Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Photos of Yeti footprints in snow fetch $11,158 at Christie's

Yeti footprints in the snow, or alleged Yeti footprints 
Photo credit: Christie’s Images LTD. 2014
Story originally appeared on GrindTV Outdoor 
The existence of Yeti, also called the Abominable Snowman, remains shrouded in mystery, much like Bigfoot, but there is at least one serious believer out there among the skeptics.
That believer just paid $11,158 for four photos from a 1951 Mount Everest expedition that purport to be Yeti footprints made in the snow in the Menlung Basin.
The photographs taken by Eric Earle Shipton were part of a 15-day online auction by the famed London auction house Christie’s. The photos were entitled “The Abominable Snowman” and were among the items in the “Out of the Ordinary: the Online Edit” auction, which ended a few days ago.
A representative from Christie’s told GrindTV Outdoor in an email Monday that the winning bid was £6,875. The photos were expected to fetch between $4,800 and $8,100 USD.

Climber stands next to alleged Yeti footprints in the snow
Photo credit: Christie’s Images LTD. 2014
Shipton took a photo of the alleged Yeti footprint next to a booted foot and then another next to an ice axe to give an idea of the footprint’s size. He took two other photos showing a series of alleged Yeti footprints next to human prints and with a rucksack beside them.
The footprints measure between 12 and 13 inches.
On the back of the photo of the boot with the Yeti footprint is this inscription from Tom Bourdillon, who was on the expedition: “Dear Mick. Here are the footprint photos: sorry for the delay. We came across them on a high pass on the Nepal-Tibet watershed during the 1951 Everest expedition. They seemed to have come over a secondary pass at about 19,500 ft, down to 19,000 ft where we first saw them, and then went on down the glacier. We followed them for the better part of a mile. What it is, I don’t know, but I am quite clear that it is no animal known to live in the Himalaya, & that it is big. Compare the depths to which it & Mike Ward (no featherweight) have broken into the snow. Yours, Tom Bourdillon.”
Ward, in a paper called “Everest 1951: the footprints attributed to the Yeti—myth and reality,” described the day the footprints were discovered.
Ward, Shipton, and Sen Tensing were descending from Menlung at about 16,000 to 17,000 feet when they “came across a whole series of footprints in the snow.”
Ward continued: “The print was nearly twice as broad as my boot (3 to 4 inches) and had clear-cut edges in the crystalline snow on a base of firm snow ice. There was the definite imprint of a big toe that was broader and shorter than the other rather indistinct toes, of which there seemed to be four or five. We followed these tracks for some way down the easy glacier and noticed that whenever a narrow 6-inch-wide crevasse was crossed there seemed to be claw marks in the snow at the end of the toe imprints. … Two days later we were joined by Murray and Bourdillon, who, after visiting the Nangpa La … had followed our route into the Menlung Basin. All tracks had been deformed by the sun and wind.”

A booted foot next to alleged Yeti footprint in snow. 
Photo credit: Christie’s Images LTD. 2014
Not surprisingly, the photos have been scrutinized by paranormal investigators, scholars, and skeptics, all debating their authenticity.
These photos were taken 25 years after Royal Geographic Society photographer N.A. Tombazi claimed to have made the first European sighting of Yeti during an expedition to the Sikkim Himalaya, according to the Lot notes from Christie’s.
In 1952, a year before becoming the first to successfully climb Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary was with two other climbers when one of them stopped and picked something off the rock. They became excited.
“I asked them what it was all about,” Hillary said, according to “Hillary, High Adventure,” 1955, page 103. “They placed in my hand a tuft of long black hairs—thick and coarse, they looked more like bristles than anything else. ‘Yeti, Sahib! Yeti!’
“I couldn’t help being impressed by their conviction, and it did seem a strange place to find some hair. We were well over 19,000 feet and the Abominable Snowman was obviously no mean rock climber.”
The photos and accompanying evidence of the existence of Yeti might be compelling but, obviously, aren’t nearly enough to say conclusively, though the anonymous winning bidder of the auction might disagree.
Actually, this wasn’t the first time these photos have been sold, according to U.K. MailOnline. They sold at auction in London in 2007 for £3,500 or $5,680 USD.
So there are at least two people that seriously believe in the existence of Yeti.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Ever hear a volcano explode? This is what it sounds like

Australian tourists Phil and Linda McNamara were vacationing with friends in Papua New Guinea when they decided to get a closer look at Mount Tavurvur, a volcano they had visited only days before when it was dormant.
“It was a spur of the moment thing to head out and film the volcano,” Phil McNamara told the Brisbane Times of Australia. “We saw it erupting and the ladies from Kokopo Beach Bungalows, where we were staying, said they could take us out on the boat to get a closer look.
“I thought I might as well try and capture something you rarely get to see.”
And capture something rare he did. This is absolutely amazing:

Holy smoking Toledos is right.
Not only do you see the huge plume of smoke and ash when Mount Tavurvur explodes, you see the clouds ripple from the shockwaves above the volcano. Phil McNamara warned those on the boat that the shock was coming and—boom!—it came seconds later.
You could almost feel it while watching the video. The people on the boat sure did, as you could tell from the shake in the camera.
McNamara told the Brisbane Times that the touring party “absolutely crapped themselves” when the sonic boom hit.
Linda McNamara posted the video on Facebook on Wednesday and its popularity began gaining speed around the Internet ever since. The Brisbane Times reported Saturday that media companies from around the world were beating a path to McNamara’s door.
“It’s a bit of a surprise really,” said Phil McNamara, 58, a taxi driver from Townsville, Australia. “There’s been a lot of interest.”
Indeed, and for obvious reasons.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Leopard sneaks up on warthog and pounces...or, maybe not

After sneaking up on a warthog, a leopard finally takes action,
though not the kind of action you'd expect.

A leopard in the Kruger National Park in South Africa stealthily snuck up on a warthog that was minding its own business and happily feeding in the grass. The warthog had no idea it was about to become a meal. It kept feeding and wagging its tale without a care in the world. Until the leopard decided to pounce.

Cedric submitted the video to Kruger Sightings with the first 50 seconds sped up to twice the normal speed, returning the video to normal speed when the leopard decided to take action. Watch the humorous outcome:

Just as the leopard is about to leap on its prey, it completely forgets what it is supposed to do, or so says Kruger Sightings.

Commenters on YouTube had other opinions, such as the leopard didn’t realize how big the warthog was (not likely) or the leopard was surprised that the warthog did not start running (probably not).

Someone offered the warthog-was-too-big theory because leopards are known to carry their kill up into trees to protect it from scavengers like hyenas. But leopards are also known for their strength that enables them to carry large animals into trees.

A warthog, on the other hand, is known for its sprinting ability to flee from danger, as this one showed once it realized it was about to be eaten—or licked, or sniffed. It definitely wasn’t known for detecting danger, that’s for sure.

As for the leopard, who knows why it did what it did? For our amusement, perhaps?

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tiger sharks petted and regularly fed by hand by divers

Tiger sharks are petted and fed by hand by divers off Jupiter, Florida.

Two divers are captured on video feeding tiger sharks off Jupiter, Florida. It’s so common that GrindTV Outdoor said “for these divers, every week if Shark Week.”

Mickey Smith and Robert Nimmo, members of a group called Shark Addicts, told GrindTV that they dive with paying clients every weekend aboard Emerald Charters. They go four miles offshore, make three dives per trip, and encounter as many as 20 tiger sharks per dive.

Take a look at the incredible footage of the divers getting up close and personal to the dangerous tiger sharks, something you'd likely see during Shark Week:

More from GrindTV Outdoor:
“Sharks have such a bad reputation, all caused by the media,” Smith said, when asked why the group is so passionate about spending every weekend swimming with and videotaping apex predators. “We bring people on these shark dives who are hesitant at first, after the dives they can’t wait to go again.”
Asked about the intimacy of these dives, inspired by the presence of bait, which is what the sharks are really after, Smith said of the potential danger factor:
“Sharks are beautiful and intelligent animals. They know the difference between the divers and the bait. I feel totally in my comfort zone when surrounded by these awesome sharks.”
National Geographic offers a pretty good description of Tiger Sharks:
Tiger sharks are named for the dark, vertical stripes found mainly on juveniles. As these sharks mature, the lines begin to fade and almost disappear.

These large, blunt-nosed predators have a duly earned reputation as man-eaters. They are second only to great whites in attacking people. But because they have a near completely undiscerning palate, they are not likely to swim away after biting a human, as great whites frequently do.

They are consummate scavengers, with excellent senses of sight and smell and a nearly limitless menu of diet items. They have sharp, highly serrated teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to crack the shells of sea turtles and clams. The stomach contents of captured tiger sharks have included stingrays, sea snakes, seals, birds, squids, and even license plates and old tires.

Seems like tiger sharks will eat just about anything. Be careful, divers.

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