BLOCKING THE SUN: Want an all-natural sun screen? Try a material made from fish mucus, algae and shrimp. They absorb damaging UV rays, are biodegradable—and the resultant compound doesn’t smell like fish.
HOT CHEESE: Russian police have arrested smugglers of $30 million dollars worth of cheese.
The action was a response by Vladimir Putin to Western sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. Police said the 470 pounds of cheese illegally brought into Russia by six suspects had been repackaged and passed off as a higher quality than it really was.
MEET THE SLOTH WOMAN: That’s what people are calling Monique Pool of Suriname in South America who gets phone calls whenever a lazy mammal is injured or in trouble—”even the zoo calls me,” she says. Her nonprofit, Green Heritage Fund Suriname, helps conservation efforts and she herself provides sanctuary for sloths and and also anteaters, armadillos and porcupines, and about 600 of them have been rehabilitated and returned to the rainforest.
SOUNDS OF LOVE: The wolf spider actually makes an audible purr to attract females.
Other spiders use vibrations to communicate, but the wolf spider actually creates a sound. “If you were in a room with a courting spider,” George Uetz of the University of Cincinnati, who made the discovery, told the Acoustical Society of America, “the sound is at a level that’s audible by human hearing at about
a meter away.”
SPLITSVILLE: Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have announced they are no longer a couple. In an official statement, Kermit confirmed he is dating another pig named Denise.
Asked why he was so attracted to pigs, he said: ‘It’s the curly tail. It’s fascinating. I don’t know why it makes a difference to frogs, but it’s pretty cool.”
RABBIT WHISPERER: That’s what 60-year-old Cliff Penrose calls himself, saying he can hypnotize bunnies by applying pressure and massaging their bellies, which he says relaxes them.
He claims the rabbits have been put into a trance, rolling on their backs with their legs in the air. He also treats “problem” rabbits with behavioral issues.
SPORTS BRA SAVES CYCLIST: A 41-year-old German woman was saved by the metallic underpinnings of her sports bra after she unwittingly rode in an area where a wild boar hunt was underway.
The woman felt a sharp pain in her chest but only suffered a bruise. German police said a young boar was found dead in the area and speculated that the bullet that killed him then rebounded and hit the woman.
BEAR DRIVEN BUT NOT ARRESTED: Colorado Springs police rescued a bear cub whose head got stuck in a large plastic tub of protein powder by giving her a ride in a police cruiser all the way to a Department of Wildlife ranger, who tranquilized her.
BIONIC ANIMALS: Okinawa has the world’s first dolphin with an artificial fin. And Thailand has the world’s first elephant with an artificial leg.
Fuji the dolphin lost 75% of her tail due to a necrotic disease and had it amputated, but Bridgestone--the largest maker of tires in Japan--built a replacement made out of silicone, cushioned with foam rubber and reinforced with carbon fiber. Fuji now performs jumps and tricks.
In Thailand, the only country in the world with an elephant hospital, Motala, 50, lost her left front foot by stepping on a land mine while hauling logs. It took three days to walk Motala to the hospital because the elephant could only walk a few steps at a time—and it took 10 years before all the wounds healed and Motala was fitted with the prosthetic.
NOT SUCH A HAPPY MEAL: A young mother in Swansea, Wales, was fined $132 for dropping a piece of lettuce from a McDonald’s Happy Meal. A litter warden following the woman’s car from a drive-thru thought she had thrown a receipt out of the window but the woman said it was a shred of lettuce from her $2.30 ‘happy meal’—and that lettuce was biodegradable and not litter.