Phones are good for many things (And calling for help, too!) Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

The Alpine Ibex can cling to near-vertical cliffs and make it look easy. What could possibly drive them to do such dangerous climbs? The key is nutrients: they specifically love to scale the smooth and sheer surface of dams because of the salt that forms on the concrete face. Since salt does not naturally occur in their diet, they need to seek it specifically out wherever they can. Though it seems dangerous, their anatomy makes them particularly expert climbers despite a complete lack of climbing equipment, or a safety net.

Generally speaking, outside of climbing, a safety net will reduce…

There are lots of great night running routes you can find over time. Photo by Harry Gillen on Unsplash

Nobody likes the surprise of running out of food. Looking for cream for your morning coffee, but all that’s left is a few drops? Things like this throw a big wrench into your routine. Or they might derail your plan for dinner. So nobody goes to the grocery store for fun — it’s a place of essentials after all. When you’re in a rush, you may feel like you are winging it, but there’s at least some minimum level of thinking about what you need when you head to the store.

Every bit of thought you put into a grocery…

I do not actually recommend holding fireworks while running in the dark. Photo by Jonathan Klok on Unsplash

You feel a particular exquisite pain when you get a nasty smack on the shin from an open dishwasher door. Perhaps it is a combination of the surprise, but also the sharp and immediate sting. Either way, it’s something that happens to many, and for a good reason. Dishwashers hinge at the bottom, so the door is very low to the ground when open. It’s no wonder we so easily bonk into them because it’s usually at the boundary of our peripheral vision. It’s way easier to crack your shin into it because it’s out of sight.

Unlike a dishwasher…

There are so many opportunities for night running through the week. Photo by Zac Ong on Unsplash

Birds are hiding something from you. It’s the little drab ones that have the biggest surprise, too. You may think that tropical birds are the only ones with brilliant colours and striking patterns, but what you may not realize is that birds can see in the Ultraviolet (UV) spectrum. Because birds can see in UV, they also have plumage and patterns that only show up in the UV spectrum, too.

Since human eyesight works differently, there’s a lot of vibrant detail you won’t catch. So that ho-hum duck you saw at the pond recently? In the UV spectrum, it truly…

Farmers are no strangers to dealing with predators. But can you imagine a predator like a lioness? In certain parts of Africa, lioness attacks on cattle make for a particularly interesting challenge. Now, if you have the money, you can build a huge fence that can work reasonably well. But that is a very expensive and not a realistic option for many.

A more common approach is to build stockades from logs and thorn bushes to make a protective pen. But it’s a lot of work herding cattle in for the evening, and out again in the morning. …

Tadahiro Kanemasu was bewildered. Some Toyko subway stops don’t have an escalator or elevator. This made it a serious chore to carry heavy bags up and down dimly lit stairs. Kanemasu wanted to give a hand to lighten the load for subway passengers — but hardly anyone would accept his help. Was it because they were put off by a random stranger approaching them in a dimly lit corridor?

A superhero to carry your heavy bags is definitely convenient. Photo by author.

The solution Kanemasu found was a brightly coloured spandex suit. He looked just like a superhero in the outfit. You’d think people would be even more put off by a random…

Ryan S Nicoll

Ryan is an Ocean Engineer but writes on more than hydrodynamics — look for articles on life, the universe, and everything!

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