Friday, May 23, 2014

‘Deadliest Catch’ captain Elliott Neese makes heroic rescue

Captain Elliott Neese of the Saga in Deadliest Catch.

Arctic Hunter, a crab fishing boat, ran aground on rocks off Unalaska, Alaska, and sent a mayday call to the Coast Guard. Who comes to the rescue? Controversial “Deadliest Catch” captain Elliott Neese aboard the Saga.

The dramatic rescue was part of the last episode of “Deadliest Catch,” shown Tuesday. Neese risked damaging his own boat to rescue six crabbers in what was being hailed as a heroic act. 

Watch the rescue here, thanks to "Deadliest Catch" and Discovery Channel: has more details about the “Deadliest Catch” saga.
This rescue was orchestrated by Elliott Neese ... and it's a moment of heroism that fans of the show might not have seen coming. Since Neese often takes to Twitter and other social media and bashes some fans, he's been cast in the role of "villain" by many -- and some people who are feeling less kind just call the youngest captain in the fleet a "jerk." 
However, after his heroics tonight, his Twitter, which is usually full of nasty back-and-forth messages with viewers, was full of really positive notes.
One person even went so far as to say, "Amazing rescue by yourself and your crew. Loving some Elliot this season. Misjudged you." 
By skillfully navigating the Saga over the very shoals that wrecked the Arctic Hunter and brushing the rocky bottom along the way, Captain Neese and his crew were able to get a line to the bobbing life raft - Captain Neese sent his own father, Mike Neese, into the cold water to deliver it - before the raft drifted perilously close to the dangerous rocks and waves along the shore. 
All crew members aboard the Arctic Hunter were pulled out of the water and returned to the safety of Dutch Harbor without serious injury. If the Saga wasn't there, the six men would have been stuck on the rocks -- and the worst could have happened.

"Deadliest Catch" Is a reality TV series that documents the life of various crab fishermen who risk life and limb while working on the brutally rough Bering Sea. “Deadliest Catch” is in its 10th season.

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Bryde’s whale nearly swallows diver off South Africa; video

A Bryde's whale nearly swallows diver (circled) as it feeds on anchovies. 

Diver Rainer Schimpf was documenting the sardine run off the coast of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, when he was very nearly swallowed by a 49-foot, 40-ton Bryde’s whale.

Sharks, dolphins and birds were feeding on the sardines when the Bryde’s whale decided to get its fill of food, too, rising to the surface with mouth agape trying to capture a ball of bait. Schimpf was only feet away.

Watch how it all went down via Barcroft Media:

“Luckily the giant mammal swerved at the last moment to avoid smacking directly into him, but it still sent him flying as it breached,” Barcroft Media reported on its YouTube post.

A Bryde's whale with a mouthful of anchovies. 
A Bryde’s whale feeds on wide variety of fish, planktonic crustaceans and cephalopods. Off South Africa, a Bryde’s whale prey preferences differ between the inshore and offshore form. They mainly feed on anchovies, as this video portrays.

They don’t typically feed on humans, thankfully for Rainer Schimpf.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Odd sea creature discovered in South African; baffles scientists

A woman was walking along a beach in Cape Town, South Africa, when she came across an odd sea creature that had a serious set of fangs.
Leandra Vissr of Worcester used a muscle shell to pick up the freaky fish from the seashore, snapped a photo, and posted it on Facebook with a question:
“Can someone please tell me what the hell this is? We picked it up on the beach at De Kelder. It’s the real thing!!”
Some thought it was a dead puffer fish, some questioned whether it was a fish at all, and others thought it might be some sort of joke, according to News 24 and The Citizen of South Africa.
Vissr insisted it was real.
“I promise I’m not lying,” she told The Citizen. “I would never joke. It was very small and very smelly.”

Alan Whitfield, chief scientist at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, doubted it was a fish at all because it didn’t have fins, tail or scales.
“The head and jaws seem out of proportion with the body,” he told The Citizen. “In fact there is a question mark whether the creature may have been created from part of different animals.”
He added that just because it was picked up on a beach doesn’t mean it is a fish.
However, Griffiths, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Cape Town, offered a more plausible identification, telling The Citizen he believes it to be a rocksucker, or Chorisochismus dentex, that has dried up.
We tend to agree.
According to Fish Base, a rocksucker is a harmless fish that feeds on sea urchins , mussels, and limpets, and is found in the Southeast Atlantic, including parts of South Africa.
Griffiths explained that rocksuckers use their teeth to crack limpets and mussels.
Whitfield wasn’t totally convinced since it had no fins, adding that it will be impossible to know for certain without doing tests on the bizarre sea creature.
And that will be impossible, since Vissr didn’t keep the freaky fish.
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Monday, May 5, 2014

Bigfoot sighting in Canada: Is it real or a hoax?

Bigfoot captured in screen grabs from the video below. Is it
bigfoot or just a black dot superimposed on a video as a hoax?

Myles Lamont was hiking with friends in the Tantalus Range near Squamish, British Columbia, when he spotted a lone figure trudging through the snow walking upright in the middle of nowhere.

Appearing only as a black dot on his video, Lamont identified it as something that could possibly be bigfoot. He captured the video two years ago but only recently released the intriguing "bigfoot" footage, according to the U.K. Daily Mail

What do you think? Is it bigfoot? Is it a hoax? Or is it simply an unidentified walking figure?

Lamont, who says he uploaded the bigfoot video for the benefit of a couple of friends, didn’t expect the attention his post has generated, or so he claims.

He explained the potential bigfoot sighting on his YouTube post:
1) We were able to view the subject much better than what the video portrays as it was just a simple point and shoot camera. Contrast was excellent due to the snow behind the subject. 
Bigfoot, or an image purporting to be bigfoot. 
2) The subject was clearly bipedal and was without snowshoes or a backpack and wearing all one-colored clothing. Movement over this kind of terrain in soft snow without snowshoes would have been very difficult and the distance traveled over the given time period would have been very fast for a human without proper snow travel gear. 
3) There was a very steep drop off below where the video was shot, easily a 300m sheer face. We were not equipped with climbing gear and a descent around would have been impossible before nightfall.

4) We have encountered bears on the approach to this summit in the past, this video is most definitely not showing a bear or any other wild animal. 
5) Perhaps the most reasonable explanation for this video is a very ill prepared hiker, hiking up a difficult section of snowline as opposed to a much easier route, one who is very physically fit and able to cover ground in unusually quick fashion and must have had very large feet as we were breaking through snow crust in just our boots.

In the video, Lamont said, “Pretty sure this is Sasquatch down there. I can’t see it very well. It’s this little black dot walking in the middle of the snow in the middle of nowhere…If that’s human, why would you walk up that ridge or that snow line?”

So, is it bigfoot? Or just a black dot superimposed on a video?

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

World’s ugliest fish is a goblin shark; rare catch made in Gulf of Mexico

World's ugliest fish: a goblin shark. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

A shrimp fisherman off the Florida Keys made a rare catch in his net recently, pulling up the world’s ugliest fish and rarest species of shark.

In the net full of red shrimp was an 18-foot goblin shark, a bottom-dwelling shark rarely seen at the surface or in shallow coastal waters—and extremely rare to the Gulf of Mexico, so much so that the scientific community was abuzz with amazement over the catch.

NOAA Fisheries Service reported that it was only the second goblin shark of record in the Gulf of Mexico. The first was captured on July 25, 2000, by commercial fishermen in more than 3,000 feet of water.

The unusual by-catch was that of commercial fisherman Carl Moore, who had brought in his net from more than 2,000 feet of water, according to David Shiffman of Southern Fried Science.

“I didn’t even know what it was,” Moore told the Houston Chronicle via SFGate. “I didn’t get the tape measure out because that thing’s got some wicked teeth, they could do some damage.”

World's ugliest fish: The goblin shark caught by a shrimp fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico

So Moore instead took photos of the world’s ugliest fish, winched it over the side of the boat, and released the bizarre-looking fish, which swam away.

Scientists were grateful the prehistoric-looking goblin shark was released alive, but disappointed over not being able to examine it and learn more about the ugly fish.

“We don’t even know how old they get, how fast they grow,” NOAA shark expert John Carlson told the Chronicle.

Carlson called the catch, which was actually made April 19 but not reported to NOAA until Thursday, great news.

World's ugliest fish: The goblin shark was released alive
by the shrimp fisherman who made the rare catch
in the Gulf of Mexico. 
“This is only the second confirmed sighting in the Gulf; the majority of specimens are found off Japan or in the Indian Ocean and around South Africa,” Carlson said.

Moore, who called the catch the highlight of his 50 years of shrimp fishing, said NOAA told him that 

“I’m probably one of the only 10 people who’ve seen one of these alive.”

Moore also offered one of the more humorous descriptions of the goblin shark to a NOAA scientist, saying, “It was uglier than a mother-in-law,” according to Shiffman, a graduate student in Florida studying shark conservation and a popular shark blogger.

World’s ugliest fish is a little more politically correct.

According to the department of Ichthyology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, goblin sharks, also known as elfin sharks, are widely distributed globally, though few are caught because of their deep-water residence.

They are mostly found near continental slopes in 885 to 3,149 feet of water. They have been observed as deep as 4,265 feet and as shallow as 311 feet.

Goblin sharks are said to be the only living member of the Mitsukurinidae family, a lineage said to be 125 million years old.

What makes it the world’s ugliest fish? Their unusual head, with an elongated, flattened snout and protruding jaw with sharp rows of teeth.
“I love them because they’re pink, they’re mysterious, and they live deep among other cool creatures,” marine biologist Charlott Stenberg told Southern Fried Science. “I know many people think that they are ugly, but that just makes me love them more.”

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