Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Unidentified World

This week I have discovered a new show on National Geographic called Beast Hunter. It's pretty much about a guy who goes around the world looking for unidentified creatures, maybe mythical legends passed down through generations or a freak sighting someone "claims" they saw. Most of the show is repetitive, but there are some fascinating stories and fun science facts. Here is my two cents on unclassified, possibly mythical creatures random people say they saw. They do exist.

Only 4% of the worlds oceans have been explored. More people have been to the moon than to the abyssal deep zone. Our oceans contain giant colossal squid, over 50 feet long that have only been sighting a handful of times. They contain blue whales, which to this day, no scientist knows where their birthing or mating grounds are. We are still finding islands out in the Pacific. Every dive we do brings up anywhere from 4 to 400 new species. We have fossils of Ceolocanths (prehistoric fish), and thought they went extinct over a few million years ago. That is until 1912 when a fisherman caught one, and we discovered a whole population living in a cave system in the pacific (still there today). There is definitely the possibility of some "sea monster" or prehistoric creature out there.

The rain forests of Brazil, Sumatra, and Africa are also still largely unexplored. In 2008, a population of 100,000 silverback gorillas was found in the Congo. Anywhere that can hide 100.000 gorillas definitely has the potential to hide species that we could never even imagine. Whole populations of humans live in the Amazon that we have still never had contact with the outside world, or even known of it's existence. This is mostly due to the fact that rain forests are so inaccessible. If getting lost doesn't kill you, a jungle cat, spider, ant, or poisonous frog will. Also the resources needed to trek through a rainforest for a few months would be more than even 5 to 10 men could carry.

Also, think about the crazy animals we have already found: electrical eels which can shock you with over 600 volts (6x an american wall socket), Horny lizards in the southwest dessert can shoot blood up to 6 feet out of their eyes for defense, and then re-generate them, Narwhales from the north pacific have a 10 foot horn growing out of their head. There are some pretty wild traits that exist in the animal kingdom, so who says that they can't occur together or that weirder ones aren't out there.

There is still so much left to discover, both plants and animals. I think my new life goal is to find something like that, whether deep in a rainforest, or deep in the ocean (knowing me it'll probably be deep in the ocean). There are still so many beautiful things waiting to be found.