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Top 12 Things Most People Have Never Seen or Heard About!

7. Catatumbo lightning: This is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela. These extended lightning strikes can last up to 10 hours.

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We have commonly heard the phrase that “lightning never strikes the same place twice.” But that phrase has been proven to be a myth by the amazing phenomenon observed in a lake in Venezuela. Commonly known as “Catatumbo lightning” occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it meets the Lake Maracaibo.

Lake Maracaibo earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for recording “highest concentration of lightning.” The lake has recorded a staggering 250 lightning flashes per square-kilometer each year. The phenomenon occurs between the coordinates 8°30′N 71°0′W and 9°45′N 73°0′W. The lightning activity can be viewed from 400 kilometers away, and sailors have used it for navigation.

The storm accompanied by lightning is caused by the result of winds blowing across the Maracaibo Lake and its surroundings. The accumulated air mass meets the high mountain ridges of the Andes, the Perijá Mountains, and Mérida’s Cordillera. The plains are enclosed by these mountains on all sides. The heat and moisture accumulated across the plains generate electrical charges since the air masses are destabilized by the mountain ranges resulting in continuous lightning. (source)

8. Liziba Station: This is a fully functional train track with a station that goes through an occupied, 19-story residential building in Chongqing, China.

Have you ever witnessed a train passing through a 19-story residential building? If the answer is no, you can head to Chongqing located in southeast China to witness it. An unusual train track passes directly through a residential building. The noise reduction equipment installed at the station generates noise equivalent to a dishwasher!

The Chongqing Rail Transit No.2 and the residential building have been built on top of each other. This highlights the creative solution for lack of space in a city packed with 49 million residents. Moreover, it is convenient for residents to directly hop onto the train at Liziba Station located on the sixth to the eighth floor of the building. (source)

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9. Blue lingcod: This is a fish with blue meat which looks like it has been marinated in blue food dye. The blue color is caused by a bile pigment.

Blue lingcod
Image credit: Naukati Bay Adventures/Facebook

The fish with blue meat is commonly known as “blue lingcod” and lurks in the rocky reefs from Baja California to the Gulf of Alaska. The fish is a most fearsome predator and acquires its unique color due to the bile pigment biliverdin. The biliverdin seeps into the meat of the fish causing them to turn blue.

The lingcod’s meat has a bluish or greenish cast when it is raw. However, the blue color magically disappears and changes to white when the fish is cooked. (source)

10. Blue whale skull: The Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom possesses a 126-year-old skull of the largest animal to ever exist on Earth.

Blue whale skull
Image credits: Sklmsta/Wikimedia, Stephen O’Connor/Wikimedia,

The museum houses an iconic, 25-meter blue whale skeleton in its off-site warehouse. The skeleton is estimated to be 126 years old was unveiled for display in 1938 in the mammals’ gallery. Engineers working on the specimen have painstakingly assembled the skeleton on a metal head before moving it to the Hintze Hall.

The whale specimen has been named “Hope” signifying the symbol of humanity’s power to shape a sustainable future. The blue whale faced near extinction due to over-exploitation until a ban was issued. (source)

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11. Squid with teeth: A super-rare squid nicknamed “toothy squid” that looks like it has teeth was discovered in the Atlantic Ocean by German researchers.

Promachoteuthis_sulcus
Image credits: R. Young/tolweb

The Promachoteuthis sulcus, aka “toothy squid,” is a very rare, deep-sea squid that looks like it has a perfect pair of teeth. It is considered to be the rarest cephalopod and was discovered by a German research vessel in 2007.

The female cephalopod was captured during a deep-sea diving expedition in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The feature that appears to be its teeth is actually its lips. The folded lips resemble a perfect set of tiny teeth making it the perfect candidate for a toothpaste commercial. (source)

12. Doomsday Vault: Svalbard Global Seed Bank contains seeds of every plant currently in existence. It was built to survive anything that could befall the earth and allow survivors to begin again.

svalbard global seed vault
Image credits: Frode Bjorshol/flickr

The seed bank contains a whopping 930,000 seed varieties of food crops. The vault holds the title “World’s largest collection of agricultural biodiversity.” The vault is located deep in the bowels of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. The icy mountain is located on an island above the Arctic Circle between Norway and the North Pole.

The seeds are preserved in the case of an apocalyptic event or a global catastrophe. The location is far away from places that are subjected to war, terror, and natural calamities. The seed bank is comprised of three vaults, and the seeds are preserved in sub-zero temperatures. The seeds are stored in vacuum-sealed, silver packets and test tubes. These boxes hold the key to human survival and the future of global food security. (1, 2)

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