The Christmas Island Miracle: The Migration of the Bright Red Crab2m05s

The Christmas Island Miracle: The Migration of the Bright Red Crab

There are an estimated 40 to 50 million Red Crabs on Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean. When “wet season” comes, the island experiences “rivers of red”, as the Red Crabs begin their migration towards the ocean. Their migration is in sync with the lunar cycle. Why, you might ask? Well, because these red crabs go near the ocean to begin their mating rituals! Sounds quite romantic, doesn’t it, full moon and the ocean? Islanders have accepted their rituals and support them so much, that they have built fences on the sides of the roads, underpasses and bridges to help the crabs travel safely towards their ultimate spawning destination. There, the males will dig burrows, where they will inseminate their chosen females. The female Red Crabs can produce up to 100,000 eggs in a season and she will stay with them in the burrow for the next 12 days. At the 12th day mark, the females exit the burrows just before dawn, when the outgoing tide is perfect for hatching the eggs upon impact. Most if the juvenile crabs will get eaten by the predators in the ocean, but those who do survive will come back and begin the next chapter of The Christmas Island Miracle!

Kopi Luwak: Coffee beans that are pooped from a Cat1m21s

Kopi Luwak: Coffee beans that are pooped from a Cat

Feed a cat-like critter a coffee cherry, then sit back and wait for the magic to happen. The results may be delicious, but at what cost? Any discussion on kopi luwak, some of the most expensive coffee in the world, must start by getting one thing out of the way…Yes! We are talking about coffee beans—that come out of the butt—of this animal; the Asian palm civet. Let’s take a BIG step back and explain how it all works. The beans we know and love are harvested from berries, or cherries. This is also where the civet comes into play. While you might think of coffee as a delicious cup of joe, perhaps covered in chocolate, the civet actually eats the cherry whole and poops out the seed, or bean. If you are worried about bacteria from the poop, don't worry – they all get nicely cleaned up during the roasting process. Studies suggest that this type of processing eliminates the bitter notes from the bean, resulting in a distinctly different flavor. The dark side of the dark roast is the problem with supply. The civets are wild animals and locating their feeding and pooping grounds can be a challenge. Some manufacturers have tried keeping them in cages, while force feeding them the berries and denying them other types of foods they usually eat, leading to allegations about animal cruelty.

The ‘Lucky’ Japanese Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs1m26s

The ‘Lucky’ Japanese Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs

This is the story of 'Lucky' Yamaguchi who survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs in 1945. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was a 29 year year-old naval engineer in the employ of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, where he designed oil tankers. After a three month stint in Hiroshima, he was preparing to return to his hometown to his wife, Hisako and young boy, Katsutoshi on August 6th, 1945. When he arrived at the railway station, he realized he had left his travel papers behind at the shipyard and returned to collect them. That is when he heard the drone of a large aircraft overhead - the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay. Yamaguchi saw the bomb Little Boy drop, connected to a small parachute, less than two miles away from where he was standing. He dived into a ditch before the boom split his eardrums, and the shock wave lifted him like a rag doll and threw him further away. “Lucky” was badly burned across the face and arms, and feared blindness, but this was the blotting out of the sun by the debris. After sleeping the night with two other surviving co-worker, Yamaguchi set on foot to reach the train station, where the train was miraculously waiting to take him home, to Nagasaki. Three days later, despite the doctor's orders to stay put and rest, Yamaguchi's work ethic was still robust enough for him to go back to work, when the second bomb hit. He thought the mushroom cloud was following him, but the blast spared his family. Tsutomu 'Lucky ' Yamaguchi was the only person officially recognized by the Japanese government as a “nijyuu hibakusha,” or “twice-bombed person.” He was given the the distinction in 2009, only a year before he died at the age of 93.

Moscow’s Stray Subway Riding Dogs1m16s

Moscow’s Stray Subway Riding Dogs

Dogs in Moscow have been making as much use of the public transport as their human counterparts. Since the collapse of the Soviets Union in 1990, the squads that used to handle the stray dog problems have retired, which brought the onslaught of stray dogs. However, these four legged citizens of the streets of Moscow have discovered that there is a safe and warm way to cross from one end of the city to the other, and that is to use the subway network. Not only do they get to travel faster than on foot, they occasionally receive a free meal and the benefit of human companionship. Here you might ask yourself, how a dog knows on which station to take off. One expert says that doggy senses play the key role to their navigation skills. These dogs rely on the behavior of human passengers to know when to get off the train and the positive reinforcements, such as food and comfort. There are roughly 35,000 stray dogs in Moscow, and about 20 of them have become regular commuters of the metro. These dogs have probable learned the activities that human commuters repeat daily, like peak rush hour, store openings and closings, and the nightly shutdown, and are encouraged by them.

Life On Earth Without The Sun: What Would Happen?1m58s

Life On Earth Without The Sun: What Would Happen?

Let's throw a hypothetical scenario out there and say one day the sun just disappears. What happens to Earth? And more importantly, what the hell happens to us? Imagine waking up one morning at the crack of 10 a.m., pulling back the curtains on your bedroom windows, only to find yourself staring into cold, bleak darkness. Now, if you are a permanent resident in a country affected by polar night, this should not come as a surprise. But if you are somewhere towards the Equator and you expect to see the sun at full power over the sky, then your instincts would be telling you that something is definitely up! What if the above scenario you unknowingly found yourself in was caused by the sun ceasing to exist? You might never need to purchase sunscreen ever again, but Earth needs the Sun to survive. The last ray of sunshine will hit us about 9 minutes after the Sun goes bye-bye and all the planets will head out in space on a straight line. After 24 hours, all plant life will start to die, so you better pick up those crops you took so much care for. Trees might keep up for a while longer. Basically, life on Earth would have come full circle. That is, if we don’t hit something on our way there. Watch the video for some other interesting facts about life without the Sun. If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to share it with your friends!

The Dark Side of Los Angeles: Oil1m00s

The Dark Side of Los Angeles: Oil

Before they were making movies in LA, the city was an oil town. In the 1920s, LA produced over one quarter of all the world's oil. Today you can still see signs of the petroleum industry, if you look close enough. The City of Angels sits on the third largest oil field within the United States. The LA Brea Tar Pits in the middle of the city have oozed tar and oil for thousands of years. Bones of animals were found trapped in the tar and preserved over the centuries. Back in the 20s, LA produced 25% of the world oil. From Santa Monica to Huntington Beach - the beaches that Los Angeles in famous for were covered with oil derricks. Today, there are over 3000 active oil wells in the Los Angeles Area. Seeing how oil production is an ugly business, the industry tries to hide it from the eye of the public. Fake buildings are erected on top of the drilling sites, there are fake tropical islands, there is one beside the stadium at Beverly Hills High School, even by the Beverly Hills Mall! Have you noticed it? Now, Los Angeles produces around 250.000 barrels of oil a day.

The Secret Nuclear City Under Greenland’s Ice Cap1m26s

The Secret Nuclear City Under Greenland’s Ice Cap

It seemed innocent enough at the time-build an underground polar research station to study ice core samples. What people didn't know about was the covert plan to set up a nuclear launch pad capable of firing off hundreds of missiles at Russia. The U.S. Army has left a ticking time bomb in Greenland—but it doesn’t take the form that you might think…this powder keg is environmental in nature. In 1959, the Army Corps of Engineers commenced “Project Iceworm”, an effort to build secret nuclear missile launch sites under the ice of Greenland. A base called Camp Century was established, and an underground city of sorts was created. The official cover for the base was as a research station, investigating ice construction techniques. When they discovered that the constantly moving ice is unstable for future construction, Camp Century was abandoned, leaving a small city complete with a theater, a chapel and it’s very own nuclear reactor. The reactor was removed in 1967, but a great deal of toxic waste is still left behind, and what with global warming taking its toll on the ice caps, that waste leaking into the world’s ocean is just a matter of a century or two. “Out of sight” doesn’t always mean “Out of mind” too.

1816: The Year Without Summer1m06s

1816: The Year Without Summer

In 1816 folks had a good excuse to complain about the weather, thanks to a huge volcanic eruption from Mount Tambora in Indonesia the previous year, making it the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. Worldwide famine, floods & disease - all thanks to enough toxic ash in the sky to turn summer into winter. Exactly 200 years ago, we had a year that is actually known as “the year without a summer”. In 1815, Mount Tambora (located in Indonesia) blew its top. But just how large was this event? Volcano eruptions are measured on a scale called the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), measuring explosivity, volume of ash and the height ash reaches into the atmosphere. For comparison,the eruptions of Mount St. Helens and Vesuvius were only ranked as 5’s on the index. The eruption of Mount Tambora was a 7, making it the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. While the immediate area surrounding the volcano was burned and crops further away were covered in ash, the eruption caused a disruption in monsoon season in south-east Asia. In other parts of the world, the cloud caused a sudden and prolonged drop in temperatures, which led to perfect condition for the outbreak of cholera. Not everything was as black and white, though. While the volcano was “throwing shade”, we started paving the road towards modern medicine, we got fantastic literature and Baron Karl Drais invented what is now known as the predecessor of the bicycle. See, something good can come out of bad things.