When the polar vortex brought freezing temperatures to Florida earlier this month, the state's manatee population had to figure out how to survive. Despite their "sea cow" nickname and appearance, manatees don't have a lot of insulating fat on their bodies. If the water temperature dips below 68 degrees F for very long, they can get sick and die.
The solution: Manatees gather together in water that maintains its temperature year round, like this naturally hot pool at Florida's Blue Springs. The record for greatest number of huddled manatees is 567, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Besides natural springs, they also like the outflow from power plants. A coal-fired plant like the Big Bend Power Station near Tampa Bay uses quite a bit of water — coal is burned to heat water that turns into steam, which turns the electric turbines. The steam then cools a bit and turns back into water and is discharged from the power plant, still warm from its journey. The discharge makes a perfect environment for chilly manatees.
Image: Manatees, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from bohemianism's photostream
New research on trends in adult human height over the last century confirm that, no surprise, humans are getting taller overall due to better nutrition and disease control. However according to the health science group Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), the gain in adult height varies dramatically by country. From their paper, published in […]
Between April and July, Iran’s salty Lake Urmia changed from a bright green color to a blood red. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the image above and reported on the science behind the strange transformation. According to NASA, the periodic color change is caused by micro algae producing carotenoids that help with photosynthesis and act as […]
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.But what if we told you there’s a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]
Learning is a 24/7/365 proposition, and it never ends. And if you’re truly serious about leveling up your skill sets and career prospects, get a subscription to Stone River Academy’s massive course collection. This offer normally is worth over $1,400, but is now available for just $89 in the Boing Boing Store.A respected name in information technology […]