Saturday, February 28, 2015

Strange and Unusual Creatures

An adult star-nosed mole. The mole literally inhales its food, taking less than a quarter of a second to identify a piece of food, grab it, eat it, and then look for more.

The megalara garuda, also known as the king of the wasps, is an enormous wasp discovered in the Mekongga Mountains on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011.
The elephantnose fish (Gnathonemus petersii).

"Human Faced Fish" are hybrids of common carp and leather carp.

Belonging to the Ogcocephalidae family of batfish, the Louisiana pancake batfish is a bizarre looking creature native to the Gulf of Mexico. The species was discovered in 2010

First described in 2008, paracheilinus nursalim is a new species of flasher wrasse discovered in the Bird’s Head Peninsula in Western New Guinea.

The lesula is a new species of African monkey discovered in 2007. It was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo
A millipede named lllacme plenipes (Latin for "the pinnacle plentiful feet") is found only in a small area of Northern California and has 750 legs.

Matamata (Chelus fimbriatus)
Furry lobster (Kiwa hirsuta)


Sucker-foot bat (Myzopoda aurita)
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)


Fathead fish (genus Psychrolutes)
Frill-necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii)

Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)




Paraiba Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium.

Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and comes in a wide variety of colours. Almost every colour of tourmaline can be found in Brazil, especially in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Bahia. In 1989, miners discovered a unique and brightly colored variety of tourmaline in the state of Paraíba.
The new type of tourmaline, which soon became known as paraiba tourmaline, came in blue and green. Brazilian paraiba tourmaline usually contains abundant inclusions. It was determined that the element copper was important in the coloration of the stone. These cupriferous tourmalines are small, rare and precious.

Their turquoise to green colours are not duplicated in any other gemstone.
Paraiba tourmalines are among the most sought-after, and most expensive gemstones in the world. Prices continue to climb.

Another highly valuable variety is chrome tourmaline, a rare type of dravite tourmaline from Tanzania.

Chrome tourmaline is a rich green colour due to the presence of chromium atoms in the crystal; chromium also produces the green colour of emeralds.



See : http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/12/rubellite-tourmaline.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/11/gemstones-of-minas-gerais-brazil.html

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Bactrian Treasure - Hill of Gold

The Bactrian Treasure is a gold treasure cache that lay under the "Hill of Gold" in Afghanistan, known as Bactria when Alexander the Great conquered the country 2100 years ago.
The hoard is a collection of about 20,600 gold ornaments found in six burial mounds just beyond the oasis town of Sheberghan in northern Afghanistan. This is the treasure of Tilya Tepe, the Hill of Gold. It lay undisturbed until Soviet archeologists exposed it shortly before the 1979 invasion. Soon after the discovery, a guerrilla war against the Soviet occupation began, followed by civil war.

Golden hair ornaments depicting the “dragon master”, Tillya Tepe. 1st century BC – 1st century AD. Afghanistan
During those years the treasure was kept in the Kabul Museum, which has since been looted. The day before the Russians fled Kabul in February 1989, the treasure was moved to the presidential compound, the safest place in the capital.

Gold stater of the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides, Weight: 169.2 gm., Diam: 58 mm., the largest gold coin of antiquity.


The treasure remained safe due to the efforts of one man: Mr. Askerzai, a security guard of the central bank who has been guardian of the vaults for 30 years. He is one of the few people in history to have seen the 20,000 gold objects. "It's the best heritage of our country," he said.

Mr Askerzai helped to seal the treasure in seven trunks and guarded it along with the assets of the central bank - gold bars the "size of your arm" worth about £50 million - also kept in the presidential palace. The real threat to the treasure came when the Taliban captured Kabul in 1996. A delegation of 10 mullahs arrived with a jeweller to inspect the vaults. A pistol held against his head, he opened the combination lock so they could inspect the gold bars. They had found the second prize, but did not realise the real treasure was in a vault above their heads.

The Taliban asked if there was any other gold, but Mr Askerzai remained silent. He was imprisoned for three months and 17 days, during which he was beaten and tortured, but he did not reveal anything. "I wasn't scared," he said. "I didn't care for my life. They were foreigners. They were not Afghans."

On the Taliban's last night in power, as coalition forces pounded the country with bombs, the Taliban stuffed the central bank's cash reserves into tin trunks and arrived at the vault for the gold bars. They spent four hours trying to open the vault. Mr Askerzai watched. Unknown to them, five years earlier he had broken the key and left it in the lock. The Taliban gave up and fled Kabul as Northern Alliance forces edged closer. That saved the treasure.

In 2003 the vault was opened. Since then, the National Geographic Society has catalogued the collection, which appears to be complete. Also witnessing the re-opening was the archaeologist who originally found the hoard, Viktor Sarianidi.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/1445815/Lone-security-guard-tells-how-he-saved-Bactrian-treasure.html






Widget


Contact


RSS