Planet 100's Top 10 Most Bizarre Stories (Video)
Today we're celebrating Planet 100's 10 most bizarre stories to make it onto our show so far. From killer Segways to Robotic Polar Bears, we've cornered the market in the environmentally bizarre.
1. Vampire Bat Killing Spree
At least four children died after rabid vampire bats attacked Awajun indigenous communities in remote part of Peru.
More than 500 people were reportedly bitten by the vampire bats and Peru's health ministry has sent emergency teams to vaccinate villagers in the affected area of Urakusa, located close to the border with Ecuador. Most have now been vaccinated and are safe from future attacks.
Rabies outbreaks from vampire bats are a regular occurrence in Amazon countries, the highest death toll came in 1990 when 73 people were killed in Brazil.
Watch the Video: Vampire Bat Killing Spree (Video News)
2. Painting Glaciers White
Eduardo Gold, a 55 year old Peruvian inventor is hoping to restore an extinct glacier in the Peruvian Andes by painting it white.
While splashing boulders with eco friendly white paint made from lime, egg white and water, may seem like a crazy idea--there actually science behind it. White paint reflects sunlight, sending solar radiation back out into space, and a colder surface temperature could cause mountain glaciers to reform.
Eduardo Gold was one of the 26 winners in the World Bank's "100 Ideas to Save the Planet" competition held last year.
Watch the Video: Painting Glaciers White (Video News)
3. Frozen Zoos
The Gulf Oil Spill threatened to put the Brown Pelican back on the endangered species list and a frozen zoo in New Orleans may offer an unorthodox solution.
Audubon Nature Institute is storing the genetic material of thousands of animals—from frogs to tigers—on ice. Sperm, eggs, embryos, and skin cells have been all frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees Centigrade in order to recall the DNA later and revive a species through cloning.
Let's hope that not all zoos of the future will be quite as cold.
Watch the Video: Frozen Zoos (Video News)
4. Talking Tree is a Social Media Sensation
A 100 year old Belgian tree is the world's most social media savvy plant and with over 4000 friends is way more popular than the average human.
The "talking tree is hooked up with a bunch of technology--ozone meter, light meter, webcam--allowing it to share with people what it feels, hears and sees. The equipment constantly measures the tree's living circumstances and translates this information into regular language--like advising people to ride their bikes on days with air pollution.
You can follow the life of the talking tree via Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Soundcloud. And be sure friend the tree on Facebook.
Watch the Video: Talking Tree is a Social Media Sensation (Video News)
5. Mosquitoes Beer Breath
Good news and bad news for beer drinkers: Your beer breath is a turn on...for mosquitoes. In study on Malaria, researchers exposed mosquitoes to body odors from water drinkers and beer drinkers. The bugs preferred the "breath and skin emanations" of beer drinkers. And guys while beer breath may be a turn on for mosquitoes, for single ladies...not so much.
6. Everest Death Zone
A clean-up of the world's tallest peak, Mt Everest, is underway with Nepalese Sherpas hauling down piles of garbage as well as the bodies of several dead climbers.
The 20 Sherpas will work above 8,000m in what's known as the "Death Zone" because of the thin air and treacherous conditions. The team will scale the summit of Everest and then start working their way down--they expect to bring back the bodies of at least three climbers, including trekker American Scott Fischer and Swiss mountaineer Gianni Goltz.
Aside from the bodies, the team expects to remove 3,000kg of old tents, ropes, oxygen cylinders, food packaging and camping stoves from the mountain. Now here?s Nick Aster with Biz Talk.
Watch the Video: Everest Death Zone (Video News)
7. Robotic Polar Bears
Whether or not the Copenhagen treaty goes through, at least a few polar bears will be saved from misery. The St. Louis Zoo announced that their new Wild Lights exhibit would opt for bears of the robotic variety.
The animatronic versions will be taking the place of their real endangered counterparts, all whom have died at St Louis zoo in recent years—only 81 polar bears remain at American zoos.
Watch the Video: Robot Polar Bears (Video News)
8. Segway Accident Leaves Company Owner Dead
The boss of the green commuter machine, "Segway," has died in a freak accident by driving one of his two-wheelers off a cliff.
Jimi Heselden, the flamboyant former miner at the head of the Segway scooter company, was testing a cross-country version of the Segway when he skidded into the river Wharfe which runs beside his Yorkshire estate. Dean Kamen invented the two-wheeled, electric vehicle, which has enjoyed moderate commercial success in the US.
Former vice-president Dick Cheney is among Segways celebrity clientele. He was often spotted riding one of the scooters round his Washington office complex.
Watch the Video: Segway Accident Leaves Company Owner Dead (Video News)
9. Tiger Cub Violates Carry-On Restrictions
A Thai woman has been detained by airport authorities in Bangkok after they found a drugged tiger cub stashed in her luggage alongside a stuffed toy.
According to wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic, the tiger cub was found in an overweight suitcase en route to Iran, another sign that Illegal tiger trade is growing despite dwindling numbers for the endangered species.
The woman carrying the suitcase was fined $1200 and The 3 month old cub was sent on to a wildlife conservation centre in Bangkok.
Watch the Video: Tiger Cub Violates Carry-On Restrictions (Video News)
10. Peddling for Food
Washing dishes to pay a dinner bill at Copenhagen's Crowne Plaza is NOT an option, but the eco-friendly hotel now offers one way to earn a free meal--bicycle-peddling!
The high-end hotel chain is literally paying customers to generate green power by peddling on stationary bikes. The bikes are hooked up to generators that require guests of average fitness to pedal for about 15 minutes, creating 10 watt-hours of electricity, which in turn generates a $36 meal voucher.
This latest green initiative is hardly surprising in an eco-savvy city where 36 percent of its residents bike to work.