Discovery of giant sulfur-powered shipworm — Eeoough!

❝ Our world seems to grow smaller by the day as biodiversity rapidly dwindles, but Mother Earth still has a surprise or two up her sleeve. An international team of researchers were the first to investigate a never before studied species — a giant, black, mud dwelling, worm-like animal. The odd animal doesn’t seem to eat much, instead it gets its energy from a form of sulfur. The findings, led by scientists at the University of Utah, Northeastern University, University of the Philippines, Sultan Kudarat State University and Drexel University, will be published online in the…Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

❝ People have known about the existence of the creature for centuries. The three- to five-foot long, tusk-like shells that encase the animal were first documented in the 18th century. “The shells are fairly common,” begins lead investigator Daniel Distel, Ph.D., a research professor and director of the Ocean Genome Legacy Center at Northeastern University, “But we have never had access to the animal living inside.”

The animal’s preferred habitat was unclear, but the research team benefitted from a bit of serendipity when one of their collaborators shared a documentary that aired on Philippine television. The video showed the bizarre creatures planted, like carrots, in the mud of a shallow lagoon. Following this lead, the scientists set up an expedition and found live specimens of Kuphus polythalamia.

❝ With a live giant shipworm finally in hand, the research team huddled around Distel as he carefully washed the sticky mud caked to the outside of the giant shipworm shell and tapped off the outer cap, revealing the creature living inside.

Not exactly destined to replace linguine with clams. But, RTFA for an interesting tale of science and search.

This qualifies for more than an “OOPS!”

On Wednesday, a man drove a Bugatti Veyron into a lagoon in Texas after avoiding a low-flying pelican.

According to The Galveston County Daily News, the driver was checking out real estate in La Marque, Tex., when the pelican swooped into view:

The man jerked the wheel, dropped his cellphone and the car’s front tire left the frontage road and entered a muddy patch, which foiled his attempt to maneuver away from the lagoon…

The man was uninjured, physically, though after drowning the Veyron, which is priced at around $2 million, his ego might be a little damaged.

I’d be hard-pressed to feel sorry for someone dunking his $2million car in a salt-water lagoon. Distracted by a fracking pelican. And trying to pick up his cell phone.