All posts by M. Özgür Nevres

I am a software developer, an ex-road racing cyclist, and a science enthusiast. Also an animal lover! I write about the planet Earth and science on this website, ourplnt.com. You can check out my social media profiles by clicking on their icons.

Maps can be deceptive

The standard maps we see every day use Mercator Projection, a cylindrical map projection presented by the Flemish geographer and cartographer Gerardus Mercator in 1569. It developed for navigational purposes, has often been used in world maps. And like all the other types of projections, it can be deceptive.

In fact, every map tells lie, since it’s impossible to transform perfectly the three-dimensional world into two-dimensional surfaces like paper or computer screen. Map projections are necessary for creating maps and every map projections distort the surface in some fashion (a map projection is a systematic transformation of the latitudes and longitudes of locations on the surface of a sphere or an ellipsoid into locations on a plane).

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If Earth Had Rings Like Saturn, What it Would Look Like

What if Earth had rings like Saturn? What it would look like? Probably, our sky would look amazing. The rings would look quite different from the cities and latitudes across the world. It’s interesting to imagine how it would affect the culture throughout time. It would have influenced religion, mythology, navigation, etc.

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Earth: a fast-moving Spacecraft

In fact, we’re all living in a fast-moving spacecraft named Earth. Our planet is moving around our sun in an elliptical (an ellipse which is very close to a circle) orbit. The Sun is (our solar system, the Sun, Earth and all the other planets and objects) whirls around the center of our galaxy. And, our galaxy and the other galaxies in our neighborhood are also rushing towards a structure called the Great Attractor, a region of space roughly 150 million light-years (one light year is about six trillion miles) away from us. This Great Attractor, having a mass 100 quadrillion times greater than our sun and span of 500 million light-years, is made of both the visible matter that we can see along with the so-called dark matter that we cannot see.

So, even when you’re resting on your armchair, you’re flying through space faster than the fastest human-made object. But how fast actually?

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World’s Largest Living Cat: Hercules, the liger (video)

Ligers are the largest cats on Earth. A liger can be more than 900 pounds (~408 kg) in weight and 12 feet (~3.65 m) long, weighing almost 100 times more than house cats and almost twice as much as either Panthera tigris (tiger) or Panthera leo (lion).

The liger, the largest of all known extant felines, is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a female tiger.

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A Japanese Giant Hornet cooked by Honey Bees (video)

In the insects’ world, the Japanese Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) is a real beast. It is one of the subspecies of the Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia), which is the world’s largest hornet. As its name suggests, it is endemic to the Japanese islands, where it prefers rural areas where it can find trees to nest in.

A single Japanese giant hornet can kill up to forty European honeybees a minute. So, a few of them can decimate an entire colony containing 30,000 bees. Compared to honeybees, it is a really giant: adults can be more than 4.5 centimeters (1.8 in) long, with a wingspan greater than 6 centimeters (2.4 in). It also has scissor-like teeth which can wreak havoc on its prey.

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The first earthrise ever seen directly by humans

On December 24, 1968, the crew of Apollo 8, the second human spaceflight mission in the US Apollo space program, were the first humans to witness Earthrise. The “Earthrise” is photographed by astronauts on board Apollo 8. It is one of the most famous photos ever taken and became the symbol of one the greatest explorations in history: human’s first journey to another world, and when the crewmembers looked back, they saw their home planet.

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Two kangaroos get into boxing match (video)

Somewhere in the Central Coast of Australia, two kangaroos are caught on camera in an intense boxing match on a suburban street. The marsupials can be seen punching and kicking each other close to houses in Central Coast, New South Wales. It is not clear where the action was filmed.

In this incredible video below, the funny fight goes on for more than five minutes. Luckily, both kangaroos were OK and not seriously harmed after the match.

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