Category Archives: Did You Know Series

Did You Know {212} ~ Japanese Garden Aesthetic Principles, Miegakure Hide & Seek

A beauty “trick” used by Japanese garden designers was to create the landscape so that it would be impossible for the visitor to see all the elements at a glance. Instead, the visitor uncovers the garden step by step, while strolling through the alleys. Called miegakure, this “hide and reveal” technique hides important landscape features behind hills, trees or buildings, so that by following the path the visitor will be delighted to continuously discover new attractions. Miegakure can be enjoyed in the garden of Kodaiji, Kyoto: from this point you will admire the bridge architecture, but you will be completely unaware that a very beautiful pond is hidden behind the hill…

Did You Know {211} ~ The Origins Of Astrology Go Way Back In History

“We don’t really know who first came up with the idea for looking at things in nature and divining influences on humans,” NASA astronomer Sten Odenwald told Time. “There’s some indication that cave art shows this idea that animals and things can be imbued with some kind of spirit form that then has an influence on you, and if you appease that spirit form, then you will have a successful hunt. That was taken over by the idea of divination, where you can actually look at things in nature and study them carefully, such as tea-leaf reading.” I believe astrology goes way back and coincides with early humans progressing and developing.

Did You Know {210} ~ The Oldest Horoscope We Know Of Is From 410 B.C.

Humans have been trying to get insight into their lives based on the stars for thousands of years. According to an article on Babylonian horoscopes published in the Journal of Cuneiform Studies, the oldest horoscope that has been discovered was for Apr. 29, 410, B.C. and was written in cuneiform.

Did You Know {208} ~ The Running People Of Mexico {Tarahumara People}

Tarahumara people or ‘Running people’ are a group of Native American people living in the north-western Mexico who can run 400+ miles in around 50 hours! Sounds impossible, but it is true. Astonishingly, the entire tribe consisting of men, women, old and young, every one of them is capable of running at least 250+ miles in a single run, without shoes. Such extreme feat of endurance has never been seen among humans anywhere else in the world.

They are the kind of people who run to live. They have running events lasting more than 200 miles regularly. They run to send messages and they run for food; as hunters, humans who can run persistently, can outrun even horses.

Did You Know {207} ~ Female Kangaroos Have Three Vaginas & Two Uteruses & Practice Birth Control

The female kangaroo has three vaginas and two uteruses. The two outermost vaginas are used for sperm transportation to its two uteruses. Babies are born through the middle vagina. By contrast, female placental mammals have only one uterus and one vagina.

With this unusual reproductive system, a female kangaroo can be continuously pregnant, with a fertilised egg in one uterus waiting to be released, a baby growing in the other uterus, one in her pouch and another hopping outside but coming to its mother for milk. In this way, a female kangaroo can take care of multiple joeys at different stages of development. Another unique feature of these animals is that the female kangaroo can practice birth control during drought and starvation by putting the babies growing in her uteruses ‘on hold’, stopping their future development until conditions improve. This is called embryonic diapause. Then, when the mother’s pouch becomes free, the next baby will be born and move into the pouch, and the fertilised egg “on hold” in a uterus will start developing into a new foetus. Because of this multiple-offspring strategy and other adaptabilities unique to the kangaroo, populations can increase rapidly when food is plentiful.

Did You Know {206} ~ Eastern Screech Owls Keep Blind Snakes As Pets

This is a special post for Joanna.

An owl inviting a snake to live in the nest with its babies may sound like the plot of a film, yet nature is full of unlikely partnerships, and in Texas, screech owls do have a habit of bringing tiny blind snakes home with them. Eastern screech owls can be found all over eastern North America. These snakes help the owls by getting rid of any parasites or larvae so that the owl’s babies can grow stronger and faster. The snakes hang around and eat a lot which they don’t seem to mind until the nestlings hatch then they slither down to find a new home underground. This is an example of symbiosis between organisms when both species benefit from eachother.

Did You Know {205} ~ How Many Children Go Missing Every Year?

More than 1 million children are reported missing every year worldwide.

How would you define a “missing child”?
The answer might be more complex than you realize. ICMEC considers any child under the age of 18 whose whereabouts are unknown to be “missing”. This includes children who have been abducted, abandoned, separated from their parents, or are running away from a home that is not safe. We believe every child deserves to be in the safety and security of a caring adult and when they are missing – no matter the circumstances – they are profoundly vulnerable.

Did You Know {204} ~ Some Octopus Species Lay 56,000 Eggs At A Time

On average, a giant Pacific octopus will lay 56,000 eggs at the end of a pregnancy, over the course of about a month. At first, these new babies float through the surrounding water unattached to one another or their mother. But then the mother gathers each egg—which is about the size of a grain of rice—and weaves them into braids, allowing her to keep an eye on everyone at the same time.

Did You Know {203} ~ Diamonds Rain Down On Saturn & Jupiter

Diamonds big enough to be worn are raining down on Saturn and Jupiter, US scientists have calculated. New atmospheric data for the gas giants indicates that carbon is abundant in its dazzling crystal form. Lightning storms turn methane into soot (carbon) which as it falls hardens into chunks of graphite and then diamond. These diamond “hail stones” eventually melt into a liquid sea in the planets’ hot cores. The biggest diamonds would likely be about a centimetre in diameter. The bottom line is that 1,000 tonnes of diamonds a year are being created on Saturn.