Monthly Archive: December 2013

The Difference Between Bays And Gulfs

Both bays and gulfs are areas where land meets water, but is there a difference other than the name? Yes – a bay has a wider mouth than a gulf, and doesn’t have the same sense of enclosure that a gulf does. Bays are more often formed by the erosion of a coastline or flooding, while gulfs are generally created by the movement of the Earth’s plates to form deeper, more drastically enclosed waters.

Japan’s Secret Executions

Japan is one of the few nations in the world that still practices capital punishment. However, unlike American prisoners, Japanese convicts aren’t told when they’re going to die. Death row inmates are kept in isolation and total silence until a day when guards suddenly arrive and lead them to the gallows.

Difference Between Kangaroos And Wallabies

Kangaroos and wallabies are very similar marsupials that belong to the same family (Macropodidae) and genus (Macropus). Their native territories often overlap, but wallabies are generally much, much smaller than kangaroos with a color pattern that is much more varied. The lifespan of a kangaroo is much longer, and these larger animals take longer to grow and become independent than their relatives.

The Bizarre Tradition Of Chinese Ghost Marriages

For thousands of years, it’s been believed in China that if a man dies unmarried he will haunt his living relatives. To quiet him, his survivors would participate in a tradition called a “ghost marriage,” where a bride would be found and wed to him post-mortem. Now outlawed, there’s a booming trade of female corpses on the black market.

The Difference Between Fauns And Satyrs

Little men with the legs and feet of a goat that cause trouble in the forests … not so different, right? The original depictions of fauns and satyrs in their respective mythologies (satyrs were followers of Dionysus, fauns were followers of Pan) were very clearly defined — until they got blended into one in late Roman mythology. The first satyrs had heavy, bristly human features with the tails of horses (and no goat legs), while the fauns were distinctly goat-like.

Tumbleweed Comes From Russia

A circular, brown weed rolls around like a ball in a barren desert — tumbleweed. The plant is an icon of the American West, helping to capture the popular imagination of the region. But the same dead weed roams around Russian landscapes as well, and that’s because tumbleweed isn’t native to the American West at all; it’s Russian thistle.

Chickens Still Have Genes For Growing Teeth

Everyone knows that birds in general have no teeth. But did you know that birds used to have teeth, long ago when dinosaurs still roamed the earth? They have long since lost their teeth, but new research on the talpid2 gene mutation in chickens has shown that they still have the genes for growing chompers. With some gene tweaking experiments, scientists succeeded in inducing teeth growth in healthy chickens, proving that the gene can work in mutated and non-mutated chickens alike.