The Menace of American toads in Queensland Australia

Recently I stumbled upon an unusual documentary from the 80s about the giant American toads (Bufo Marinus) of Queensland, Australia. That’s correct. Who would have thought that this 50 minute movie (embedded at the end of this article) with songs of the toad’s praise would turn out to be one of those surprisingly informative and strangely funny movies.

Well, it was certainly fun to watch. Here’s a gist of all interesting things I got from it and some reading which ensued.

Cane toads were never native to northern Australia before the 1930s. Raquel Dexter an entomologist, during the 1932 world conference of sugar technology in Puerto Rico, suggested that the cane toad was the ultimate solution to deal with a native Australian cane beetle. This beetle had decimated the output of sugarcane crop of North Queensland cane farmers.

So, Mungomery Reginald William brought in 102 cane toads into the freshwaters of little Mulgrave river in Gordonvale from Hawaii to tackle the problem of beetle infestation. Mungomery’s intention to make the toads travel for two weeks from Hawaii to Sydney and for another two days to Gordonvale was a noble yet arduous one:

“We have got these bloody grubs by the balls this time and we will go on to bigger and brighter things”

A jubilant Irishman

Continue reading The Menace of American toads in Queensland Australia

Staircase to the Moon

By Anupum Pant

Broome is a coastal town in the Kimberley region of west Australia. Every year when all the conditions perfectly fall in place, a very interesting and brilliant natural spectacle occurs. They call it “Staircase to the moon“. It indeed looks like stairs reaching to the moon. Thousands of tourists and the local people gather to watch it happen.

For it to happen the weather, sunset, moonrise and the tide conditions all need to be perfectly right. Before I tell you what happens there, look at a picture of this natural phenomenon. (Or it won’t seem very interesting if I tell you about it first).

Staircase-To-The-Moon

This happens only during the low tide at the coast when the moon is rising. During the low tide, the mudflats get exposed and the rising moon creates this mesmerising reflection on the sand.

The natural phenomenon can also been seen from other coastlines at Onslow, Dampier, Cossack, Point Samson Peninsula, Hearson Cove and Port Hedland.

A Mean Creature from the Sea

By Anupum Pant

Stone fish is a bizarre looking creature, 15-20 inch sized, weighing about 5 pounds, is covered in dark patches and has ugly pimple like things all over its body. It’s found in the coastal regions of the Indian ocean and the Pacific ocean and likes to sit in between coral reefs and stones most of the time. The fish can survive outside of water for a whole day.

The fish is well-known as the most venomous fish. The most surprising thing about it is that it can be held in bare hands and you still won’t get poisoned.

However, a part of this fish can leave you dead in minutes. The fish has very sharp needle like things inside of skin sacks on its back, which when stepped on, are designed to inject an extremely powerful toxin into your body. The toxin is known to cause severe pain, paralysis and tissue necrosis. These venom spines can refill in about a week. Watch spines go in the video I’ve attached below…