The Fish That Looks Like The Alien

This is the Black Dragonfish, and you might see the strong resemblance with the Alien from the movie with the same name. Its scientific name is “Idiacanthus atlanticus”, it’s a long and slender fish that lives in the mesopelagic and bathypelagic waters of the world’s oceans, typically being found at depths of between 5000-7000 feet.

The Black Dragonfish can produce its own light in the blue/green range, as most other deep fish do, but also in the red/infrared range. Thus, the Black Dragonfish has the advantage of producing light that other species can’t perceive.

When the Black Dragonfish is threatened, its photophores – that cover its lower and upper surfaces and are also located under its eyes and at the terminus of its long barbel – light up.

The females usually reach sizes of about 40cm long, while the males only grow to be about 5cm. Male dragonfish also do not possess a functioning digestive system, teeth of any kind, or any of the other defining characteristics of the females of the species — it appears that their sole function in life is reproduction.

When the fish is in the larval form, its eyes nearly detach from the rest of the body, being located at the ends of long flexible stalks that are nearly the length of the larval forms whole body. These then slowly retreat into the skull of the fish as it develops.

The species hunts with the aid of a bright luminescent barbel lure located on its chin. The fish uses this lure to attract prey which have mistaken the lure for a small meal.


Ayam Cemani - A Chicken Breed That is Black Inside Out

Black is not an uncommon color in the animal world; bears are black, gorillas are black, there are breeds of dogs and cats that are black. But this Indonesian chicken breed known as Ayam Cemani takes ‘black’ into an entirely different realm. The black color of Ayam Cemani is not limited to its feathers – the color is all over and even on the inside. Everything about this chicken is black – skin, beak, plume, tongue, legs, toe nails, even its meat, bones, and organs. Even bone marrow is black. Their blood, although not black, is very dark colored. Ayam Cemani is so spectacular and exotic that it is referred to as the “Lamborghini of poultry.”

The word ‘Ayam’ means ‘chicken’ in Indonesian, and ‘Cemani’ translates to ‘completely black’ in Javanese. This exotic breed originated from Java in Indonesia. They were introduced to Europe in 1998 by a Dutch breeder, where they drew considerable interest amongst poultry enthusiasts due to its looks and genetic make up. Ayam Cemani is one of the most expensive chickens in the world with a single bird costing up to $2,500.

Ayam Cemani get their black coloring from a generic trait known as ‘fibromelanosis’, that promotes the proliferation of black pigment cells. The gene that causes fibromelanosis is a mutation that existed in Asia more than 800 years ago. The mutation made its way to other chicken variety, such as the Swedish Black Hen, or Svart Hona, which has the same fibromelanistic traits as the Ayam Cemani, and hence, as black as the Indonesian breed.

In Asia, Ayam Cemani are highly regarded because their meat is believed to have mystical powers. Their meat is thought to be higher in Iron, therefore beneficial to women before and after childbirth. Birds are sometimes sacrificed during childbirth believing fortune will come to the labouring mother. The chicken is also sacrificed on other special occasions, as it is thought to bring luck. Some Asian people believe that eating this chicken will ease their conscience, and their crowing brings prosperity.

The chicken lays cream-colored eggs – the only part of Ayam Cemani that is not black. However, being poor sitters, they don’t roost and therefore the only way to hatch eggs is to incubate.


Amguid Crater

Amguid crater is an impact crater located in a remote and inaccessible region of southwestern Algeria. The crater cannot be approached by car because of the rocky terrain. The nearest inhabited place is more than a hundred km away, although just 13 km north of the crater is a permanent guelta surrounded by pre-Islamic tombs, which suggests that the place has long been inhabited. Some travellers report that this crater has been visited much less than the summit of Everest, at least in modern times.

The first mention of Amguid crater in scientific literature occurred in 1953 by French explorer Roman Karpoff, who noted that he has noticed a possible impact crater from a plane in 1948. The first recorded visit was by a French geologist Jean-Phillippe Lefranc in 1969.

The crater is about 500 m across and the approximate depth between the bottom of the crater and its rims is 65 m. Crater has been partly filled with a wind blown sand; the real depth of the crater below the layer of this sand has not been measured. The central part of Amguid crater is flat and covered with aeolian silts. These silts refract the light due to which the crater appears white when viewed from space.

The crater is thought to have been formed less than 100,000 years ago but older than 10,000 years. There is no research yet which would provide a more exact data.