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The world's furriest and fluffiest animals

The world's furriest and fluffiest animals

It’s strange – people love fluffy animals but don’t really like fluff on other people. As human beings, we’re constantly trying to impress each other by getting rid of our fur; wasting time every day shaving it off our faces, legs and backs. When it comes to animals, however, the rule seems to be “the furrier the better.”

Sandbox tree | The world’s fastest plants

Sandbox tree | The world’s fastest plants

Plants aren’t usually thought of as very fast moving – they stay in one place, almost completely still, occasionally drooping over if you forget to water them. In some cases, however, plants can be amazingly quick; grabbing hold of insects, shooting out their seeds or spinning their leaves round to get a suntan.

Venus flytrap | The world’s fastest plants

Venus flytrap | The world’s fastest plants

Plants aren’t usually thought of as very fast moving – they stay in one place, almost completely still, occasionally drooping over if you forget to water them. In some cases, however, plants can be amazingly quick; grabbing hold of insects, shooting out their seeds or spinning their leaves round to get a suntan.
Over the next few days, we’ll be looking at some of the world’s botanical Usain Bolts, starting with the first in the series…

Pamukkale: Toothpaste foaming from the mouth of Mother Earth

Pamukkale: Toothpaste foaming from the mouth of Mother Earth

Pamukkale (pronounced “par-moo-car-lay”) is a UNESCO world heritage site in south west Turkey. The name translates as “cotton castle”, but whoever came up with this can’t have been looking very closely: Pamukkale is not a castle and, what appears from a distance to be cotton, is actually a hard mineral deposit. Not that that’s a criticism – as mineral deposits go, it’s a particularly impressive one.

Bizarre mammatus clouds from around the world

Bizarre mammatus clouds from around the world

I love weird weather. Hot, sunny days are all well and good but I find stormy, dramatic skies especially thrilling. Even when they pour water on me and mess up my hair. This morning, from the windows of our office in Southend-on-Sea, we were treated to a particularly incredible sight – mammatus clouds!

7 facts you might not know about coffee

7 facts you might not know about coffee

Around the world, coffee production provides a livelihood for 25 million people. For them, coffee is a reason to get up in the morning while, for everyone else, it’s the reason they can get up in the morning. Over two billion cups of coffee are drunk every single day, which raises the question of how the other five billion people manage to get anything done.

5 very strange hotels from around the world

5 very strange hotels from around the world

To many people, a hotel is just a necessity – somewhere to sleep and to store the suitcase while they’re out exploring. As long as the room has a bed, preferably a bathroom and ideally a well-stocked minibar, it doesn’t need much else. Sometimes, however, due to its location, structure or history, the hotel itself can become part of the holiday.

Weird food combinations from around the world

Weird food combinations from around the world

I have a Spanish friend who balks when he sees me liberally applying vinegar to my chips. Apparently, in Spain NO ONE puts vinegar on their chips – it’s weird. They do, however, put it on their strawberries. And that’s not weird. This got me thinking about flavour combinations that are considered perfectly acceptable in some places, but have the potential to give British taste buds a panic attack.

6 ginormous geoglyphs from around the world

6 ginormous geoglyphs from around the world

In the 21st century, we’re surrounded by giant images – you can’t walk down the street without a 30-foot Jonathan Ross trying to sell you a TV subscription. In the past, however, people weren’t so lucky and had to create their own pictures from their environment.

The North Korean mass games

The North Korean mass games

At one time or another, every country in the world will hold a parade. Often these parades will be used to celebrate a successful national sporting team. Sometimes, a country will arrange a parade to mark a royal wedding. In a small number of countries, a parade might involve painting the words “Death to America” on the side of a giant rocket and then wheeling it down the High Street. North Korea is one of those countries.