Video Of The Day: Amazing New Robot Can Walk, Lift, And Make You Feel Very Sorry For It

Boston Dynamics took the Internet by storm back in 2013 when they debuted a video of their four-legged monster, the “Wildcat.” Now they’re back at it, and this time they have a robot with artificial intelligence (A.I.) that can walk on two legs, pick up boxes, and master snowy terrain — well, in the same way a teenager has mastered the drunken stumble, at least.

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33 Awe-Inspiring Scott Kelly Photos That Will Transport You To Outer Space

Just after 8 p.m. EST tonight, the Soyuz spacecraft will undock from the International Space Station and, after an ISS record-setting 342 days in space, astronaut Scott Kelly will be heading home.

Three hours later, Kelly — along with Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov — is expected to touch down in Kazakhstan (watch live here). In the year since Kelly last felt earth beneath his feet, he’s contributed to a wealth of extraordinary research into the physiological and psychological effects of long-term spaceflight — and he’s posted a wealth of extraordinary Instagram photos.

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12 Of The Strangest Things Ever Spotted From The Skies, Explained By Science

Whether by satellite, plane, or even idly zooming around the planet via computer screen with Google Earth, it turns out there are still plenty of bizarre things to be discovered right here on our home planet. From immense holes appearing in the ground to bizarre blood-red waterfalls spewing forth from the snow, these strange aerial photos show 12 of the most bizarre things lurking on the surface of the Earth, while we explain how they came to be there:

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Giant Whale Formation

Whale Formation

First spotted on Google Earth in 2012, this is one of several large, animal-shaped mounds discovered near Lima, Peru, that experts think could date back as far as 5,000 years ago. Killer whales hunted just off the coast of the country — less than half a mile away — until very recently, when industrial fishing deprived them of their prey.

An Enormous Hole In The Ice

Ice Hole

Located in Siberia, this hole is likely the result of a melted “pingo” — large ice plugs that form near the surface and have a small hill form on top. When one of these melts rapidly, it can cause areas of the ground to collapse. Unique to such polar regions, pingos only melt fast enough to form craters like this when temperatures are unseasonably warm.

A Mysterious Distress Signal Carved Into The Jungle

Distress Signal

Spotted in the jungles of Vietnam, this message measured an astonishing 37 feet high. But what does it mean? In all likelihood, it was meant as a distress signal from a stranded pilot — the “Walking K” signal underneath the “USA” section was known to be used by downed aviators. Since the message was not discovered until 15 years after the war ended, however, the fate of the pilot remains unknown.

A Huge Hole In The Ground

Giant Hole

Discovered on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula in 2014, this is just one of at least seven enormous holes discovered in the Artic region. Some scientists have speculated that the holes were caused by the explosion of trapped pockets of methane. A slightly less dramatic theory is that it is another example of a pingo, and the evidence of ejected rocks around the site can be explained by pockets of natural gas forcing the boulders out of the ground once the pingo melted and released them.

Immense Scientology Symbols

Scientology Symbols

These huge designs were seen carved into the land of Trementina Base, New Mexico, the location of the Scientology-affiliated Church of Spiritual Technology (the symbol is the Church’s logo). A former member claims that they serve as signposts for reincarnated Scientologists returning from space. Others believe they mark the site of an underground bomb shelter, designed to keep precious elements of the church (such as the writings of L. Ron Hubbard) safe from a nuclear war.

Blood Red Waterfalls

Blood Red Icy Waterfall

Known as the Blood Falls, this weird discoloration stands out for miles against the rest of Antarctica’s snowy whiteness. The red coloring is believed to come from an underground reservoir rich in iron, which is the same element that gives blood its red coloring.

Strange Swirls In Africa

Swirls On The Ground

These remarkable designs carved into the ground of South Africa were believed to be markers, with the spirals forming a map to the ancient lost city of Kalahari. Sadly, the truth is much more straightforward: They were created by local farmers, attempting to trap enough water to irrigate their crops during the dry months.

The Field Of Jesus

Jesus Image On Field

Discovered by British man Zach Evans while using Google Earth, this entire field appears to display the face of Jesus — or at least, its traditional representations. Located on farmland near Püspökladány, Hungary, its origins are still a mystery, but it is likely just a simple topographical coincidence.

Killer Algae

Red Tide Algae View From Space

This algal bloom is large enough to be seen from space. Known as a Red Tide — for obvious reasons — the red or brown color comes from a specific type of phytoplankton known as dinoflagellates. Red Tides are normally associated with toxin production or oxygen depletion in the water, and as a result, they have a devastating effect on nearby aquatic and coastal life.

A Scar In The Desert

Mysterious Sand Print

This long, strange groove carved into the Sahara Desert was first spotted by a satellite in January 2005. Analysts had various theories about the clearly man-made mark, ranging from a plane crash to possible nuclear bomb testing. In 2011, however, the cause was revealed to be much more mundane, being merely the result of a buried oil or gas pipeline.

Sacrificial Stones

Scattered Rocks

Too uniform to be a natural occurrence, these piles of rocks located in Eastern Mongolia are thought to be either a burial ground or sacrificial site. Archeologists believe that the very large pile seen towards the right indicates that a person of immense importance was buried there — possibly even Genghis Khan himself.

A Giant Crater

Giant Crater

With a diameter of nearly three quarters of a mile and a depth of 560 feet, the Barrington Crater in Arizona is a startling reminder that very large meteorite impacts can (and do) happen. The crater is thought to have been formed around 50,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene epoch — long after the extinction of the dinosaurs, but early enough for nearby woolly mammoths and giant ground sloths to have had a very bad day indeed.

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To see the explanations behind many more strange and awe-inspiring phenomena, tune in to the season finale of WHAT ON EARTH? on Tuesday, March 1st at 9PM on Science Channel, as part of Super Tuesday on Science.


Liked this? Take a look at these stunning aerial photographs of Iceland, or enjoy the most astounding aerial photography ever seen.

The Breathtaking Wildlife Photography Of Will Burrard-Lucas

As the calamities of global warming grow more frequent and severe, some claim that technology is at odds with nature. The more our gadgets can do, these critics say, the less we value the natural world and the more we degrade its offerings. Wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, however, uses technology to do the opposite: to raise awareness of the fragile splendor living and breathing all around us.

Burrard-Lucas regularly travels the world to document everything from annual wildebeest migrations in the Serengeti to Komodo dragons lurking about Indonesian forests. Lately, though, Africa has become “[his] primary focus.” In honor of World Wildlife Day, we selected a handful of our favorite photos Burrard-Lucas has taken and talked with him about his work:

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Young Leopards

A young leopard looks into a remote-control camera buggy in South Lunagwa National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Meerkat Dusk

A meerkat looks out toward the dusky horizon in Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Dog Duo

A pair of African Wild Dogs in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Lion Opening Mouth

A male lion yawns next to his kill in Masai Mara, Kenya. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Hippo Charge

A gargantuan mother hippo charges at the photographer in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Leopard Grass

A leopard watches monkeys in trees amid South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Lion Haze

Lions greet a hazy sunrise in Busanga Plains, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Crowned Birds

Crowned cranes in Liuwa Plain, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

African Elephants

African elephants observe a remote-control camera in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Birds

Wattled cranes at dusk, Liuwa Plain, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Cheetah Savannah

A cheetah blends with its environment in Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Giraffes

A giraffe kicks its partner in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Lion Cub

A lion cub approaches the camera in Masai Mara, Kenya. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Silverback Gorilla

A Silverback Western Lowland Gorilla patrols the Congo Rainforest. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Wildlife Photography Wild Dogs

More African Wild Dogs stare at the camera in South Luangwa, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Hippo Mouth

A hippo yawns in the waters of South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Wild Owl

A Verraux's eagle owl gazes out at Katavi National Park, Tanzania. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Lion Camo

A male lion in morning repose, Kafue National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Snorkeling Elephants

Elephants "snorkel" as they cross the Zambezi River. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Lion Dusk

A lion sits atop a rock in Kidepo Valley, Uganda. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Meerkat Family

A meerkat family huddles together in Botswana. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Lone Lion

A lone lion stands in the African Serengeti. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Leopard Close

A young leopard surveys the remote-control camera in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Elephants Dusk

African elephants walk in Mudumu National Park, Namibia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Orangutans

Chimpanzees groom each other in Mahale National Park, Tanzania. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Sifaka Jumping

A Verreauxs Sifaka jumps about in Madagascar's Berenty Reserve. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Baby Gorilla

A baby mountain gorilla looks at the camera in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Hyena Night

A hyena looks toward the night skies in Liuwa Plain, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Cheetah Backlit

A cheetah silhouette in Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Baby Baboon

A baby baboon ventures away from its parents. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Zebra Haze

Zebras at sunset. Serengeti, Tanzania. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Lion Night

A lioness at dusk in Liuwa Plain, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Wildebeest Sunset

Wildebeest band together as the sun sets in Liuwa Plain, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Baboon Sunset

A baboon sits in a tree, South Luangwa, Zambia. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Wildebeest Trio

Three old male bachelor buffaloes in Masai Mara, Kenya. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Wildebeest Running

Wildebeest run during the annual migration in the Tanzanian Serengeti. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

Sifaka Eating Seeds

A sifaka eats seeds in Madagascar's Anjajavy Forest. Image Source: Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography

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