World’s Strangest

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How I Became Bait for Bloodsucking Leeches

Mark Siddall is an expert on leeches. To find new species, he travels the world and wades into strange waters, offering his own flesh as bait. My expedition to Peru was especially fruitful. We started out in the Andes Mountains, elevation 16,000 feet, to look for a lake that had been recorded in the 1880s as [...]

Conch Shell Trumpet Played for First Time in 3,000 Years

Archaeologists found twenty intact conch shell trumpets at a site in the Andes Mountains. They tested them to determine how they could be played and what sounds they could make: As an expert shell musician blew into the horn, researchers recorded the sound’s path via four tiny microphones placed inside the player’s mouth, the shell’s [...]