The World’s Strongest Animal Can Lift 1,180 Times Its Own Body Weight

Measuring about 1 millimeter in size, the oribatid mite or armored mite is recognized as the strongest creature on Earth. It can lift over 1,000 times its own body weight.

For us humans, being able to lift even double our own body weight is an impressive athletic achievement, but that pales in comparison to the strength displayed by creatures hundreds of times smaller. The Asian weaver ant, for example, can lift 100 times its own body weight, while the dung beetle can lift up to 400 times its body weight. That’s like a human being able to lift tens of tonnes, you know, Superman stuff. But even these impressive insects don’t come close to the strongest creature on the face of the planet, the tiny oribatid mite, which, thanks to an extremely strong exoskeleton, can lift a whopping 1,180 times its own body weight.

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America’s Smallest Bank Has Just Two Employees, No Transaction Fees

With just $3 million in assets, two employees, no ATM, no website, and no transaction fees, Kentland Federal Savings and Loan is the smallest bank in America, and it’s been around for over 100 years.

You’ve most likely heard of America’s banking giants – JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and the Bank of America – but what about the smallest fish in the pond, so to speak? Well, at the opposite end, we have Kentland Federal Savings and Loan, officially the smallest bank in the United States of America. Founded back in 1920, by the great-grandfather of its current CEO, this tiny financial institution has only ever had one branch in Kentland, Indiana, and has only offered three services – obtaining a home mortgage, opening a savings account, and opening a certificate of deposit.

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This Species of Fish Has Neon Blue Flesh And No One Knows Why

The Lingcod, a fish native to the North American west coast, usually has brown-red or even greyish skin and white flesh, but about 1 in 5 specimens are actually neon blue both inside and out, and no one really knows why.

Popular both among recreational fishermen and seafood lovers for its delicious meat, the lingcod is a bottom-dwelling fish that can grow up to a size of 152 centimeters. It’s a voracious predator that feeds on virtually anything that moves and fits into its large mouth and has only a couple of species of seals and human fishermen to worry about. The Lingcod is sometimes referred to as ‘smurf cod’ due to the fact that about 20 percent of specimens have neon blue flesh that looks either alien or affected by nuclear radiation. Interestingly, while scientists have theories about this bizarre coloration, we have yet to establish why some lingcod have blue flesh.

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This Tiny One-of-a-Kind Gem Is the World’s Rarest Mineral

Kyawthuite is a transparent reddish-orange mineral of which only a single, tiny sample exists – an 0.3-gram gem – making it the rarest mineral in the world, by far.

There are around 6,000 minerals recognized by the International Mineralogical Association, and while many of them are classified as ‘rare’, none of them rival kyawthuite in terms of rarity. Named after Dr. Kyaw Thu, a Burmese mineralogist-petrologist-gemologist, this incredibly rare mineral was discovered in the bed of a stream in Myanmar’s Mogok region by sapphire hunters and recognized by the International Mineralogical Society in 2015.¬†The only sample ever discovered weighs just 1.61 carats (0.3 grams) and is in the custody of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

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Animated Oats – The Wild Oat Seeds That ‘Walk’ To Suitable Planting Ground

Certain species of wild oats have a special seed dispersal system that looks as if the seeds are walking on the ground looking for suitable soil to take root in.

Modern-day oats (Avena sativa) have been drastically altered through domestication and are entirely dependent on humans for their survival. Not only do they need to be drilled into the soil, but the seeds remain attached to the panicle to make them easier to harvest and minimize seed losses. Wild oats, on the other hand, are a completely different story. They have evolved highly specialized anatomical features that actually assist the spikelets housing the seeds to move on the ground in search of suitable rooting soil. This amazing ability has won the plants several nicknames, including “Animated Oats” and “Animal Oats”.

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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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