Doctors Pull Live Cockroach From a Woman’s ‘Crawling’ Skull

KS Strange Science

A 42-year-old woman named Selvi was fast asleep when she felt something wriggle up her nostril. She went to brush it away from her nose, but it was too late. The intruder was already inside. This story is literally my nightmare. 😵


The weird feeling around her nose and eyes that night was extremely painful. According to Selvi, “I could not explain the feeling but I was sure it was some insect. There was a tingling, crawling sensation. Whenever it moved, it gave me a burning sensation in my eyes. I spent the entire night in discomfort, sitting up and waiting for dawn to go to Stanley hospital after getting the reference of a doctor from my employer.”

Doctors couldn’t believe what they found. After a nasal endoscopy, they discovered a live full-grown cockroach sitting at the base of her skull, between her eyes, near her brain. They had never seen anything like it before.

It took the ‘rescue team’ roughly 45 minutes to remove the squirming insect from Selvi’s skull using suction and clamps. The craziest part? They got it on video:

Doctors were relieved the cockroach was alive. According to The New Indian Express, if the cockroach had died, it could have caused a massive brain infection.

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Doctors Pull Live Cockroach From a Woman’s ‘Crawling’ Skull

12 Crazy Pangolin Facts: Meet the World’s Most Hunted Animal

KS Strange ScienceI had never heard of a pangolin before last week. What did I learn? These incredible creatures are the most hunted animal on the planet. They are also totally bizarre.

I’ve seen them described as medieval anteaters, modern-dinosaurs, walking pinecones, artichokes with legs, nature’s backhoe and armored Pokemon. Let’s go ahead and talk about why pangolins are so awesome (and weird).


Pangolins are the most trafficked animal on the planet, which is why they need our protection. There are eight species of pangolin spread over two continents, Africa and Asia. All eight species range from Vulnerable to Critically endangered.

Their bodies are covered in heavy scales, which is one of the reasons they are traded illegally. According to CNN, “pangolins are trafficked by the thousands for their scales, which are boiled off their bodies for use in traditional medicine; for their meat, which is a high-end delicacy in China; and for their blood, which is seen as a healing tonic.

Last Wednesday, 182 nations of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) unanimously agreed to a total ban on international trade on all species of pangolin – a decision that received much praise around the world.



1) Pangolins walk awkwardly on their hind legs, using their tail for balance.

2) When pangolins are frightened they curl up into a tiny, strong roly poly ball.

3) Even big cats in the wild have no idea what to do with them…


4) Pangolins don’t have any teeth. Instead, they use their sticky tongue to eat insects.

5) A pangolins tongue can be longer than its body.

6) Speaking of insects, pangolins can consume more than 70 million ants a year.

7) Baby pangolins are carried on their mother’s tail or back.


8) 20% of a pangolin’s weight is comprised of scales.

9) More than 10,000 pangolins are trafficked illegally each year.

10) Pangolins ears and nose have special valves that close when ants attack.

11) The pangolin’s large scales are made of keratin, like our nails.

12) Nobody knows how many pangolins are left or how long they live.

Sources: The Telegraph, World Wildlife Fund, World Pangolin Day & Nat Geo Wild.

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12 Crazy Pangolin Facts: Meet the World’s Most Hunted Animal

San Diego Zoo Welcomes Adorable Koala and Rare Baby Lemur


The San Diego Zoo’s Australian Outback has a new resident – koala mom Cambee gave birth to an adorable little joey! She actually gave birth last November, but the little one only recently emerged from her mom’s pouch. Talk about a cute backpack. 🐨

san diego zoo koala

“It is always fun when we get to work with koala joeys and watch their personalities develop,” said Lacy Pearson, San Diego Zoo keeper. “At this age, she has not shown us her personality yet, but she is doing great, and has already started to eat eucalyptus leaves.”

The San Diego Zoo has the largest breeding colony of Queensland koalas and the most successful koala breeding program outside of Australia. Zoo officials say the tiny baby koala just had her first check-up and doesn’t have a name yet, so stay tuned.

Can’t make it to the zoo to visit the koalas? No problem! Watch the koalas live here.

Fun Fact: Koala joeys eat their mother’s poop in order to obtain the bacteria koalas need in their gut to digest eucalyptus leaves.

Cambee’s joey isn’t the only cute baby at the San Diego Zoo right now… they are also looking after a little red ruffed lemur who currently tips the scale at 9.2 oz. Keepers named him Ony, which means river in Malagasy.

san diego lemur baby

Ony was born on May 18, 2016. This is the first baby for red ruffed lemur Morticia. Keepers are stoked because it has been 13 years since the last red ruffed lemur was born at the zoo.

These striking red and black creatures are among the largest in the lemur family – and also the loudest. Sadly, the IUCN Red List states that the red ruffed lemur is critically endangered. Logging, burning of habitat, cyclones, mining, hunting, and the illegal pet trade are primary threats. This is why every new birth is such an exciting event.

You can’t visit the lemurs at this time. You can look forward to seeing the red ruffed family, and the rest of the zoo’s amazing lemurs, when Africa Rocks opens in summer 2017.

Fun Fact: The San Diego Zoo has a successful history of breeding red ruffed lemurs; in fact, they’ve had over 100 born since 1965. They attribute this success to the Primate Propagation Center, a facility specifically designed for breeding lemurs.


Titanosaur is One of the Largest Dinosaurs Ever: Giant Model Takes Over Museum in NYC


It’s times like this that I really miss living in New York City. The American Museum of Natural History is one of my favorite places on the planet. Why is that? Because they build GIGANTIC dinosaur models that barely fit in the museum’s halls. Today the AMNH unveiled another must-see exhibit: a cast of a 122-foot-long dinosaur. Meet the titanosaur!


The giant dino cast is so big its 39-foot neck protrudes through the doorway towards the elevator doors. To put its size into perspective – at a total of 122 feet, the titanosaur is 30 feet longer than a blue whale! This species of dinosaur is so new the paleontologists who discovered it haven’t named it yet. All we know is that it belongs to a group known as titanosaurs, and it is one of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered.

Scientists believe this species of titanosaur lived in the forests of today’s Patagonia about 100 to 95 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period, and weighed in at a whopping 70 tons! Its massive bones are filled with air pockets, so they are relatively light. It’s the only way a land animal could get so big.

The giant herbivore’s remains were excavated in the Patagonian desert region of Argentina by a team from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio led by José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol. According to Scientific American, After 18 months of excavations, the researchers uncovered 223 fossilized bones from six individual titanosaur dinosaurs, including an 8-foot-tall femur, or thighbone. Judging by the image below, it looks like the excavation team was super excited about their discovery.

A team member is dwarfed by a bone of the gigantic dinosaur excavated in Patagonia. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Alejandro Otero
A team member is dwarfed by a bone of the gigantic dinosaur excavated in Patagonia. Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Alejandro Otero

How on Earth did they make that gigantic cast? The AMNH flew down to Argentina and took 3D scans of all the bones in the field as well as in the lab, so they had the skeleton completely digitized. They used that data to carve bones out of giant slabs of foam. They molded all of the carved elements and cast the bones out of fiber glass. The cast was then painted and mounted. Neat stuff.


If you plan on visiting this incredible exhibit you have a little time. The titanosaur will be on display at the AMNH in New York City until January 2020.

Titanosaur is One of the Largest Dinosaurs Ever: Giant Model Takes Over Museum in NYC

10 Crazy New Species Discovered in 2015: Dracula Ants, Shape-Shifting Frogs, and Dwarf Dragons

KS Strange ScienceI live in San Francisco and the California Academy of Sciences is one of my favorite places to visit! Who doesn’t love penguins, rainforests, albino alligators, and a rad planetarium all under one roof??

In 2015, researchers at the Academy added 102 new plant and animal species to our family tree. The new species include two frogs, 23 ants, three beetles, eight wasps, 11 spiders, 26 fishes, nine sea slugs, two corals, nine plants, one water bear, and eight new viruses.

Given that we have found less than 10% of the species on our planet, the Academy has inspired me to share ten of my favorite wild new species discovered in 2015. Meet the hog-nosed shrew rat, sparklemuffin spider, and water bear. Happy New Year! 🎉


Heart Warming Wild Otter Baby Born at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Krystian-Science-Nature-LogoThis baby otter is so cute it will melt your face off. Seriously. The Monterey Bay Aquarium received a big holiday surprise after a pregnant wild sea otter swam into its tide pool and gave birth to the cutest little pup!

Sea Otter Baby - Monterey Bay Aquarium
Sea Otter gives birth to newborn pup in Monterey Bay Aquarium Tide Pool. Photo: Tyson V. Rininger, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Apparently the mom was chilling in and around the Aquarium’s Great Tide Pool for a few days, which isn’t common for healthy otters. She had some of the Aquarium staff concerned by her behavior until she popped out a baby. 😍

The Aquarium considers the otter’s birth to be a conservation success story. Otters were once hunted to near extinction – with just 50 left in all of California by the early 1800’s. But, after legislative protection and a soft spot in the heart of people everywhere for the furry guys, the otter population has rebounded to steady levels – with 3,000 in central California alone.

otter Gif

Sea otters don’t have blubber to keep them warm in the cold water. They have a super thick fur coat instead, which they keep full of air bubbles while grooming for insulation. In the wild, sea otter moms spend a lot of time grooming their babies to keep them warm and buoyant.

Fun Fact: Sea otters have 1 million hairs per square inch—more than any other animal.


Heart Warming Wild Otter Baby Born at Monterey Bay Aquarium

SCIENCE VIDEO ROUNDUP: NASA Bursts Bubbles, Creepy Robot Baby, Caffeine Loving Bees & My New Kitties!


10-17 News Update - Krystian Science

KSTV Weekly Science Wrap-Up

1) NASA Floats Balls of Alka-Seltzer in Space

2) This Creepy Robot Baby Will Haunt Your Dreams

3) Honeybees Love Being Hyped Up on Caffeine

4) Viral Sea Otter Surprise Video


5) Meet My New Kitties – Tux and Frankie Mcallister! 😻


SCIENCE VIDEO ROUNDUP: NASA Bursts Bubbles, Creepy Robot Baby, Caffeine Loving Bees & My New Kitties!

Hog-Nosed Shrew Rat Seems Like A Harsh Name For This Newly Discovered Mammal

KS Nature

Scientists in Indonesia just discovered a new mammal and they named it the hog-nosed shrew rat. Seems a little harsh, right? But I guess that’s to be expected when you find a rat with a little piggy face. 🐀🐷

Hog-Nose Rat
This new species of rat is called Hyorhinomys stuempkei, or the hog-nosed rat. Credit: Museum Victoria

According to the BBC, the unusual creature was discovered on Sulawesi island by researchers from Australia, Indonesia and the United States. While the hog-nosed rat (Hyorhinomys stuempkei) shares many traits with other rats in the area, there are a few features that are unique to the species. It has huge ears for an animal its size, a long hog-like nose with forward-facing nostrils, and flat nails.

It also has ‘very long urogenital hairs.’ That means it has long pubic hair – a lot of it. I don’t know what you want to do with that information, but its written right there in the report.

Morphologically, the hog-nosed rat is most similar to a group of endemic Sulawesi rats known commonly as “shrew rats.” These are long faced, carnivorous murines, and include the genera EchiothrixMelasmothrixPaucidentomysSommeromys, and Tateomys.

Discovery of this new genus and species brings known shrew rat diversity on Sulawesi to 6 genera and 8 species. Researchers believe the physical diversity among these animals is ‘remarkable’ considering the small number of species currently known. The findings were published in this month’s Journal of Mammalogy.

Hog-Nosed Shrew Rat Seems Like A Harsh Name For This Newly Discovered Mammal

Los Angeles Drops 96 Million ‘Shade Balls’ into the LA Reservoir Turning it into a Massive Ball Pit

KS_LOGOs2_PopCultureIf you asked a 4th grade class how they might solve California’s historic drought crisis, one kid might yell – “turn the water into a Chuck E. Cheese ball pit!” Well, Los Angeles did just that, and the video is pretty fun to watch. Give your inner child a high five and watch the video below. 😎

California is in the middle of its worst drought on record and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is doing its part to conserve water. This week, the city finished the final phase of its ‘shade ball’ initiative. LA dropped 96 million plastic black balls onto the surface of its 175 acre water reservoir, which is expected to save them $250 million and prevent the annual loss of over 300 million gallons of water. The shade balls are a cheaper alternative to LA’s other conservation ideas, which included splitting the basin in half or installing massive floating covers.

The LADWP said in a press release, “The small, black plastic balls protect water quality by preventing sunlight-triggered chemical reactions, deterring birds and other wildlife, and protecting water from rain and wind-blown dust.”

The reservoir, located in LADWP’s Van Norman Complex in Sylmar,  holds 3.3 billion gallons of water – enough to supply the entire city of Los Angeles with water for three weeks.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power released 96 million black shade balls into the Los Angeles Reservoir to reduce evaporation and deter algal growth. PHOTOGRAPH BY GENE BLEVINS, LA DAILY NEWS/ZUMA WIRE/CORBIS
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power released 96 million black shade balls into the Los Angeles Reservoir to reduce evaporation and deter algal growth. PHOTOGRAPH BY GENE BLEVINS, LA DAILY NEWS/ZUMA WIRE/CORBIS

The project cost a total of $34.5 million, but, at $0.36 each, the shade balls require no construction, parts, labor or maintenance aside from occasional rotation. They are designed to reduce evaporation, cool the water, and make the reservoir less susceptible to algae, bacterial growth, and chemical reactions.

The shade balls are made of black polyethylene and filled with water so they don’t blow away. According to the manufacturers, the balls should last up to 25 years.

Dr. Brian White, a now-retired LADWP biologist, was the first person to think of using shade balls for water quality. The idea came to him when he learned about the application of “bird balls” in ponds along airfield runways.


Los Angeles Drops 96 Million ‘Shade Balls’ into the LA Reservoir Turning it into a Massive Ball Pit

SCIENCE VIDEO WRAP UP: Colossal Squid Sighting, Cosmic Photobomb, and Peacock Spiders Dance!


1) Colossal Squid Caught on Camera!

2) The ‘Dark Side’ of the Moon Photobombs Earth

3) New Peacock Spiders Discovered in Australia

4) The Winner of Nat Geo’s Latest Photo Contest