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“Rapunzel of Horses” Conquers Internet with Her Gorgeous Blonde Mane

Storm, an eight-year-old Haflinger mare from the Netherlands, has become a star on social media networks like Instagram thanks to her long, wavy locks.

24-year-old student and entrepreneur Naomi Beckers bought Storm from her previous owner two years ago after falling in love with her incredible hair, which interestingly, closely resembles her own blonde, curly locks. The gorgeous mare hand’t had her hair cut since she was only two-years-old, and she already had a decent number of social media fans when Naomi got her. So she decided to set up a new Instagram account where Storm’s human admirers could follow her progress, but never imagined it would become so popular. Storm’s Instagram now has nearly 35,000 followers, making her one of the most popular horses on the photo-sharing social network.

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This Dead Leaf Is Actually a Live Moth Mimicking a Dead Leaf

When it comes to the art of camouflage, few creatures can match Uropyia meticulodina, a small moth capable of mimicking a dead, curled up leaf almost to perfection.

From a mantis that mimics a harmless orchid to attract prey, to a caterpillar that looks like a snake to fend off predators and birds camouflaged as toxic caterpillars, we’ve featured some truly impressive natural mimics in the past, but the Uropyia meticulodina moth may just be the best one yet. Its resemblance to a dead leaf curled round in on itself complete with tiny leaf-like veins is just uncanny. If not for video evidence that this moth is real, I could have sworn it was just the work of a skilled image editing artist.

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Scientists Discover Frightening Species of Wasp That Turns Spiders into Zombies

The Amazon rainforest is home to many frightening creatures, like giant Anacondas, flesh-eating piranhas, just to name a couple, and now you can add a new one to the list, a species of wasp that lays its eggs on the abdomen of spiders and then hijacks their brain, essentially turning them into zombies.

The previously unknown wasp of the Zatypota genus was discovered by researchers with the University of British Columbia (UBC) working in the Ecuadorian Amazon basin. They documented its symbiotic relationship with a species of so called “social spiders” and recently published some truly terrifying findings in the Ecological Entomology scientific journal. This newly discovered wasp is apparently able to hijack the nervous system of its host, forcing it to leave its colony, which it otherwise rarely does, protect the wasps larva and ultimately get eaten alive. It essentially turns the social spider into a zombie-like drone that then does the wasp’s bidding.

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Australian Families Living a Nightmare as Thousands of Bats Drop Dead in Their Yards Due to Heatwave

Dozens of families in and around the city of Cairns, in Australia, have been forced to temporarily abandon their homes after flying foxes started dropping dead on their properties due to the unbearable heat.

Cairns residents started reporting massive numbers of spectacled flying foxes dropping out of trees on Monday, when temperatures in Australia’s Queensland region rose to above 40 degrees Celsius. According to animal experts, the nocturnal mammals cannot sustain an internal temperature of over 40 degrees, and with no way to cool off, their organs start to shut down and they eventually die. Wildlife rescuers have been working around the clock, using using spray bottles and drippers too cool off and hydrate the helpless creatures, but there’s only so much they can do. The flying fox colonies in the Cairns area have already sustained heavy losses and the number of fatalities is expected to rise for as long as the heatwave continues. But apart from the environmental issues, the massive number of dead bats rotting away so close to people’s houses has now become a become a serious public health issue as well.

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Meet Knickers, the Giant Bull That’s Too Big for Slaughter

Photos of a giant black and white bovine towering over other cows have been doing the rounds online for the last couple of days, making people do a double take. The animal looks so huge that you really couldn’t blame the many people claiming that the photos are photoshopped, but they’re wrong. He’s just Knickers the giant bull that’s too big for slaughter.

Knickers, a 194cm-tall, 1,400kg-heavy Holstein Friesian steer, became the talk of the internet these last couple of days after photos of him towering over a heard of Wagyu cows on a farm in Myalup, Australia went viral. He looked so big compared to the other cattle that a lot of people started questioning if he was  real, or just the result of photo editing. But then videos showing this bovine giant in all his glory started showing up online, and there was no more room for doubt. Yes, Knickers is just that big, in fact, he is believed to be the biggest steer in Australia, a country home to millions of cattle.

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‘Pet Psychic’ Claims She Can Communicate with Animals, Both Alive And Dead, Despite Being Allergic to Them

Researchers have long been looking for ways to communicate with animals, but one ‘pet psychic’ from upstate New York claims she’s been doing just that for around 15 years. For a fee, she can tell pet owners what their animals are thinking, what they like and dislike, regardless of whether they’re alive or dead.

One of the most interesting things about Shira Plotzker’s career as a pet psychic is how it began a decade and a half ago. She was already working as a psychic and medium for humans, and was also well versed in tarot card reading and numerology, but while watching pet psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick display her talents during a TV show on Animal Planet, Shira realized that she too could hear what the animal was thinking. Imagine that… Since then, telepathic communication with pets – both alive and dead – has become a lucrative side business for Plotzker, who claims that there are plenty of pet owners who would gladly pay her fee of $100 per 30-minute session to hear what their animals have to say.

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Rare White Lion To Be Auctioned Off to Hunters Looking for Easy Trophies

The South African Government has sparked outrage around the world after it was reported that it plans to auction off a confiscated white lion to raise funds for the country’s nation conservation department. Animal activists claim that the buyers will likely be wealthy hunters looking for easy trophies or businessmen involved in the lion bone trade.

Mufasa the white lion was confiscated as a cub from a private owner three years ago, and placed in the care of WildForLife, an animal rehabilitation charity in northern South Africa. Despite numerous requests to have Mufasa relocated to a wildlife conservation sanctuary which offered to care for Mufasa and his companion, Suraya, free of charge for the rest of their lives, government officials refused. To make matters worse, a few months ago WildForLife was notified by the South African Government that the rare white lion was going to be auctioned off to private buyers in order to raise funds for the nature conservation department. The charity has been involved in a legal battle to save Mufasa ever since.

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Cats Try and Fail to Enter Japanese Museum for Two Years, Become Internet Stars Instead

Two cute felines who have been trying to enter an art museum in Hiroshima, Japan, a few times a week for the past two years recently went viral online. The cats have yet to get past the guards at the museum’s front door, but their persistence has earned them the adoration of millions of people.

This adorable cat-and-guard game started back in 2016, when the Onomichi City Museum of Art in Hiroshima hosted a cat photography exhibition called ‘Cats – Mitsuaki Iwago Photography Exhibition’. Among the many human visitors who came to admire this collection of photos of street cats in various poses, there was also a black cat who, just like everyone else, tried to access the museum through the front door. However the vigilant guard on duty spotted it and shooed it away. The cute scene was captured by Twitter user @mikusuke, who later posted photos of it online. They got thousands of likes and comments, but there’s really nothing unusual about cat pics going viral. What no one anticipated however, was the black cat’s persistence. For some reason it has been coming back to the museum and trying to get inside every week for the past two years, and at one point it even brought a friend.

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7-Year-Old Boy Sleeps, Bathes and Plays with Deadly Snakes

Devesh Adivasi, a 7-year-old boy from rural Madhya Pradesh, in central India, has some very unusual best friends. For the past four years, he has been going into the jungle near his village and coming back with all kinds of snakes, some of them poisonous, that he plays, bathes and eats with. So far, he hasn’t been bitten once.

The boy’s family says that his fascination with snakes started when he was 3 years old, after dreaming about the slithering reptiles one night. Next morning, he told his parents about it, but they didn’t think much of it until they saw him running into the jungle near their village and later coming out with two snakes in hand. The reptiles slithered all over his body, but they didn’t bite him. Since that day, Devesh has been going into the jungle almost every day and bringing back new friends to play with. He keeps them for a few days, bathes and sleeps with them, massages them with oil and then releases them back into the jungle.

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The Bunny Harvestman – A Tiny Arachnid Shaped Like a Dog’s Head

Looking at these incredible photos, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’ve been edited to make the body of a spider look like a black dog’s head, but this is what the tiny Bunny Harvestman actually looks like.

Independent scientist Andreas Kay took these incredible photographs of a Bunny Harvestman in the Amazonian forests of Ecuador back in 2017, but they only recently went viral online, and for good reason. They show the bizarrely-shaped body of the tiny arachnid in such great detail that it’s hard to believe that this is a real creature and not the work of Photoshop.

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Russian Man Shares One-Room Apartment with Full-Grown Pet Wolf

A Russian man has become so attached to a wolf that he adopted as a small pup that when he had to leave his old home and move into an apartment in the big city of Volgograd, he took the wolf with him.

Ivan L. and his daughter have been sharing their home with Gray, a full grown wild wolf, for several years now. It was easier when they lived in Astrakhan, but things got considerably more complicated when they had to move into a one-room apartment on the first floor of a nine-story building in Volgograd. Still, despite facing many challenges, they managed to make it work, and Ivan says he couldn’t imagine his life without his beloved pet.

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“Terminator” Dog Escapes Its Enclosure, Kills Over 600 Chickens in One Night

A pet husky recently got his owner in trouble after escaping its enclosure, going into a neighboring farm and spending an entire night killing chickens.

Chinese media reports that the owner of a chicken farm in Ningguo, China’s Anhui province, burst into tears on the morning of October 29, after going to check on the birds and finding the coop littered with lifeless bodies. The first thoughts that went through his mind were that someone had killed most of his chickens out of spite, or that some wild animal had made its way inside and decimated the birds. But after checking around his farm for clues, the man actually found the perpetrator – his neighbor’s husky dog with a dead chicken in its mouth.

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Mexico’s “Dog Man” Travels the Country Rescuing Stray Dogs

Edgardo “Perros” Zuniga has been travelling all around Mexico on a tricycle, looking for abandoned and injured dogs to rescue and put up for adoption. He has rescued over 400 dogs in the last 5 years.

When he left his home in Jalisco in 2013, 48-year-old Edgardo set a very clear goal for himself – to help as many stray dogs as he possible could. Over the last five years, he has travelled through 14 Mexican states and rescued over 400 abandoned dogs, by nursing them back to health and later placing them in the hands of staff at various adoption centers. He also helped dogs that weren’t eligible for adoption, by treating their illnesses, feeding them and doing everything in his power to improve their lives before continuing his journey. He travels with a pack of loyal dogs that make up his ‘rescue team’ and that he claims make his job a lot easier by showing the strays he encounters that they can trust him.

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These Cat Anti-Scratching Boots Look More Like Feline Torture Devices

If you’ve been looking for a way to prevent your pet cat from scratching you whenever you try to bathe or groom it, maybe try these bizarre anti-scratching boots. Don’t expect your beloved pet to thank you, though.

The first time I saw these adjustable anti-scratching boots for cats on Chinese online marketplace Aliexpress, I thought they were a prank, but it turns that they are a real product designed to help pet owners seal off their cats’ paws and prevent scratching completely. They are supposed to be used for certain situations like bathing, nail clipping or visits to the vet, but I know a few people crazy enough to leave these plastic contraptions on for long periods of time just to make sure their cat doesn’t ruin the living room sofa.

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The Parasitic Fly That Eats Bumble Bees from the Inside and Forces Them to Dig Their Own Graves

As if habitat loss and pesticide exposure weren’t enough to deal with for bumble bees, they also face increasing pressure from a parasitic fly that attacks them midair, injects them with eggs with hatch larvae which proceed to eat the pollinators from the inside before finally forcing them to dig their own graves.

It sounds like something out of a body snatchers horror movie, but the conopid fly is very much a real-life threat for bumble bee colonies already under a lot of pressure from human activities. The conopid fly is classified as a parasitoid, a parasite that not only feeds on its host, but ends up killing it in a gruesome, terrifying way. We’ve featured creepy body snatchers in the past, some that turn their host into zombies, others that simply take control of their bodies but leave their brains intact, but the conopid fly is even worse. It literally eats bumble bees from the inside, before somehow forcing them to land on the ground and dig a whole to die in. The injected parasite grows inside the host and ultimately bursts out of it as a mature conopid fly that attacks other bumble bees and continues this nightmarish cycle.

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