent because he loves the opponent."
The interview was made four years before the Civil Rights Act became law, three years before King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and eight years before his assassination. At one point in the interview, King predicts the impact of the civil rights movement.
"I am convinced that when the history books are written in future years, historians will have to record this movement as one of the greatest epochs of our heritage," he said.
King had visited Africa about a month before the interview, and he discusses with Tull's father how leaders there viewed the racial unrest in the United States.
"I had the opportunity to talk with most of the major leaders of the new independent countries of Africa, and also leaders in countries that are moving toward independence," he said. "And I think all of them agree that in the United States we must solve this problem of racial injustice if we expect to maintain our leadership in the world."
Raymond Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Maryland's Morgan State University, said the tape is significant because there are very few recordings of King detailing his activity in Africa.
"It's clear that in this tape when he's talking ... about Africa, he saw this as a global human rights movement that would inspire other organizations, other nations, other groups around the world," said Winbush, who is also a psychologist and historian.
"That to me is what's remarkable about the tape."
U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Freedom Rider and lunch counter protester who worked with King while a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, said hearing King talk about the sit-ins took him back to the period when more than 100 restaurant counters were desegregated over several months.
"To ... hear his voice and listen to his words was so moving, so powerful," said Lewis, adding that King's principles of nonviolence are still relevant today.
"I wish people all over America, all over the world, can hear this message over and over again," he said.
The Rev. Joseph Lowery, who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with King, agreed.
"I can't think of anything better to try," Lowery said of nonviolence. "What we're doing now is not working. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Matching violence with violence. We've got more guns than we've ever had, and more ammunition to go with it. And yet, the situation worsens."
A spokeswoman for King's daughter Bernice, head of The King Center in Atlanta, said she was traveling and couldn't comment on the audio.
Tull is working with a New York-based collector and expert on historical artifacts to arrange a sale. The broker, Keya Morgan, said he believes that unpublished reel-to-reel audio of King is extremely rare and said he's confident of the authenticity of the recording based on extensive interviews with Tull, his examination of the tape and his knowledge of King. He's collected many of the civil rights icon's letters and photos.
"I was like, wow! To hear him that crisp and clear," Morgan said. "But beyond that, for him to speak of nonviolence, which is what he represented."
Johnson II, Lucas. "AP Exclusive: Unheard King audio found in attic" AP. 21 August 2012. Web.
Anthropologists working in southern France have determined that a 1.5 metric ton block of engraved limestone constitutes the earliest evidence of wall art. Their research, reported in the most recent edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows the piece to be approximately 37,000 years old and offers rich evidence of the role art played in the daily lives of Early Aurignacian humans.
The research team, comprised of more than a dozen scientists from American and European universities and research institutions, has been excavating at the site of the discovery—Abri Castanet—for the past 15 years. Abri Castanet and its sister site Abri Blanchard have long been recognized as being among the oldest sites in Eurasia bearing artifacts of human symbolism. Hundreds of personal ornaments have been discovered, including pierced animal teeth, pierced shells, ivory and soapstone beads, engravings, and paintings on limestone slabs.
"Early Aurignacian humans functioned, more or less, like humans today," explained New York University anthropology professor Randall White, one of the study's co-authors. "They had relatively complex social identities communicated through personal ornamentation, and they practiced sculpture and graphic arts."
Aurignacian culture existed until approximately 28,000 years ago.
In 2007, the team discovered an engraved block of limestone in what had been a rock shelter occupied by a group of Aurignacian reindeer hunters. Subsequent geological analysis revealed the ceiling had been about two meters above the floor on which the Aurignacians lived—within arms' reach.
Using carbon dating, the researchers determined that both the engraved ceiling, which includes depictions of animals and geometric forms, and the other artifacts found on the living surface below were approximately 37,000 years old.
"This art appears to be slightly older than the famous paintings from the Grotte Chauvet in southeastern France," explained White, referring to the cave paintings discovered in 1994.
"But unlike the Chauvet paintings and engravings, which are deep underground and away from living areas, the engravings and paintings at Castanet are directly associated with everyday life, given their proximity to tools, fireplaces, bone and antler tool production, and ornament workshops."
He added that this discovery, combined with others of approximately the same time period in southern Germany, northern Italy, and southeastern France, raises new questions about the evolutionary and adaptive significance of art and other forms of graphic representation in the lives of modern human populations.
Coronacollina acula may also help us recognise life elsewhere in the universe
At between 550 and 560 million years old, an animal discovered in South Australia recently is the oldest with a skeleton ever found.
The organism, called Coronacollina acula, was found by a team from the University of California.
The finding provides insight into the evolution of life – particularly, early life – on the planet, why animals go extinct, and how organisms respond to environmental changes.
The discovery also can help scientists recognise life elsewhere in the universe.
Coronacollina acula lived on the seafloor. It was shaped like a thimble with at least four 20 to 40-centimetre-long spikes called ’spicules’ attached. These probably held the creature up.
Its age places it in the Ediacaran period, before the explosion of life and diversification of organisms took place on Earth in the Cambrian, 488 to 542 million years ago.
‘Up until the Cambrian, it was understood that animals were soft bodied and had no hard parts,’ said Mary Droser, lead researcher and a professor of geology at the University of California.
‘But we now have an organism with individual skeletal body parts that appears before the Cambrian. It is therefore the oldest animal with hard parts, and it has a number of them - they would have been structural supports - essentially holding it up. This is a major innovation for animals.’
Coronacollina acula is seen in the fossils as a depression measuring a few millimetres to two centimetres deep. But because rocks compact over time, the organism could have been bigger – three to five centimetres tall. Notably, it is constructed in the same way that Cambrian sponges were constructed.
‘It therefore provides a link between the two time intervals,’ Droser said. ‘We're calling it the “harbinger of Cambrian constructional morphology”, which is to say it's a precursor of organisms seen in the Cambrian. This is tremendously exciting because it is the first appearance of one of the major novelties of animal evolution.’
According to Droser, the appearance of Coronacollina acula signals that the initiation of skeletons was not as sudden in the Cambrian as was thought, and that Ediacaran animals like it are part of the evolutionary lineage of animals as we know them.
‘The fate of the earliest Ediacaran animals has been a subject of debate, with many suggesting that they all went extinct just before the Cambrian,’ she said. ‘Our discovery shows that they did not.’
Results of the study appeared online recently in Geology.