Unusual concentrations of the mauve stinger jellyfish, Pelagia noctiluca, have been discovered off Spain's Balearic Islands, as well as elsewhere in the Mediterranean. It is feared the creatures, which can give a painful sting, will show up on tourist beaches in August.
Pelagia noctiluca grows up to 10 centimeters wide, and is sometimes also called the nightlight jellyfish because it produces a blue-green luminescent mucus, most often seen as a glow in ships' wakes. But its more common name, mauve stinger, reflects the species' most noticeable effect on people.
Mauve stingers normally live in the open ocean, so they are often seen around offshore islands such as the Balearics. But they approach mainland beaches in late summer when rainfall drops, and freshwater runoff into coastal seas diminishes, making inshore waters more salty and suited to jellyfish.
A rare giant squid measuring eight metres (26 feet) in length and weighing in at more than 250 kilogrammes (550 pounds) has washed up on an Australian beach, scientists said Wednesday.
The massive sea monster was found on the island state of Tasmania late Tuesday by a member of the public near the town of Strahan, Tasmanian Museum invertebrate expert Genefor Walker-Smith said.
"It's a whopper," Walker-Smith said. "The main mantle of the squid is about one metre across and its total length is about eight metres.
"It's a very exciting discovery."
The giant squid, Architeuthis Dux, is one of the world's largest invertebrates, although little is known about the creatures because they live at depths of about a kilometre.
A group of Japanese zoologists made the first recording of a live giant squid in 2005, showing the animals were far faster and more active predators than previously thought.
The creatures are a legend among seafarers, the source of tales of tentacled monsters able to grab a ship and pull it down to its doom.
Heavy rain and storms have caused flooding in the south and east of China leaving 131 people dead and 31 missing, with a further 1.2 million people being forced from their homes, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
The rain and storms raging since the end of June have affected around 36 million people, causing damage to 99,000 homes and buildings, as well as devastating more than 2.5 million hectares of farmland, the local media said citing the ministry.
This is the spectacular sight of 20 bottle-nosed dolphins in a line crashing through the waves and frolicking off the Australian coast.
NEW YORK - The scene from Dan Mundy's living room window is worlds away from the normal urban views of New York City. The sky is a brilliant blue, and the waters lapping at the stone wall just a few feet away are clear and calm. A duck paddles off, and even a jellyfish looks more peaceful than dangerous as it undulates near Mundy's dock. Welcome to Jamaica Bay, a wildlife haven just next door to John F. Kennedy International Airport, reachable by subway from Manhattan's skyscrapers some 15 miles away.
Mon, 09 Jul 2007 07:15 UTC
Asad Ali Fadla was sitting down to dinner with his family when a wall of water swept down his street and smashed into his compound in Sennar town on the banks of the Blue Nile in southeastern Sudan.
Minutes after he had rushed out to check the damage, the flash flood started tearing away at the bricks of the outer wall. Just over an hour later, more than half his home had been reduced to a mass of surging mud and rubble.
Up to 100,000 households and businesses were without power in the north of the country tonight following stormy weather which also caused flooding, slips and road closures.
The Far North district declared a state of emergency after widespread rain and strong winds caused damage on a par with what the region suffered in March.
|©Signs of the Times
|The Kerikeri River rages under the Stone Store bridge as emergency plans are put in place to save historic treasures at the Stone Store and Kemp House.
Sun, 08 Jul 2007 15:39 UTC
The death toll from heavy rains in India has climbed to about 660 as a minster said more than a million people were stranded in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.
|A taxi on a flooded road in Kolkata.
Tue, 10 Jul 2007 08:26 UTC
A workman told last night how a "mini-tornado" struck a row of shops and houses in Woodbridge, causing hundreds of pounds of damage.
Strong winds struck properties in Warwick Avenue in the town at about 6.30pm, ripping off roof tiles and sending garden furniture flying through the air.
Eyewitnesses said the "tornado" lasted just a few seconds - it came as heavy storms travelled across the region last night.
The true extent to which the ocean bed is dotted with volcanoes has been revealed by researchers who have counted 201,055 underwater cones. This is over 10 times more than have been found before.
The team estimates that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 metres over the sea bed.