13 stunning photos of animals now protected by the world's largest marine reserve.

Lewis Pugh is the patron of the oceans, and he's super pumped.

First of all, can I comment on how cool that job title is? He got it from the United Nations. It sounds like it should be from Greek mythology.

He's pumped because we just turned Antarctica's Ross Sea into the world's largest marine sanctuary.

24 countries plus the European Union came together on Friday to declare a new marine reserve twice the size of Texas off the coast of Antarctica.


This designation, which will come into effect in December, will turn 70% of the area into a no-fishing zone.

16,000 species of life are estimated to live in or visit the Ross Sea, turning it into a polar Garden of Eden.

That's what the United Nations Environment Programme called it, anyway. And Pugh is pretty happy about that.

"The Ross Sea is one of the most magnificent places on Earth," he said. "It is one of our last great wilderness areas. This is a dream come true."

This new designation will protect a huge range of creatures. Creatures like:

1. Entire colonies of emperor penguins.

Photo via iStock.

2. Humpback whales!

Photo via iStock.

3. This lovely pelagic snow petrel.

Photo via iStock.

4. And their less-snowy but still pretty cousin, the Antarctic petrel.

Photo via iStock.

5. This kind of adorable krill! Run, krill! Don't you know there are whales around here?!

Photo via iStock.

6. We're not done with the penguins, by the way. These chinstrap penguins are now protected!

Photo by Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty Images.

They're more common elsewhere, but there's at least one breeding colony in the Ross Sea.

7. From birds that never fly to birds that almost never land – the albatross!

Photo via iStock.

8. Oh wait, you thought we were done with whales? Nope! Here's a sperm whale.

Photo via iStock.

9. And an orca whale! Whales! Whales for everybody!

Photo via iStock.

10. I know, little crabeater seal, it's a whale extravaganza.

Photo via iStock.

11. How 'bout some birds? Like these skuas, which are like seagulls crossed with bikers.

Photo via iStock.

12. Or this leopard seal, which is like a regular seal crossed with, well, a leopard.

Photo via iStock.

Listen, sometimes animal names are pretty apt, OK?

13. Or how about this bizarre icefish, which is like a cod crossed with a bucket of antifreeze.

Icefish have natural antifreeze chemicals in their blood.

This is a big step in protecting our natural places.

Watching the news, it's easy to get depressed when we hear that we've crossed climate change benchmarks or that a significant portion of wildlife is in danger of disappearing. And these are things we should be concerned about.

But there are still a lot of things that we as a planet can do too. And I know of at least 13 species that might be breathing a little easier today.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic and it feels like disinformation and denial have spread as quickly as the virus itself. Unfortunately, disinformation and denial during a pandemic is deadly. Literally. People who refuse to accept the reality we're living in, who go about daily life as if nothing unusual were happening, who won't wear a mask or keep their distance from people, are preventing communities from being able to keep the pandemic under control—with very real consequences.

An ER nurse in South Dakota shared her experience treating COVID patients—some of whom refuse to believe they have COVID—and it's really shocking. One might think that the virus would become real to people if they were directly affected by it, but apparently that's just not true for some. As Jodi Doering wrote on Twitter:

"I have a night off from the hospital. As I'm on my couch with my dog I can't help but think of the Covid patients the last few days. The ones that stick out are those who still don't believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm. They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that 'stuff' because they don't have COViD because it's not real. Yes. This really happens. And I can't stop thinking about it. These people really think this isn't going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated. It's like a fucking horror movie that never ends. There's no credits that roll. You just go back and do it all over again."

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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