In Episode 213 – Weird, Wild World, we look at some of the weirdest things in our wild, wonderful world, from the singing fish of Seattle to the fractal cats of imaginary mathematical space. First we check out an African shrub with berries that sparkle like ornaments: how could a Christmas tree evolve in the wild? Then we explore the strangely fuzzy boundary between plants and animals: bugs that use sunlight to create energy, salamanders that use photosynthesis, and sea slugs that look and act remarkably like leaves. Our parade of weirdness continues with birds that are hooked on ant baths, triple-gendered singing toadfish, the ultrasonic songs of mice, LOLcats that improve productivity, Julia’s infinite mathematical cats, and — now it can be revealed! The astounding truth about dog people vs. cat people. Finally, in our Pro Extension, we check out a real-life Jedi master, the Buddha from Space, exotic exoplanets, and the stunning beauty of the world’s largest mirror.
- The world’s shiniest living thing is an African fruit that looks like a pointillist bauble
- Bugs sunbathe to ‘stay healthy’
- Salamander is world’s first photosynthetic vertebrate
- Green Sea Slug Is Part Animal, Part Plant
- Photosynthesis-like process found in insects
- Animals Who Love to Rub Themselves With Ants. Is This Addictive?
- What Singing Fish Reveal about Speech and Hearing
- Singing Mice May Join Humans and Songbirds As Vocal Learners
- Study: Stupid Photos of Adorable Cats Boost Workplace Productivity
- Fractal Kitties Illustrate the Endless Possibilities for Julia Sets
- The truth about cat people and dog people
- Woof vs. Meow: What Our Furry Friends Reveal About Us
Pro Extension Links:
- Sea Otters Strike a Blow for the Environment?
- Old Chinese Man Moves Objects with Qi (Chi) Energy
- Space Buddha: Ancient Statue Carved From Rare Meteorite, Archeologists Say
- Diamond Planet Found—Part of “Whole New Class?”
- The Strangest Alien Planets
- Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni Creates World’s Largest Mirror
- Opening and closing theme: “Dragonfly” by Brian Boyko
- “That Spells DNA” and “The Mandelbrot Set,” by Jonathan Coulton
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA License.
Tags: animals, fractals, Jonathan Coulton, kittens, lolcats, mathematics, photosynthesis, plants, weird science