We have seen a Game of Thrones themed slug in the past. But today, we look at something that will completely blow your mind off. After giving this little article a read, you’ll be confused and wouldn’t know what to call this slug – a plant, or an animal.
A just born Elysia chlorotica – a kind of sea slug – feeds on algae for the first few days of its life. When it eats algae, what it really does is, stores the chloroplast in its gut. By this way, it able to manufacture its own food later on. Just after those few days from birth, it can completely give up eating, and can survive on just solar energy, by using the stolen chloroplast – just like a plant does.
How is it a true hybrid?
Of course there are animals that eat plants, store chloroplast and use the solar energy in some way. But there is something in E. Chlorotica that sets it apart from animals like that.
E. Chlorotica is a true hybrid animal. Scientists have found that when it eats the algae, by some unknown process, it able to steal the genes from algae and can incorporate it in its own DNA. This gives it an ability to maintain the chloroplast cells by supplying them with the right proteins, and perform real photosynthesis in its own body. Without the gene theft, it wouldn’t have been possible for E. Chlorotica to live off solar energy for the whole life-time (around 1 year).
Photosynthesis in Humans?
The animal has baffled scientists. Before this, they hadn’t known that it was possible for DNA to jump from one kind of a specie to a completely different specie and impart a life-altering function.
No doubt, this opens up a whole lot of possibilities, but scientists say, photosynthesis still doesn’t seem to be possible among humans because unlike E. Chlorotica, our guts are designed to digest and completely destroy chloroplast.
The search for Yeti, the mythical human-like creature that is assumed to have been living in higher elevations of the Himalayas, has continued for several thousands of years. Back in the days of Alexander the Great, during the 326 BC, when he was in the Indus valley area, he learned from the local people about the Yeti and expressed a desire to see it. The local people failed to bring it to him. Since then, several encounters have been reported and shoddy evidence has been produced, but till date, no one has succeeded in capturing the creature dead, or alive.
Proven Existence of Yeti
An Oxford university Genetics professor, Brian Sykes claims to have found a solid evidence that proves the existence of the Yeti. Moreover, according to him, it is a sub-specie of the brown bear. Specifically, an hybrid of the polar-bear and the brown bear.
After thoroughly studying two of the DNA samples (40 years and 10 years old samples) of hair from a mysterious animal found in Ladakh and Bhutan he said:
I think this bear, which nobody has seen alive… may still be there and may have quite a lot of polar bear in it. It may be some sort of hybrid and if its behavior is different from normal bears, which is what eyewitnesses report, then I think that may well be the source of the mystery and the source of the legend.
Interestingly, the DNA samples were found to be a 100% match with those coming from an ancient Polar bear that walked in Norway about 100,000 years from now. During those times a Polar bear was almost like a brown bear, the brown bear was yet to evolve.
Did you know, Yeti is also knows as the “Abominable Snowman” because the Tibetian word “Metoh-Kangmi” was mis-translated by a famous journalist as “dirty men in snow”.
There is a wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan that goes by the name Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary which is dedicated to preserving the Yeti.
During the 1950s, the Nepal government issued formal Yeti-hunting-licenses which costed a massive $650 per Yeti. Otherwise, Yeti brings in a lot of business in Nepal. There are braded hotels and airlines named after the Yeti.(more at NatGeo)
Even in the virtual world, Yeti is a pretty popular creature. Games often like to include it as an easter egg. GTA San Andreas players claim that the Yeti can be found on the rocky faces of the Mount Chiliad at daytime. They say it is hard to see because it blends in with the mountain due to its color. GTA V players have encountered a similar beast, the BigFoot.