Figurines of dodo bird “invaded” all souvenir shops of Mauritius and its image even managed to become a national symbol complementing to the country’s emblem. But the most grievous thing of all is that all this glory came to Raphus cucullatus after it was completely extinct from the face of Earth – and it took it less then a hundred years…
Among exotic living creatures walking around seashores of bright unpeopled islands scattered in Indian Ocean the already half-mythic dodo used to walk. There were no predators to hunt the feathered creature therefore it had no need to run fast or levitate. Lush grass and tasty fallen palm fruits had always been available and a year-round summer didn’t let them freeze. Having “noticed” dodo’s sluggish lifestyle, evolution had done its part and dodo eventually lost “unnecessary” features. Only a small cop remained from its tail and merely a pair of useless feathers – from wings. But the birds didn’t even think of getting upset: why move anywhere if there was everything they needed in their motherland? They hadn’t been worried as long as until 17th century. But as soon as first travelers appeared on the coast of future Mauritius, heavenly life of the country’s symbol changed once and for all.
Having landed in the island, the Dutchmen decided that plump and indolent birds would make a great ship stock replenishment. One could have easily approached a credulous dodo without hindrance and simply slaughter it with a stick. Poor things offered no resistance although they had strong beak and generous size. Experience of easy hunting was adopted by the Portuguese. It was them who gave clumsy terricole bird a nickname dodo that meant “stupid” or “idiot” in their language. Yet old stories about several birds shedding bitter tears when forcibly resettled from the island realizing they were never coming back, testify to the contrary. They were nearly tame but couldn’t bare transportation and captivity and were dying during shipment.
Rats, dogs and cats brought on ships to cut with local livestock, so to say, closed the final chapter in the existence of the species. Baby birds that inhabited nests built right on the ground became tasty lunch for predatory newcomers of Mauritius fauna. This is how the era of poor Raphinae representatives ended swiftly in a little more then half a century…
They were forgotten about by virtually everyone as long as till 19th century when Lewis Carroll mentioned dodo in “Alice in Wonderland” having made it a baseline for one of the characters appearance. And this character’s prototype “in terms of nature” was the writer himself. Due to innate stammer Lewis was articulating his real name as Charles Lutwidge Do-Do-Dodgson. Interestingly, in a couple of years one of the author’s friends, Robinson Duckworth (who became a “double” for another character from the book) got a present from him, a facsimile edition of “Alice” signed: “To Robin Duck from Dodo”.
Upon the book’s publication interest in the bird reemerged. Readers were surprised that a fictional creature turned out to be totally real one, although extinct long time ago. Explorers embarked on a search for remains of the feathered tribe celebrated in the book. The only full specimen in the shape of a dummy was once preserved in London museum until it was pulled apart by rats… Therefore one of the scientists had to go to Mauritius in pursuit of a skeleton. In the process of collecting local legends and long-run archeological digging he managed to obtain what he was looking for after all. Soon another finding emerged. As it turned out, the abovementioned dummy wasn’t sent to garbage cans in full, a go-getting employee of the museum tore its head and legs off. Now scientists from Oxford University are trying to recreate the extinct species on the basis of these samples. Recently laboratory staff arrived at first significant results: DNA molecule was finally extracted from the bones found. Experiments are in progress now. The only thing left is to find dodo’s closest living relative (by the way, a number of pigeon species lay claims to the position) and revive the so absurdly extinct birds.
Words we vocalize every day seem ordinary and familiar to us. We even get the feeling that, for instance, the word “chauffeur” existed forever. There is only this slight nuance: cars themselves re a little over hundred years old… Hence, things aren’t that simple when it comes to our day-to-day vocabulary. Well then, why not recollect interesting stories of other words origin?
5 tons of water fall off into the ravine every single moment, roaring, raising steam and disseminating spatter in all directions. ‘Liquid wall’ of Iguazu Falls extends its crescent on the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Today Outlook tells about another inspiring example of how a dream can become a lifetime project. Creation of one of the most successful channels in history of television – Discovery Channel, followed by a huge media empire Discovery Communications, simply cannot but motivate to own great engagements.
Good tourist is not just someone who is always quick off the mark and ready to embark on a journey any minute. It is the one who is also known for an ability to carefully plan holidays six months in advance. If you are one of them and already think where to go in summer - our next story about gigantic Issyk-Kul Lake and kinds of recreation there is for you.
This year it will have been 25 years since the moment of establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ukraine. The events in the course of celebration of ‘Japan’s year in Ukraine’ have already been organized actively. As the sakura is the symbol of Japan, the Embassy starts campaign on the tree-planting of sakura along all the territory of Ukraine so as to give to majority of Ukrainians the possibility to savor its beauty.
Flower fields and valleys are impressive and attract attention of the most discerning connoisseurs of beauty. Multi-coloured deposits of fragrant plants adorn vast valleys of almost every country! We offer several floral destinations to suit every taste.
At the bare mention of the word lake, our imagination pictures soothing, nostalgia-laden images of quite pond cosily embraced by the grassy hills. OUTLOOK prepared a selection of the most spectacular lakes, which will change your understanding of this work of nature. Each of them has something to surprise, whether it is unusual water shade, or frightening ability to petrify living creatures.
Each state has its own official symbols: flag, coat of arms and anthem. But in addition to the traditional "identification mark" there are symbols chosen by people, for instance, a favourite bird. It is about them OUTLOOK expands below.
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Very often nature tests people. From time to time we have to conquer and subjugate the elements. When men mastered construction of bridges, water obstacles have ceased to be a problem for humanity. However, what to do if a town is behind a pit, flatland or gorge? All-too-common "bridge" on pillars cannot be constructed everywhere. In such cases people resort to erecting viaducts, some of which are true works of art.
Ice and snow has long been used by artists to create different figures and objects, and only 1960, this age-old skill became a new trend of a land art! The largest number of winter artworks is created during special festivals about which we will tell our readers.
The cold season brings not only such important things as wrapping into a reindeer sweater, drinking hot chocolate and once again reviewing Christmas comedies. Thus, sport has not been canceled yet, so OUTLLOK compiled top five ski resort bucket list for you to cheer up and get out of your winter sleep.
When we hear about "water city", Venice immediately comes to mind, doesn’t it? Tranquil gondolas, narrow waterways, gentle light of the evening sun and ancient architecture create that heady romantic cocktail which attracts tourists from all over the world to the Italian city.
Each of us wants to escape rush of a city from time to time and lie low somewhere far from everything and anything. And it better be a place where one can listen to whisper of waves, feel light breeze and forever make friends with inimitably loud silence that muffles every disturbing thought…
United Nations Organization was created in order to cease global violence, protect human rights and eradicate poverty. On October, 24, 1945 founding states ratified the treaty on creation of global body that acquired the name the UN.
Already on the way to the water, the strong smell of salt and sulphur hit my nose. Shore were dotted with bizarre-shaped yellow-white boulders, and the whole expanse of the sea was enveloped in mysterious, whitish haze. This strange place was very quiet: no birds, on holidaymakers on sun loungers, the sea looked like a huge pot with hot thick jelly that barely reacted with light rips in response to rather strong wind.
Lighthouse - this word evokes beautiful associations: sea adventures, storms, huge ships. And we do not want to dispel these thoughts, but rather to add fuel to the fire.Today we are sharing with you the quintet of amazing lighthouses!
Autumn promises that heat would gradually fade away and immediately presents with a choice: either to clutch at stewing days in warm countries or taste cool evenings and admire architecture without being distracted by sultriness.
A jewel-case of Turkey is full of pure wonders provoking an inspiration for fairy tale writer. When people first see blindingly white mountains in the midst of warm country, they experience various desires: someone wants to fall into white drifts and make a snow angel, as some people imagine that white cliffs taste sweet just like cotton candy...