Science & nature

Incredible or unusual natural phenomena from around the globe

Everything you wanted to know about aubergines

Everything you wanted to know about aubergines

It’s a little ironic for me to be writing about aubergines considering I probably haven’t ever eaten one myself. I’m an incredibly fussy eater and I’m sure I would’ve dismissed the idea of eating a purple vegetable off-hand. But nevertheless, the aubergine is a fascinating thing for many different reasons. Let me tell you why.

Gem stones: What are they, where do they come from and how are they made?

Gem stones: What are they, where do they come from and how are they made?

I could be considered part magpie. I love shiny things and… Actually, that’s the only thing I have in common with a magpie. I probably won’t enter your nest and steal your eggs while you’re not looking.

Penitentes: Incredible blades of ice that point towards the sun

Penitentes: Incredible blades of ice that point towards the sun

Penitentes or nieves penitente (which is Spanish for “penitent-shaped snows”) are pointy blades of hardened snow or ice.

Ice shoves: Incredible frozen waves that get blown ashore by the wind

Ice shoves: Incredible frozen waves that get blown ashore by the wind

I don’t like unexpected visitors, even less so when the visitor is an aggressive wall of ice. Luckily, ice shoves, as they’re called, don’t happen very often. They need very specific conditions to develop.

Manchineel tree: The most dangerous tree in the world

Manchineel tree: The most dangerous tree in the world

Are you going to the Caribbean this winter? If so, sit down – we need to have a chat. A chat about the most dangerous tree in the world. This is no joke. It’s worse than that big plant from the Little Shop of Horrors.

The worst smelling flowers ever

The worst smelling flowers ever

Sometimes I buy myself some flowers, and sometimes I leave them in the vase for too long. Ooof, the smell! Well, these flowers smell worse, and not because they’re rotting – they’re supposed to smell bad.

Everything you've always wanted to know about coconuts

Coconuts: What are they and what do they do?

Over 62 million tonnes of coconuts are grown worldwide every year and, if you think that sounds like an awful lot of Malibu and Bountys, it just shows how little you must know about them.