World’s Strangest

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11 Legendary Monsters of Africa

The legendary monsters series continues with some scary stories from Africa. There are so many nations and discrete communities in Africa that the problem here was not finding the legendary stories, but whittling down the list to a manageable number. 1. Inkanyamba The Inkanyamba is a huge carnivorous eel-like animal in the legends of the Zulu and [...]

5 Fictional Countries Where the U.S. Army is Trained to Fight

During World War II, the Allies famously tricked Hitler into believing that the First United States Army Group would invade France at Pas-de-Calais. The real invasion, of course, came at Normandy, and the First United States Army Group did not take part—mostly because it didn’t actually exist. Fake military units aren’t the only thing the [...]

A Little Too Close

In a clip from the BBC TV show Richard Hammond’s Journey to the Centre of the Planet, a scientist tries to get a really fresh sample of lava. Mount Nyiragongo volcano, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, contains a lake of lava in its caldera. When it starts to move, the lava can flow [...]

6 Extremely Rare National Animals

You’d think the distinction of National Animal would bring with it some sort of benefit – protection from extinction, for instance. Not so. Take the Bald Eagle, symbol of these United States, which has been on and off the endangered species list for over 40 years. Sadly, this sort of thing is far from unusual. [...]

Explosions and Tourism

From the eruption in the background and the weapon of choice, you can see that being a park ranger at Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is not like the job your local park ranger holds. These rangers must protect themselves and the park’s mountain gorillas from both poachers and [...]

Burger King Toppled, Replaced with Burger Democratic Republic

First it was the Arab Spring, then came revolution in the fast food empire with the latest casualty of the monarchy Burger King (the creepy King is dead, long live the creepy King). The Smew [...]

8 Candidates for the Next New Nation

On Saturday, South Sudan declared its independence, becoming the brand-spanking newest nation in the world. While peace and prosperity is still a good way off for this newborn, Texas-sized country—ethnic tensions are high, the economy is in shambles, and a half-dozen rebel groups have already vowed to take down the new government—the South Sudanese people [...]

A Brief History of the Congolese Space Program

In recent months, NASA has lamented the lack of minority students interested in majoring in science and engineering fields and has now partnered with the United Negro College Fund in order to encourage college-bound African-American students to consider a career in these under-represented disciplines. If astrobiology research seems like an insurmountable goal to some U.S. [...]

6 Animals That Show Mother Nature’s Sense of Humor

You’ve heard jokes like these all your life: What do you get if you cross an octopus with a cow? An animal that can milk itself. I didn’t find such an animal, but the world has plenty of strange species that at first glance appear to be hybrids of unrelated species because they have attributes [...]