Humans are curious creatures. Our minds and bodies cannot be satisfied until we discover all that Earth has to offer, examine it, catalogue it, and wonder over it. There is also a sense of urgency when it comes to discovery, since species are becoming extinct all of the time. Exploration also comes from necessity - we're tragically fragile creatures longing to expand our lifespans beyond what nature should dictate. We are willing to pillage the planet in search of cures to ailments when it may well be that we are the disease. Bear with me here.
Now, because some parts of our planet are largely unexplored and we are such nosy beasts, we feel the urge to get to know about these interesting lands with strange plants and unique animals. It certainly is a better deal for the planet and her life when the finds are made by conservation groups as opposed to poachers looking for the latest new exotic plaything for the rich. In the past couple of years, groups like the World Wildlife Fund have explored parts of Southeast Asia and Oceania, and made hundreds of incredible discoveries.
Throughout the regions new insects, plants, snakes, and even mammals have been found. Some are very striking or have strange features, like singing frogs or enormous carnivorous plants. But one that really intrigues me is this fellow from Papua New Guinea, a diverse island nation physically connected to Indonesia. Unlike their neighbour, PNG is sparsely populated and largely rural or tribal and mountainous. It was in one of Papua New Guinea's rainforests that scientists found Yoda.
Obviously, this is not Yoda. It's a Nyctimene Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat and it is a neat-looking example of the Earth's biodiversity. I do not want him as a pet, I want him to stay in the mountains where he belongs. It's just neat knowing that a creature like this exists, hopefully to only see a camera's lens once and go back to eating pink-eyed bugs and crapping on monkeys and doing all of the other things bats do.
To enjoy some images and descriptions that are truly captivating, wander over here for a glimpse into what makes Earth the best planet in the galaxy.
Image by Piotr Naskrecki. Thanks to Suzanne Currie.