California

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Great apes: What's so great about them?

Great apes: What’s so great about them?

The great apes will always hold a special place in my heart. They’re so close to human, I find them fascinating. I usually find myself siding with them during The Planet of the Apes films.

UFO sightings from around the world

UFO sightings are reported by people from all over the world. Captured on their camera phones (and some with a bit of help from Photoshop too), unidentified flying objects bewilder both believers and non-believers.

Seattle and San Luis Obispo’s chewing gum landmarks

In Seattle, they have a rather well-known wall that is dedicated to the art of sticking chewed gum to anything but the bin.

The Coso artefact | Out-of-place artefacts

The Coso artefact | Out-of-place artefacts

The Coso artefact is a small, metal and porcelain object that was found in California in 1961. There’s nothing unusual about that (I’m sure there are lots of small, metal and porcelain objects in California), but this one was found inside a geode, which would’ve taken around 500,000 years to form.

Cobra lily: The meat-eating plant that looks like a snake

Cobra lily: The meat-eating plant that looks like a snake

Most plants are vegetarian, but for others a diet of mud and photosynthesis just isn’t enough. Whether because of a simple craving for meat or (more likely) because of a lack of nutrients in the soil, some plants have turned carnivorous and started devouring the surrounding wildlife. One such meat-eater is the cobra lily, a type of pitcher plant native to California and Oregon.

Glass Beach: The pretty beach that used to be a dump

At temperatures of around 2,000°C, sand turns into glass. Sometimes, in the event of a lightning strike (or, even rarer, a meteor hit) the resulting heat can fuse the grains together and produce glass entirely naturally. This is not what happened at California’s Glass Beach.

Bizarre mammatus clouds from around the world

Bizarre mammatus clouds from around the world

I love weird weather. Hot, sunny days are all well and good but I find stormy, dramatic skies especially thrilling. Even when they pour water on me and mess up my hair. This morning, from the windows of our office in Southend-on-Sea, we were treated to a particularly incredible sight – mammatus clouds!