13 Interesting Animals You Didn’t Know Existed

Through the natural process of evolution, earthly processes have created some of the most bizarre-looking creatures to wander this planet. Often relegated to remote, semi-unpopulated areas, they are difficult to study, and are often in danger of extinction.

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Interesting Animals Markhor

The national animal of Pakistan, the Markhor is a sizable species of wild goat. The majestic beast’s most distinguishing feature is its massive spiral horns that can grow to be up to five feet long. They are on the endangered list, with less than 2,500 mature animals in existence. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Maned Wolf

The maned wolf looks less like a wolf and more like a fox – even though they belong to a different genus. They can be found in South America and frequent places with tall grasslands, hence their really long legs. They are also known as the “skunk wolf” as they have a very…distinctive…odor. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Fossa

Fossas live in Madagascar, and their looks fall between a cat and a ferret, with a little bit of cougar thrown into the mix. Being a carnivore, they are very sleek and muscular, are able to chase down prey with the greatest of ease. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Zebra Duiker

Zebra Duikers look tiny, chubby antelope, with stripes down their back and other zebra-like markings. Females are bigger than the males, contrary to the typical template of nature. They live in rainforests and eat mostly foliage, but they have a reinforced nasal bone that helps them crack open hard-skinned fruits. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Dhole

A canine species that lives in Southeast Asia, the dhole is another animal that bears resemblance to the fox and the wolf. They’re very social animals and tend to tackle way bigger prey, such as boar, buffalos, or even tigers. They’re endangered for a number of reasons, including a decreasing amount of prey, habitat loss, competition and disease from other feral dogs. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Irrawaddy

Here’s the first oceanic creature, the Irrawaddy Dolphin of Southeast Asia. With those little faces it’s hard to believe, but they are closely related to the killer whale- even though they more closely resemble the Beluga whale. The term Irrawaddy comes from Latin, meaning “short beak.” Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Patagonian Mara

The Patagonian Mara is a furry rodent who greatly resembles a rabbit with long, spindly legs. They live in Argentina and large parts of Patagonia, mostly under the cover of shrubbery. Like common rabbits, they are also herbivores. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Pink Fairy Armadillo

A pink fairy armadillo sounds like a creature from a fantasy land, but they are very real. Unfortunately, they are on the endangered species list, so being a figment of fantasy might very well be true someday. Native to Argentina, they occupy grasslands and their pink exterior may serve as camouflage against the sandy dunes they call home. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Red Muntjac

Also known as the “barking deer,” the red muntjac lives in India and greatly resembles a deer, with their antlers being their most peculiar feature. They are unbranched and can grow up to six inches long. They eat grass, but also dine on berries and bird eggs when they can find them. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Sunda Colugo

Also known as the sunda flying lemur, the sunda colugo can be found throughout Southeast Asia, and is actually pretty poorly named because it’s not a lemur and it can’t fly. Instead, it uses a very thin membrane to glide through the air. They are most active at night and eat flowers, young leaves and shoots. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Barbirusa

Barbirusas belong in the pig family, and they’re also called by the oxymoronic term ‘pig-deer’. They are native to Indonesia and the males have very large tusks, like other species of pigs. They do not grind down the tusks through normal activities, so they can eventually penetrate the animal's own skull if they reach a certain length. Source: My Modern Met

Interesting Animals Tufted Deer

The protruded fangs on the male of this species give the illusion that they’re carnivores, but they eat grass like most deer. A close relative to the muntjac and usually found in China, they are being overhunted and slowly losing their habitat, but luckily they haven’t made it onto the endangered species list yet. Source: My Modern Met

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What We Love This Week, Volume CI

US Cuba Relations Castro Nixon

Source: BBC

A Photo History Of US-Cuba Relations

US Cuba Relations Embargo

Source: BBC

There’s an easy way and a hard way to explain the contours of the United States’ relationship with Cuba. The hard way involves complex trade agreements, omnipresent Cold War fears, and the rationality of imperialist glut. The easy way is to imagine how the most self-absorbed man you know would respond to a slight woman who rejected him and instead decided to hang out with the weird guy down the street who liked the color red, and who said self-absorbed man absolutely hates.

Either way you slice it, that relationship is about to change. Just this past Wednesday, Barack Obama announced plans to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, ushering in a new wave of diplomacy between the famously feuding neighbors. The BBC has chosen to explain the story through photos, and we highly recommend you check them out.

US Cuba Relations Carter Castro

Source: BBC

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Jim Crow’s Disturbing History In Photos

Mom and apple pie are like baseball and the Cuban blockade—traditional American institutions that define us as a people and give our history much of its unique look and feel. But America has other, less savory traditions, and one of the worst—sadly, not the worst—was segregation.

The name “Jim Crow” was first used for a stock character in depressingly popular minstrel shows from around 1830 to the 1940s. After the Civil War and the attendant ratification of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, which officially made everybody equal, the name was applied to a set of laws that excluded nonwhites from mainstream society and created a primarily black underclass that was kept in its place via a nationwide campaign of bullying, intimidation, and blood-curdling violence.

Everything in this slideshow is horrible, and if it disturbs you—good. Don’t let it happen again.

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Jim Crow Freedman's School

Immediately after the Civil War, United States culture and legal practice shifted dramatically against the racism that had propped up slavery. The federal Freedman's Bureau operated schools like the one pictured here, encouraged voter registration, and worked to reunite families that had been sold and separated under slavery. Source: Trinity History

Jim Crow Reunited Family

A reunited family. Source: The Huffington Post

Jim Crow Freedman's School Cabin

A Freedman's Bureau-established school. Source: Tullahoma News

Jim Crow Voting Rights

This is a public notice of the government's intent to ensure the voting rights of freedmen, posted in Virginia in 1867. It notes that, as the right to vote applies to all men, no notice should be taken of threats leveled against them by those who would try to suppress the black vote. Source: Social Welfare History

Jim Crow First Black Congressmen

The first Congressional Black Caucus. Each member was elected or appointed during Reconstruction. In case you're wondering, as of 2014 the US Senate has two African-American members. Source: Wikipedia

Jim Crow Black Legislature

A black legislature. Source: RaisinEmReal

Jim Crow Black Republicans

Black Republicans in 1868. No jokes, please, about how membership has declined since then. Source: Blogspot

Jim Crow Johnson Poster

The racial aspect of Reconstruction drew a lot of heat from racist dicks in both the North and the South. This 1866 poster by Thomas Nast lampooned the broken promises of the Johnson Administration, which all but turned a blind eye to the undoing of the Civil War Amendments by unreconstructed confederates. Remember that date, it will be important later. Source: PBC History Online

Jim Crow Idleness Poster

Source: Wikipedia

Jim Crow Clymer Geary Poster

Source: Wikipedia

Jim Crow Nast Poster

Remember how, back in 1866, Thomas Nast had been all for getting serious about Reconstruction? Here he is eight years later, depicting black legislators as do-nothing incompetents. The caption reads: "Colored Rule in a Reconstructed(?) State" The noose was beginning to tighten. Source: Harp Week

Jim Crow Nathan Bedford Forrest

Nathan Bedford Forrest. Confederate cavalry general, military genius, former slave trader and all-around evil shit. He had 30 horses shot out from under him during the war and killed 31 Union soldiers. After his side lost, Forrest and a few close friends founded the Ku Klux Klan and carried out a guerrilla war to undo every gain Emancipation had brought. Source: Wikipedia

Jim Crow Ashburn Murder

Remember those "political meetings" Rhett and Ashley went to in Gone With the Wind? They were Klan meetings. After Nathan Bedford Forrest swung through Georgia to organize the KKK, several assailants ambushed George Ashburn, a native Georgian and civil rights crusader who was serving as a judge in Columbus, GA. He was the first man to be murdered by the Klan in Georgia. Source: Wikipedia

Jim Crow Stocks

With fewer and fewer non-racist whites, and an ever-dwindling population of politically active blacks, the South turned to draconian means to reverse the tide of Reconstruction. Laws were passed that enforced white supremacy, and those laws were enforced with savagery. Here are prisoners being punished for God knows what around the turn of the century. Source: Blogspot

Jim Crow Chain Gang Kids

Never too early to get started. This picture shows a children's chain gang around 1903. Gonna repeat that: This is a children's chain gang. Source: Wikipedia

Jim Crow Homer Plessy

The watershed moment in the hardening of Jim Crow came in 1896, with the Supreme Court decision in Plessy vs. Ferguson. Homer Adolph Plessy, also known as "that really white-looking guy who maybe has one black great-grandparent," was arrested for sitting in a white-only train carriage in Louisiana. Source: Gallery Hip

Jim Crow Rail Car Expulsion

After the Court gave its blessing to the legal principle of "separate but equal," the gates had opened for segregation to become the law across the country. Source: Maryland Government

Jim Crow Black Shoeshine

The rules of segregation were simple: in every context where blacks and whites came into contact with each other, a clear hierarchy must be present. The races mingled very closely during the Jim Crow years, and sometimes intimately, but always in a superior-subordinate relationship. Anyplace where there might be a suggestion of equality, such as at a swimming pool or on a bus, called for strict separation. Source: Chattanoogaville

Jim Crow Duluth Lynching

Violations of those rules merited punishment. There is only one kind of punishment handed out by angry mobs—lynching. According to Tuskegee University, since 1882, 4,733 people are known to have died due to lynching, with the last known lynching taking place in 1968. This lynching happened in Duluth, in case you thought Southerners were the only bad guys here. Source: Wikipedia

Jim Crow Louisiana Prison

Thankfully, everybody eventually came to their senses. Today, getting caught with crack only earns 18 times the prison time powdered cocaine gets, rather than the 100:1 ratio from before 2010. And African-Americans are only 8.2 times more likely to be in prison than whites. Also, black inmates are only the majority of actually-executed death row residents, rather than the vast majority, so you can see that those bad old Jim Crow laws finally came to an end and everybody lived happily ever after.

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We Found The Most Stunning Nature Photography of 2014

Northern Gannets Photography

Source: The Atlantic

Our world is always changing, always moving. Perhaps it is for this reason that nature photography can be so captivating. Whether the photographer captures an incredible sunset or catches a rarely seen creature in its natural setting, the moments that appear in these images are unique and fleeting.

Tap into your creative side with some of the best nature photography of 2014. Touching all parts of the world in every season, this gallery is sure to make you appreciate all that Mother Nature has provided.

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Big Sur Landscape Photography

Big Sur, California. Source: Bored Panda

Red Fox Best Nature Photography of 2014

Source: Bored Panda

Incredible Sunset Pictures 2014

Greater Manchester, England. Source: James Pictures

Adorable Bear Nature Photos

Source: The Atlantic

Best Pictures of the Snow 2014

Viru Bog, Estonia. Source: IB Times

UK Mountain Photographer 2014

Lake District, England. Source: All That Is Interesting

Lemur Nature Photography

Source: Bored Panda

2014 Best Landscape Photography

Derbyshire, England. Source: All That Is Interesting

Nature Photography of 2014 Vermilion Cliffs

Vermilion Cliffs, Arizona. Source: Bored Panda

Snowy Egrets Nature Photography

Source: Smithsonian

Awesome Leopard Photography

Source: The Atlantic

Swimming Iguana Nature Photography

Source: Bored Panda

Nature Photography 2014

Source: The Atlantic

Spider by Krasimir Matarov

Source: Streetloop

Animal Nature Photography of 2014

Source: Grandfather

Beautiful Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, Montana. Source: Business Insider

Best Nature Photography of 2014 Gecko

Source: IB Times

Top Nature Photography Craig Parry

Broken Head Nature Reserve, Australia. Source: International Landscape Photographer

Awesome Nature Photography 2014

Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia. Source: IB Times

Best Nature Photography of 2015

Source: Independent

Forest Pathway

Olympic National Park, Washington. Source: Bored Panda

Northern Gannets Photography

Source: The Atlantic

Can’t get enough nature? Check out our original nature GIFs or check out these Planet Earth mashups:

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