Science & nature

Waterwheel plant | The world’s fastest plants

Waterwheel plant | 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.

Squirting cucumber | The world’s fastest plants

Squirting cucumber | 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.

Sensitive plant | The world’s fastest plants

Sensitive plant | 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.

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…

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!

5 great lakes from around the world

5 great lakes from around the world

The Caspian Sea is often classed as the world’s largest lake, even though it’s called a sea and is technically a small ocean. There’s no exact definition of where the lines between sea, lake and pond may be, but people generally have an intuitive idea of which is which – for example, lots of people have a pond in their back garden, but far fewer have a lake (and nobody has a small ocean).

Orchids that look like animals

Orchids that look like animals

Not so long ago, we brought you to a lovely little blog post about an orchid that looks like a bee. It turns out that this is not the only animal the orchid likes to impersonate. Here are some other tricks they have up their pretty, creative sleeves:

Baobabs: The world's fattest trees

Baobabs: The world's fattest trees

Can a tree really be described as fat? I’m not sure. Big boned, perhaps, if we’re talking about the trunk and branches. Anyway, it’s not uncommon for trees to get a bit chunky around the middle but baobabs may be the fattest of all. These amazing trees are fire resistant, grow a super-fruit and can store up to 120,000 litres of water. They also look really, really silly.