Posts tagged with "Good News Network"

Rare species of feline dubbed the ‘original grumpy cat’ found living on Mount Everest

February 13, 2023

A DNA analysis has confirmed that the rare and little-known Pallas’ cat lives on the body of Mount Everest—three miles above sea level, reports the Good News Network.

The discovery was made along Sagarmatha National Park on Mount Everest’s Southern Flank in Nepal after a month-long expedition collecting environmental samples. Scat recovered from the two separate sites located 3.7 miles apart at 16,765 feet and 17,027 feet, respectively, above sea level confirmed there were Pallas’ cats in the area.

Known as the “original grumpy cat” before the famous internet meme cat was born, Otocolobus manual or Pallas’ cat stands among the most charismatic and unique wild felines on Earth. This mountain specialist is found at high elevations across Asia and is a super predator of small mammals.

Indeed, the analysis of the animal’s scat showed the feline was feeding on pika and mountain weasel, which delighted the scientists; as these were also unknown in the national park, which is a UNESCO Natural Heritage site.

“It is phenomenal to discover proof of this rare and remarkable species at the top of the world,” said Dr. Tracie Seimon, of Wildlife Conservation Society’s Zoological Health Program, and leader of the expedition, which took place in 2019.

“The nearly four-week journey was extremely rewarding not just for our team but for the larger scientific community. The discovery of Pallas’ cat on Everest illuminates the rich biodiversity of this remote high-alpine ecosystem and extends the known range of this species to eastern Nepal.”

It is notable that Pallas’ cat went undetected in this park until 2019, and the new study demonstrates how conservation genetics and environmental sampling can be utilized as a powerful approach to discover and study elusive species like Pallas’ cat.

Currently classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a species of no concern, it’s one of the few small wild cat species that is currently unimperiled. Small wild cats receive a paltry sum of the overall conservation dollars spent to protect wild cats; with the larger tiger, lion, cheetah, and leopard nearly monopolizing the revenue.

Future research combining camera trap surveys and the collection of additional scat samples would help to better define the Pallas’ cat population, range, density, and diet in Sagarmatha National Park.\

Sponsored by National Geographic, the research team included members from eight countries. Seventeen Nepalese scientists conducted research in biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology, and mapping, to better understand the changing of their high-altitude world.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Astounding ‘wave clouds’ surge over Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains

December 30, 2022

An astonishing display of atmospheric variability came as giant ocean waves of clouds drifted over the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming earlier this month, reports the Good News Network.

The incredible scene was captured by photographer Rachel Gordon, who shared them on the Wyoming through The Lens Facebook group, and is a textbook example of the phenomenon known as “Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability.”

KHI results from differences in air density between the various layers of the sky—in this case probably from sun heating pockets of air between mountain saddles which rose rapidly into both colder air and strong winds.

“I think everyone should see this beautiful phenomenon,” Gordon wrote to the group.

The Washington Post reported that wave clouds from KHI are not uncommon, but they are fleeting. Perfect examples like the one photographed by Rachel are rare.

Another group member caught a time-lapse video of their movement, which shows them hold their shape as they move across the horizon like tidal waves ready to smash into the coast.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Green monsters? Otherworldly scenes show plants breathing in close-up detail

December 22, 2022

It looks like a scene from a horror movie, but eerie research shows plants breathing in close-up detail. Indeed, a new study provides new insights into the intricate process of plant respiration, with big implications for how to feed the world in the future, reports Good News Network.

Researchers from UC-San Diego, Estonia, and Finland, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), have found an elusive molecular pathway that plants use to direct their “inhalation” of carbon dioxide.

Knowing how plants sense carbon dioxide to signal their ‘mouths’—stomata—to open and close in response to changing carbon dioxide levels could enable scientists to produce crops robust enough for a changing environment.

“The researchers hope that harnessing this mechanism could lead to future engineering of plant water use efficiency and carbon intake—critical as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration continues to increase,” said Jared Dashoff, an National Science Foundation spokesperson.

“In fact, the researchers have filed a patent and are examining ways to translate their findings into tools for crop breeders and farmers.”

The process, described in research published in Science Advances, becomes clearer on the microscopic level.

On the underside of leaves and elsewhere, depending on the plant, are tiny openings called stomata—thousands of them per leaf with variations by plant species.

Like little castle gates, pairs of cells on the sides of the stomatal pore known as guard cells, open their central pore to take in the carbon dioxide.

“However, when stomata are open, the inside of the plant is exposed to the elements and water from the plant is lost into the surrounding air, which can dry out the plant,” said Dashoff. “Plants, therefore, must balance the intake of carbon dioxide with water vapor loss by controlling how long the stomata remain open.”

If plants—especially crops like wheat, rice and corn—cannot strike a new balance, they risk drying out, farmers risk losing valuable output, and more people across the world risk going hungry.

As the climate changes, both atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and temperature increase, affecting the balance between carbon dioxide entry and water vapor loss through the stomata.

“Scientists have long understood stomata and the balance between carbon dioxide intake and water loss. What they haven’t known, until now, is how plants sense carbon dioxide to signal stomata to open and close in response to changing carbon dioxide levels,” said Dashoff.

“Knowing this will now enable researchers to edit those signals—so plants can strike the right balance between taking in carbon dioxide versus losing water—and allow scientists and plant breeders to produce crops robust enough for the environment of the future.”

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Danish artist hides enormous trolls made of recycled wood in forests worldwide

December 7, 2022

Far out in Western Australia, the tranquil wetland forests are about to shake with the footsteps of giants. That’s because a Danish artist has built a community of giant trolls out of recycled natural material for an exhibit that weaves Aboriginal tradition, modern eco-consciousness, pure childhood creative expression, and joy together, reports the Good News Network.


Thomas Dambo is the mastermind behind Giants of Mandurah, a cultural tourism attraction set in the Mandurah region of Western Australia about an hour south of Perth. The giant trolls, named Little Lui, Vivi Cirklestone, Seba, and Santi Ikto, are all made of recycled wood, just like the dozens of other giants that Dambo has built in forests around the world. 


Their limbs are made of pallet wood, their bodies and other more detailed features are chopped up cast away furniture. Together they tell the creation story of the Bindjareb Noongar people, and the waterways and wetlands of their home region.

“I grew up surrounded by fairytales and stories, and the troll is an important part of Danish folklore,” Dambo told The Guardian.


“For me, trolls represent the voice of nature. Sometimes they can be gentle and quiet. Other times they can be really violent and brutal, and that’s how nature is. If you’re not careful, nature will knock your whole house over.”


“Why build in a warehouse if you can build here? It’s the best office in the world,” he said. “And coming from Denmark, the nature here is so different, it’s almost a bit trippy and unreal, like being in a fairytale.”


Stemming from a childhood spent obsessively building things in the yard, amongst his theater seamstress mother and blacksmith father, Dambo’s adult creations can be found in China, Wyoming, Colorado, Maine, Copenhagen, Chile, and beyond.

But it was the beautiful natural scenery of Mandurah that drew him in particular to this spot.


“Mandurah is a city renowned across Australia for its natural beauty, making it the perfect home for Thomas Dambo’s celebrated artworks,” said Mayor Rhys Williams, adding, “Thomas’ unique approach to promoting the protection of the natural world fits beautifully with our Mandurah story, and we feel very privileged to be part of such a special project.”


He’s even fashioned it into a game, called the Rhythm of Raindrops which is a little like the plotline of an Indiana Jones movie, involving searching for clues to the location of a hidden giant.


Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Nation’s largest no-kill rescue shelter opens in Alabama; aims to save 5,000 dogs a year

November 22, 2022

Macon County Dog Kennels— newly opened in Alabama to help combat a pet overpopulation crisis in the southeastern United States—has become the largest no-kill rescue shelter in America, reports Good News Network.

The facility, which has been in operation since earlier this month, was renovated from an old greyhound training center into a shelter that has the capacity to save, rehabilitate, and adopt out up to 5,000 dogs per year.

The intention of the founders was to service a region encompassing eight states, including Florida, and to help dogs find new homes across America.

“The opening of a second Big Dog Ranch Rescue location is something I’ve prayed for over the years,” Big Dog Ranch Rescue Founder and CEO Lauree Simmons said. “It’s a great day for us and, more importantly, it’s a great day for the dogs.”

Ironcally, Big Dog Ranch Rescue hasn’t always had this big dog ranch. Since starting work in 2008, the staff estimates that they’ve saved 53,000 dogs from being euthanized.

Currently its three renovated buildings include space for 100 dogs and a veterinary center, but a further 13 kennels are still undergoing work.

The 33-acre campus also includes work centers for several admirable programs, including one that unites veterans suffering from PTSD with abandoned service dogs, and a senior dog center that will pair pooches who’ve lost their elderly owners with other senior citizens looking for a new friend.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Photos of Victorians meticulously rebuilding Stonehenge in 1901 are rewriting the guidebooks

November 9, 2022

Photos are shedding light on the painstaking rebuilding of Stonehenge by Victorians in 1901—depicting engineers trying to move the tallest stones back into their intricate prehistoric positions, reports Good News Network.

Britain’s most famous ancient monument on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire was built around 2500 BC, but after thousands of years spent standing, some of the stones had fallen out of place.

Most guidebooks since the 1970s had made no mention of the facelift provided during the Victorian era—or other restorations completed around 1920, 1959, and 1964. But the fascinating photos found by a researcher of history at the University of the West of England show the repairs in 1901.

The photo above shows stone #56, one of the tallest of them all, at 21 feet, 6 inches. It had fallen over, and work was undertaken to push it back up into its original position using pulleys and ropes. A ‘bobble’ called a tenon in the upright stones fit into holes made in the horizontal lintels.

It is believed that 14 of the stones were also set in concrete during these early renovations and concealed under the turf—and only seven are in their original sockets.

English Heritage, which oversees Stonehenge, vowed 20 years ago to rewrite the official guidebooks to make sure the rebuilding is part of the story told to the one million visitors each year who come to marvel at the engineering prowess of our early ancestors.

“The work is a very important part of the history of Stonehenge and when people are told about it they are fascinated,” said English Heritage senior archaeologist Dave Batchelor.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

UK residents can win a good night’s sleep in first BnB to offer actual sheep-counting

October 3, 2022

Located near a hillside in dreamy rural Sussex, England, in a field full of the fluffy farm animals, a “sleep dome” is offering tired patrons a chance to doze off counting real sheep, reports Good News Network.

The small glamping outfit created by a sleep technology company will host two guests and feature a luxurious double-bed with views of idyllic surroundings from all angles.

After dinner and settling in for the night, guests will be encouraged to count the numbered sheep as they walk about their paddock before gently drifting off into a blissful slumber beneath the stars.

Daylight will herald a guided yoga session and a breakfast full of locally-sourced food.

The ‘Shleep Sanctuary’ was created by sleep tech company Emma Sleep, which has launched a contest offering two people the chance to try it for free when it opens in summer 2023.

The dome was created after a poll of 2,000 adults found 44% have struggled to get to sleep this year.

More than one-fifth (21%) of those polled have struggled to sleep due to worries over the cost-of-living crisis, while 23% have been kept up fretting about work.

“The study also found that 23% of respondents claim their quality of sleep is worse now than ever before—with 10% even admitting they can’t remember the last time they slept well.

Trying to improve these unhappy situations, 14% of adults have employed ‘visualization tactics’ like counting sheep in a bid to get a good night’s sleep.

The study, conducted by OnePoll, also revealed factors that respondents say boost their chances of sleeping well—including fresh air and the sound of nature.

“When practiced regularly, these kinds of exercises have been proven to lower the heart rate by encouraging slower breathing and activating the parasympathetic nervous system,” said Theresa Schnorbach, sleep scientist at Emma.

“Imaginative distraction is also an effective cognitive strategy to help sleep, where you imagine a pleasant and relaxing image in as much detail as you possibly can—like counting fluffy sheep as they jump over a fence,” she says.

“The aim is to use as much cognitive capacity as possible so that worrying thoughts are suppressed. Studies show this not only shortens the time it takes to fall asleep but also improves sleep quality.”

For a chance to win a stay at the Shleep Sanctuary with a guest of your choice, register here.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Safari park worker is ‘BFF’ with lion that he’s cuddled and pampered for years

September 22, 2022

Love comes in all shapes, sizes and breeds, as can attest a South African animal expert who has been best friends with a 550-pound lion named George for over ten years, reports Good News Network.

The pair first met when George was born at the Lion and Safari Park in Gauteng, South Africa, where Shandor Larenty works as the head of Animal Husbandry.

Since then, Shandor has groomed the big cat and played with him every day—and the pair can often be seen cuddling together in an extraordinary way.

The ten-year-old lion has developed from a tiny cub to the head of his own pride, but he always makes time for Shandor.

“It’s like watching a child grow up,” said the 27-year-old animal lover. “It’s exactly the same feeling.

Above, belly rubs are appreciated. (Photo source: Shandor Larenty via TikTok/SWNS)

And George chooses to spend time with Shandor as much as the other way around.

“George is similar to me in the sense tha,t while he’s social, he also likes to be alone a lot. It’s amazing to see that, when I arrive, he’ll leave the rest of the pride and walk over.

George loves to be pampered and Shandor massages, brushes his hair, and plays with him at least once a day.

“He absolutely loves the fly repellent we make for him. He rolls around like a little kitten, and it’s his favorite time to get a massage, or a foot rub—he loves it.”

However, Shandor says that lions have good days and bad days just like us. “If I go in there and he doesn’t come running up, then I know it’s not going to happen.”

“I always say, at the end of the day, their natural instinct kicks in, so if one lion has a go at you, the others join in.

One time, when Shandor was with George’s son, who’s part of the pride, he almost got attacked—but George was quick to save him.

“Lions have two growls,” says Shandor. “On that day the growl was really not happy, and he just walked up to me and growled like that—and out of the blue he came running at me.

“From the left-hand side came George’s lioness who grabbed him and from the right-hand side George came running and knocked me to the side and grabbed (his offspring). “It gave me time to get away.”

Most of the time there is only benefit for the young lion whisperer. “I can think of times in my life where I was really struggling and the animals really helped me.”

These days, Shandor and George have become TikTok sensations and their videos regularly receive hundreds of thousand of views.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Man organizes redo of school football match after 50 years of guilt over scoring dubious goal

September 6, 2022

A Brit has organized a replay of a school football match after 50 years of feeling guilty for scoring a “foul” goal, reports the Good News Network.

 Graeme Jones admitted to shoving a goalkeeper who had the ball in his hands, “ten yards” over the goal line in the dying seconds of a match to earn a “dubious” draw in September 1972.  But the former Royal Navy training instructor said he was determined to “put right a wrong” after learning of the result’s lasting impact on his aggrieved local rivals.

 It was no mean feat either, as Jones had to spend 18 months assembling the same line-up from the Gayton Primary School team, in the Wirral, who took on St Peter’s School half a century ago. And before the game—played on Saturday, August 27—they even recreated an old squad photo that had appeared in a local paper when they were just ten years old.

Jones’s bitter rivals went on to take a stunning 6-2 win in the one-off geriatric grudge match.

Although he was left feeling disappointed with the final result, Jones said he could now put his “demons to bed”.

“We got stuffed because they had to bring on a couple of [younger players],” said Jones. “But my demons have been put to bed and my conscience is clear now, and we would have still lost regardless.”

 He added, “As I said before if we lose, we lose, and I wanted to turn a wrong into a right.”

 It became all the more urgent to put the matter to bed since, during 2020 lockdowns, when the idea of organizing the game came to Jones, he discovered that his neighbor from the St. Peter’s team had never forgiven him for playing dirty all those years ago.

 “He told me, ‘I remember that game, and I’ve never forgiven you,’” said Jones. “‘You shoved the goalkeeper about ten feet behind the line in the corner kick in the dying minute, and your school PE teacher [the referee] gave the goal.”

 “I was a center-half back in the day, and I just came up and bulldozed my way through,” he reminisced. “You wouldn’t get away with it today.”

 Over the next couple of years ,Jones went about tracking down every former player who’d been in his school team’s original starting line-up. He had to bully a few and plead to others—but he managed to get the exact, albeit greyer, starting team as before.

 The two teams played a 30-minute-a-side match at nearby Heswall football club’s ground, with a raffle set up to help buy Jones’s old school a new team kit.

 And though Jones said that “the best parts of him are in a hospital bin” and that the team of golden oldies wouldn’t attempt another match, he said they would continue to meet up and renew their bonds following the now iconic fixture, with 522 years of memories between them all.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork

Stray dog crashes couple’s wedding—and becomes part of their new family

August 5, 2022

Douglas Robert and Tamíris Muzini were ready for their big day, when they would commit to spending happily ever after together—but Tamíris didn’t know there was someone else, reports Good News Network.

As the bride arrived at the church, she noticed a “wedding crasher” in attendance—a stray blonde dog that was mingling gently with guests.

Not putting paw nor tail out of place, the ceremony eventually commenced with the dog sitting down by the doorway to watch, as if he knew what was happening. After the “I do’s” were done, the beautiful couple made for the exit. That’s when the dog suddenly became excited.

“When he greeted us at the end, he asked: ‘Take me home. Take me,’” Muzini  told The Dodo.

They decided in that very moment to make their happily ever after fit for three—adopting and naming the scrawny pooch Braiá Caramelo.

Scars abound, suggesting that his road to the door of the church that fateful day had not been an easy one—but that’s all behind him now. “He’s so loving. Despite everything he’s been through, he still believes in the goodness of people,” Muzini added. “He gives us hope.”

Instagram posts suggest the three are doing very well, settling into a new lifetime together in stride.

Research contact: @goodnewsnetwork