Hidden in Plain Sight


Laika (Barker)

Sent on the Sputnik 2, Laika was the first living creature to orbit the Earth. Since there was no technology to de-orbit, she died in space as intended. She died from overheating. Her reports weren’t made public until 2002 so up until then everyone was told that she was euthanised prior to oxygen depletion (the six day mark). Laika has been the topic of ethics and animal cruelty in science for many years. Laika paved the way for human space-flight.


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Tear-drinking Butterflies

In the Amazon, it’s not uncommon to see groups of colorful butterflies fluttering around turtles basking along the river. This is because they drink the turtles’ tears—an invaluable source of salt for the herbivorous butterflies.



Did you know that Monet wished that he could be born blind. Similarly, Picasso said that painting was a blind man’s profession, because blind people have a clearer vision of reality.

So what is it about the blind that make artists from all around a tad bit jealous? 

Scientists looked at famous painter Esref Armagon, a man blind from birth. His art hangs in museums all around the world. He can draw landscapes and scenery with precision. This is his art:

Armagon went to a lab to have his brain scanned as he drew freehand. He was given objects to feel such as a toy or a cup and asked to draw them.

What scientists found was amazing. His brain scan resembled a sighted person’s brain scan. 

Although his no visual light reflected of his eyes and entered swept through his visual cortex, his visual cortex was buzzing with activity. 

What was going on is that his visual cortex was recruited by other senses such as touch and hearing. Armagon was successfully able to translate touch into images in his mind. 

SOURCE: The Body Has A Mind of Its Own by Sandra & Matthew Blakeslee

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