Naked mole – rat – Heterocephalus glaber

Naked mole-rat - Heterocephalus glaber - EatingNaked mole-rat - Heterocephalus glaberHeterocephalus glaber - Louisville-ZooHeterocephalus glaber - Museum of Natural History - Genova, Italy

Naked mole-rat – Heterocephalus glaber

Naked mole-rat – Heterocephalus glaber – Is practically blind and has no pain. This rodent lives in East Africa. It is digging underground corridors in search of tubers and roots. For this he uses the incisors that are in front of the lips, so that the soil does not get into the mouth.
Mole-rats spend almost their entire lives underground without going to the surface. They are unusual for many reasons. Not only are they the only cold-blooded mammals, they are also resistant to cancer, aging, hypoxia and pain.
Their almost completely hairless, thick and wrinkled skin. It is insensitive to abrasions or scratches. Because Mole-rats do not have the key neurotransmitter for pain conduction (substance P).

Naked mole-rats are the longest-living rodents (they live to 30 years)

And their risk of death doesn’t increase with age. These animals have very active mechanisms repair DNA.
They also tolerate extreme hypoxia, which often occurs in narrow and stuffy underground tunnels. When there is a lack of air, mole-rats reduce life activity. They change the energy supply process (break down fructose instead of glucose). In this way they avoid brain damage.
The equally interesting is structure Social. Which resembles swarms of bees or ant colonies. Flocks of these rodents count from several dozen to 300 individuals. At the same time, only the queen and prolific male breeds. The rest are sterile and conscientiously work for the herd.

Gary Gabelich – Exceeded by car 1000 km/h in 1970

Gary Gabelich - Blue FlameBlue Flame - 2Blue Flame - 3Gary Gabelich - The Blue Flame - Goodwood 2007Gary Gabelich - The Blue Flame - 1Auto und Technik Museum Sinsheim - Blue Flame


Gary Gabelich – Exceeded by car 1000 km/h in 1970

Gary Gabelich – Exceeded with „Blue Flame” 1000 km/h in 23.10.1970. The average speed was 1001.011968 km / h. Mile, which is measured the speed of the vehicle must overcome two times: back and forth.
The big shiny „The Blue Flame” to save fuel even more. Was pushed by the service car at the start. It further helped him to accelerate to 60 km / h.
During the first run, Gabelich achieved a speed of 993.722 km / h as a result. He drove in the opposite direction, but a little faster – that’s why the speed was 1009.305 km / h.

Until then, records were set with jet engines.

„The Blue Flame” rocket engine was powered by a combination of hydrogen peroxide, and liquid natural gas. Chilled to a temperature of -161 degrees Celsius. As a result, achieved 58 000 HP.
In this way, the engine was running with maximum thrust for 20 seconds. „Blue Flame” was similar to a rocket, except with additional catches at the front and rear for attaching wheels.
Tires, specially designed by Goodyear, had a rather smooth surface to reduce heat.
The vehicle was 11.4 m long and 2.3 m wide. He weighed 1814 kg, with fuel – 2994 kg. One of the biggest troubles just before the start. There was burning through the engine, braking parachute ropes. If you had to stop the car with only disc brakes. You would probably need stretch, a 19 km length.

„The Blue Flame” designed and built by Reaction Dynamics.

With the help of the Illinois Institute of Technology lecturers and students. Dr. T. Paul Torda and Dr. Sarunas C. Uzgiris, professors at IIT, worked on the aerodynamics of the car. While other IIT students and lecturers, they mainly dealt with:
– construction,
– engine,
– steering system,
– brakes.

The speed record broken at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA.

This place is located 160 km west of Salt Lake City. Because 32 thousand years ago there was a huge lake 305 m deep. After it disappeared and the salt substrate hardened. It was created one of the most noteworthy places on Earth, to develop enormous speeds.

Gary Gabelich (29.08.1940 – 26.01.1984)

– During 43 years of life, this Croatian by origin. First of all, he won races, and set speed records on:
– asphalt,
– water (motorboats),
– salt tracks.

He died on a motorcycle on the streets of Long Beach in January 1984. While working on the design and construction of a vehicle capable of reaching supersonic speed (1225 km / h). Prototype named „American Way”, but because of Gabelich death. Work on it canceled.

Mount Vesuvius – Italy

Mount Vesuvius in Italy on New Years DayRAF Spitfires flying around a still steaming Vesuvius after the March 1944 eruptionJ.C.Dahl - Eruption of the Volcano VesuviusVesuvius Volcano - NASA-ISSEdward Okuń - Bay of Naples and Vesuvius - 1937Vesuvius AsterSeismograph on the VesuviusMount Vesuvius - Relief Map


Mount Vesuvius – Italy


  • Location: Italy
  • Peak: 1281 m a. s. l.

Mount Vesuvius is an active stratovolcano located on the Apennine Peninsula in Italy. It is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world. The cone of this mountain grew inside the Monte Somma massif, whose age is estimated to be several thousand years old. Vesuvius is dangerous not only because nearly 3 million people live in its vicinity, but also because its peaceful period has lasted for a very long time.

The volcano became infamous due to the eruption that took place in 79 A.D. Which led to the disappearance of the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabie. During the explosion, a huge amount of dust and volcanic gases got into the atmosphere, forming a cloud probably reaching as much as 37 meters in height. During the eruption, a fiery pyroclastic avalanche (a mixture of volcanic gases, ashes and rock crumbs) was produced from the volcano, which buried 25,000 people in one moment. Death was sudden, people were dying mainly due to thermal shock.

The volcano erupted for the last time in 1944 and destroyed the funicular that took tourists to the crater. The mountain spit out lava and hot ashes for 11 days. As a result of the explosion, 26 people died, and another 1200 were without a roof over their heads.

Nyiragongo – Congo

Nyiragongo eruption - 01.2002Nyiragongo - 1994Nyiragongo and NyamuragiraNyiragongo and Nyamuragira (2)Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira - 31.01.2007


Nyiragongo – Congo


  • Location: Congo
  • Peak: 3470 m a. s. l.

Nyiragongo volcano is located in the Virunga mountain chain and although its side craters are already extinct, the main one is one of the most active in the world. This stratovolcano is formed by a group of several volcanoes at Lake Kiwu. In the crater there is a huge lava lake, still active. The temperature of the lava located there varies between 800 and 950 ° C, has a thin consistency and flows very quickly. For this reason, the volcano is a constant threat to the surrounding cities.

The most horrible eruption took place in 1977, when lava flowing down the mountainside killed thousands of people. Magma got to the city of Goma, in which she destroyed 15% of the building and killed about 150 people. A stream of lava reached the shore of Lake Kiwu, forming a peninsula. Another volcanic eruption took place in 2002.

According to legends told by local citizens, Nyiragongo is a holy mountain. The natives believe that an enchanted spirit lives on it, which is trying hard to get out of its earthly dungeon. His angry scream explodes in the form of lava geysers and dense fogs.

Merapi – Indonesia, Java

Mount Merapi craterMerapi - IndonesiaMerbabu&MerapiMerapi_ash_plume_MODIS_sat_image_10_Nov_2010Merapi_pyroclastic_flowsMerapiFromSpace


Merapi – Indonesia, Java


  • Lokalizacja: Indonesia, Java island
  • Peak: 2968 m a. s. l.

Merapi is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in all of Indonesia, active on average once every 10 years. This stratovolcano is located in the central part of the island of Java. Near the city of Yogyakarta. Despite the threat at the foot of the mountain, thousands of people live. The activity of the volcano is largely due to the slipping of the Australian tectonic plate under the Sundanese plate. According to scientists, the eruptions of this volcano began about 400,000 years ago.

In the year 1006 there was a big explosion that caused the fall of the Mataram kingdom. Almost 60 explosions have been registered since 1548. The most catastrophic eruption took place in 1930, resulting in the death of 1,300 people. Less victims were killed in 1994, when the volcanic dome collapsed.

According to local beliefs, the mountain has spiritual and supernatural abilities. Each year a priest enters the summit, carrying a mountain of sacrifice.

Nevado del Ruiz – Colombia

Nevado del Ruiz - Almost 2 weeks after its deadly eruption in 1985, Viewed from the northeastEruption of Nevado del RuizSummit after the eruption that caused the Armero tragedy - 11.1985Nevado del Ruiz Volcano, Colombia - NASANevado del Ruiz - 1985Volcanic rocks in the perennial snow - ColombiaRefuge hostel Mountain top with perennial snow - ColombiaView from bamboo plantation


Nevado del Ruiz – Colombia


  • Location: Colombia
  • Peak: 5321 m a. s. l.

Nevado del Ruiz volcano, already active for around 2,000,000 years, is 130 km west of the capital of Colombia – Bogota. It has many layers of lava hardened alternately with volcanic ash and other pyroclastic rocks. The mountain is part of the volcanic massifs created by five more volcanoes covered with glaciers. Four of them are still active.

The volcano became famous thanks to its catastrophic eruption, which took place on November 13, 1985. As a result, glacier peaks of 25 km² have melted. The resulting lahars, flowing at a speed of 40 to 60 km / h, flooded the city of Armero and several surrounding villages with a layer of mud deep for 6 meters. Only in the city more than 21,000 citizens died (out of a total of 23,000). Losses reached $ 1 billion. The consequence of this catastrophe was the adoption by Colombia of security measures that should reduce the risk of death for so many people.

In September and October 2010, a gradual increase in seismic activity near the Arenas crater was noticed. Over the next four months, there were earthquakes that increased fear of further devastating eruptions.

Popocatépetl – Mexico

The active volcano located about 70 km southeast of Mexico City - 23.01.2001 - NASASeen from Mexico CityPopocatépetl - MexicoCholula PyramidVolcano from Mexico CityPopocatépetl VolcanoSatellite image of Popocatépetl Volcano - NASA, 19.04.2012Popocatépetl - View from San-Matias


Popocatépetl – Mexico


  • Location: Mexico
  • Peak: 5452 m a. s. l.

Popocatépetl volcano lies about 72 km south-west of the capital of Mexico, it is the second largest peak of the country. Popocatépetl is connected by a pass with a height of 3000 meters above sea level. Paso de Cortés and the second volcano – Iztaccihuatl. The top of the mountain is covered with snow and ice throughout the year. Often, over the top, visible clouds appear that arise from ongoing volcanic processes. The highest volcanic activity took place in 1994, when ash and gases covered an area of ​​25 km.

The Aztecs considered the mountain to be holy. According to their mythology, the volcano depicts a Popocatépetl warrior in which the Princess Iztaccihuatl fell in love. Her father, however, was not sympathetic to their feelings and sent the young man to war. The princess lied to him, claiming that Popocatépetl died in battle. Iztaccihuatl died of sorrow for her beloved. When the man returned from the war and learned about her death, his heart could not stand and he also died of grief. Gods turned lovers into snow-covered mountains. Locals believe that eruptions are the image of Popocatépetl drama – In Aztec language, this word means “Smokey Mountain”.

Due to volcanic activity, the mountain is guarded by the army, and only groups of scientists have access to it.

Krakatau – Indonesia

Process of the creation of the Anak Krakatau islandEruption of Krakatau, Indonesia - 2008Satellite image of the Krakatau volcano, Indonesia - May 18, 1992Krakatau MapSatellite image Plumes of volcanic ash 17 November, 2010


Krakatau – Indonesia


  • Location: Indonesia
  • Peak: m a.s.l.

Krakatau lies between Java and Sumatra, and belongs to the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. We can also find out about it in the last days when the mountain awoke. Its largest explosion occurred in 1883. When the Perboewatan crater threw away a 6 km high cloud of ash, visible from a distance of 160 km. The next eruption occurred a few months later. This time, volcanic dust has risen to 27 km. In the final phase of the eruption caused the creation of four tsunamis high at 30 meters. The sounds of the crash were heard even several thousand kilometers away. More than 36,000 people have died as a result of the explosion and tsunami. These events affected the entire planet, as a result of the explosion the average annual temperature decreased by approx. 1.2 ° C. This year, the volcano has woken up again. After the explosion, a large part of it collapsed and caused a deadly wave of tides that killed over 400 people.

Ricinus communis – Castor oil plant

Ricinus communis - Southern MexicoRicinus communis - Botanic Garden (Frankfurt, Germany)Ricinus communis - Venezuela
Ricinus communis - Castor oil plant (1)Ricinus communis - Castor oil plant (2)

Ricinus communis – Castor oil plant

Ricinus communis – It probably comes from the north of Africa. It is a 10-meter tall plant that enjoys great popularity in gardening.

  • Deadly dose: 15 – 20 seeds
  • Death: to 1 week
  • Poison: ricin
  • Aftermath: renal, liver and spleen failure
  • Where it grows: in all tropical and subtropical areas of the world
  • Occurrence in Poland: artificially bred

The most dangerous are the bars of its seeds, about 6,000 times more aggressive than cyanide. Causes agglutination of red blood cells and damages the liver, kidneys and spleen. The first symptoms are similar to a cold, followed by headaches, mouth burning, vomiting and internal bleeding. It gradually attacks the entire human circulatory system.

History of the plant:
Castor oil is squeezed from the seeds, from which soap, ointments, drops or perfumes are made. Apparently Cleopatra applied it to her eyes to have a “wider perspective”. In 1978, a Bulgarian secret interview was used to murder the writer and journalist Georgie Markov, who after several days of the fight for his life died of kidney failure in a London hospital.

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale - Jena, Germany (16-09-2007)Colchicum autumnale (1)Colchicum autumnale (2)Colchicum autumnale (3)

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale – It belongs to protected as well as very poisonous plants.

  • Deadly dose: 20 – 40 mg (5 – 10 seeds)
  • Death: to 4 days
  • Poison: colchicine
  • Aftermath: paralysis, pulmonary edema, renal failure
  • Where it grows: Southern and Western Europe
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

One flower contains more than 20 alkaloids, the most dangerous of which is colchicine and its derivatives. Thanks to the appropriate dosage, they can be used for treatments of cancers. Medicinal products for rheumatism, ascites and kidney diseases are produced from wintering seeds. However, if you carelessly handle (for example when confusing with wild garlic leaves), poisoning may occur. Fowl and goat’s milk may also be dangerous. The first symptoms of taking harmful substances appear after 2 – 6 hours after ingestion. At the beginning you can observe mouth burning, vomiting or cramps. Without proper help, a man can die.