Incredible Photos of a Woodpecker Flying With a Weasel on Its Back

Photos of a Woodpecker Flying With a Weasel On Its Back
photo by Martin Le-May

On Monday British amateur photographer Martin Le-May heard a commotion while walking in an East London park and stumbled upon an extraordinary sight–a European green woodpecker flying with a small weasel clinging to its back. Le-May had a camera with him and was able to capture several incredible shots of the event. As Le-May explained to ITV News, the weasel was taken for a ride after it ambushed the bird on the ground. The bird took flight–with the weasel on its back–in an effort to escape. After a short flight it landed, and was able to shake off the weasel before taking flight once more. Le-May’s clearest photo of the encounter has since become a viral sensation online, with a number of “remixes” cropping up today. Photoshop conspiracists take note: While Le-May’s images do seem highly improbable, a BBC wildlife expert told BBC News that such a scenario “is not totally unheard of.”

As we walked we heard a distressed squawking and I saw that flash of green. So hurriedly I pointed out to Ann the bird and it settled into the grass behind a couple of small silver birch trees. Both of us trained our binoculars and it occurred that the woodpecker was unnaturally hopping about like it was treading on a hot surface. Lots of wing flapping showing that gloriously yellow/white colour interspersed with the flash of red head feathers. Just after I switched from my binoculars to my camera the bird flew across us and slightly in our direction; suddenly it was obvious it had a small mammal on its back and this was a struggle for life.

Photos of a Woodpecker Flying With a Weasel On Its Back
photo by Martin Le-May

Photos of a Woodpecker Flying With a Weasel On Its Back
photo by Martin Le-May

Photos of a Woodpecker Flying With a Weasel On Its Back
photo via The Moscow Times

via ITV News

Artist Creates a Chalk Mural on Mount Tamalpais That Depicts the California Mountain’s Destroyed West Peak

In the meditative short film “Mountains Made of Chalk, Fall into the Sea, Eventually,” filmmaker Gary Yost documents as artist Genna Panzarella creates a temporary chalk mural installation on the blustery summit of Mount Tamalpais in the San Francisco Bay Area. Panzarella’s mural depicts the mountain’s West Peak, which was bulldozed during the Cold War to make way for a military base. The plight of the West Peak is the subject of “The Invisible Peak,” a short documentary by Gary Yost and George Daly (we covered that project back in 2014).

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

Affectionate Panda Requires a Big Hug From Her Caretaker Before She Will Come Down From a Tree

In footage from CCTV News China, a very affectionate panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan, China silently demands a hug from her caretaker before she’ll come down from her tree.

A breeder in China’s Sichuan Province wants to take this panda down from a tree, but the lovely panda wants a reward. So it asks the breeder for a hug before moving!

via reddit

A Math Professor Demonstrates the Complicated Procedure of Drawing a 17-Sided Figure With a Compass and Ruler

In a recent video by Numberphile, University of California, Berkeley math professor David Eisenbud demonstrates the complicated procedure needed to draw a heptadecagon–a 17-sided figure–using just a compass and ruler. Carl Friedrich Gauss first proved the method in 1796.

In a separate video on the accompanying channel Numberphile2, Eisenbud gets into greater detail about the mathematics behind the figure and Fermat primes.

A Supercut Tribute to Some of the Most Amazing Women in Action Movies

In 2012, Clara Darko (previously) made a two-minute supercut video tribute to some of the most amazing women in action movies. She features greats like Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in Aliens, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and many more. The full list of 61 films, in order of appearance, are available to view on Vimeo.

I tried to avoid superpowered characters (Jean Grey, Storm, Elastigirl, Liz Sherman).

music by Daft Punk – “Derezzed

via The High Definite

An Explanation of the Chemistry That Turns Blue Jeans Blue

A recent episode of the American Chemical Society series Reactions explains the chemistry that turns blue jeans blue. The episode gives a brief explanation of the history of jeans and the indigo dye used to color them. That process is more complicated than just soaking the clothes in dye, and requires the use of an alkali solution and oxidation to give the jeans their signature color.

The science of blue jeans is further explained in an article in Chemical & Engineering News by Lauren Wolf.

Although the episode explains what gives blue jeans their color, it does not address what makes David Bowie‘s Blue Jean blue.

How Domestication May Have Significantly Changed the Physiology of Dogs

On a recent episode of SciShow, host Michael Aranda explains how the domestication of dogs changed the species’ neural crest, thereby significantly changing the physiology of all dogs.

According to a new hypothesis, it turns out that in the process of domesticating dogs, we might have actually been affecting some of their stem cells.In a dog embryo, there’s a group of stem cells called the neural crest. And these cells are responsible for forming a specific set of physical features–like the dog’s coat, and the structure of its face, and its adrenal glands. The earliest dogs may have been less aggressive because they had smaller adrenal glands. So when early humans bred for tameness, the dogs probably also ended up with changes to other traits that are controlled by the neural crest–like floppy ears, and the faces with more juvenile features, such as smaller jaws. So basically, by domesticating dogs, we may have ended up selecting for mutations in their stem cells that made them less like wolves and more like the animal that’s probably sleeping in your living room right now.

Eye-Popping Photos of the Overwhelming Array of Products at the China Commodity City Wholesale Market in Yiwu, China

China Commodity City Photos by Richard John Seymour

In his eye-popping photo series Yiwu Commodity City, photographer Richard John Seymour captures the overwhelming abundance of consumer goods found at China Commodity City, a sprawling complex in Yiwu, China that is the world’s largest small commodities market. The 43-million-square-foot market is full of cramped booths occupied by wholesalers of toys, artificial flowers, apparel, and all manner of Chinese-produced goods. There are an astonishing 62,000 booths at the market.

China Commodity City Photos by Richard John Seymour

China Commodity City Photos by Richard John Seymour

China Commodity City Photos by Richard John Seymour

China Commodity City Photos by Richard John Seymour

photos by Richard John Seymour

via CNN, Boing Boing