I WANT TO SEE MORE...!!!!
A record-breaking stingray capture, by the numbers:
* 1 rod and line
* 90 minutes for one British biologist (with help) to reel in the freshwater fish
* 13 men to drag said fish onto a boat
* 125 pounds—that's the difference between the stingray's weight at 771 pounds and the previous record rod-&-reel capture of a catfish
The Thailand capture of the massive female stingray was part of a program to tag such Maeklong River residents. The captive, part of a "vulnerable species" listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, measured a hefty 7 feet by 7 feet. That doesn't include the 10-foot-long poisonous tail.
Such creatures are dangerous, of course: Famed Australian TV personality Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin died from a stingray barb at the Great Barrier Reef in 2006.
The numbers currently put one Ian Welch on the world record books. (Pictures of Welch posing with his female companion can be found here.) The stingray's resistance nearly dunked Welch into the river, and he was literally saved by the seat of his pants when a crewmate grabbed his trousers.
Another reason that this marine fish is so huge: She's pregnant. (Cue soap-opera gasp.) After she had been towed to the bank (too big to be onboard the boat), she was duly marked, had DNA samples removed, and returned to the river whence she unwillingly came. Welch gave her a farewell smooch, then spent the rest of the day with a cold beer and memories of her.
By the way, one number isn't known: the exact stingray population count, which has shrunk 20 percent in the past decade. With this lady's help, at least one more will be added to this number...and with a tale to tell.
The dancing lights have appeared above most thunderstorms throughout history, but researchers did not start studying them until one accidentally recorded a sighting on camera in 1989.
"Lightning from the thunderstorm excites the electric field above, producing a flash of light called a sprite," said Colin Price, a geophysicist at in Israel. "We now understand that only a specific type of lightning is the trigger that initiates sprites aloft."
Researchers have detected the flashes between 35 and 80 miles (56-129 km) from the ground, far above the 7 to 10 miles (11-16 km) where usual lightning occurs. Sprites can take the form of fast-paced balls of electricity, although previous footage has suggested streaks or tendrils.
The cause or function of the flashes remains murky, but Price suggested that they could explain some of the UFO reports which have cropped up over the years. That might provide some solace for UFO enthusiasts disappointed by human-caused hoaxes in the past.
Both jetliner pilots and astronauts have previously reported sightings of sprites, along with a different but equally mysterious phenomenon known as blue jets.
Price and his colleagues have focused on "winter sprites" which appear only in the northern hemisphere's winter months. Their remote-controlled roof-mounted cameras can spot thunderstorms producing sprites far out over the Mediterranean Sea.
Triangulation techniques have also allowed the researchers to calculate the dimensions of the sprites.
"The candles in the sprites are up to 15 miles high, with the cluster of candles 45 miles wide — it looks like a huge birthday celebration!" Price said.
Sprites may have some effect on the Earth's, but researchers suspect that the global impact is small.
- Original Story: Natural Explanation Found for UFOs