Something Bigger Than Megalodon Is Hiding in the Woods

Curiosities
8 months ago

If you’re into mushrooms and eat them a lot, you’ll love the honey mushroom. It’s larger than any plant out there: watermelon, pine tree, even baobab! It’s even bigger than an elephant... or a megalodon. The mushrooms cover miles and miles of the Malheur National Forest, Oregon, and it’s the oldest organism on our planet — some are up to 8,650 years old!

The Amazon rainforest is so huge that it can be found in 9 different countries in South America. The Amazon River stretches for over 4,000 miles and is the second longest river in the world after the Nile. But there’s one river in South America that’s even bigger than the Amazon... 2 times bigger! It’s the Hamza River... so why isn’t it on the map? Because it runs 2.5 miles under the Amazon!

Deep in the Amazon, you’ll find a river, whose name means “boiled by the Sun”. Well, it’s not actually boiling, but it can reach the temperature you’d need to cook pasta in! The river is steamy, which is a warning for wildlife to stay away. A hot river usually means there’s a volcano nearby, but the closest volcano is miles away!

The largest known super ant colony made up of Argentine ants was found in Southern Europe. It’s 3,731 mi long! NY to LA is only around 2,500! There are millions of nests and billions of worker ants in it. Those ants are so smart that they can even recognize their peers from opposite ends of the colony. Some scientists believe they can even straddle oceans, because similar ants have been found as far away as New Zealand and Australia.

The biggest and oldest meadow on the planet isn’t on land, it’s at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. It could be about 100,000 years old! The seaweed this meadow is made of is called Neptune grass, probably because it has a magnificent bluish-green tinge. How big is it? More than 2 times the size of New Jersey!

The largest bird flock ever seen was made up of about 1.5 billion birds, swarming over Africa. They flock superfast, sometimes within a few hours, and there can be hundreds of millions of birds in one flock. This red-billed beauty is one of the most populous birds on Earth. Only pigeons and domestic chickens have them beat. There are around 20-22 billion chickens!

As for animals, rats run the world. There are rats everywhere, and people used to say there were just as many rats as people. Turns out it’s not true, but it sure feels like that sometimes! If you want to live in a completely rat-free zone, try moving to Antarctica. As a bonus, it’s also an ant-free zone. It might be a problem though, it’s pretty much a people-free zone, too.

Imagine the rarest, almost non-existing animal. Did you think of a unicorn? Well, back here in real life, Saolas are also called Asian unicorns because of their unique horns, and the super low probability that you’ll ever run into one. They resemble antelopes, even though technically, they’re cattle. Researchers don’t know a lot about them because you’d have to see one to study it!

Pando (not pandas, however these guys are unique too) is not just a tree or forest, like many people think. It’s a whole tree colony of Quaking Aspens! The trees get their name from a weird quacking sound they make whenever wind passes through their branches. All the trees are genetically identical! In Utah, there’s a tree colony made up of around 47,000 aspens. It covers the area of 2 Washington DC’s!

32,000 years ago, there lived a squirrel who loved seeds, and one day it hid some to feast on later. They stayed hidden for 32,000 years! It isn’t the plot of a cartoon or fairy tale; this story is completely true! Scientists managed to find seeds hidden in permafrost, over 100 feet down... and they even brought them back to life! What a cute, ancient white flower!

If you ever travel down the Mekong River, you might have the chance of seeing glowing balls rising from the water and beelining up into the air. Some locals call these things: “Naga fireballs”. Their sizes are all quite different, these reddish balls can be as tiny as a spark and as large as a basketball. The number of fireballs per night varies from dozens to thousands. Scientists don’t have any solid explanation about why it happens, but it’s probably some sort of flammable gas released by the marshy environment. These fireballs also appear in some stories and fairy tales!

The River of Five Colors in La Macarena, Colombia looks like a liquid rainbow: it has yellow, green, blue, red, and even black shades in it! It’s all thanks to a variety of plants hidden inside the river: the red comes from a plant that sticks to the river bed, we see yellow thanks to the sand, the water itself is blue because it reflects the sky, algae turn the water green, and the black comes from the black river rocks. Out of all the colors, the red usually stands out the most. Weirdly, there are no fish in this river, just some amphibians, reptiles, and about 420 types of birds!

People who live in the rural central part of Norway near the Hessdalen valley can often witness floating lights of different colors. Some are white, others yellow... you can even see red across the sky sometimes. They appear both in the daytime and at night, and once, back in the 80s, they were spotted about 20 times a week. They can last just a few seconds or can hang around for as long as an hour. The lights move around, that’s why they seem to be floating or swaying. So what are they? Some scientists think they’re caused by ionized iron dust, others claim it’s some sort of combustion between sodium, oxygen, and hydrogen.

If you’re walking on the beach somewhere in California, don’t freak out if you see fish hiding their tails, like dogs sometimes do. Grunions are a type of fish known for their bizarre mating ritual. They dig their tails into the sand in order to lay eggs. The eggs stay hidden in the sand for 10 days. This all usually happens when there’s a high tide. 10 days later, when the next high tide arrives, and washes the newly hatched fish out to sea, well, ocean. Scientists still don’t know why they go through all that trouble of hiding their tails down there!

On the freezing cold shores of the Baltic Sea, there’s a place called the dancing forest. The pine trees are all crooked and twisted there. It’s probably the unstable sand that made those trees twist that way. Another reason why those trees are so crooked might be the strong winds. Some people claim the reason is more mysterious. They say this forest is a place where positive and negative energies meet. Locals say that if you climb through one of the rings in those trees, it’ll add an extra year to your life. Interesting...

Walking rocks, also known as sailing rocks, move across one of the many valleys in California, leaving long trails behind them. Researchers took various time-lapse videos of the moving rocks, and they even installed GPS navigators on some of the rocks to prove that they move at some seriously incredible speeds, for rocks I mean. And they proved that nobody was pushing them when no one was looking. Many people believe these stones move this way because of the thin sheets of ice that form overnight when the temperature dips below freezing. Those tricky ice sheets melt away the next day, without a trace!

Rain isn’t common in Oakville, Washington, however, this last story still doesn’t have any solid explanation. One crazy day, instead of normal raindrops, people in Washington watched translucent jelly-like blobs fall from the skies. They were called the Oakville blobs. Those who got really close to the “rain” experienced severe flu-like symptoms soon after.

Researchers who studied those raindrops claimed that those blobs contained some sort of white blood cells. Some people believe the blobs were evaporated jellyfish. If that’s true...how did they get up there, what were they doing up there, why did they fall...so many questions! Hey, could it have been an airliner flying overhead that accidentally emptied their...oh, never mind.

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