Good News Thursday: World’s largest plant discovered in Australia, rats trained to help communicate with earthquake survivors

129

World’s largest plant discovered in Australia

The plant covers 70 square miles and has been making copies of itself for more than 4,500 years. (AP News)

Researchers have named a seagrass meadow off the coast of Australia the largest plant in the world. The organism covers 70 square miles and has been making copies of itself for more than 4,500 years.

The finding was published in the Royal Society B on June 1. The plant is known as Poseidon’s ribbon weed, which commonly grows in Shark Bay in Australia. Ten years ago, the plant covered an additional seven miles, but cyclones and rising ocean temperatures have recently killed almost a 10th of the ancient seagrass bed.

“It appears to be really resilient, experiencing a wide range of temperatures and salinities plus extreme high light conditions, which together would typically be highly stressful for most plants,” researcher Elizabeth Sinclair said.

Rats trained to help communicate with earthquake survivors

The rats are trained to wear small backpacks so rescuers can communicate with survivors. (Good News Network)

A research project is training rats to be sent into earthquake debris wearing backpacks so rescuers can communicate with survivors. The project was started by 33-year-old research scientist Donna Kean.

Seven rats have been trained and sent into mock debris so far. The backpacks contain microphones and video gear as well as location trackers to allow rescue teams to communicate with survivors during real earthquakes. 

“They are very trainable, the first stage is to train them to come back to base point, they respond to a beep,” Kean sad. “We hope it will save lives, the results are really promising.”

83-year-old sails alone across the pacific ocean

Kenichi Horie completed the two month voyage on June 4. Horie set the record for the oldest solo trip at 83 years old. (Good News Network)

A Japanese man set a record of the world’s oldest solo yachtsman to sail non-stop across the Pacific Ocean. Kenichi Horie, who completed the journey on June 4, spent two months crossing the massive ocean.

Horie set sail on March 27 in his sailboat named Suntry Mermaid III. The boat weighs 2,182 pounds and measures 19-foot-long. The 83-year-old had already completed the voyage once before, when he was only 23 years old.

“Don’t let your dreams just stay as dreams. Have a goal and work towards achieving this and a beautiful life awaits,” Horie told CNN.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email