Tag Archives: YouTube

A Mysterious Giant Crater Just Opened Up At the “End of the World” (Video)

Yamal is a peninsula in northern Siberia. In the language of the peninsula’s indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets, Yamal means “end of the world”.

This past week, aerial images of the peninsula posted to YouTube showed a giant, 80m wide crater. Check out the footage below:

Authorities from Yamal have organized a team of scientists from Russia’s Center for the Study of the Arctic, the Cryosphere Institute of the Academy of Sciences and Russia’s Emergencies Ministry to investigate.

At first glance, it just looks like a sinkhole. But experts who have examined the images say the debris around the edge of the hole isn’t consistent with a sinkhole, and the blackened rim of the crater indicates “sever burning”.

This has led to speculation that the hole was the result of an explosion, a space laser, or even the burn-hole left behind by an alien spaceship.

One of the best theories I’ve heard so far comes from an expert at the Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center in Canada. He theorized that warming temperatures in Siberia could be melting the thick layers of ice and permafrost on Yamal Peninsula.

When that ancient ice is melted, it releases gases that have trapped within it. The theory is that these gases mixed with water and salt closer to the surface, creating an explosive chemical reaction (think vinegar and baking soda, but MUCH bigger) which pushed the earth up out of the crater, kind of like the cork popping off a champaign bottle.

That’s still just a theory though. I’ll definitely be keeping up with this investigation as more information becomes available.

(h/t 9News)

The World’s Tallest Waterslide Just Opened- Here’s How It Looks to Ride It (Video)

“Verrückt” is the German word for “insane”. It is a fitting name for the world’s tallest waterslide, which was just opened to the public at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City.

At 168 feet and 7 inches, the Verrückt is taller than Niagara Falls. To get the top you have to climb 268 stairs.

Click to enlarge
That “Faster than a cheetah!” claim is a bit exaggerated- top speeds are around 50mph. Click to enlarge

John Schooley was the engineer who designed the slide. Here he is talking about when he and park founder Jeff Henry came up with the idea:

“Basically, we were crazy enough to try anything. We decided to design something entirely new, because we decided to put a three or four man boat down it, and we wanted not only the fastest and steepest water slide going downhill, but we wanted to take it uphill over a hump, to give people a weightless experience going down the other side.”

Schooley was also the first to test out the slide, along with another one of the slide’s engineers. Speaking later about the experience he said, “I was terrified.” Check out video of that first test run below:

That second hill is one of the coolest features of the slide. Because of the speed and momentum you build up going down the first slope (you drop 17 stories in 4 seconds), G-force can feel up to 5 times greater than normal as you travel up the second hump.

G-force is defined as a measurement of acceleration felt as weight. Basically, it’s the perceived increase in gravity you feel because of the fact that you’re accelerating. G-force is what pushes you back into your seat as a plane takes off, for example.

A picture of the slide during construction. Click to enlarge

So, when you reach the top of that hump and begin the second drop, you go from feeling like gravity is 5x stronger than normal (5 Gs) to feeling weightless in a split-second. It’s not unlike what astronauts experience when they leave Earth’s atmosphere (although the G-force they feel is many times higher).

The slide was opened to the public this past Friday. Here’s what it looks like to to ride the Verrückt as a member of the public. Garmin VIRB sports camera technology allows you to track speed and heart-rate as you watch:

(h/t Gizmodo and USA Today)

This Guy Decided to Film Fireworks By Flying Through Them With a Drone (Video)

I’m sure last night was a reminder of just how dazzling a fireworks display can look from the ground. But what would it look like to up in the air, where the actual explosions are taking place?

Well, YouTube user Jos Stiglingh decided he would answer that question. He attached a GoPro Hero 3 to a  DJI Phantom 2 drone and flew it through a a fireworks display.

Check out the amazing footage below (HD is highly suggested):

How Stoats Hypnotize Their Prey When Hunting (Video)

You may have never heard of stoats before. These cute little creatures are closely related to ferrets, which are becoming an increasingly popular house pet these days.

But don’t let their innocent appearance fool you- stoats are ferocious hunters. And when their speed and agility isn’t enough, they have a strange but fascinating secret weapon: hypnotism.

Check out a stoat using this amazing ability to snare a rabbit in the video below:

Stoats are very hardy creatures, and are able to live in all kinds of environments from the Siberian Arctic, to the mountains of Japan to the Great Plains of the United States. They can be found in Europe, North America, Asia and New Zealand.

A large portion of a stoat’s development centers around play fighting, which builds up their strength and stamina and hones their agility. These fine-tuned skills allow them to take down some surprisingly challenging prey.

The video below shows some of this play fighting, and also shows a stoat taking down a rabbit 10 times its size, using the hunting skills it perfected as an adolescent.

The Indonesian Mimic Octopus Is the Animal Kingdom’s Master of Disguise (Video)

In open water, most octopus species are extremely vulnerable to predators. Because of this, they tend to avoid open areas, preferring to hide amongst rocks and corals along the ocean floor.

But the Indonesian Mimic Octopus isn’t your average tentacled invertebrate. These creatures have extremely well-developed systems of camouflage and mimicry.

One minute, the octopus is a flounder, the next it’s a lion fish, and just moments later, it’s a sea snake!

Check out some of these amazing adaptations in the video below:

These adaptations allow this unique species to move freely in areas where other octopi would never even dream of going.

Mimic octopuses typically forage for small crustaceans and fish in the sand along the ocean floor, but they are also known to stalk their prey from time to time.

You can learn more about these amazing creatures courtesy of Dive the World here.

A Honeybee Was In the Clutches of A Spider. Then His Comrade Saved the Day (Video)

I saw this video earlier today and was very intrigued. I’ll let you watch it first before I make any observations.

So what do you think is going on here? Bumble bees, like other insects that live in queen-controlled colonies, are basically just extensions of the queen- pretty much every action they take is because of directions from the queen.

One of the ways these types of insects communicate is with pheromones, chemical substances secreted by the insects which convey specific pieces of information based on their scent.

Personally, I don’t think individual bumble bees are smart enough to recognize that a fellow bee is in danger and then consciously decide to go help it. I do, however, think its possible that the first bee started releasing “distress” pheromones (like those released when a beehive is attacked) when he was ensnared.

Smelling these distress pheromones prompts other nearby bees to become aggressive to protect the hive. I think that the second bee probably smelled the distress hormones of the trapped bee and responded by attacking the closest thing it could find: the spider.

That’s just my guess though. If you have any other theories, please share them in the comments!

(h/t Gizmodo)

How Could A Coke Top Help Freshmen Make Friendships On the First Day of College? (Video)

We live in a modernized and highly technology-saturated world these days. It’s not at all uncommon to see almost everybody on their phone when life puts us in situations where we are surrounded by strangers.

So Coke decided to design an ingenious top to force students to interact with one another. Check it out in the video below:

How A Goat Ended His Hunger Strike After Re-Uniting With His Best Friend, A Donkey (Video)

The Animal Place is a non-profit sanctuary in California for abused and/or abandoned farm animals. Recently, they rescued a goat named Mr. G from an animal hoarder, who had been keeping a number of animals under terrible living conditions.

While living with the hoarder, Mr. G had developed a close bond with a donkey (also known as a burro) named Jellybean. When the animals were rescued however, Jellybean was sent to a different sanctuary. Mr. G was distraught- he sat depressed in a corner of his barn, refusing to eat or go outside for six days.

So one of the volunteers at Animal Place decided to make the 14-hour roundtrip to bring Jellybean to the same sanctuary where Mr. G was being kept. What happened when they re-united is truly beautiful.

Animals may not be quite as intelligent as we are, but many of them, especially mammals, have very highly developed emotional intelligence and are capable of creating lifelong friendships just like you and I.

To learn more about The Animal Place, visit their website here.

When You Mix Milk Into Coke and Let It Sit For A While, Strange Things Start to Happen (Video)

So what exactly is happening in this video? Basically, the acid in the soda curdles the milk.

Coke, like most soft drinks, contains significant levels of phosphoric acid. When this acid comes into contact with the proteins in the milk, the phosphate molecules bond themselves to the milk’s calcium molecules, producing a heavier compound (tricalcium phosphate) which sinks to the bottom.

The remaining components of the milk and cola are lighter than the tricalcium phosphate, so they float to the top.  The hydrogen from the phosphoric acid molecules is released as gas (H2).

Here’s the chemical equation for the reaction:

3Ca + 2H3PO4 —> Ca3(PO4)2 + 3H2

Some studies have suggested that the high levels of phosphoric acid in soft drinks like Coke can increase the chances of osteoporosis for people who don’t get enough calcium in their diet.

BONUS: Coke and Pepsi are used as pesticides in India because they’re not only cheaper than the real stuff, but more effective as well.

Watching Electricity Flow Through Wood Is Truly Mesmerizing (Video)

You don’t typically think of wood as being a very good conductor of electricity. However, if you turn the voltage high enough, you can force an electric current to flow through the wood.

The current splits into endless fractals, creating Lichtenberg figures which resemble trees growing in realtime- the effect is amazing. Check out the video below to see for yourself (the current is at 15,000 volts):