Perhaps you have already seen this on the news. In case you haven’t, this is going to blow your mind!
Can you guess what this is? A leaf perhaps? A fungus maybe? Guess again. This is the tail feather of the King Bird of Paradise used primarily in courtship rituals. What is particularly captivating about this bird is that it was only recently discovered in Papua New Guinea along with “more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometer-deep crater of Mount Bosavi and explored a pristine jungle habitat teeming with life that has evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago,” according to the article from The Guardian entitled, “Lost World of Fanged Frogs and Giant Rats.”
Fanged frogs? Rodents of Unusual Size? Nuh uh.
Yuh huh. Check out these two slide shows to see the rainforest and some of her newly discovered species, one from The Guardian and the other from the BBC. The BBC actually has an entire section dedicated to this finding. Check it out at The Lost Land of the Volcano.
I don’t think you have to shield nerdy delight when it comes to findings like this. Granted, I’m the kind of person who drops whatever I’m doing to gape and drool at the TV, utterly transfixed by Planet Earth‘s many depictions of strange and unusual creatures around the globe. But I maintain that it is not merely nerdiness—it is reverential awe at the power, genius, diversity, and harmony of creation. The idea that anything can thrive and even evolve in isolation for so long, not to mention go completely undetected in today’s age of scientific rigor in which biological knowledge grows at exponential rates, completely boggles the mind! This is the kind of discovery where our ideas of science and science fiction grow fantastically hazy.