If it looks like a male lion and is perceived as a male lion—well, sometimes it isn’t. That’s the case of Africa’s unusual maned lionesses, which sport a male’s luxurious locks and may even fool competitors.
Though uncommon, maned lionesses have been regularly sighted in the Momba area of Botswana‘s Okavango Delta (including the individual pictured below), where the lion population may carry a genetic disposition toward the phenomenon, according to Luke Hunter, president of the big-cat conservation group Panthera, which collaborates with National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. (The Society owns National Geographic News.) (Click pic to continue.)
The skull of a young boy with a second imperfect skull attached to its anterior fontanelle. Hunterian Museum in London, England. (late 1780s)
Floaters are deposits of various size, shape, consistency, refractive index, and motility within the eye’s vitreous humour, which is normally transparent. At a young age the vitreous is perfectly transparent but, during life, imperfections gradually develop. The common type of floater, which is present in most people’s eyes, is due to degenerative changes of the vitreous humour. The perception of floaters is known as myodesopsia. Floaters are visible because of the shadows they cast on the retina or their refraction of the light that passes through them, and can appear alone or together with several others in one’s field of vision. They may appear as spots, threads, or fragments of cobwebs, which float slowly before the observer’s eyes. Since these objects exist within the eye itself, they are not optical illusions but are entoptic phenomena.
Red blood cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of red blood cells (erythrocytes) on the connective tissue surface of a muscle. Some of the red blood cells are crenated (spiked). They have dehydrated and distorted in shape. The main function of red blood cells is to distribute oxygen to body tissues, and to carry waste carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Magnification: x3000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
GERMAN AMPUTATION KNIFE
This 18th century instrument allowed a skilled surgeon to remove a leg, above the knee, in less than a couple of minutes - though without anaesthetic it must have seemed like an eternity to the patient. As techniques became more refined, shorter, straighter knives were used to allow the surgeon to peel back a flap of skin to close the wound over the stump. Small pincers were used to trim and smooth the edge of the sawn-off bone, to prevent the serrations tearing into the healing flesh. [source]
BRITISH ANTI-MASTURBATION DEVICE, LATE 19TH CENTURY
In the West, until quite recently, masturbation, particularly among males, was thought to rob the body of vital fluids and energy. This model was worn as a codpiece and was designed to be worn under clothes. [source]
This is off the Bermuda Triangle, where 16+ ships washed up on a sand bar. The mystery is still unsolved
Actually the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle has been given a scientific explanation: methane vents which have been discovered in that region.
Methane reduces the density of water, causing ships that would normally float, to instead sink.
Methane, when in gas form, messes with the electrical components of aircraft, causing them to fail and sometimes fall right out of the sky.
Methane also causes the water to turn a ghostly greenish color, and the “ghost ships” reported to be seen are simply green reflections of the ships that scatter the bottom of the triangle.
Gall (1758-1828) is an early physician who founded the pseudoscience, phrenology, which states that certain functions of the brain are localized to specific areas. The size of these areas indicates ability and could be measured by bumps on the skull. Thus, the bigger the size of the skull in that area, the more developed its ability.
In this way, Gall thought the brain was similar to a muscle which grew larger with use. Obviously, this is not the case, and Gall’s science has since been discredited. However, phrenology is still an important advance in the history of psychology and neuroscience because it develops the thought of personality, emotion, cognitive ability, etc. actually being within the mind instead of within something more abstract like, say, a soul.
And although we no longer examine the skull to dictate our abilities, Gall’s idea of localization is still very prevalent today; we still believe that certain areas of the brain possess specific functions.
Cephalotribe; obstetric tool, Geneva, Switzerland, 1750-1850
Three vicious-looking pronged hands comprise this steel cephalotribe. It is a skull-crushing instrument. Cephalotribes were used by obstetric physicians. These doctors assist at the birth of a baby. The instrument pierced and crushed the foetus head to extract it from the mother’s body. They were used as a last resort only after the foetus was dead. The foetus may have died during the pregnancy or during a difficult labour. This example was made by Swiss instrument maker Demaurex.