Mar 30, 2010

The World’s Biggest Foods

World Biggest Pumpkin When the American love of big things meets the farm the results are...well, just look at this pumpkin. According to Susan Warren, author of "Backyard Giants: The Passionate, Heartbreaking, and Glorious Quest to Grow the Biggest Pumpkin Ever", marriages are strained (!) and people fight on eBay for seeds from world record pumpkins like this one. But monster pumpkins are just a part of America’s obsession with big food, be it grown, like the record 127 pound cabbage grown by Steve Hubacek, or assembled, like the 150-plus pound burger from Mallies Bar & Grill. Our gallery of humongous chow:

Mar 28, 2010

Top Ten Greatest Warriors

Alexander the Great As long as there have been civilizations, there have been unending wars for power and land. These wars have produced some of the fiercest warriors the world has ever seen. Men who are not only exceptional at hand to hand combat but who were also great leaders and brilliant strategists. There were so many brave individuals who could fit on this list but I think these represent warrior states from around the world and throughout the ages.

Mar 26, 2010

The World's Bravest Mouse

mouse3_resize This mouse danced with death when it tucked itself into the lunch of a hungry leopard. Like a little child and seemingly unaware of the beast towering over it, the mischievous rodent grabbed at scraps of meat thrown into the African Leopard's enclosure. But instead of pouncing on the tiny intruder, the 12-year-old leopard, called Sheena, appeared to be afraid of the daring mouse and kept her distance. At one stage she tried to nudge the mouse away with her nose, but the determined little guy carried on chewing away until he was full.

Mar 25, 2010

World's 5 Biggest Oil Spills

crude-oil-spill-clear-up Over two decades after the devastating Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska, significant quantities of oil can still be found covering the state's shores and beneath gravel beaches, a new study has discovered.

Over 21,000 gallons of crude oil remains of the 11 million gallons of crude oil that gushed from the stranded tanker Exxon Valdez on the night of 23 March 1989. Traces of Valdez's oil have been detected as far as 724km away from the spill-site in Prince William Sound, and the toxic film that coats Alaska's shores remain a danger to wildlife, entire eco-systems and the lives of local people.

Mar 23, 2010

World's Largest Solar Powered Creations

world-game-stadium_12Fcj_24429 Recently, the world’s largest solar-powered office building was unveiled in Dezhou, Shangdong Province in northwest China. The 75,000-square-meter office building bears a resemblance to an ancient sun dial and reminds visitors of the importance of renewable energy. Today, we have for you the world’s largest solar powered creations that amaze us with their size and purpose they’re built for. Hit the jump to see them all…

Mar 22, 2010

The 10 Biggest Misconceptions We Learn In School

Humans Evolved From Apes I do some teaching, and my kids are constantly turning in essays with tragically inaccurate examples, like “When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb…” or “Even Einstein got bad grades in school…” which society has for some reason decided to convince them are true. Actually, my kids are turning in examples more like “When Edison invented the atomic bomb…” or “When Ben Franklin signed the Magna Carta…” but that’s mostly just a function of my kids being morons.

Mar 18, 2010

Top 10 Music Festivals Around the World

Our top ten list of music festivals worldwide includes the most spectacular and diverse locations, the broadest spectrum of artists, and the above all, the most interesting events, all of which are accessible to backpackers and budget travellers.

Mar 16, 2010

World’s Largest Ice Labyrinth

ice_labyrinth This ice maze was built for the winter festival in Buffalo, USA is officially, the world’s largest. A representative from Guinness World Records confirmed the title Friday after measuring the 12,855.68-square-foot labyrinth.

Volunteers set the last of the 2,200, 300-pound blocks of ice in place Thursday night, in time for the 2010 Buffalo Powder Keg Winter Festival. Their total weight is about 600,000 pounds.

Mar 15, 2010

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises

fast-food For more than 40 years, these quick-service franchises have proved that fast food is here to stay. Whether its pizza, hamburgers, tacos or donuts, these tasty franchises continue to draw crowds around the world. Here are our picks for the Top 10 Fast Food Franchises of 2009.

Mar 13, 2010

Ruth Flowers – The Oldest Dj in the World

Ruth Flowers - The Oldest Dj in the World 01 Ruth Flowers, 69-year-old, is the matriarch and the hippest English deejay of our time.She is an unusual and charismatic woman who shows with facility her unique fresh and dynamic personality. Nice and eccentric, strong and full of energy, she likes to have fun and to bring everyone in her wake. While preparing the launching of her electro-rock EP “MamyRock”, you will meet her performing at the Cannes Film Festival most private partys at la villa MURANO.

Mar 11, 2010

World's Richest People – Top 10 List

Riding surging prices of his various telecom holdings, including giant mobile outfit America Movil, Mexican tycoon Carlo Slim Helu has beaten out Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to become the wealthiest person on earth and nab the top spot on the 2010 Forbes list of the World's Billionaires.

1. Carlos Slim Helu & family

Net Worth: $53.5 bil
Fortune: Self Made
Source: telecom
Age: 70
Country Of Citizenship: Mexico
Residence: Mexico City
Education: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Marital Status: Widowed, 6 children


Telecom tycoon who pounced on privatization of Mexico's national telephone company in the 1990s becomes world's richest person for first time after coming in third place last year. Net worth up $18.5 billion in a year. Recently received regulatory approval to merge his fixed-line assets into American Movil, Latin America's biggest mobile phone company. His construction conglomerate, Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo, builds roads and energy infrastructure. Son of a Lebanese immigrant also owns stakes in financial group Inbursa, Bronco Drilling, Independent News & Media, Saks and New York Times Co. Newspaper outfit's stock popped in early March on talk he might buy a controlling stake; he denies the rumor. Donating $65 million to fund a research project in genomic medicine with American billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.

2. William Gates III

Net Worth: $53.0 bil
Fortune: Self Made
Source: Microsoft
Age: 54
Country Of Citizenship: United States
Residence: Medina, Washington
Education: Harvard U, Drop Out
Marital Status: Married, 3 children


Software visionary is now the world's second-richest man. Net worth still up $13 billion in a year as Microsoft shares rose 50% in 12 months, value of investment vehicle Cascade swelled. More than 60% of fortune held outside Microsoft; investments include Four Seasons hotels, Televisa, Auto Nation. Stepped down from day-to-day duties at Microsoft in 2008 to focus on philanthropy. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation dedicated to fighting hunger, improving education in America's high schools, developing vaccines against malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS.

3. Warren Buffett

Net Worth: $47.0 bil
Fortune: Self Made
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
Age: 79
Country Of Citizenship: United States
Residence: Omaha, Nebraska
Education: Columbia U, Master of Science; U of Nebraska Lincoln, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Marital Status: Widowed, 3 children


America's favorite investor up $10 billion in past 12 months on surging Berkshire Hathaway shares; says U.S. has survived economic "Pearl Harbor," but warns recovery will be slow. Shrewdly invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs and $3 billion in General Electric amid 2008 market collapse. Recently acquired railroad giant Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $26 billion. "We've put a lot of money to work during the chaos of the last two years. When it's raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble." Berkshire Hathaway book value was up 19.8% to $21.8 billion in 2009. Son of Nebraska stockbroker met value investor Benjamin Graham while studying economics at Columbia. Took over textile firm Berkshire Hathaway in 1965, used company as a vehicle to invest in insurance (Geico), food (Dairy Queen), utilities (MidAmerican Energy) and recently green tech (electric-car maker BYD).

4. Mukesh Ambani

Net Worth: $29.0 bil

Inherited and Growing


petrochemicals, oil & gas

Age: 52
Country Of Citizenship: India
Residence: Mumbai
Education: Stanford U, Drop Out; U Bombay, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Marital Status: Married, 3 children


Global ambitions: His Reliance Industries, already India's most valuable company, recently bid $2 billion for 65% stake in troubled Canadian oil sands outfit Value Creation. Firm's $14.5 billion offer to buy bankrupt petrochemicals maker LyondellBasell was rejected. Since September company has sold treasury shares worth $2 billion to be used for acquisitions. Late father, Dhirubhai, founded Reliance and built it into a massive conglomerate. After he died, Mukesh and his brother, Anil, ran the family business together for a brief time. But siblings feuded over control; mother eventually brokered split of assets, with Mukesh getting oil and gas and petrochemicals businesses. Still at odds with Anil over gas supply agreement; awaiting Supreme Court's final ruling. Has yet to move out of the family's high-rise, which he shares with his brother, into his new 27-story home in downtown Mumbai. Owns cricket team Mumbai Indians.

5. Lakshmi Mittal

Net Worth: $28.7 bil

Inherited and Growing



Age: 59
Country Of Citizenship: India
Residence: London
Education: St Xavier C Calcutta, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Marital Status: Married, 2 children


London's richest resident oversees ArcelorMittal, world's largest steelmaker. Net profits fell 75% in 2009. Mittal took 12% pay cut amid slump but improved outlook pushed stock up a third in past year. Looking to expand in his native India; wants to build steel mills in Jharkhad and Orissa but has not received government approval. Started in family steel business in India in 1970s; branched out on his own in 1994. Initially bought up steel mills on the cheap in Eastern Europe. Earned $1.1 billion for selling his interest in a Kazakh refinery in December. Sits on the boards of Goldman Sachs, EADS. Upped stake in struggling British soccer team QPR in February. Funding 400-foot sculpture to be built in London's Olympic Park in time for 2012 Olympics. Owns 12-bedroom mansion in London's posh Kensington neighborhood. Daughter-in-law Megha recently bought insolvent German fashion house Escada.

6. Lawrence Ellison

Net Worth: $28.0 bil

Self Made



Age: 65
Country Of Citizenship: United States
Residence: Redwood City, California
Education: University of Chicago, Drop Out
Marital Status: Married, 2 children


Oracle founder's fortune continues to soar; shares up 70% in past 12 months. Database giant has bought 57 companies in the past five years. Completed $7.4 billion buyout of Sun Microsystems in January; acquired BEA Systems for $8.5 billion in 2008. Studied physics at U. of Chicago; didn't graduate. Started Oracle 1977; took public a day before Microsoft in 1986. Owns 52% stake in business-software company NetSuite; shares worth $480 million. Racing junkie owns 453-foot yacht Rising Sun with pal David Geffen. Won America's Cup in February, besting longtime rival billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli.

7. Bernard Arnault

Net Worth: $27.5 bil

Inherited and Growing



Age: 61
Country Of Citizenship: France
Residence: Paris
Education: Ecole Polytechnique, Bachelor of Arts / Science
Marital Status: Married, 5 children


Bling is back, helping fashion icon grab title of richest European as shares of his luxury goods outfit LVMH-maker of Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, surge 57%. LVMH is developing upscale Shanghai commercial property, L'Avenue Shanghai, with Macau billionaire Stanley Ho. Renaissance man owns French tour operator Go Voyages, yacht builder Royal Van Lent; has a stake in French retailer Carrefour. Built Le Cheval Blanc in ski resort town of Courchevel, France, where he likes to spend New Year's Eve. Father, Jean, who died in January, made small fortune in construction; sale of that business later helped fund Arnault's move into real estate and eventually into luxury goods. Still a family affair: son Antoine, 32, and daughter Delphine, 34, sit on LVMH's board. Wife is a concert pianist; Arnault himself reported to be an excellent piano player.

8. Eike Batista

Net Worth: $27.0 bil

Self Made


mining, oil

Age: 53
Country Of Citizenship: Brazil
Residence: Rio de Janeiro
Education: RWTH Aachen University, Drop Out
Marital Status: Divorced, 2 children


Vowing to become world's richest man—and he may be on his way. This year's biggest gainer added $19.5 billion to his personal balance sheet. Son of Brazil's revered former mining minister who presided over mining giant Companhia Vale do Rio Doce got his start in gold trading and mining. Insists Dad didn't help: "All my businesses started from zero. My father was a problem for me because he never let me near Vale." Made a pile in resources and other services, but two-thirds of his fortune comes from relatively new source, OGX, the oil-and-gas exploration company he founded in 2007 and took public a year later. Police raided his home in 2008, alleging Batista smuggled gold and unfairly influenced the acquisition of a railroad. He denied all wrongdoing, emerged unscathed. New IPO for shipbuilding business (OSX) could raise $5.6 billion later this month—world's largest IPO so far this year. Onetime champion offshore powerboat racer; formerly married to Playboy cover girl. Provided financing to Rio de Janeiro's Olympic committee, helping the city win its bid for 2016 Olympic Games.

9. Amancio Ortega

Net Worth: $25.0 bil

Self Made

Source: Zara
Age: 74
Country Of Citizenship: Spain
Residence: La Coruna
Education: NA
Marital Status: Married, 3 children


Style maven lords over Inditex; fashion firm, which operates under several brand names including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius, has 4,500 stores in 73 countries including new spots in Mexico and Syria. Set up joint venture with Tata Group subsidiary to enter India in 2010. Betting on Florida real estate: bought Coral Gables office tower that is currently home to Bacardi USA. Also owns a luxury apartment complex in Miami; properties in Madrid, Paris, London and Lisbon, a horse-jumping circuit, an interest in a soccer league; has investments in gas, tourism and banks. Railway worker's son started as a gofer in a shirt store. With then-wife Rosalia Mera, also a billionaire, started making dressing gowns and lingerie in living room. Shuns neckties and fanfare. Daughter Marta works for Inditex; speculation has it she's being groomed to eventually replace her father.

10. Karl Albrecht

Net Worth: $23.5 bil

Self Made

Source: Aldi
Age: 90
Country Of Citizenship: Germany
Residence: La Coruna
Education: Mulheim an der Ruhr
Marital Status: Married, 2 children

karl-albrecht Owns discount-supermarket giant Aldi Sud, one of Germany's (and Europe's) dominant grocers. Has 1,000 stores in U.S. across 29 states. Estimated sales: $37 billion. Plans to open New York City store this year. With younger brother, Theo, transformed mother's corner grocery store into Aldi after World War II. Brothers split ownership in 1961; Karl took the stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the brand in the U.K., Australia and the U.S. Theo got northern Germany and the rest of Europe. Retired from daily operations. Fiercely private: little known about him other than that he apparently raises orchids and plays golf.


TV clip about the richest men in the world:

Mar 10, 2010

World's Tallest Hotels – Top 10 List

This is the most recent and factual list of the world's tallest hotels. Prepared by Emporis, the world's leading company for building data, the ranking includes 100 tallest buildings intended for hotel use. Here's the tip of the overview - world's highest hotels and their locations.

10.Swissôtel The Stamford. Singapore.

Height: 226 m (741 ft). 73 floors.

Swissôtel The Stamford Touching the sky,  Swissôtel The Stamford is the highest hotel in Southern Asia and the seventh tallest skyscraper in Singapore. The complex was opened in 1986 - when completed, it was the tallest hotel on the globe. It was renovated in 2001 and currently offers 1,263 rooms.

Mar 9, 2010

5 World’s Biggest Wars

World’s Biggest Wars 01 World history has been marred by some truly epic conflicts which have killed hundreds of millions often over very petty local matters. Out of the debris of these wars, some great superpowers like the erstwhile the British Empire and later, USSR and USA emerged. In this paper, we quickly summarize the five most important and famous wars in human history which have shaped world history in a definitive fashion. The following list is in no particular chronological fashion.

Mar 7, 2010

Top 10 Best Jumper Animals in the World

The world’s latest high-jump champ just might live in your backyard.

10. Bharal

They live in Himalayan and one of the best jumpers among animals. They’re adapted to jump from cliff to cliff and hill to hill.

9. Hare

They are one of fastest animals which have great ability to jump. They can run up to 45 mph or 72 km/hour, hard to get caught by predators.

8. Red Kangaroo

They are fastest jumper among all mammals. They can jump with speed up to 35 mph or 56 km/hour.

7. Klipspringer

Their height around 1,5 m., they can jump 10 times their own body height. They are highest jumper among all mammals compared to body size.

6. Grasshopper

They can jump 20 times their own body length. Imagine a person who can jump as long as basketball court.

5. Kangaroo Rat

They can 45 times their own body length. Imagine a person who can jump over a football court. They are longest jumper among all mammals compared to body size.

4. Froghopper

They can jump 70 times their own body height. They’re the 2nd highest jumper among animals compared to body size.

3. Jumping Spider

They can jump 100 times their own body length. Imagine a person who can jump as long as 2 jumbo jets.

2. Tree Frog

They can jump 150 times their own body length. Imagine a person who can jump as long as RMS Titanic. They are 2nd longest jumper among animals compared to body size.

1. Flea

They can jump 220 times their own body length and 150 times their own body height. They are longest and highest jumper among animals compared to body size.


Mar 6, 2010

5 Highest Bungee Jumps in the World

Bungee jumping (also spelled "Bungy" jumping) is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. The tall structure is usually a fixed object, such as a building, bridge or crane; but it is also possible to jump from a movable object, such as a hot-air-balloon or helicopter, that has the ability to hover above the ground. The thrill comes as much from the free-falling as from the rebounds.

When the person jumps, the cord stretches and the jumper flies upwards again as the cord snaps back, and continues to oscillate up and down until all the energy is dissipated.

The zany chaps from Britain’s Dangerous Sports Club made the first modern bungee jump from Bristol’s 245-foot (75 m) Clifton Suspension in 1979. Yet since bungee jumping became commercial at the hands of elastic-thinking New Zealand entrepreneur A J Hackett, the heights from which the man on the street can now leap with nothing but a giant rubber band attached to his ankles have just got bigger. And bigger. And bigger. Here are the highest jumps from fixed objects to date. Steel yourself for some vertiginous views.

Mar 3, 2010

Top 10 England Goals Ever Scored

Top 10 England Goals Ever Scored Everyone has there Top 10 here is the best we found and some real crackers from the past. So sit back enjoy re-live the moments and do comment below who you think scores the best goal from this mix of top class goals.


David Beckham v Greece, 2001

After being vilified for his sending off against Argentina in 1998, David Beckham had to wait three years for his redemption. England were behind, needing a point to qualify, and looked set to miss out on a place at the World Cup. That is until Beckham stepped up to curve a freekick into the back of the net. The crowd and the country went berserk.


Geoff Hurst v West Germany, 1966

We've all seen Geoff finish off West Germany in the World Cup final. Hurst's strike not only guaranteed victory, but secured Kenneth Wolstenholme his place in the commentating hall of fame. For a spot of comedy, watch the German centre half, not the one tracking back, the one who decides that instead of tackling Sir Geoff, he'd rather linger on the edge of the penalty area and do nothing. He probably thought it was all over.


David Platt v Belgium, 1990

One of my colleagues was unimpressed about the inclusion of this goal until I pointed out Platt's ballerina-like turn and swivel. England and Belgium had played out 119 minutes of goalless football in their second round match at the 1990 World Cup until Platt's strike effectively sealed the match. As with others on the list its greatness is heightened by the situation it was scored in.


Alan Shearer v Holland, 1996

England's demolition of Holland in Euro 96 was undoubtedly the high-point of Terry Venables' time as England boss. It was a night where just about everything went the home side's way, with everything they tried coming off. You have to wait for the third goal in this clip, but it's definitely worth the wait. Sheringham fakes the shot and squares it to Shearer who thunders the ball into the top right.


Michael Owen v Argentina, 1998

Owen's goal is the quintessential moment for the post Italia 90 generation. The arch-poacher brilliantly combines speed and control as he homes in on the Argentinean goal before lifting the ball into the top corner. Watching it again, it's easy to forget the enormous disappointment that was to follow.


John Barnes v Brazil, 1984

As if infused with the spirit of Brazilian football, John Barnes produced one of the England's greatest individual goals at the Maracana stadium. Sadly for Barnes the sheer brilliance of the goal led to fans castigating him for his failure to produce similar acts of inspiration throughout the rest of his career.


Paul Gascoigne v Scotland, 1996

It still pains me to watch highlights of England's exit to Germany in the Euro 96 semi-finals � specifically Gazza's agonising stretch as he failed to get on the end of Shearer's cross. Just 11 days before that fateful semi-final Gascogine had scored one of the goals of the tournament, a gorgeous piece of individual skill, which saw him lob the ball over Colin Hendry before rifling it into the net. Football can be a cruel sport.


Joe Cole v Sweden, 2006

Joe Cole's goal was the undoubted diamond in the 2006 World Cup dung heap. England were painfully average throughout the tournament, limping through until they were knocked out by Portugal. Cole's goal was a moment of brightness; a beautiful arching shot that gave England briefly something to shout about.


Alan Shearer v Portugal, 1998

Alan Shearer deserves plenty of praise for this brutal finish against Portugal in a 1998 friendly, but compliments should also be paid to the rest of the team. Watch closely as England work the ball in a neat triangle before Graham Le Saux sprays the ball over the top to the onrushing David Batty who hooks it into Shearer's path.


Graeme Le Saux v Brazil, 1995

This goal makes the cut by virtue that is from a full-back, from all of 30 yards out, and is against Brazil. When you are playing against the best team in the world who do you expect to step-up and hit a rocket on the volley? Well certainly not Graeme Le Saux that's for damn sure! Who would have thought little Graeme had this in his locker? Hitting the target would have been an achievement, but shooting across the goal and arching the ball into the top corner is absolutely top notch. Fifth in this video.

Mar 2, 2010

10 Animals With the Longest Life Spans

7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans 00 There are tortoises alive today that were 25 to 50 years old when Charles Darwin was born. There are whales swimming the oceans with 200-year-old ivory spear points embedded in their flesh. There are cold-water sponges that were filter-feeding during the days of the Roman Empire. In fact, there are a number of creatures with life spans that make the oldest living human seem like a spring chicken in comparison. Here’s our list of the 10 animals with the longest life spans.



7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - Geoduck

First on the list are these large saltwater clams that are native to the Puget Sound and have been known to live for at least 160 years. They are characterized by their long ‘necks’, or siphons, which can grow to over 1 meter long.



7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - Tuatara

The word “dinosaur” is commonly used to describe an old person, but when it refers to a tuataras, the term is as literal as it is metaphorical. The two species of tuatara alive today are the only surviving members of an order which flourished about 200 million years ago — they are living dinosaurs. They are also among the longest-lived vertebrates on Earth, with some individuals living for anywhere between 100 and 200 years.


Lamellibrachia tube worms

7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - Tubeworm

These colorful deep sea creatures are tube worms (L. luymesi) that live along hydrocarbon vents on the ocean floor. They have been known to live 170 years, but many scientists believe there may be some that have lived for more than 250 years.


Red sea urchins

7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - seaurchin

The red sea urchin or Strongylocentrotus franciscanus is found only in the Pacific Ocean, primarily along the West Coast of North America. It lives in shallow, sometimes rocky, waters from the low-tide line down to to 90 meters, but they stay out of extremely wavy areas. They crawl along the ocean floor using their spines as stilts. If you discover one, remember to respect your elders — some specimens are more than 200 years old.


Bowhead whales

7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - bowheadwhale

Also known as the Arctic whale, the bowhead is by far the longest living mammal on Earth. Some bowhead whales have been found with the tips of  ivory spears still lodged in their flesh from failed attempts by whalers 200 years ago. The oldest known bowhead whale was at least 211 years old.


7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - Koi

Koi are an ornamental, domesticated variety of the common carp. The are common in artificial rock pools and decorative ponds. Amazingly, some varieties are capable of living more than 200 years. The oldest known koi was Hanako, a fish that died at the age of 226 on July 7, 1977.



7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans 00

Tortoises are considered the longest living vertebrates on Earth. One of their oldest known representatives was Harriet, a Galapagos tortoise that died of heart failure at the age of 175 years in June 2006 at a zoo owned by the late Steve Irwin. Harriet was considered the last living representative of Darwin’s epic voyage on the HMS Beagle. An Aldabra giant tortoise named Adwaita died at the rumored age of 250 in March 2006.


Ocean quahog

7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - oceanquahog

The ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) is a species of clam that is exploited commercially. Researchers have interpreted the dark concentric rings or bands on the shell as annual marks, much like a tree has rings. –Some collected specimens have been calculated to be more than 400 years old.


Antarctic sponge

7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - antarcticsponge

Perhaps due to the extremely low temperatures of the Antarctic Ocean, this immobile creature has an extremely slow growth rate. Some estimate the oldest known specimens are 1,550 years old.


Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish

7 Animals With the Longest Life Spans - jellyfish

This species of jellyfish might be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth. Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Because they are able to bypass death, the number of individuals is spiking. "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion," says Dr. Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute.


World’s Longest Undersea Tunnel - Seikan Tunnel

The Seikan Tunnel is a 53.85 km (33.46 mi) railway tunnel in Japan, with a 23.3-kilometre (14.5 mi) long portion under the seabed. Track level is about 140-metre (460 ft) below seabed and 240-metre (790 ft) below sea level. It is the longest undersea tunnel in the world, although the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France has a longer under-sea portion. It travels beneath the Tsugaru Strait—connecting Aomori Prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshū and the island of Hokkaidō—as part of the Kaikyo Line of Hokkaido Railway Company. Although it is the longest traffic (railway or road) tunnel in the world, faster and cheaper air travel has left the Seikan Tunnel comparatively underused. Its claim to the record for the longest tunnel will be taken when the Gotthard Base Tunnel, a European railway tunnel, is completed in around 2018. It is also the deepest rail tunnel in the world.

World’s longest undersea tunnel - Seikan Tunnel 01

Surveying, construction and geology

Surveying started in 1946 and in 1971, twenty-five years later, construction began. By August 1982, less than 700 metres of the tunnel remained to be excavated. First contact between the two sides was in 1983.

The Tsugaru Strait has eastern and western necks, both approximately 20 kilometres across. Initial surveys undertaken in 1946 indicated that the eastern neck was up to 200 metres deep with volcanic geology. The western neck had a maximum depth of 140 metres and geology consisting mostly of sedimentary rocks of the Neogene period. The western neck was selected, with its conditions considered favourable for tunnelling.

World’s longest undersea tunnel - Seikan Tunnel 02 Geology of the undersea portion of the tunnel consists of volcanic rock, pyroclastic rock, and sedimentary rock of the late Tertiary era. The area is folded into a nearly vertical anticline, which means that the youngest rock is in the centre of the Strait, and encountered last. Divided roughly into thirds, the Honshū side consists of volcanic rocks (andesite, basalt etc); the Hokkaidō side consists of sedimentary rocks (Tertiary period tuff, mudstone, etc); and the centre portion consists of Kuromatsunai strata (Tertiary period sand-like mudstone). Igneous intrusions and faults caused crushing of the rock and complicated the tunnelling procedures.

Initial geological investigation occurred from 1946–1963 which involved drilling the sea-bed, sonic surveys, submarine boring, observations using a mini-submarine, and seismic and magnetic surveys. To establish a greater understanding, a horizontal pilot boring was undertaken along the line of both the service and pilot tunnels.

World’s longest undersea tunnel - Seikan Tunnel 03 Tunnelling occurred simultaneously from both the northern and southern ends. The dry land portions were tackled with traditional mountain tunnelling techniques, with a single main tunnel. However, for the 23.3-kilometre undersea portion, three bores were excavated with increasing diameters respectively: an initial pilot tunnel, a service tunnel, and finally the main tunnel. The service tunnel was periodically connected to the main tunnel with a series of connecting shafts, at 600- to 1,000-metre intervals. The pilot tunnel serves as the service tunnel for the central five-kilometre portion.

Beneath the Tsugaru Strait, the use of a tunnel boring machine (TBM) was abandoned after less than two kilometres owing to the variable nature of the rock and difficulty in accessing the face for advanced grouting. Blasting with dynamite and mechanical picking were then used to excavate.


World’s longest undersea tunnel - Seikan Tunnel 05 Originally only narrow gauge track was laid through the tunnel, but in 2005 the Hokkaidō Shinkansen project started construction has included laying dual-gauge track and linking the tunnel into the Shinkansen network. Shinkansen trains will be able to traverse the tunnel to Hakodate from 2015 and eventually Sapporo. The tunnel has 52 kilometres of continuous welded rail. Two stations are located within the tunnel itself: Tappi-Kaitei Station and Yoshioka-Kaitei Station. The stations serve as emergency escape points. In the event of a fire or other disaster, both stations provide the equivalent safety of a much shorter tunnel. The effectiveness of the escape shafts located at the emergency stations is enhanced by having exhaust fans to extract smoke, television cameras to help route passengers to safety, thermal (infrared) fire alarm systems, and water spray nozzles.

Previously, both the stations contained museums detailing the history and function of the tunnel and which could be visited on special sightseeing tours. Only Tappi-Kaitei remains as a museum, the museum function at Yoshioka-Kaitei was closed on 16 March 2006 to provide a storage room for work on the upgrades related to the Hokkaidō Shinkansen service.

The two stations were the first railway stations in the world built under the sea.


World’s longest undersea tunnel - Seikan Tunnel 06 World’s longest undersea tunnel - Seikan Tunnel 07 World’s longest undersea tunnel - Seikan Tunnel 08