World’s Strangest

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Messing with Mother Nature: The Macquarie Island Ecosystem

The story of the Macquarie Island ecosystem may remind you of the song about the woman who swallowed a fly. The island was exploited mercilessly, but various plans to repair the damage had their own unintended consequences. Introducing a non-native species to control another invasive species can backfire and escalate the situation to ridiculous and [...]

William Swallow’s Excellent Adventure

Back when Australia was a penal colony, Macquarie Harbor, Tasmania, was the place that Britain sent criminals who were really bad… or really clever. On August 16th, 1829, one William Swallow — a former sailor who used a long list of aliases — led a group of convicts who talked their way out of manacles [...]

Moa is the Only Bird Without Wings

The Moa was the only wingless bird that ever existed. The moa were hunted to extinction by 1500 by the Maori in New Zealand. They were the only species of birds with no wings. But wait, you say, what about kiwis, emus, and ostriches? Well, these flightless birds, a group of birds called ratites, actually do [...]