Page 9 - Animal Facts

Modern spiders are the biggest spiders to have ever existed. Learn more

I know spiders are terrifying. Nothing should need THAT many legs or eyes! It's even more terrifying to think of how scary they must have been back before modernization and industrialization shrunk them down and scattered them to the far reaches of our basements. Turns out, the spiders running around today may be the biggest species that has ever lived.

The biggest known fossil of a spider was found near Inner Mongolia, China in 2005. It's dated back 165 million years—and is only about an inch in length. Compared to the other spider fossils found, this one is ginormous.

It's also special due to how well it was preserved. Fine volcanic ash kept features like the mouth and hairlike structures on it's legs intact. It was classified as Nephila jurassica and is an ancestor to some of the largest web-weaving spiders today. They weave 5-foot webs and can grow up to 2 inches today, much larger than their fossilized friend. Turns out that thing lurking down in the dark corners of your least visited rooms really are monstrous size in comparison.


There was a TV channel called The Puppy Channel, and they only showed videos of puppies playing!

In 1997, a television channel was created by Dan Fitzsimmons. The goal of this channel was to show "24 hours a day, 7 days a week, footage of puppies fooling around like puppies do"! Because hey, who wouldn't want to watch puppies play with each other all day, every day?

Dan Fitzsimmons created the television channel after flipping through daytime television and realizing that there was absolutely nothing worthwhile to watch. Instead, of watching soaps, game shows, and reruns, FitzSimmons thought that "Something else is necessary. There's a need for a parking place on television."

According to Molly Fitzsimmons, a focus group was held and 41% of the people in that group said they would rather watch puppies play than CNBC. Unfortunately, the channel never caught on, and it was abandoned in 2001.


Faso brand soap is able to repel the deadliest creatures in the world! How do they do it?

Beware the most deadly animal in the world, the mighty mosquito. Yes, that tiny winged annoyance is root of so many problems around the world, spreading malaria which is the number one killer in sub-Saharan Africa. Luckily, there is Faso Soap, a soap that acts as a mosquitoes repellent.

It's made of completely natural and indigenous ingredients from Burkina Faso. Other mosquito deterrents are expensive, toxic, and non-reusable, not to mention they don't make you smell nice. Soap is something used nearly every day on everything from skin, to clothes, to cooking utensils. When the nice smelling bug repellent is everywhere, you don't have to worry about a thing.

Malaria is classified as a severe disease. It starts by causing flu-like symptoms, and then onto paroxysm, or a cycle of feeling cold, shivering and then a nasty fever and sweat which occurs every two days. In 2010 alone there were 219 million cases of malaria and over 660,000 died. Next time you get a nasty bug bite, just remember it could be so much worse.


Some awesome lists!

Think eating a whole cow is a lot? Think of how much energy a cow eats—enough to shoot itself into outerspace!

The amount of energy from grass that a cow needs to eat to grow from a calf to a full grown animal is estimated to be 14 million calories! That’s 32 times the total calories we can actually get from eating a whole cow.

With this estimation of the energy a cow eats, you could launch a cow out of a cannon at 14 km/s. When you take into account that Earth’s escape velocity is 11.2 km/s, you could launch the cow into outer space with the energy it consumes during its adolescence.

The cow would likely be shredded to bits by the force, but let’s not start questioning why we are launching a cow in the first place. The article explains all the basis for the estimate, and goes further to explain how cow manure is a viable source of energy, with 4,800 kcal/kg released through combustion, it’s comparable to coal—without all of the pressure, heat and millions of years required!


Koko, the sign language speaking gorilla, once held a Q&A session over instant messaging!

Koko the Gorilla, who was adopted by the San Diego Zoo, can use over 1000 hand signals and understand over 2000 english words!

In 1998, Koko and Penny, the director of research at the zoo, spoke over AOL instant messenger and by phone to around 20,000 people. Penny would help tranlate what Koko signed and people logged in would ask questions or phone and directly ask Koko the question, and she would respond as best as she could.

The whole chat sequence was typed and people asked about how many friends Koko has (2 dogs, a cat and 2 other gorillas), how Koko refers to herself as "Fine Animal Person Gorilla" and about how she wants to start a family when she can. The purpose of this was to draw attention to the declining population of Gorillas and Primates due to urbanization and deforestation. People seem to love Koko, even though she calls humans "nipples".



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