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The Earth Is Beautiful, Mysterious, Fascinating, And Full Of Nightmare Fuel

Don't believe me? Check out the top 10 newly discovered species of 2012.

The Earth Is Beautiful, Mysterious, Fascinating, And Full Of Nightmare Fuel

Every year, Arizona State University releases the list of top 10 newly discovered species for the year. It's always an interesting one, highlighting the biodiversity of our planet and the astonishing number of really weird animals that exist in nature.

Sneezing Monkey: It's the first snub-nosed monkey to be found in Myanmar, and it is believed to be critically endangered. Also, it sneezes when it rains. No, seriously:


Bonaire Banded Box Jelly: A new species of box jelly discovered off the coast of the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. Its scientific name is Tamoya ohboya — yeah, like "oh boy!" It's really pretty, for a gelatinous instrument of torture:


Devil’s Worm: Presumably named because it basically lives in hell, discovered 8/10 of a mile underground in a South African gold mine. I wasn't kidding about the hell thing — that far underground, the temperature is about 98 degrees Farenheit. Carbon dating has indicated that the borehole water where they were found hasn’t been in contact with the Earth’s atmosphere for the past 4,000-6,000 years.

(Photo credit: G. Borgonie, Ghent University, Belgium; Scanning electron microscope (SEM) image, face view of H. mephisto)

Night-Blooming Orchid: This orchid is the first night-blooming orchid ever found, among the 25,000 or so species of orchids. Its flowers open up at 10 p.m. at night and then close up early the next morning. It was discovered in Papua New Guinea.

(Photo credit left: Jaap Vermeulen; right: Andre Schuiteman)

Parasitic Wasp: You know how the headline says "nightmare fuel"? This tiny wasp was discovered in Madrid, Spain, and it dive-bombs ants to lay its eggs on them. This happens in 1/20 of a second. And then probably some kind of "Aliens" thing goes on with the ant — really, I don't want to know.


Spongebob Squarepants Mushroom: Yes, you read that correctly. This organism is a new species of fungus that looks like a sea sponge. It’s fruiting body can be squeezed and return to its original shape just like a sponge, and apparently it smells like fruit -- pineapple under the sea, of course. It was discovered on the island of Borneo.

(Photo credit: Thomas Bruns, interior (left) and exterior (right) views of Spongiforma squarepantsii; center: Dennis E. Desjardin & Andrew Ichimura, SEM photograph of spores of Spongiforma squarepantsii)

Nepalese Autumn Poppy: Meconopsis autumnalis is a yellow poppy that grows high in the mountains of Nepal, at heights of 10,827 to 13,780 feet. It flowers in late autumn, and has actually been collected twice before (once in 1962 and once in 1994) and not recognized as new. Whoops.

(Photo credit: Paul Egan, Meconopsis autumnalis flowering in the wild at 4000 m, Nepal Himalaya)

Giant Millipede: This millipede is the size of a sausage. That is horrifying (and, let's be real, pretty impressive). Now holding the record for the largest millipede in the world, it grows up to 16 cm long. It was discovered in Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains.

(Photo credit: G. Brovad)

Walking Cactus: Now extinct, this organism belonged to a group of legged worm-like animals called Lobopodia. The fossil was discovered in deposits dating back to the Cambrian period 520 million years ago. It's a significant find, as it has segmented legs, lending weight to the theory that arthropods (the largest group of living animals) descended from lobopods.

(Photo credit: Jianni Liu “Walking Cactus from Early Cambrian, China”)

Sazima’s Tarantula: Pterinopelma sazimai is an iridescent, hairy blue tarantula. It was discovered in Brazil, and is the first species from Brazil to make the top 10 (cool!) though it isn't the first or only blue tarantula. Its status as endangered is due both to habitat loss and over-collecting for the pet trade. I'm assuming that at least a quarter of that pet trade is specific to RPGs, because seriously, what kind of mage worth her +20 stealth doesn't own a sapphire tarantula?

(Photo credit left: Caroline Fukushima; center and right: Rogerio Bertani/Instituto Butantan)
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

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Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

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via Good Morning America

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So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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