The Marble Berry Is the World’s Brightest Living Thing

The fruit of Pollia condensata, aka the marble berry, a plant that grows in the forests of Central Africa, has been scientifically recognized as the brightest organic substance in nature.

The elusive marble berry plant grows up to about meter-tall and sprouts clusters of up to 40 small, impressively-shiny fruits. Seeing a marble berry up close, you could swear it was coated in a layer of metallic blue paint. It looks a lot like a shiny miniature Christmas bauble, shimmering in the sunlight, which is unusual for a plant. The world is full of brightly-colored plants and fruits, but none of them are as iridescent as the marble berry. That fact intrigued scientists, who, after conducting a series of tests, concluded that the fruit of Pollia condensata was not only the brightest fruit in the world, but the brightest organic thing.

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World’s Largest Soaring Bird Can Fly 100 Miles Without Flapping Its Wings

According to a fascinating new study, the Andean condor spend almost all of their flying time in soaring mode, flapping their wings only 1.3 percent of the time.

Weighing up to about 16 kilograms and with a wingspan of roughly 3.3 meters, the condor is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan. With that in mind, it’s almost impossible to believe that it can stay airborne for at least five hours and cover a distance of over 100 miles without flapping its enormous wings once. But that was the most interesting finding of a study published by researchers at the University of Swansea after monitoring a group of condors for five years.

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Born to Fly – The Bird That Spends Up to 10 Months Without Landing

Scientists have long suspected that some species of birds can eat drink, mate and even sleep while flying, but even they were stunned when data showed that one such species could go up to 10 months without landing.

As its name suggests, the commons swift (Apus apus) is a common bird that lives all across Europe and much of Asia, but their flight time is anything but common. This medium-sized bird currently holds the record for the most time spent in the air per year, with data showing that some specimens can spend up to 10 months out of 12 without landing even once. They drink and eat in the air, feasting on any insects that they can capture in flight, they can mate in the air as well, and, like the much larger frigate birds, they can also sleep in the air by gliding on warm air currents known as “thermals”.

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