The latest land dispute in China has resulted in a very strange site: a
single gravestone currently sits on top of a mound of dirt ten metres
high in the middle of a construction site in Taiyuan in north China’s
This hawk moth (most likely a Violet Gliding Hawk Moth (Ambulyx liturata, Sphingidae)) has been parasitized by an Akanthomyces fungus (probably Akanthomyces pistillariiformis), a Cordyceps anamorph peculiar to moths.
After killing the moth, the fungus then totally engulfs and embalms the corpse producing this macabre sight. (An entomopathogenic fungus is a fungus that can act as a parasite of insects and kills or seriously disables them.)
Pu’er, Yunnan, China.
(literally “women’s writing” in Chinese) is a syllabic script created
and used exclusively by women in the Jiangyong County in Hunan province
of southern China. Up until the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) women were
forbidden access to formal education, and so Nüshu was developed in
secrecy as a means to communicate. Since its discovery in 1982, Nüshu
remains to be the only gender-specific writing system in the world.
That’s not so surprising on its own. But what attracted the
arachnologist’s attention is the silk appeared to attach a leaf to a
tree branch. After looking closer, Kuntner realized one of these leaves
was actually a spider.
“If there’s a web, there’s a spider,” says Kuntner, of the
Smithsonian Institution and the Evolutionary Zoology Laboratory in
The arachnid uses its silk to attach leaves to tree branches, and then hides among the branches, according to a new study in the Journal of Arachnology.
The researchers still aren’t sure why the spider does this, but they
believe it’s likely to hide from predators or sneak up on prey…
In English it’s called caterpillar fungus, but it’s better known
throughout Asia by the Tibetan term, yartsa gunbu, which means “summer
grass, winter worm." The fungus sells for $50, 000 a pound and has been nicknamed ‘The Himalayan Viagra” due to it’s medicinal properties and rise in China as a status symbol.
The cave homes of Guyaju (Guyaju meaning, ancient cliff dwelling) are about 90km northwest of Beijing, China. They were occupied during China’s Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) by the Xiyi people.
In a bizarre dispute, a skyscraper has been built around a tombstone in the city of Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province in China. Building developers bought a cemetery with an eye to building a series of skyscrapers on the land. Prior to construction, locals were paid to relocate the graves, yet one family refused the proposed terms, forcing developers to build around the landmass.