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Pakistan earthquake so powerful, it created a new island

When a Magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Pakistan in September, it claimed more than 800 lives, one of the deadliest natural disasters of the year.

But of the stories we wrote about the quake, none garnered more interest than the news the quake had coughed up a brand new island:

The island is made mostly of mud and rock, and was more than 175 m across at its longest point.

It’s not every day a country actually GAINS land, but Pakistan isn’t rushing to settle it anytime soon. Experts say the island will be eroded into nothing by the wind and the waves. 

Eagle attacks deer in Russia

Animal researchers keeping an eye on remote cams set up to glimpse the Russian Far East’s Siberian Tigers got quite the shock during a routine check in 2011. Rather than the rare and endangered big cats, this is what they found:

Image: Zoological Society of London

Image: Zoological Society of London

Yep, that is a golden eagle attacking a deer, noticeably larger than itself. The three frames shot over a two-second period clearly show the bird dominating the terrified deer.

Golden eagles usually only eat small birds or mammals, but we guess scientists should now add Bambi to the menu. 

Although the attack happened in 2011, the story didn’t emerge until this year, as that’s when the results of the study were published.

Sharknado warnings cover Ontario (sort of)

When a film with a name like “Sharknado” hits the screens, it’s best not to take it too seriously. Just relax, and enjoy.

Incidentally, that’s what Weather Network producer Scott Meiklejohn did when the film was released, teaming up with meteorologist Dayna Vettese to, ah, localize this outstanding weather story:

The web-only video was a big hit with our viewers, earning it a spot on this list.

Incidentally, our met team still has those Sharknado warning graphics tucked away in the server somewhere. The Weather Network’s motto is “Plan for Anything,” and we assure you, that is a promise we take very, very seriously.

Worms and eggs found in recently discovered oarfish

The sea monster in this story, meanwhile, was totally a real thing – a five-metre long oarfish that was likely one of the sources of the sea monster myth in many cultures.

Image: Catalina Island Marine Institute

Image: Catalina Island Marine Institute

Two of these things washed ashore this year, and every time we wrote about it, readers just couldn’t get enough.

Aside from the “wow” factor, the discoveries yielded a treasure trove of new information about what is still a very poorly-known species. Along the new findings: One beastie boasted thousands of eggs in its ovaries, and the other was completely infested with parasites:

Looks gross, but it’s mostly harmless.


Six devastating ice storms from Idaho to the U.K.
From oblivion to buried treasure: Seven weird/scary/awesome holes
Eight winter weather myths
Seven weird things we found under the sea

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