The Story of a Man Who Spent 72 Hours with 72 Venomous Snakes To Prove They Only Bite if Provoked

Respected Indian herpetologist Neelam Kumar Khaire has a very interesting record to his name. In his youth, this reptile lover spent 72 hours in an enclosure with 72 venomous snakes for company. He proved that the snakes only bite when provoked, and set a Guinness record in the process.

Khaire’s legendary feat dates back to 1980, when the then 28-year-old receptionist at a hotel in Pune decided to challenge the record set by South African Peter Snyemaris, a year before. Snyemaris had spent 50 hours with 18 venomous and six semi-poisonous snakes in Johannesburg, South Africa, but Neelam believed that an Indian deserved the world record more, seeing as India was known as a land of snakes. Despite opposition from local authorities like the police, which would neither take him seriously nor permit him to go ahead with his plan, on January 20, 1980, Neelam Kumar Khaire stepped in a glass enclosure with 72 venomous snakes.

Neelam Kumar Khaire fell in love with snakes in his early 20s, while working as the manager of a holiday home at Matheran, near Bombay. Snakes were frequent visitors of that place, and even though the other members of the staff simply killed them on sight, he could never do the same.

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World’s Largest Sea Slug Looks Like an Alien From Another Planet

Measuring up to 99-centimeters-long, and weighing up to 14 kilograms, Aplysia vaccaria, also known as the black sea hare or California black sea hare, is the world’s largest sea slug.

I knew slugs could get pretty large, but i never imagined one as big and heavy as a medium-sized dog. Then again, Aplysia vaccaria, is a very rare sight, even if you live near its very limited habitat – off the coast of California and in the Gulf of California – as it only ventures into shallow water to lay eggs. Like most other sea slugs, these giant mollusks are herbivores, with brown algae and kelp making up most of their diet. The color of the plants the slug east determines its own color, which is why it is black or dark brown, while other member of the Aplysia family are reddish or green.

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Japanese Family Has Been Sharing Their Home With 7-Foot-Long Crocodile for 39 Years

Some people wouldn’t get anywhere near an adult crocodile for all the money in the world, but one Japanese family in Kure City, Hiroshima, has been living with one for almost four decades.

Nobumitsu Murabayashi bought “Caiman-san”, his pet crocodile, from a pet store, after his young son begged him to. He never thought he’d become part of the family, and still be with them nearly 40 years later. Today, the domesticated crocodile measures just under 7 feet long (6feet 8inches) weighs around 45 kilograms, but he’s a gentle giant, as Nobumitsu says he would never hurt anyone. Caiman-san lives in the family home, but also goes on walks with his master and is tame enough to let young children touch and even ride him.

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Woman Shares Her Home With 1,300 Dogs, 100 Cats and Four Horses

Wen Junhong, a 68-year-old woman from China, has been adopting stray animals for over two decades, and now shares her home with 1,300 canines, 100 cats and four horses.

When Wen Junhong adopted her first stray dog, twenty years ago, she had no idea that she would one day be taking care of over 1,000 dogs, but today she has over 1,300 canines in her care, and plans to take in even more of them. The dedicated animal lover gets up at 4 am every morning, cleans up the pens of about 20 to 30 barrels of waste, cooks over 500 kg or rice, vegetables and meat for the animals, and makes sure her “pets” are in good health and not fighting among each other.

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This Cuddly Rodent Coats Itself in Lethal Poison to Keep Predators at Bay

The African crested rat, an elusive rodent that lives in forested areas of Eastern Africa, has a very strange yet intriguing defense mechanism against would-be predators – it licks deadly toxins onto its own fur.

People inhabiting the highland forests and woodlands of countries like Somalia, Sudan or Ethiopia have long known to stay clear of the large maned rat that makes its home in those areas. Known as Lophiomys imhausi to scientists, this long-haired rat is the world’s only poisonous rodent. But the most interesting thing about it is that it’s not born poisonous; it actually “borrows” the lethal toxin of a plant known as the “poison arrow tree”, which contains a poison strong enough to kill an elephant, when applied to an arrow head. The rat applies this toxin to specialized hairs on the sides of its body, turning itself into as lethal weapon against anyone foolish enough to attack it.

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Japanese Fruit Farmers “Employ” Owls as Pest Control

Japanese field voles can seriously impact the profits of apple orchard owners, if left unchecked. For centuries, many farmers have relied on owls to keep vole numbers to manageable levels, and research has shown the night predators to be incredibly efficient.

Ural owls have been setting up their nests in orchards with high rodent populations for a very long time, but Japanese apple growers were the first to notice the beneficial effect the winged predators had on their orchards and actively try to use them as a means of natural pest controls. Apart from allowing the owls to set up nests in tree hollows, they also started installing man-made tree houses to encourage owls from settling on their properties. They soon noticed that the owls brought the vole population down significantly, which meant healthier trees and bigger profits.

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Animal Lover Shares Her Home with 480 Cats and 12 Dogs

Maryam al-Balushi, an animal lover from Muscat, in Oman, shares her house with 480 cats, most of which were strays, and 12 dogs, spending almost $8,000 a month on food and vet bills for them.

The 51-year-old retired civil servant might seem like a life-long animal lover, but the truth is she hasn’t always been fond of them. It all started in 2008, when her son brought home a small Persian cat as a pet, which al-Balushi wasn’t at all thrilled about, especially since her son didn’t really take care of it. As time went by, Maryam started getting used to her feline pet, and eventually they became inseparable. In 2011, Maryam al-Balushi went through a severe depression, and she credits her first cat for helping her through that difficult period. In the years that followed, she dedicated herself to helping stray cats and taking them into her home.

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The Jagdterrier – A German-Engineered Hunting Superdog

The Germans are known for their machine engineering, but it turns out that they’re not to shabby when it comes to genetic engineering either, and the jagdterrier, a living breathing hunting machine, is a perfect example.

Literally German for “hunt terrier”, the jagdterrier is a hunting dog developed in Germany between the two world wars, in a time when German nationalism and feeling of superiority were at an all-time high. Hunting cynologists Walter Zangenberg, Carl Erick Grunewald, and Rudolph Friess decided that the popular Fox Terrier was being bred more as a show dog, and less as an efficient hunting machine, so they started working on a new breed of terrier, one that would be superior to British and American breeds.

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Canadian “Raccoon Whisperer” Has Been Feeding Wild Raccoons Every Night for Over 20 Years

James Blackwood, a retired Mounted Police Officer from Nova Scotia, calls himself a “Raccoon Whisperer”, a worthy title, considering that he has been feeding dozens of them every night, for over two decades.

Blackwood and his furry friends recently became the talk of the interwebs, after a video showing the pensioner getting mobbed by a about two dozen raccoons, as he feeds them grapes and hot-dogs. This one video has been viewed 10 million times on YouTube, in the last two weeks, and has turned the retired RCMP officer into an overnight sensation. Truth be told, he already a healthy following on YouTube, with over 200,000subscribers, but those were mainly racoon and animal lovers, now the whole world knows about the Racoon Whisperer.

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Gravity-Defying Ibexes Climb Vertical Walls in Search of Precious Minerals

The Alpine Ibex is a species of big mountain goat-like herbivores that inhabit the highest peaks of the European Alps, using their pincer-like hooves and impressive agility to climb up even the steepest cliffs, thus avoiding most predators. But it’s their ability to climb even vertical walls that has made ibexes famous all over the world.

The Cingino Dam, located in Italy’s Piedmont region is one of many masonry dams in the European country, but it became somewhat of a tourist attraction a few years back, after photos of ibexes climbing the vertical damn all the way to the top went viral online. And looking at these photos, or watching the videos of the herbivores expertly traversing the seemingly unclimbable structure, it’s easy to see why millions around the world declared themselves fascinated. Somehow, the ibexes are able to grip any rock that protrudes from the dam ever so slightly, which allows them to scale the 50-meter-high wall and reach the mineral they so desperately crave – salt.

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World’s Most Expensive Racing Pigeon Is Worth At Least $1.5 Million, Has Its Own Bodyguards

New Kim, a two-year-old racing pigeon from Belgium has recently been crowned the world’s most expensive pigeon after a South African collector bid a whopping 1.3 million euros ($1.5 million) in an online auction.

Hok Van De Wouwer, a renowned pigeon breeder in Antwerp, Belgium has recently put its entire collection of racing pigeons on sale this month. Father and son duo Gaston and Kurt Van De Wouwer have an enviable resume among pigeon breeders, winning numerous national ace pigeon titles and 1st place at nationals, so it’s no wonder that their birds are sought after in the still ongoing online auction. But even so, no one expected the star of the show, a two year-old female named New Kim, to break the world record for most expensive pigeon.

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Russian Cat Lover Shares Her Apartment With Two Full-Grown Lynxes

Anastasia Poznyak, a young cat lover from Sankt Petersburg, managed to adopt two baby lynxes from a Russian fur farm and has since been sharing her home with them despite her neighbors’ complaints.

Anastasia was always a cat person, but somehow she had wound up with eight dogs – six huskies, a Samoyed, and an Inuit dog – as pets. She still wanted to get a cat as well, so a few years ago she started searching for a feline that her eight dogs would get along with. That’s how she learned that in Russia, operating lynx fur farms, where the large wild cats are bred for their luxurious coats, was still perfectly legal. Designer clothes made from real lynx furs are apparently very popular in Russia, so the cruel business can be very profitable. The good news was that she could adopt a lynx cub from such a farm.

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Bashkir Curly – The Labradoodles of Horses

When asked to describe a horse’s coat, most people use adjectives like smooth and silky, but in reality not all horses have straight, sleek coats. Some of them are as curly as Mangalica pigs or labradoodles.

Curly Horses, also known as Bashkir Curlies, American Bashkir Curlies, and North American Curly Horses, are a special breed that comes in all sizes, colors and body types, and carries a gene for a unique curly coat of hair that becomes especially impressive in winter. That’s the thing with Curlies, they mainly show off their special coats in the wintertime. During the summer, their coat either shows a slight wave in it, or it sheds completely, so you only get to witness the coat of a Bashkir Curly in the cold season.

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Loyal Dog Walks 60 Km in 26 Days to Return Home After Being Forgotten on Highway

A loyal pooch reportedly managed to walk 60 km back to his home after being forgotten by his owners in a highway service area 26 days prior.

According to local media, the 7-year-old dog, named Dou Dou, was forgotten in a by a Chinese family in a motorway service area when they stopped for a break on a long trip. Apparently, no one noticed that Dou Dou was missing until they arrived at their destination, several hours later. They reportedly went back to look for the pet the very next day, but found no trace of him. Luckily, the fluffy canine was able to return home by himself, after nearly a month. He was filthy and emaciated after the 60km walk, but otherwise ok.

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The Yakutian Horses That Can Withstand Temperatures of Under -70 Degrees Celsius

Winter temperatures in Russia’s northern region of Yakutia can drop under a staggering -70 degrees Celsius, making it impossible for humans to stay outside for long periods of time. But for the indigenous horses of this region, such extreme temperatures are comfortable enough to spend days and nights in the open.

Yakutian horses are only 140-145 centimeters tall, but can weigh up to half a tonne, because of a thick layer of fat and heavy, thick mane that can reach up to 10 centimeters long. Because of their stocky physique and long mane, some have referred to them as the equestrian version of wooly mammoths. There’s more to that comparison than looks, though, as these horses can withstand far lower temperatures than any other horse breeds anywhere in the world.

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