Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Whales lift dolphins out of water in Sea World-like show in the wild

You won't see this during an act at Sea World, even though it does resemble something you might see at Sea World: Whales and dolphins playfully interacting with each other; specifically humpback whales lifting bottlenose dolphins out of the water on their heads off the Hawaiian Islands.

See the dramatic photos for yourself:

The video posted on YouTube by the American Museum of Natural History has gotten 1.45 million page views in just over a month.

More about this whale-dolphin phenomenon from the American Museum of Natural History:
Many species interact in the wild, most often as predator and prey. But recent encounters between humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins reveal a playful side to interspecies interaction. In two different locations in Hawaii, scientists watched as dolphins "rode" the heads of whales: the whales lifted the dolphins up and out of the water, and then the dolphins slid back down. The two species seemed to cooperate in the activity, and neither displayed signs of aggression or distress. Whales and dolphins in Hawaiian waters often interact, but playful social activity such as this is extremely rare between species. The latest Bio Bulletin from the Museum's Science Bulletins program presents the first recorded examples of this type of behavior.

If only the world could get along so swimmingly.

Check out these interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Orca caught in a fishing line off New Zealand saved by diver cutting it free

Underwater videos of killer whales

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Man rides bike for 382 days on Montreal streets, and accomplishes many things

It is hardly unusual to see someone brush his teeth, fry an egg, shave, change his clothes, iron his clothes, sleep, complete a crossword puzzle, work on a laptop, solve a Rubik's cube or make business calls. However, we doubt you've ever seen someone doing all these things while riding a bike.

Now is your chance:

THE MAN WHO LIVED ON HIS BIKE from Guillaume Blanchet on Vimeo.

The video called "The Man Who Lived on His Bike" was produced, directed and starred in by cyclist Guillaume Blanchet, a filmmaker who was inspired by his father's love of cycling. He says in the film:

My father is 64 years old.

He's been riding his bike over 120,000 km.

And he keeps going...
Blanchet says on his Vimeo post that he loves being on a bike (obviously) and that "it helps me feel free; I get it from my dad."

More from his Vimeo post:

After 382 days spent riding through the streets of Montreal, being sometimes quite cold, sometimes quite hot - and sometimes quite scared, I dedicate this movie to you, Yves Blanchet :-)
At the end of the film, he does finally get off his bike. But he gives the film's credits while, naturally, riding a bike.

Thanks International Business Times!

Check out these interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Mountain biker gets blind-sided by a wild animal in South Africa
Stunt artist Danny MacAskill does the impossible on a mountain bike
Mountain bike used to make sweet music

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Orca caught in a fishing line off New Zealand saved by diver cutting it free

An orca was tangled in a fisherman's crayfish pot line in Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand, and other orcas were at a loss to free it. But they certainly tried.

Teeth marks around the struggling orca's neck indicated other orcas had attempted to free the killer whale, though without success.

Recognizing the trouble the orca was in, diver Rhys Cochrane dove down below the surface and cut the line from its tail.

"Just before I dove down to cut the line, about five other orcas, including one massive bull, came around, and that's when I started getting a little bit scared," Cochrane said. Experts say the orcas knew the diver was trying to help, and once the killer whale was cut free, they all swam off together.

KABC reported that the orca had become tangled in the crayfish pot line and dragged the pot for several hundred yards. In the video of the rescue (shown above in an excellent report from KABC), you can see and hear as the orca struggles to get air.

This orca story reminds us of the incredible story about how a humpback whale was rescued from gillnets in the Sea of Cortez and showed its appreciation once set free. This story is worth a read, too.

Check out these interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Killer whale imitates a boat motor in killer video
Baby finless porpoise rescued from rice field flooded by tsunami
Underwater videos of killer whales

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Snowboarder survives avalanche with airbag (video)

As you get ready to snowboard down the side of a mountain and the snow decides to take you for a ride on top of an avalanche, what do you do?

If you are wearing a Float 30 on your back, you deploy the safety device immediately and ride out the avalanche with your head held high.

That's exactly what professional snowboarder Meesh Hytner did on Jan. 25 when snowboarding near the Snake River drainage in the Montezuma, Colo., area. Someone at a safer location captured it on film and posted it on YouTube. Watch:

Just as an airbag saves lives in car accidents, the airbag in the BCA Float 30 can save the lives of skiers and snowboarders who venture into the backcountry and get caught in an avalanche. BCA says the airbag not only helps prevent burial but protects the head, neck and upper body from trauma.

"I felt like I was riding a mattress down the stairs," Hytner told the blog.

For BCA, the maker of these inflatable safety devices, the incident was another endorsement for its product and its life-saving capability.

From the blog:
The avalanche danger for the Vail-Summit zone was considerable that day on all aspects and elevations, with human-triggered avalanches likely. Meesh and company had snowmobiled up to snowboard the northeast faces, some of which had already slid. She was very lucky to have survived unscathed. “Thank you” she told us, “this thing saved my life. It’s proof that this product works.”
Interestingly, several of the commenters at the end of the BackcountryAccess blog were critical about the decision to even snowboard that hill, questioning the knowledge these professional snowboarders ought to have had to avoid such a situation.

Nobody was questioning the intelligence of wearing a Float 30, however.

Check out these interesting posts on Outdoors 720:  

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thousands of pink flamingos flock together in Mexico

Finally a video that answers these pressing questions:

1. Where do those pink flamingo lawn ornaments come from?

2. Where did the term “necking” originate?

Watch and learn from this uzoouk video:

Seriously, Celestun, Mexico, located on the West Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, is home to the Celestun Wildlife Refuge, a 146,000-acre biosphere reserve that is known for housing thousands of pink flamingos.

One of the tourist sites, LocoGringo, offers a few tidbits you might not know about flamingos:

1. It is believed that their bright color is the result of eating shrimp-like crustaceans.

2. Flamingos are very social birds and flock together in groups, as seems pretty obvious from the video.

3. Besides very long necks, long pink legs and big webbed pink feet, flamingos have orange eyes.

4. Adult flamingos stand four feet tall.

Oh, and if you ever go to Celestun to see the pink flamingos, we’d recommend taking an umbrella. In case this happens:

Check out these interesting posts on Outdoors 720:
Underwater videos of killer whales
A sea lion and dog make unusual playmates; see the video
A crow goes snowboarding down a snowy roof

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