It’s a wide and wonderful world out there, and frankly we can’t always keep up with it all. Atlas Obscura’s ‘The Week In…’ is here to help! Each Friday, we track down the interesting things you didn’t even know you missed. This week, it’s all about reptiles.
As humans continue to encroach on the borders of the natural world, we’re coming into contact more frequently with snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and turtles. In the process, the volume of news reports about these occasionally alarming meetings are ticking up as well. From funny to fascinating, titillating to tragic, it’s been a big week for reptiles.
Friedberg, Germany’s unusual Crocodile Zoo was ordered by a judge this week to immediately cease allowing children to feed, swim, and take close-up photographs with crocodiles during visits to the park. Which means that up until recently, there was a zoo that let kids feed, swim, and get up close with crocodiles. Yikes. [The Local]
Don’t Bat an Eye
What’s better than a close-up video of an absolutely enormous snake hanging out of a tree by its tail? A close-up video of an absolutely enormous snake hanging out of a tree by its tail while also trying to eat a bat at the same time. This one comes courtesy of a professional snake handler based in Queensland, Australia. [Redland’s Snake Catcher]
What’s Not for Dinner
Another snake catcher (this stuff is big business in Queensland, apparently) in Australia’s Shire of Noosa posted a video of him pulling a frighteningly large monitor lizard out from under a domestic stove. Luckily, it appeared to be just fine, and surely had no idea how close it came to getting cooked. [Snake Catcher Noosa]
And Yes, He Was Happy to See Everyone
Congratulations to the 19-year-old man who was detained Tuesday after getting into a drunken argument in Darmstadt, Germany. Inquiring about a large bulge in his pants, police responding to the scene discovered a 14-inch baby royal python hidden in the man’s trousers, because sometimes real people do real things in real life that are dumber and funnier than any well-worn joke. [AP via The Guardian]
Like Turtles for Rifles
This doesn’t involve any real reptiles, but MIT researchers have reportedly found a way to trick Google’s image recognition AI into recognizing a turtle as a rifle, just by changing the texture on their model. Now if only we could turn guns into turtles… [Forbes]
Guardarrecursos del MARN localizaron entre 300 y 400 tortugas marinas muertas flotando a unas 7 millas náuticas frente a Bahía de Jiquilisco pic.twitter.com/331QZc5eXX— MARN El Salvador (@MARN_SV) November 2, 2017
In much sadder news, hundreds of sea turtles were found dead this week off the coast of El Salvador. The exact cause of the die off is so-far unknown, although it could be the result of everything from algae blooms to destructive fishing practices. [National Geographic]
Finally, a Naples, Florida man’s 6-foot-long Asian water lizard was found this week at a local country club after having gone missing back in October. The water lizard, whose name is Poseidon, was not granted membership. [Naples Daily News]