"My Favorite Museum Exhibit" is a series of posts aimed at giving BoingBoing readers a chance to show off their favorite exhibits and specimens, preferably from museums that might go overlooked in the tourism pantheon. I'll be featuring posts in this series all week. Want to see them all? Check out the archive post. I'll update the full list there every morning.
You've seen a lot of good taxidermy this week, but nothing quite like this. Renee Mertz sent me this photo of a diorama at Vienna's Naturhistorisches Museum, which depicts a group of butterflies greedily feeding off the carcass of a dead piranha.
This is not a spot of whimsy, people. This kind of thing really does happen. In fact, you can watch a real-life example (with a less-threatening fish substituted in for the piranha) in a video taken in Alabama's Bankhead National Forest.
The good news: The butterflies are not really carnivorous, per se. The bad news: What they're actually doing is still pretty damn creepy.
It's called "puddling" or "mud-puddling". The basic idea works like this: Butterflies get most of their diet in the form of nectar. They're pollinators. But nectar doesn't have all the nutrients and minerals butterflies need to survive, so they have to dip their probosces into some other food sources, as well. Depending on the species of butterfly, those other sources can include: Mineral-rich water in a shallow mud puddle, animal poop, and (yes) carrion.
When butterflies puddle over a dead fish, though, they aren't biting off chunks. Instead, they're essentially licking the dead fish—going after salt and minerals that seep out of the dead animal as it decomposes. Bonus: Some butterflies also like to lick the sweat off of humans. And a few species of moth have been documented sucking blood and tears for living animals, including humans.
How did Twitter addict Jesse Singal become the anti-transgender spokesgoblin of his generation? When a Child Says She’s Trans continues his creepy fixation on gender-nonconforming minors. The “ex-trans” movement, similar to the discredited “ex-gay” movement, can always count on axe-grinding coverage that vastly over-represents their numbers and POV.
BeauHD, a Slashdot moderator, has Crohn's Disease, and he lives in an age of modern miracles, which means that he can have his small intestine surveyed by swallowing a tiny pill-sized camera, rather than having a scope threaded up his rectum or down his throat, or having his gut sliced open.
The National Institutes of Health maintain a 3D Print Exchange, a kind of miniature Thingiverse for open-licensed, 3D printable objects for teaching and practicing public health.
Your pet might be photogenic, but getting them to stare long enough at your camera to snap that Instagram-worthy photo isn’t as simple as telling them to sit. Bribing your pets with their favorite treat, however, might just do the trick, and with the Adjustable Pet Selfie Smartphone Attachment, you can do just that while getting […]
The cybersecurity landscape is changing, and now one of the most effective ways to counter hacking threats is to employ another hacker against them. Commonly referred to as ethical hackers, these professionals use a cybercriminal’s tools against them, checking networks for vulnerabilities and patching them up before they can be exploited. The Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp […]
The human eye is a powerful thing, but it’s not so great at seeing in the dark or around tight spaces, which is partially why most of us struggle with unplugging drains, cleaning under the fridge, and other hard-to-reach jobs. This 1080p HD Waterproof WiFi Wireless Endoscopic Camera, however, gives you the flexibility necessary to get […]