The Mystery of the Longyou Caves in China

For as long as anyone could remember the ponds of Longyou County were thought of as “bottomless,” but when one local set out to see how deep they really were he discovered the first in a series of massive hand-carved caves, the origin of which is almost a complete mystery. 

Discovered after draining a local pond, these ancient man-made caves are still a complete mystery. In 1992, in the Chinese village of Longyou, a uniquely curious local named Wu Anai pooled his money with his neighbors to buy a water pump and began siphoning out the pond in his village.

The pond was one of many in the area that were used for washing, fishing, and other chores, and which were always said to be endlessly deep.

Not satisfied with that fantastical depth, Anai completely drained one pond and found that it wasn’t really a pond at all, but the flooded entrance to an ancient, man-made cave.

Soon other ponds in the area were also drained and they too were found to be strangely massive, hand-carved caves (24 in all). The huge caverns sink as deep as almost 100 feet and then sprawl out at the bottom.

While none of the caves are connected many of them share thin walls that it is remarkable the primitive builders did not puncture. The walls of the caves are also covered in carved lines and symbols, the meaning of which has yet to be deciphered. And that’s hardly the only mystery.

While the caverns have been dated back to around 200 BCE, there is no historical record of their construction, nor is there any evidence of the tools used to make them, or even their purpose.

In addition no one is quite sure where the excavated rock went. The caves seem too big to have been the work of a small group villagers and it is thought that it would have taken over a thousand workers to build them in their day.

While the origins of the caves are still unknown, they are now open to visitors willing to make the trek to the remote village. Hopefully someone can come back with some answers.

Atlas Obscura / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

The Mysterious inner Earth City beneath Tibet

Many mystical religions have a concept of an ideal place on Earth, a region untouched by human greed or vices where spiritually evolved people reside. In Buddhism, the legendary city of Shambala is one such place. Many believe that the city is located deep beneath the Earth.

Shambala is a Sanskrit word that means a place of peace or a place of silence. It is mentioned in Buddhist and Hindu texts. In Buddhism, it is specifically mentioned in the Kalachakra Tantra as a unique place that exists within our own planet.

Shambala is a kingdom where humanity’s wisdom is spared from the destructions and corruptions of time and history, ready to save the world in its hour of need, a commentary of the Kalachakra Tantra states (Collective Evolution).

Traditional Buddhists believe the place to exist somewhere in the Himalayan/Tibetan region. According to Tibetan beliefs, Shambala is guarded by unique beings with immense supernatural powers.

Some have reported seeing them. People who search for Shambala are said to either end up discovering the place or perishing in the process. Those who succeed choose to remain there, cut off from the rest of the world.

Shambala, being located inside the Earth, is also supported by the Hollow Earth Theory, which propounds that our planet is largely hollow, containing significant interior space that might contain vegetation and life forms.

However, Buddhists are not the only ones obsessed with the idea of Shambala. The Nazis were so smitten by the concept of a spiritual utopia that they sent several teams in search of the legendary place.

In the Himalayas, a Tibet expedition in 1938 was intended to produce new findings relating to early Germanic history. The Nazis believed in a Nordic master race that was supposed to have survived the demise of the legendary Atlantis.

In Tibet — so the theory goes — these people of Nordic origin are supposed to have constructed the underground realm of Shambalah, traces of which the expedition hoped to find, according to Above Top Secret.

The expeditionary team apparently came across a surprise in Shambala — a group of extraterrestrials. The beings refused to cooperate with the Nazi war efforts.

Instead, the extraterrestrials offered to travel to Germany to help people in their spiritual development. This is believed to have led to the establishment of the Vril society, an occult group.

One of Buddhism’s highest figures, the Dalai Lama, believed that only those with a pure mind could visit Shambala. Although those with special affiliation may actually be able to go there through their karmic connection, nevertheless it is not a physical place that we can actually find.

We can only say that it is a pure land, a pure land in the human realm. And unless one has the merit and the actual karmic association, one cannot actually arrive there, he said in a 1985 speech (Ancient Code).

Shambala is also mentioned in Hindu mythology as the birthplace of the 10th avatar of Lord Vishnu. Named Kalki, the incarnation is prophesied to appear on Earth when evil reaches its peak.

The avatar will destroy all wicked people and help the surviving good ones to usher in a new golden age that will last for 10,000 years.

NSpirement / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

How to Plant Lemongrass to Repel Mosquitoes

Let’s be real – everyone loves summer and the hot weather, but no one enjoys the bugs that come along with it. I hate mosquitoes. I mean, I know I am delicious, but that’s besides the point. Their bites itch, and some species even leave welts and red marks on your skin that can last weeks?

Thankfully, there are some things you can do, like learning how to plant lemongrass to repel mosquitoes from your backyard. Now, I know it seems far-fetched, but there are actually studies to back up how this works. But first, let’s take a little look at the lemongrass plant itself. 

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a tall perennial grass, native to Asia, Australia, and Africa. It is considered a culinary herb, often used in Thai, Indonesian, Sri Lankan, and Indian dishes. 

The woody stalks of lemongrass have a citrusy aroma that provides a subtle lemon-floral flavor to the aforementioned dishes. The tall stalks of lemongrass can grow up to ten feet tall, but it is the softer inner cores that are used for cooking purposes.

Lemongrass contains the essential oil ‘citronella’, which is commonly used in natural mosquito repellent found in candles, sprays, and lotions. But does citronella actually work to repel mosquitoes? Research says yes.

The oil supposedly works by masking scents that are attractive to insects, according to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)

The oil is a mixture of components including citronellal, citronella, and geraniol, all of which possess antimicrobial, antithetical, antioxidant, anticoagulant, and wound healing properties (in addition to mosquito-repelling action.

A study found that citronella oil kept human subjects free from mosquito bites for up to 3 hours.

The authors go on to note that Mosquitoes in captivity exhibited active movement away from the oil-treated chamber of the box within the first minute of application: 43% repellency and 100% mortality were recorded after 18 minutes.

The plant gives off a slight lemony fragrance, but that alone will not be enough to keep pesky mosquitoes from entering your home uninvited.

The best and most effective way to repel mosquitoes using the plant is to crush the leaves, thus releasing the oil, and rub them directly onto your skin. Even so, this method will only repel mosquitoes for a short time.

Since the mosquito-repelling oils of the plant are embedded in the leaves, you need to plant a lot of lemongrass for it to properly take effect.

The lemony fragrance released from the plant will help repel bugs, but the most effective way to repel mosquitoes using the plant is to crush the leaves, thus releasing the oil and rubbing it directly onto your skin.

So if you want to deter mosquitoes with the intense fragrance of lemongrass, you can either plant it along your porch, walkway, or any other area that is in close proximity to your seating area. Leave the plant as is, or cut off pieces to rub into your skin to enhance its mosquito-repelling effects.

Lemongrass is a hardy plant that grows best in full sun and soil that drains well. It is well suited to container growing and can be grown as a perennial where winters are mild. While growing lemongrass can be a little challenging, the reward is well worth the effort. 

You can either start the lemongrass from seed, or you can propagate from an actual lemongrass plant you find in the grocery store. Make sure you start your seeds or propagating roots on your lemongrass plant in late winter. Transplant outside only once nighttime temperatures reach 10ºC (50ºF). 

When growing the lemongrass from seed, you’ll want to harden them off in early summer by slowly exposing them to full sun and cooler temperatures.

Once you’ve hardened them off, transplant individual seedlings into larger containers with good drainage. Keep the soil moist – water 2-3 times a week or more in hotter weather.

If your propagated plants are not already in a large 5-gallon well-drained container, consider transplanting them into one. Keep the soil moist – water 2-3 times a week or more in hotter weather.

Instead of pots, you can also plant lemongrass directly into the ground. So instead of transplanting into pots, you’d do so in freshly prepared and well-fertilized soil on the ground. Ground planting will generally only work in areas where winters are mild.

Whether you plant in the ground, or in pots, make sure to position the plants so that they are in an area around where you’d sit outside in the evening. This will help deter mosquitoes and other bugs.

At the end of the growing season, as night temperatures near 10ºC (50ºF), cut back your plants so that they are around 8 inches tall and reduce watering. If you planted your plants in containers, you can transfer them indoors to a bright, sunny spot.

If you planted them in too-large containers or in the ground, protect them from the frost by covering them in a burlap bag or other covering.

You can harvest your lemongrass and rub it onto your skin for even more mosquito-protecting abilities. Make sure to cut whole stalks from the base of the plant. The stalks should be at least 1/2-inch thick before picking. 

Lemongrass can also be harvested to be used in teas and other dishes. The benefits of lemongrass range far more than just mosquito-repelling properties. It also helps to reduce inflammation in the body, relieves symptoms of PMS, can help alleviate headaches and promote relaxation. 

Lemongrass contains two prominent anti-inflammatory compounds called citral and geranial, which reduces the expression of inflammatory markers in the body.

Lemongrass tea has been traditionally used to treat menstrual cramps, bloating and hot flashes. While there is no research specifically done on lemongrass and PMS, it does provide stomach-soothing properties and anti-inflammatory.

The anti-inflammatory, like limonene, help reduce prostaglandins that are often involved in pain and inflammation that trigger uterine muscle contractions.

According to some research, lemongrass may also help relieve pain caused by headaches and migraines. It does so via a compound called eugenol, which possesses abilities similar to aspirin.

Eugenol can prevent blood platelets from sticking together, and it also triggers the release of serotonin from the gut and brain. This hormone helps regulate our mood and sleep, which can be major headache-triggers if not properly synced.

Aromatherapy is a powerful tool for relaxation and helping reduce stress and anxiety – and lemongrass can help with that. One study looked at how lemongrass essential oil affected individuals when combined with massage.

What they found was that the lemongrass oil massage reduced diastolic blood pressure, with no effect on their systolic blood pressure or pulse. High blood pressure is a common side effect of stress, so by being able to reduce blood pressure, we can inadvertently calm ourselves down.

Plant mint, garlic and basil because mosquitoes also hate the scent of these plants. This beautifully scented flower can also help repel bugs. I used it when I was working up in Northern Manitoba, where the bugs are beyond anything I’ve ever seen in my life.

Surprisingly, it worked well. I did have to re-apply it every 30 minutes to an hour, but it was totally worth it.

Lavender essential oil has been used for centuries to repel bugs and protect clothes and linens from the infestation of moths and other insects. Lavender also helps control the inflammation and itching that comes with bug bites.

Live Love fruit / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

Scientists detect a ‘Tsunami’ of Gravitational Waves

A team of international scientists, including researchers from The Australian National University (ANU), have unveiled the largest number of gravitational waves ever detected.

The discoveries will help solve some of the most complex mysteries of the Universe, including the building blocks of matter and the workings of space and time.

The global team’s study, published on ArXiv, made 35 new detection’s of gravitational waves caused by pairs of black holes merging or neutron stars and black holes smashing together, using the LIGO and Virgo observatories between November 2019 and March 2020.

This brings the total number of detection’s to 90 after three observing runs between 2015 and 2020. The new detection’s are from massive cosmic events, most of them billions of light-years away, which hurl ripples through space-time.

They include 32 black hole pairs merging, and likely three collisions between neutron stars and black holes.

ANU is one of the key players in the international team making the observations and developing the sophisticated technology to hunt down elusive gravitational waves across the vast expanse of the Universe.

Distinguished Professor Susan Scott, from the ANU Center for Gravitational Astrophysics, said the latest discoveries represented “a tsunami” and were a major leap forward in our quest to unlock the secrets of the Universe’s evolution.

Scott, who is also a Chief Investigator of the ARC Center of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav), said the continual improvement of gravitational wave detector sensitivity was helping drive an increase in detection’s.

This new technology is allowing us to observe more gravitational waves than ever before. We are also probing the two black hole mass gap regions and providing more tests of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

The other really exciting thing about the constant improvement of the sensitivity of the gravitational wave detectors is that this will then bring into play a whole new range of sources of gravitational waves, some of which will be unexpected

NSpirement / Australian National University / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

Plants that attract Dragonflies for Mosquito Control

It always amazes me the way nature takes care of things in her own time, and her own way. If people only stopped taking control and started listening to her, we’d see the beauty of these interactions take place. Utilizing plants that attract dragonflies for mosquito control, for instance, is one such example. 

I grew up in a place that danced with hundreds of dragonflies, and was always taken aback at how effective they were at controlling the mosquito populations.

Every evening in the warmer months, when bugs very evidently started to get worse, swarms of dragonflies would populate the skies and scoop up the bugs in a matter of minutes.

Utilizing dragonflies for mosquito control is natures way of telling us she’s got this. Only when we start intervening with harmful chemicals (like bug sprays and mosquito coils), will we do more harm than good.

Dragonflies are some of the best predators to keep mosquito populations low. Not only do they scavenge the skies in adulthood, but they eat large numbers of mosquito larvae in their larval form (which happens in the water).

One study found that dragonfly larvae could play a significant role in the regulation of mosquito populations. While they are most effective in their larval stage, adult dragonflies can still eat up to 100, if not many more, mosquitoes per day. 

Not only do dragonflies control mosquito populations – they help control other bugs, too, like midges. 

Attracting dragonflies to your garden and backyard requires planting a diverse array of plants. Planting trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the yard will provide adequate hiding spots for young dragonflies.

Black-eyed susans attract butterflies and other pollinators – a popular choice of the dragonfly (unfortunately so, but everyone has to eat!).

These bright yellow wildflowers typically live for around two years in climates that remain warm for most of the year, and will die off once winter hits in cooler climates. They adapt well to nearly every type of soil and require full sunlight and regular watering to bloom.

Blooming plants also attract pollinators (like butterflies, beetles, wasps, moths and other small flying insects that dragonflies love to prey on.

Water plants that grow near and within ponds are also highly sought out by dragonflies, but only if you’re willing to sacrifice a part of your yard with a pond (which wouldn’t be too bad, would it?

While building a backyard pond is the best way to attract dragonflies as they mate and lay their eggs in water, you can still attract dragonflies through other means.

Planting flowers that attract prey for dragonflies will bring them to your garden indirectly. Here are five plants you can grow to attract more dragonflies into your backyard. 

Meadow sage is a beautiful perennial with eye-catching purple flowers that attract butterflies and other small insects. This flower loves full sun, but it can also do well in partial shade.

The best growing location receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Once established, this plant does not need a lot of water. In fact, it can handle pretty well in drought conditions, but if scarcity of water does become a thing, make sure you give it a sip at least once a day. 

Incorporating a pond into your backyard is also a good idea if you want dragonflies to return to your side of the neighborhood. Dragonflies spend two months to several years underwater, and water is a place they will return to time and time again.

If you provide water, dragonflies will come to hunt, reproduce, perch, and play. 

Aside from the water-dwelling plants listed below, you should also provide rocks around the pond, and around your garden in general. Rocks provide hiding place for dragonfly larvae as they grow and develop under water.

While you’re waiting for plants to grow tall enough for dragonflies to perch on, you can place sticks around your pond. This will give them somewhere to land and take a rest. You can use sticks from nearby trees, or bamboo stakes for plants and vegetables. 

Floating plants like water lilies make the perfect egg-laying spot for adult dragonflies. Water lilies can be grown from tubers planted in pots beneath the water’s surface.

The plant will then send up stems with rounded leaves and star-shaped blossoms that float on the surface. Adding in rocks will help keep the plant submerged. 

Live Love Fruit / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

The Ocean Race to collect data about the Global Environment

The forthcoming edition of The Ocean Race, which sets sail from Alicante, Spain, on the 15th January, is set to feature the most ambitious and comprehensive science program created by a sporting event.

The round-the-world sailing race will measure microplastic pollution, gather information about the impact of climate change on the ocean and collect data to improve global weather forecasting.

Every boat participating in the grueling six-month around-the-world race will carry specialist equipment onboard to measure a range of variables throughout the 60,000km route, which will be analyzed by scientists from eight leading research organizations to further understanding about the state of the ocean.

Sailing through some of the most remote parts of the planet, seldom reached by scientific vessels, teams will have a unique opportunity to collect vital data where information is lacking on two of the biggest threats to the health of the seas: the impact of climate change and plastic pollution. 

Data will be delivered to science partners faster, transmitted via satellite and reaching the organizations, which includes World Meteorological Organization, National Oceanography Center, Max Planck Society, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in real time.

Two boats, 11th Hour Racing Team and Team Malizia, will carry OceanPacks, which take water samples to measure levels of carbon dioxide, oxygen, salinity and temperature, providing insights about the impact of climate change on the ocean.

Trace elements, including iron, zinc, copper and manganese, will also be captured for the first time. These elements are vital for the growth of plankton, an essential organism as it is the first part of the food chain and the ocean’s biggest producers of oxygen. 

GUYOT environment – Team Europe and Holcim – PRB will take regular water samples throughout the race to test for micro-plastics.

As with the previous edition of the Race, the amount of micro-plastics will be measured throughout the route and, for the first time, samples will also be analyzed to determine which plastic product the fragments originated from (for example, bottles, straws or carrier bag).

The entire fleet will use onboard weather sensors to measure wind speed, wind direction and air temperature.

Some teams will also deploy drifter buoys in the Southern Ocean to capture these measurements on an ongoing basis, along with location data, which helps to grow understanding about how currents and the climate are changing.

Meteorological data will help to improve weather forecasts and are particularly valuable for predicting extreme weather events, as well as revealing insights on longer-term climate trends. 

Biotherm is collaborating with the Tara Ocean Foundation to trial an experimental research project to study ocean biodiversity during the Race.

An onboard automated microscope will record images of marine phytoplankton on the ocean surface, which will be analyzed to provide insights on phytoplankton diversity in the ocean, along with biodiversity, food webs and the carbon cycle. 

All of the collected data is open-source and shared with The Ocean Race’s science partners – organizations across the world that are examining the impact of human activity on the ocean.

Info feeding into reports, including those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and databases such as the Surface Ocean Carbon Dioxide Atlas, which provides data for the Global Carbon Budget, a yearly assessment of carbon dioxide that informs targets and predictions for carbon reduction.

The Ocean Race / Crickey Conservation Society News 2023.

Could this Baigong Pipe be Evidence of an advanced Chemical Fuel Facility?

A few years ago, researchers were perplexed by a series of archaeological discoveries unearthed around Qinghai Province near Mount Baigong near the city of Delingha, in southwestern China.

The mystery has mainly been remained unexplained to this day, with significant evidence pointing to the claims by ancient astronaut theorists.

In 2002, researchers were shocked to discover a series of well-arranged metallic pipe-like structures embedded in the rocks around Mount Baigong, aka white White Mountain. The 150.000 year-old pipelines were discovered next to Qadim Basin, located at the foothills of the Himalayan highlands.

The harsh climate of this area has made it inhospitable throughout human history, and there is scant evidence of human settlement here, even today where only herders quickly pass through the place while moving to fertile pastures down south.

The origin of these Baigong Pipelines and who built them are still a mystery. The most important discovery was a 50-60 meter high pyramid-like protrusion. This protrusion is surrounded by a system of well-organized pipe-like structures that lead to Lake Toson Hu, a saline water lake approximately 300 feet away.

The outcropping has three entrances, two of which have collapsed, leaving the third to lead to a dug-out cave with embedded pipes in the rocky inner floor and walls.

This discovery and the outcropping, lines, and piping network that connects it to Lake Toson Hu perplexed researchers, especially since the outcropping is only 300 feet from a fresh-water lake.

Why did anyone choose a salt-water lake and construct a complex piping network that connects it to the outcropping? Was this any ancient research center? Or some old extraterrestrial facility or base?

There are multiple pipe sizes used in the pipeline complex, with the big pipes measuring up to 1.5 feet in diameter and the trim lines measuring only a few inches. The tubes that comprise this system are named the Baigong Pipes and are officially known as the Bai-Gongshan Iron Pipe.

In the eyes of archaeologists and historians, the Baigong Pipes fit well into the textbook description of ancient objects found Out-of-Place. The Beijing Institute of Geology used radiocarbon dating to show that these iron pipes were smelted around 150,000 years ago.

And if they were created by humans, history as we know it would have to be reevaluated. The researchers used thermoluminescence to assess how long a crystalline mineral had been exposed to sunlight or heated. Humans were assumed to have inhabited the area for the past 30,000 years ago.

Even in the area’s known history, the only humans there were nomads whose way of existence did not leave any such structures behind.

Though some have attempted to explain the pipes as a natural occurrence, Yang Ji, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told “Xinhua” that intelligent beings may have constructed the pyramid.

He said that extraterrestrials from the distant past could be responsible, adding that this theory is understandable and worth looking into but scientific means must be employed to prove whether or not it is true.

Another hypothesis is that it was constructed by prehistoric human civilization (like described in the Silurian Hypothesis by NASA scientists) using techniques lost to subsequent humans.

According to the head of the publicity department at the local Delingha administration, the pipes were analyzed at a local smelters. Just 8% of the material could not be identified from other types of material. The remaining components were made of ferric oxide, silicon dioxide, and calcium oxide.

The formation of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide results from extensive interaction between the iron and the surrounding sandstone, indicating that the pipes are thousands of years old. Engineer Liu Shaolin, who did the analysis, told Xinhua that this result has made the site even more mysterious.

A geology researcher from the China Earthquake Administration named Zheng Jiandong informed the state-run newspaper “People’s Daily” in 2007 that some of the pipes were highly radioactive, adding to the mystification.

The pipes could also be fossilized tree roots, according to another hypothesis. Scientists discovered plant detritus and what appeared to be tree rings in a study of the lines, according to Xinmin Weekly in 2003.

The discovery was linked to a geological idea that tree roots can undergo diagenesis (the change of soil into rock) and other processes that result in iron deposits under specific temperatures and chemical conditions.

The Xinmin Weekly’s reporting on the root cause of the Baigong Pipes can be traced back to this article, and none of the research includes citations. Regarding the Baigong pipes, there is no definitive knowledge of how solid this theory is.

Global Club / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

Oceanic White Tip Shark population in Decline

Oceanic white-tip sharks are large, pelagic sharks found in tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world. They live offshore in deep water, but spend most of their time in the upper part of the water column near the surface.

Oceanic white tip sharks are long-lived, late maturing, and have low to moderate productivity. The main threat to oceanic white tip sharks is by-catch in commercial fisheries combined with demand for its fins. Almost 90% of the species disappeared during the last decades.

They are frequently caught in pelagic long line, purse seine, and gill-net fisheries worldwide and their fins are highly valued in the international trade for shark products.

As a result, their populations have declined throughout its global range. In 2018, NOAA Fisheries listed the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Information on the global population size of the oceanic white tip is lacking. However, several lines of evidence suggest that the once common and abundant shark has experienced declines of potentially significant magnitude due to heavy fishing pressure.

For example, the oceanic white tip has declined by approximately 80 to 95% across the Pacific Ocean since the mid-1990’s. Substantial abundance declines have also been estimated for the Atlantic Ocean, including an 88% decline in the Gulf of Mexico due to commercial fishing.

Given their life history traits, particularly their late age of maturity and low reproductive output, oceanic white tip sharks are inherently vulnerable to depletion’s, with low likelihood of recovery.

Additional research is needed to better understand the population structure and global abundance of the oceanic white tip shark.

Oceanic white tip sharks are large-bodied sharks with a stocky build, and have a distinctive pattern of mottled white markings on the tips of their dorsal, pectoral, and tail fins.

These markings are why they are called “white-tip” sharks.

Their dorsal fins are rounded and their pectoral fins are long and paddle-like. The color of their bodies varies depending on where they live. They are generally-grayish bronze to brown, while their undersides are whitish with some individuals having a yellow tinge.

The oceanic white tip shark are considered a top predator, eating at the top of the food chain. They are opportunistic, feeding primarily on bony fish and cephalopods, such as squid.

However, they also reportedly feed on large pelagic sport-fish (e.g., tuna, marlin), sea birds, other sharks and rays, marine mammals, and even garbage.

The oceanic white tip shark is found throughout the world in tropical and sub-tropical waters. It is a pelagic species, generally found offshore in the open ocean, on the outer continental shelf, or around oceanic islands in deep water areas.

Although they can make deep dives and have been recorded up to 1,082 meters (3,549 feet) deep, they typically live in the upper part of the water column, from the surface to at least 200 meters (656 feet deep).

Oceanic white tip sharks have a strong preference for the surface mixed layer in warm waters above 20°C, and are therefore considered a surface-dwelling shark.

Oceanic white tip sharks are estimated to live up to 25 years, although it is thought that individuals may live to be much older (up to 36 years).

Female oceanic white tip sharks reach maturity between 6 and 9 years of age (depending on geographic location) and give birth to live young after a very lengthy gestation period of 10 to 12 months.

The reproductive cycle is thought to be biennial, with sharks giving birth on alternate years to litters ranging from 1 to 14 pups (average of 6). There is also a likely correlation between female size and number of pups per litter, with larger sharks producing more offspring.

The primary threat to the oceanic white tip shark is incidental by-catch in commercial fisheries, including long lines, purse seines, and gill-nets (among other gear types).

Because of their preferred distribution in warm, tropical waters, and their tendency to remain at the surface, oceanic white tip sharks have high encounter and mortality rates in fisheries throughout their range.

Their large, distinct fins are also highly valued in the international shark fin trade.

NOAA Fisheries / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

Sweden suffering Wild Boar Invasion

Several decades after their re-introduction, Sweden’s wild boar population has exploded from hundreds to hundreds of thousands, becoming the single largest reason for domestic hunting dog injuries, as well as a bane for the nations crop farmers.

In recent years, Sweden’s wild boar population has exploded to become a threat to humans and dogs, as well as a detriment to the Nordic country’s agricultural sector.

In December, a boar rampaged through a McDonald’s restaurant in the city of Uppsala north of Stockholm. In the summer, a hunter in southern Sweden died after being gored by a boar, which became the country’s first such fatality in modern history.

Boars have caused more than 5,100 traffic accidents in 2022 alone.

Last and perhaps most important, they destroyed a massive 84,500 tons of crops in 2020, causing losses of 1.1 billion kronor ($100 million) and creating serious insurance problems for farmers. Stories of farmers having their crops destroyed by boars have become a common sight in Swedish media.

A study presented in the country’s leading nationwide specialist magazine for farmers gave a dull picture of the Swedes’ relationship with their wild boar, as six out of ten respondents said its population was too big, with their share reaching 80% in boar-rich regions.

Yet another reason for keeping the wild boar population down is to keep African swine fever at bay; the disease is fatal for wild boar and domestic pigs alike.

The disease has already established itself in Sweden’s vicinity — in Poland, Germany and the Baltic countries. Its spread to Sweden, painted as a worst-case scenario, would pose a threat to the nation’s pork industry as well.

Wild boar has long been a natural part of the Swedish fauna, having thrived in Nordic forests since pre-historic times. At some point during the 18th century, the wild boar was exterminated and it was not until the 1940’s until it was reintroduced — and only in enclosures.

However, escapes and illegal releases from captivity have since occurred, which made the boar population skyrocket as it spread across the country.

In the early 1980’s, there were fewer than 100 free-living wild boars in the country. The current boar population is estimated at 300,000 and is growing despite the annual shooting of tens of thousands of the animals.

Sputnik / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

Nikon Coolpix P900 best Camera money can buy

There are nice cameras and then there are insanely nice cameras. Nikon’s Coolpix P900 is one of the insanely nice cameras, although in the world of photography it comes with a pretty affordable price tag.

For $596 you can own a camera with zoom capabilities that far surpass the competition, in fact this camera can even capture the movement of the moon.

Nikon’s point and shoot camera, the Coolpix P900, recently went viral on YouTube after German-based nature-lover Lothar Lenz captured stunning video footage of the moon moving using the camera’s 83x optical zoom lens.

Since the video went viral people have been quick to point out that the camera is actually capturing the rotation of the Earth. The moon rotates around the Earth in the same direction and completes one full rotation in a little less than 28 days.

From earth it looks like the moon is completely still, but when you use the zoom feature on this camera you can suddenly see something you couldn’t before.

Both Earth and the Moon are moving all of the time; Earth is clocking speeds of 1,000 miles per hour. We don’t feel how fast we are moving because the speed is so constant.

The camera has gotten a lot of attention thanks to its massive 24-2000mm lens, which literally puts this camera in a class all by itself. It’s not just the impressive zoom feature that earns this camera such great reviews.

The Coolpix P900 also comes with GPS, Wi-Fi, manual exposure controls, twin dial operation and so much more.

Fancy Work / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

Zero Cost hacks to Grow your own Food

When speaking to people who don’t already grow their own, one of the main factors that comes up is cost. People worry that it will be expensive to get started with the process of growing their own food.

But a vegetable garden or kitchen garden does not need to cost the earth. In fact, you need no money at all for many of the basic elements you need to get started.

So to help new gardeners get started on the road to greater resilience and self-sufficiency – here are some zero cost tips for starting a vegetable garden right now.

First of all, it is important to remember that most of what plants need to grow is already there. Plants need sunshine, nutrients from the air and soil, and water.

While gardening can sometimes seem a complex business, nature already provides a lot of what you need. You won’t need much, other than seeds, time and a little effort, to get growing.

When you start a vegetable garden, what you are doing is essentially manipulating the natural world so it can better meet your needs. But the mistake many gardeners make is forgetting that when you take from nature – you have to give back.

In an organic garden, one of our goals is to make sure nature’s cycles keep on turning, while we still generate the yields we need. If we don’t think about nature’s cycles, and about giving back, we risk creating a garden that thrives for only a brief period of time.

So before you even think about making your vegetable garden and sourcing your seeds, it is important to think about how you will keep your garden healthy and productive. You need to think not just about right now, but also about the long term.

The goal with any new growing system should be to create a garden that can continue to thrive, evolve and grow for years to come. Fortunately, making sure that you provide for the needs of your garden long term need not cost you a thing.

So let’s take a look at how you can ensure enduring health and fertility in your garden without necessarily even spending a dime. Composting is one of the most important processes in an organic garden.

It is the method we use to ‘recycle’ good waste and other biodegradable materials and return the nutrients they contain to our growing areas. Before you do anything else, therefore, it is a great idea to set up your own composting system.

It does not matter how large or small a plot you have. You may even have no garden at all. But you can always compost, even if it is only on a very small scale. 

By setting up a composting system on your property, you can boost your self-reliance, and build a growing system that you can maintain for free (or for next to nothing) for years to come. 

Composting is not the only method gardeners can use to return nutrients to the system. There are also other ways to use free resources from your environment to make your own free fertilizers and fertility boosters for your garden.

Another important thing to think about before you start your vegetable garden is whether you will need to water it manually. The first thing that you can do is think about how you can keep around the rainfall that does fall on your property

In most locations, it is likely, even when growing outdoors in the open, that you will have to water your vegetable garden for at least part of the year. Even in higher rainfall areas, there can often be dry periods during the spring or summer months.

The more water you can catch and keep on your property, the better. We can influence how much water we catch and store in our gardens.

If you are feeling really ambitious, you could even consider creating a zero cost greenhouse. Or another under-cover growing area for your garden.

You could make a greenhouse using items that might otherwise be thrown away, such as old windows and doors from a demolition or renovation project. You can use a range of other free materials too – from plastic bottles, to glass bottles, to reclaimed PVC piping and more.

Even if you don’t have a garden, you could start a vegetable garden, right now, inside your home.

A sunny windowsill can be enough to get started with container gardening. No matter where you live, it is possible for you to grow at least a small proportion of your own food. 

When it comes to seed trays, pots and planters, you can, again, make use of what is available to you already, rather than going out and buying anything new. Plastic food packaging – pots, trays and bottles – can have a wide range of uses when it comes to getting started with your vegetable garden.

You can also make seedling pots from old toilet roll tubes. Not only are these a free and widely available resource, they can also be planted along with your seedlings in your new vegetable garden. So they are a great example of one of the biodegradable plant pots you can make at home.

Small cardboard boxes, and recycled paper made into papier maché pots with flour paste, are other interesting (and zero cost) options.

When it comes to larger containers and planters, there are a range of further zero cost options to consider. There is almost no end to the options you could consider – from the drawers from old wooden furniture, to washing machine drums, to old pots and pans… the list goes on. 

By now, you should see just how possible it is to use natural and free resources to create your vegetable garden, no matter how large or small. All that now remains is to source the seeds and plants you need to actually populate your new garden. 

There may well be some small expense involved in actually sourcing the seeds and plants you want. To save money, remember that it is always cheaper to use slow solutions and grow from seed. So do this rather than buying in plug plants or fully grown plants for your garden.

But before you head out and buy your seeds, it could be worthwhile trying to source seeds and plants for free. Before you make any purchasing decisions, it is always good to do an inventory to see what you already have in your garden and in your home. 

You might also be able to plant, for example, potatoes sourced from a local farmer’s market or local organic supplier. If in doubt, it won’t hurt to give things a go and see what germinates and grows.

Another thing to consider is whether you can save seeds from food you buy to plant. (Organic tomato seeds, or squash or pumpkin seeds, for example). You may also be able to regrow vegetables from scraps.

It is also worthwhile looking around your neighborhood and asking around to see if anyone you know would be willing to give you plants or plant cuttings to populate your garden. Home growers often grow too many seedlings and frequently have young plants or cuttings they would be willing to give away.

If you are new to gardening, getting to know some more experienced gardeners can often pay dividends – not only in terms of seeds and free plants, but also in terms of their invaluable knowledge and expertise.

Reach out to those you already know. But also consider reaching out online to other gardeners close to where you live, to see how they might be able to share resources and advice to help you set up your new garden. If in doubt, it never hurts to ask. 

Rural Sprout / Crickey Conservation Society 2022.

Curacao vol Dynamiek en Traditie sinds 1499

Dynamiek, Spirituele Tradite en Humanitaire Ontwikkeling zijn de tref woorden van Crickey Amigu di Natura.

Nederlandse versie Inzet Natuur CAdN Beweging :

  • Invoeren bindend Referendum
  • Eerlijke verdeling Welvaart
  • De Groot- Vervuiler Betaald of neemt Passende Eco Maatregelen
  • Geen Winstoogmerk Basis Behoefte * Zorg/Wonen/Water/Energie en Onderwijs.
  • Doorbreken Politiek Bancair System
  • Aanpakken Multi-Nationals die oneindig Dieviezen Weg mogen Sluizen
  • Beeindigen “Food Waste Dumping” bij Hotels, Restaurants en Supermarkets

Het verbeteren van de geldverslindende mensheid begint met uzelf, door een naaste of Hulpbehoevende te Ondersteunen in plaats van financieel uit te Melken en afhankelijk te stellen.

Het ontwikkelen in mangrove gebied is wereldwijd verboden, maar op Curacao mag Corendon gewoon kappen en bouwen middenin dit soort beschermde gebieden, waarmee de kringloop van de voedsel keten doelbewust afgebroken wordt?

Alsof dit al niet erg genoeg blijkt te zijn, wordt de bouw van fase 2 ($65 miljoen) met pensioen geld van de burger neergezet. De Turkse investeerder die er zelf geen cent inzet verbied vervolgens lokalen het gebied te bezoeken (verboden toegang krijgt men te horen bij de poort)?

Om dit gedrag een beetje cache te geven wordt een bar waar alcohol geschonken maar Mondi (natuur) Bar genoemd. APC is de ontwikkelaar, die ook hier, evenals de afbraak plannen van het Plaza Hotel bij Punda, zich zeer schandalig opsteld? Er zou asbest aangetroffen zijn in het beton van het traditionele gebouw!

De twee mega pieren om de achtergrond van Corendon koste het volk fl.150 miljoen, met no return on investment voor de staatskas? Armoede is onnodig in deze Tijd van Historische Welvaart, maar op deze wijze van ontwikkelen zit niemand te wachten op Curacao.

Een nieuw ziekenhuis koste het volk fl.750 miljoen, maar deze kan geeneens op eigen benen staan, moet met tientallen miljoenen subsidie (volksgeld) per jaar overeind gehouden worden, terwijl het zonder te formaliseren onteigend werd.

Daarnaast betaalt de SVB nu driemaal de hoofdprijs om lokale zieken in behandeling te laten nemen. Dit zal leiden tot de ondergang van de SVB, waarbij het volk niet meer verzekerd zal tegen ziekten en/of ziekenhuis opname?

Het door Nederland (Den Haag en Cft) aangestuurde beleid en hervormings maatregelen laten veel te wensen over, met de gedachte dat roven en plunderen toch tot de verleden koloniale tijden behoorde!

Verder staat milieu diensten het gewoon toe dat er een zwaar vervuilende motor yacht haven aangelegd gaat worden bij Zakito nabij Marriott en Hilton. Ook dit weer ten koste van koralen en weer onbeschermd eeuwen oude mangrove gebieden?

Ook moest er voor honderden miljoenen een nieuwe aankomst hal voor de KLM, TUI en American Airlines worden gebouwd, Wordt beheerd door Swissport, maar het onderhoud wordt door CAP met de luchthaven belasting betaald.

Ook hier dus geen return on investment voor het ingestoken belasting geld, als CAP alle airport tax mag gebruiken voor eigen doeleinden?

En de politici en media maar klagen over corruptie (de pot verwijt de ketel) op de Caribische eilanden voor de kust van Venezuela. Maar goed commercieel toerisme werd door Nazi Duitsland verzonnen, om destijds (WW II) de Fransen in Parijs wat geld te laten verdienen om zo de oorlogs propaganda op peil te houden.

Op Curacao gaan we dan nog een stapje verder en hebben we anno 2022 te maken met massa toerisme wat massa werkeloosheid en armoede (en dus criminaliteit) met zich meebrengt. De horeca en bouw sectoren werken met goedkope onverzekerde (vaak illegale) Venezolaanse vluchtelingen.

Alle publieke standen worden geprivatiseerd door ligstoel verhuurders en andere vormen van ecologisch onverantwoordelijke toedoeningen waar mogelijk het lokale volk later ook weer de toegang ontnomen wordt?

Voor de drugs smokkel van de Amsterdamse misdaad netwerken werken velen zolas Citro en de Coast Guard samen om de markt te controleren. Toch wordt de handel verstopt tussen de bagage van de niets vermoedende toeristen die met charters heen en weer naar Klein Curacao gevaren worden.

Vissers klagen steen en been over de nieuwe ontwikkelingen, waarbij deze vis quotas krijgen opgelegd, terwijl toeristen de stranden van Klein Curacao bestormen en in beslag nemen, waarbij tientallen palapa’s en een uitkijktoren, die zonder rechtmatige bouwvergunning werden neergezet, deze mogelijkheid bieden.

Alle factoren bij elkaar gebonden geven hiermee duidelijk aan hoe ernstig en nijpend de situatie achter de schermen op Curacao werkelijk is. Maar omdat het om miljarden per jaar gaat blijven de toonaangevende instanties muisstil, want een brede ontwikkeling is goed voor de Koninkrijks eilanden.

Crickey Conservation Society 2007-2022

Large Venomous Spiders are swarming part of Australia

Although there’s a whole trope about Australia being some scary place full of buff cows, stinging trees, and hawks that literally spread their own fires, we all know it’s actually a wonderful place to live.

Even when parts of it are swarming with lethally venomous Funnel-web spiders; as they are right now, creating scenes pulled directly out of a Stephen King novel. At least the country’s beaches are still great when they’re not infested with snakes.

Australia, also experiences upticks in spiders when the weather grows warmer every year for summer. Thanks to this year’s floods, however, the spider hordes are especially large and invasive as they seek dry land.

Many of the spiders invading peoples’ property are, unfortunately, also exceptionally venomous.

Australian Reptile Park Head of Reptiles and Spiders Dan Rumsey told Sky News Australia that the invading Sydney Funnel-web spiders are potentially one of the most dangerous spiders on the planet, not just here in Australia.

The Sydney Funnel-web spiders (or Atrax robustu) Rumsey’s referring to are tarantula-like spiders native to the area. And while the spiders aren’t necessarily aggressive, they do still carry extremely toxic venom; in fact, it’s one of the most lethal for humans in existence.

On top of that, Funnel-webs are notorious for seeking dry patches of land in people’s backyards. Or even their homes. Which, of course, makes the arachnids ten times scarier.

Despite the freak factor here, however, Australia hasn’t recorded a single death by Funnel-web since scientists developed an antivenom. And people even generally seem to be able to recover from bites just fine as long as they get to a hospital in time.

The floods that stood as the precursor for the spider swarms, on the other hand, are quite dangerous: 40,000 people have had to evacuate their homes because of them.

Although, on the bright side, the spiders are likely to disperse when the landscape dries up, which will be the same time people return to their homes.

Nordist / Crickey Conservation Society 2022