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Bizzare & Odd

12 Real Animals We Can’t Believe Aren’t Pokémon

Rob Bricken and George Dvorsky

Those who question the theory of evolution generally do it on religious grounds. But there’s a non-faith-related reason to question evolution. A lot of animals are too absurd to have been shaped by any kind of natural selection process. Here’s our working alternate explanation: these animals were designed by tired anime artists slaving away in Nintendo’s HQ. Here are 12 creatures we’re pretty sure are actually Pokémon who escaped into real life.

 

Axolotl

The Facts: Native to Mexico, these aquatic creatures are basically salamanders that never grew up. Call them the Peter Pans of the amphibian world. Also known as ‘water monsters,’ they’re a neotenal species whose adult members never lose their gills, allowing them to remain perpetually underwater. They’re also unique in that they can regenerate their limbs, including less vital parts of their brains.

Why It’s a Pokémon: Oh, come on. This can’t possibly be a real creature. The adorable smile, the fuzzy ear/horn things, the perfectly pointed fingers… that’s a cartoon character, no question about it. Hell, put a red bow on its head and it’s practically Hello Kitty’s amphibious cousin.

 

Aye-Aye

The Facts: As adorable as these animals appear to be, they don’t have it easy in their homeland of Madagascar. The aye-aye, a member of the lemur family, is considered an evil omen by the local Malagasy people. They’re killed on sight and hung upside down so that any lingering evil spirit will be carried away by travelers. Their reputation may have something to do with the fact that they’re the world’s largest nocturnal animal — and they hunt grubs by tapping on trees.

Why It’s a Pokémon: While this critter may look a little terrifying for a Pokémon, remember that Pokémon can only speak in the syllables of their name. Aye-Aye is a Pokémon name if I’ve ever heard one. Moreover, this thing looks like it howls “aye aye!” constantly, especially after a super-effective attack.

 

Blobfish

The Facts: Found off the coast of Australia and New Zealand, the blobfish (yes, that’s what it’s really called) is rarely seen by humans — and thank goodness for that. It lives at extreme depths — anywhere from 2,000 to 3,900 feet (600–1,200 meters) — where the pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level. To survive in these deep waters, it has essentially evolved into a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water — a feature which allows it to gently float above the sea floor without having to exert too much energy.

Why It’s a Pokémon: Blobfish isn’t a real name! It’s just not. It’s just a combination of two random words to create a fictional creature, like Ivysaur, Charmander, Tentacruel and Psyduck. Also: IT IS A BLOB WITH A RIDICULOUS FACE. Not only is it a Pokémon, it’s one of the more recent Pokémon, created after the designers had long since run out of ideas.

12 Real Animals We Can't Believe Aren't Pokémon

Dumbo Octopus

The Facts: Named after the Disney character, but clearly not an elephant, the dumbo octopus lives deep in the ocean at insane depths of nearly 15,750 feet (4,800 meters)! But unlike Dumbo the Elephant’s ears, the octopus uses its fins to hover closely above the ocean floor as it hunts for prey. Eighteen different species of dumbo octopuses have been discovered so far, including one variety that measures 6 feet (1.8 meters) in length.

Why It’s a Pokémon: No creature this adorable could possibly be an octopus. Octopuses are weird and tentacled and gross; this is practically a plush toy with a nose (at least I hope that’s a nose). And I’m pretty sure those are just googly eyes someone glued onto the side.

12 Real Animals We Can't Believe Aren't Pokémon

Echidna

The Facts: Notorious for its terrifying four-pronged penis, the echidna is a porcupine-like creature that has remained largely unchanged since prehistoric times. Native to Australia, it’s unique in that it’s the only mammal outside of the platypus that lays eggs. The echidna is a solitary creature that spends it’s time hunting ants and other bugs; it uses its 6-inch (15-centimeter) long sticky tongue to lap-up insects, after which time it grinds them into a swallowable paste.

Why It’s a Pokémon: I’m surprised Sega hasn’t sued this ridiculous critter for defaming real echidnas, because we all know echidnas actually look like this (i.e., red and with bad attitudes). Sadly, if you’ve seen any of the masses and masses of terrifying erotic fan fiction starring Sonic the Hedgehog characters, you know that a four-pronged penis is pretty much par for the course.

 

Naked Mole Rat

The Facts: As its appearance and behavior suggests, this hairless species can’t figure out if its a rodent, an insect, or a lizard. The naked mole rat spends its entire life underground and, quite regrettably, lives an astounding 20 years — which is unprecedented for rodents. And like subterranean insectoids, it’s a species that has adapted to colonial life. The queen is the only female that breeds, and her offspring spend their days either protecting the colony or digging burrows with their powerful incisors. And because it can’t maintain a steady body temperature, it may as well be considered a cold-blooded mammal.

Why It’s a Pokémon: That’s just Diglett. Sure, it’s a Diglett that looks even more like a penis than Diglett already does, but it’s still a Diglett.

12 Real Animals We Can't Believe Aren't Pokémon

Purple Frog

The Facts: Also known as the pignose frog, it’s an amhibian native to south western India. Unlike most other frogs, it features a round and bloated body, along with a freakishly small head and pointed snout. Given how ugly it is, it comes as no surprise that the frog spends the entire year underground, coming out for two weeks during the monsoon season to mate. Some individuals have been found as deep as 26 feet (8 meters) underground.

Why It’s a Pokémon:

If there’s one creature on this list that’s possibly not a real-life Pokémon, it’s this guy. But that’s only because it’s a real-life head-crab monster from Half-Life instead.

 

Platypus

The Facts: In what looks like a biotech experiment gone horribly wrong, the platypus is a tragic mashup of several different species. Like the echidna, it’s a mammal that lays eggs. The Australian marsupial uses its beak as a shovel when searching for invertebrates in streams and lake beds. The bill is also equipped with sensory receptors that can detect electrical signals (which allows it to hone in on prey). It’s also known to eat frogs and fish. A solitary creature, the platypus is most active at night, spending most of its time under water. When mating, the male has to catch the female first by grabbing on the back of her tail.

Why It’s a Pokémon: Obviously, the completely absurd platypus is the inspiration for a lot of Pokémon in general, and Psyduck in particular. Does the fact that Pokémon are derived from it make it not a Pokémon? I say thee nay — I say the Playpus is The First Pokemon, much like Captain America was The First Avenger. In related news, I desperately want to see a movie about a shield-carrying platypus who beats up Nazis.

 

Proboscus Monkey

The Facts: Okay, stating the obvious here — the proboscus monkey has a big nose. A really big nose. Zoologists aren’t entirely sure what it’s used for, so they figure it’s on account of sexual selection; females like the big noses because it may enhance their ability to vocalize. These monkeys are also excellent swimmers, and have webbed feet. They tend to organize around harems, where a single male is accompanied by a half-dozen females. That said, the females will switch to another group when they fancy another male.

Why It’s a Pokémon: “Satoshi, come one. We have to think up 100 new Pokémon for the new game, and we’ve only got 14. Think of something.” (sighs) “Okay… what about a monkey… wearing a hat?” “No.” “A monkey… whose feet are where his hands should be, and hands instead of feet?” “No!” “A monkey… with a big nose?” (sighs) “I’ll write it down for now, but we’re coming back to it later.”

12 Real Animals We Can't Believe Aren't Pokémon

Shoebill

The Facts: A stork-like bird, the shoebill looks like something that would have been right at home during the late Triassic era. Native to Africa, it lives in swamps, keeping to itself until it’s time to mate, or when food gets scarce. The shoebill uses its impressive bill to sift through poorly oxygenated water in search of fish. And like other storks, it pours water on its nests to keep its eggs from over-heating.

Why It’s a Pokémon: A stork-like bird, the shoebill looks like it would be right at home hanging out with Cubone, the dinosaur that wears a little skull helmet and carries a club. Also, who named the bird with the bill that looks like a shoe shoebill? TRY HARDER, SOMEBODY. You don’t see Nintendo naming the bee with a drill at the end of its arm Beedrill… wait. Never mind.

 

Tarsier

The Facts: The Philippine tarsier is often called the world’s smallest monkey, but it’s not really a primate. Rather, it belongs to a suborder of primates, prosimians. The tarsier is so small it can fit inside the palm of your hand. It’s a nocturnal creature that spends its time in and around the base of tree trunks and the roots of plants as it hunts for insects. They’ve also been observed to be social creatures, often huddling together and linking tails.

Why It’s a Pokémon: Is there any way this little dude doesn’t hate Pikachu? “I’m an adorable monkey-thing with ridiculously large anime eyes. I am tiny and eminently merchandisable. And yet that goddamned electric rat gets all the attention! It should’ve been me hanging out with Ash in the cartoon! Meeeeeeeee!”

12 Real Animals We Can't Believe Aren't Pokémon

Wolffish

The Facts: Found in Suriname, South America, the wolffish is a tropical creature that dwells in virtually every kind of environment, whether it be a deep lake or shallow stream. And these guys are huge; individual wolffish have been measured at 39 inches (100 centimeters) in length and can get as heavy as 88 pounds (40 kilograms). Some of these fish have been known to be aggressive, and local fishermen have become wary. There have been accounts of attacks on humans, and even a story about a dog that was killed by two fish after it fell into a stream.

Why It’s a Pokémon: A comically goofy-looking fish with lips and fangs? Sure, that’s real. Look, there’s a water-type Pokémon named Alomomola, and it looks more like a real fish than this wolffish does, even though it’s wearing mascara.

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Bizzare & Odd

Meet Susan: how working remotely will change us in the future

© DirectlyApply

The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected the labor market. Employers transferred employees to a remote mode of operation, scientists are trying to understand how the new conditions will affect us and what will happen if we keep them. 

Some large companies are already thinking about closing their offices and points of sale in favor of working through the Internet, and Twitter invited all employees to stay on the remote forever.

Susan model illustrating the effect of office work on the body / © DirectlyApply
Susan model illustrating the effect of office work on the body / © DirectlyApply

According to a study conducted by IWG (International Workplace Group) , before the pandemic, 80% of respondents would prefer a job with more flexible working conditions. In April of this year, commercial property provider Cresa presented its study, which showed that 29% of people who switched to remote work feel less productive than in the office, despite the control of their bosses.

At the same time, some companies noted that the hybrid mode of operation (combining an office and a remote office) seems to them effective, and they are going to use it further. But such a schedule can affect people’s health. The DirectlyApply job search platform has shown what consequences await the “remote” workers if they do not change their daily habits.

Its creators invited a group of clinical psychologists and fitness experts to study how udalenka affects a person physically and psychologically. Experts explained what changes will occur with this mode of operation after 25 years. As a result, Susan appeared – a model of a typical remote employee of the future, on which they analyze in detail all the negative consequences.

50% of people around the world work outside the office for approximately 2.5 days

So, a constant presence in front of the monitor will cause “computer vision syndrome”, in which the eyes become dry and sore, and vision – blurred. In addition, red spots will begin to appear on the squirrels, and large bruises under the eyes.

Lack of physical activity and sitting in the wrong position will lead to curvature of the spine, back and neck pain, obesity and a tech neck (the effect of constantly looking at mobile devices and tablets): the skin will sag around the neck, and a second chin will appear. From constant work on the keyboard, the hands are deformed. A lack of vitamin D will cause hair loss, the skin will turn pale, dull and wrinkle.

Susan / © DirectlyApply
Susan / © DirectlyApply

Finally, a person working remotely will be constantly under stress, which will cause a mode of work and lack of personal contacts. From this, in turn, blood pressure rises, and the state of health worsens even more.

To preserve it, the authors of the study advise to adhere to several rules. It is important to maintain a constant mode of work, regularly perform physical exercises and from time to time go out to recover after a day spent at the computer. Psychologist Rachel Allan notes:

“Adhering to one lifestyle and level of productivity is necessary to maintain emotional health when working remotely. Routine gives us the opportunity to manage our time and maintain our attention. Think about how you want to manage your time and what will work best in the wider context of your life.”

One of the main problems that we encounter when working remotely is the lack of direct contact with people. Staying alone for long periods can increase the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Dr. Allan believes that “some of our most important professional relationships come from informal conversations and unstructured moments that organically arise in the physical workplace.” According to her, “remote work may require us to consciously create opportunities for informal communication with colleagues.”

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Bizzare & Odd

1947 film predicts smartphones and other modern technology

Inspired by Barjavel’s essay, a 70-year-old documentary offers the evolution of portable pocket television as well as a way people interact with objects. Today, parallels are drawn between the objects, like smartphones described in a short documentary.

Anne-Katrin Weber, television historian at Lausanne University, said:

People using miniature television devices in public places; professional meetings held by telephones with a picture; cars equipped with television screens; shops that advertise their products on television: these topics are from the 1947 short film Television: Oeil de Demain. Produced and directed by Raymond-Millet.

The film combines documentary and science fiction sequences, while also offering a television image in post-war France, as well as creative speculation about future developments.

While Raymond-Millet’s work is almost forgotten today, his film received a standing ovation for “predicting our present” and although the small portable devices used in the film have long retractable antennas that resemble the first cell phones, it shows that 70 years ago smartphones already existed. In fact, they mirror today’s smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person.

At the end of the film, the audience is transferred to the bedroom, where the man is having trouble sleeping. He seems to be “invoking” the hologram of a dancing woman who appears on the bed and looks at her while his wife is sleeping.

The film outline about upcoming television shows, really look like a fairly accurate forecast of modern digital media in terms of flexibility and hybridity of media technologies and their various forms of consumption.

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Bizzare & Odd

The time when US wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon

In the United States during the Cold War, there was a plan to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon as a “demonstration of dominance” before the Soviet Union. New details of the secret mission are revealed in a recently published book.

Intimidate the Soviet Union: Americans wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moonPhoto: nasa.gov

The secret mission, codenamed Project A119, was conceived at the dawn of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the US Air Force Division, located at the Kirtland Air Base in New Mexico.

A report written in June 1959, entitled A Study of Lunar Research Flights, outlines plans for an atomic bomb exploded on the Moon’s “terminator,” the region between the Sun-lit portion of the surface and the darker portion of our planet’s natural satellite.

The explosion would probably be visible to the naked eye from the Earth, because the military planned to add sodium to the bomb, which was supposed to glow during the explosion.

A nuclear explosion on the lunar surface was certainly “one of the stupidest things the government could do,” says John Greenwald, Jr., author of Secrets from the Vault.

According to the Daily Mail, a recently published book details some of the most surrealistic offers in history.

John Greenwald has been interested in the secrets of the US government since he was 15 and has filed more than 3,000 requests for freedom of information. He oversees The Black Vault’s online repository, which has collected about 2.1 million pages of previously classified documents related to UFOs, mysterious murders and other mysterious phenomena.

According to Greenwald, the US Air Force was developing a lunar project to “show US dominance in space over the Soviet Union and, ultimately, over the whole world.”

The plan, of course, has never been implemented – perhaps because of a potential “unprecedented scientific disaster,” as one declassified document says.

The existence of this scheme was first discovered in 1999 in the biography of the world famous astronomer Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Sagan was hired to work with him in Chicago by Dr. Leonard Raiffel, a physicist who was studying the possibility of creating a lunar nuclear bomb.

Leonard Raiffel (he died in 2017 at the age of 89) in an interview in 2000 claimed that the bomb would be as big as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

“It was clear that the main purpose of the proposed detonation was a PR act and a demonstration of sole domination,” the scientist told The Observer. – The Air Force wanted the mushroom cloud to be so large that it could be seen on Earth. The United States lagged behind in the space race.”

Photo: nasa.gov

In 1958, Raiffel was approached by senior US Air Force officers who asked him to “expedite” a project to study the visibility and consequences of a nuclear explosion on the moon.

According to the scientist, he made it clear that as a result, the pristine lunar environment will be destroyed, and this will be a huge damage, “but the US Air Force was mainly concerned about how a nuclear explosion would be perceived on Earth.”

“If the project were made public, there would be protests,” Raiffel said.

Greenwald’s book also explores the 1959 Army project on building a military base on the moon, code-named Project Horizon. The aim of the project was to create a permanent lunar colony for 10-20 people by the end of 1966. To get equipment there, it was projected to require an average of 5.3 Saturn rocket launches per month from August 1964 to November 1966.

In the entire history of the American space program, only 19 Saturns were launched.

“Military power based on the moon will be a strong deterrent to war because of the extreme difficulty, from the enemy’s point of view, of eliminating our ability to strike back,” the project suggested.

In a 1959 memorandum, US Army Research and Development Head Lieutenant Arthur Trudeau argued that if the United States created a permanent base on the moon, the prestige and psychological advantage for the American nation would be invaluable in confronting the Soviets.

The report indicated that creating an outpost of 12 people and maintaining it in working condition over the course of the year would cost more than $ 6 billion (which is equivalent to more than $ 53 billion in modern money).

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