World’s Strangest

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How to Wipe Out a Disease

Smallpox was the first disease to be declared completely eradicated. Last year, we told you that rinderpest, a scourge of cattle and other cloven-hoofed animals, became the second disease completely wiped from the earth by human intervention. Now you can read the story of how it was done. The long but little-known campaign to conquer rinderpest [...]

4 Animals You Can Only Find in Zoos

People go to zoos to see the animals from exotic locales we couldn’t get to on our own. But some of these animals can’t be seen anywhere except zoos. These are the animals that are extinct in the wild, dependent on the keepers and zoo breeding programs for their very survival. Here are a few [...]

The Late Movies: Animals on Piano

My kitten waits until long after everyone is retired for the night and then announces to the entire house that someone forgot to close the piano. She is only one in a long line of talented and not-so-talented creatures who play piano. Keyboard Cat Charlie Schmidt created the original keyboard cat video with his cat Fatso in [...]

The Quick 10: The Jungle Cruise

Welcome to part two of “my brain went on vacation three days ago even though my plane doesn’t leave until tomorrow.” (Here’s part one from yesterday). Today we’re visiting the Jungle Cruise. Everyone turn around and wave good-bye to the folks back on the dock… They may never see you again. But then again, you [...]

Holiday Guinea Pigs

Aren’t they adorable? The best-dressed guinea pigs are wearing holiday costumes from Cuddly Cavies Costumes and Clothes for Guinea Pigs & Rabbits. It may be too late to order your Christmas clothing, but there are costumes for guinea pigs to wear for Halloween, Thanksgiving, graduation, Talk Like a Pirate Day, and everyday animal and super [...]

Platycerium

Platycerium – A Pretty Peculiar Plant is a genus of about 18 fern species in the polypod family, Polypodiaceae. Ferns in this genus are widely known as staghorn or elkhorn ferns due to their uniquely-shaped fronds. This genus is epiphytic and is native to tropical and temperate areas of South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia [...]

The Carved Baseball Bats of Peter Schuyff

Artist Peter Schuyff, among other activities, carves baseball bats. When asked about the origins of this idea, he wrote: The whole thing started with carving sticks on my walks. I’ve made long walks in New Guinea, the Amazon, Burma, jungles, I like jungles. At the end of the day there’s not much to do and I [...]

Echidna Babies From Australia

These little critters, known as puggles when they babies, are notoriously hard to breed, but the Perth Zoo in Australia has managed to successfully breed them three years in a row. The zoo thinks it’s now ready to start working on a reproduction program for their critically endangered cousins, the long-beaked echidna of New Guinea. Link [...]

7 Strange Animals Bred for Business Purposes

A collection of strange animals that were bred for commerce, including the Giant Guinea Pig: Peruvians eat about 65 million guinea pigs per year. With meat in mind, scientists in Peru set out to supersize the cuy. 34 years after they came up with the idea, scientists introduced a giant cuy weighing about 2.2 lbs, twice the [...]

What Should A.J. Jacobs Write about Next?

More than 180 brilliant ideas were submitted in our Win a Copy of A.J. Jacobs’ new book contest . The idea was to help A.J. figure out what kind of experiment he should write about next. We narrowed all the entries to a dozen and let A.J. pick his five favorites. Each reader who submitted [...]