Lions are the most social animals compared with other cat species? Lions live in large groups called prides. A pride generally comprises several lionesses, their dependent offspring along with two or three unrelated lions. Mostly 15 animals form a pride. But in some cases the number can go beyond 40. Though lions are known as king of the jungle, they live in grasslands and plains. Interestingly, while lionesses do most of hunting, lions stay home and take care of the pride. And when a lioness returns home with the kill, the males get the opportunity to eat first.
Linus Carl Pauling is the only person in the history of Nobel Prize who received the honour twice without sharing it with any other luminary – first for chemistry and second for peace. In 1954, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences honoured Pauling for his work into the nature of chemical bonding. In 1962, the American chemist turned peace activist was back on the podium in Oslo to receive Nobel Peace Prize for promoting nuclear disarmament. Foreseeing the danger of a nuclear war he appealed immediate stop on N-bomb testing and gathered signatures of over 8,000 scientists from 49 countries, which translated into the signing of first partial nuclear test ban treaty in 1963.
Elephant, the largest terrestrial mammal, is a fascinating creature. Its size is enough to scare most animals away. But do you know what this pachyderm is scared of? It’s mice. Well the fear has more to do with the element of surprise than mouse itself. This tiny creature nibbles at the mammoth’s feet or climbs up into its trunk, bringing great discomfort to elephant. Elephant’s tusks are modified incisors that grow throughout its life span. The animal uses its tusk to dig for salt, water and roots, to debark trees, to clear a path and fight. A fusion of its nose and upper lip, trunk is its most important limb. Using trunk an elephant can suck up to 14 litres of water at a time and blow it straight into its mouth!
In a cricket match, bowlers have the most number of ways to dislodge a batsman. But there are many other ways also to dislodge a batsman and bowlers have almost no role in that. One of them is ‘run-out’. In the second ODI game between India and New Zealand at Napier in 1999, 8 batsmen were sent to pavilion due to run-outs, which is a world record. Of them, five were from New Zealand and three from the Indian side. India, led by Mohammad Azharuddin, won the match by two wickets with 1 ball remaining. It’s one of the most infamous wins for Indian cricket team overseas.
What do you do to whiten your teeth? Use whitening strips, UV lights, maybe charcoal? But have you ever though of urine as teeth cleaner? Most would scream no. But Romans said a big yes to it. Romans also saw many benefits like using it for brightening colours, making gunpowder, and even softening leather. Used as a mouthwash by Romans, urine would be swished thoroughly, producing a pearly white finish with a slight side of pee breath. If you’re looking for a holistic teeth-whitening regimen, but aren’t as enticed by the idea of a pee-flavoured mouth, strawberries could be a good alternative.
Have you heard of Mount Disappointment? If not then don’t be disappointed. Located on the southern-end of the Great Dividing Range, 60 km north of Melbourne, Australia, the 800-meter mountain was named Mount Disappointment by British explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell, who first scaled the summit in 1824. They hoped to view the distant Port Phillip Bay, but the mountain’s many trees prevented this, resulting in their immense disappointment. They recorded their feelings in the name they chose for the mountain. Today, it is a popular hiking spot and one of most accessible forest areas of Melbourne.
Oceans cover around 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. As so much of the Earth’s surface is underwater, it is no surprise that marine species outnumber those on land. Actually 94 per cent of the living species exist within the oceans. As per the national ocean service, an office within the US department of commerce national oceanic and atmospheric administration, we have been able to explore less than five per cent of Earth’s oceans. In fact, Earth’s longest chain of mountains, the Mid-Ocean Ridge, is almost entirely beneath the ocean, stretching across a distance of 65,000 km. And we have explored Venus or Mars much more than this mountain chain.
Nothing is immortal, they say. But scientists have discovered a jellyfish that does not die a natural death. Turritopsis dohrnii, a species of small, biologically immortal jellyfish found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the waters of Japan, is officially known as the only immortal creature on our planet. Once an adult reproduces, it transforms itself back into the juvenile polyp state. The 4.5 mm-wide Turritopsis dohrnii eats plankton, tiny molluscs, larvae and fish eggs. It might be ‘kind of immortal’, but is not impervious to threats like an attack, or starvation, or some kind of environmental stress. And it’s also not impossible to kill these jellyfish.
India, as we all know, is famous for its spices. If you want to have a full sensory experience of colour, texture and smell of India just saunter into Khari Baoli, which basically means step-well. At Khari Baoli, the biggest wholesale spice market of Asia, you get all kinds of spices, nuts, herbs, tea and food grains. In existence since the 17th century, the market is located near the historic Red Fort adjacent to Fatehpuri Masjid, built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum, one of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's wives, at the western end of the Chandni Chowk. Apart from spices, the market is a tourist attraction in its own right.
While acquiring one degree is difficult and time consuming, VN Parthiban, a Chennai-based professor, has 145 degrees in various fields and teaches over a 100 subjects in different colleges. He has spent almost 3 decades to accumulate them. He has 10 MA, 8 MCom, 3 MSc, 12 MPhil, 9 MBA, and 8 Masters of Law and several other degrees. Despite acquiring so many degrees, Parthiban is afraid of math. In fact, he had once failed to get pass marks in the subject. While he is excellent at studies, Parthiban often forgets to recognise his family members and sometimes even forgets the way to his home. Not to be left behind, Parthiban’s spouse has 9 degrees.