Researchers have captured three different giant squid babies off the coasts of western and south-western Japan. This is the first time this has EVER happened in the whole world! 🐙 I’m absolutely terrified of giant squid (thanks to this exhibit at the AMNH), but I’m also obsessed with these fascinating creatures of the deep.
According to National Geographic, giant squid are thought to reach sizes up to 60 feet (18 meters), but because they live at such great ocean depths adults have never been studied in the wild – let alone babies.
The Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Hyogo prefecture said researchers caught three individuals of small, young giant squid (Architeuthis due) in or near Japanese coastal waters from April–June 2013. The discovery was published last week in the journal Marine Biodiversity Records.
The first baby giant squid was recorded on the coast off Kyushu Island, southern Japan. The remaining two were caught dead in fishing nets off the coast of Shimane, south-western Japan. Giant squid are the world’s largest invertebrates but each baby weighed in at under a pound and ranged from 5-13 inches in length.
I guess they aren’t so scary when they are just one foot long! Needless to say the scientific community is excited by this discovery. Researcher Toshifumi Wada told The Wall Street Journal, “This is the first time in the world that such young giant squid were found, and it has helped us understand what they are like this early in their life stage.”
Space has been all the rage this month! NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft made a historic trip to Pluto, the Kepler exoplanet explorer discovered Kepler-452b, and three new crew members successfully joined the ISS. Let me catch you up here! 🌎🚀
NASA’s Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet in the “habitable zone” around a sun-like star. This discovery and the introduction of 11 other new small habitable zone candidate planets mark another milestone in the journey to finding another “Earth.”
Kepler-452b is 60 percent bigger in diameter than Earth and scientists feel there is a good chance its rocky, although its mass and composition are currently unknown.
“We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment,” said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA, who led the team that discovered Kepler-452b. “It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”
The confirmation of Kepler-452b brings the total number of confirmed planets to 1,030.
A newly discovered mountain range lies near the southwestern margin of Pluto’s Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region), situated between flat, icy plains and dark, heavily-cratered terrain. The image below was taken by New Horizons on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 48,000 miles and sent back to Earth on July 20.
Pluto’s largest moon Charon has snagged most of the press lately, but there are two smaller moons – Nix and Hydra – that were the second and third moons to be discovered.
Pluto’s jelly bean shaped moon Nix (left), has a reddish spot that has attracted the interest of mission scientists. Nix is estimated to be 26 miles long and 22 miles wide. Pluto’s awkwardly shaped moon Hydra (right) is 34 miles in length. The black and white image taken by New Horizons on July 14 reveals features as small as 0.7 miles.
International Space Station
Three crew members representing the United States, Russia and Japan have arrived at the International Space Station to continue important research!
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Kimiya Yui launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:02 p.m. EDT Wednesday (3:02 a.m., Thursday, July 23 in Baikonur) and docked at the station at 10:45 p.m. They will be aboard the ISS for five months and are expected to return to Earth at the end of December.
The three men join Expedition 44 commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos and flight engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, who have been aboard the complex since March 27.
Click the video below to see the successful launch of the Russian Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft on July 23, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Who knew sea slugs could be adorable? The ‘sea bunny’ slug, or Jorunna parva, is a species known for its fluffy bunny-like appearance. No wonder it just gave the internet a heart attack! 💓
This little sea slug’s bunny ears are actually rhinophores, or chemosensory organs that help them detect chemicals in the water and also sense changes in currents. And its tiny ‘fluffy’ bunny body (less than 1 inch) is actually covered in caryophyllidia – sensory tubercles, surrounded by tiny needle-like structures called spicules.
Jorunna parva belongs to a group of soft-bodied, marine mollusks called nudibranchs.They are found along the coast of Japan, but have also been spotted in the Indian Ocean and around the Philippines.
This cute underwater rabbit can vary in color from yellow, to orange, to white with black ‘spots.’ All I know is I want one! 🐰
When you enter Japan’s new Henn-na Hotel you are greeted by an English speaking robotic dinosaur in a bow tie, next to a multi-lingual fembot, ready to check you in. Other robots greet guests and serve coffee – a robot even brings your luggage to your room. They have also ditched traditional room keys for face recognition technology, making them one of the first hotels to do so.
This innovative low-cost hotel claims to be the ultimate destination for efficiency and productivity, which makes sense given the fact that its almost entirely run by ‘state-of-the-art’ environmentally friendly smart robots.
One night at the Henn-na Hotel, which roughly translates to ‘strange hotel’ in English, starts at 9,000 yen ($80).
The hotel in Sasebo, Japan, opens to the public today. Some feel the robot staff is a bit gimmicky – but the hotel claims the theme is cutting edge and will help them save on labor costs.
A few things robots are not in charge of at the Henn-na Hotel include monitoring security footage and making the beds. 🏨
First, the U.S. beat Japan in the Women’s World Cup Final. Now, Japan and the United States have a new matchup lined up – except this time it involves giant robots.
American robotics company, MegaBots, challenged Japan’s Suidobashi Heavy Industries to a robot duel and we finally have the answer… it’s ON!
MegaBots Published this Message on Jun 30, 2015 – SUIDOBASHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES! MegaBots, Inc. challenges you to a duel! You have a giant robot, we have a giant robot – we have a duty to the science fiction lovers of this world to fight them to the death.
Suidobashi’s CEO and founder Kogoro Kurata said ‘I’ll fight – absolutely’ via youtube, sending the internet into a transformers-sized frenzy. Kurata is apparently not intimidated by the American machine and refuses to let a nation known for its love of robots not rise to the monster tech challenge. “We can’t let another country win this—giant robots are Japanese culture,” he said.
Both companies have yet to work out the logistics, including combat rules, official date, and location of the battle. I’ll keep you posted on Suidobashi’s KURATAS vs. MegaBots’ MARK II! Click below to see Japan’s response for yourself.