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Discovery's "Life," Coming This Sunday

Here's a quick teaser to a larger post tomorrow. Discovery and the BBC are about to release Life, their followup effort to Planet Earth, the massive nature documentary from a few years back. Like Earth, Life is shot in HD with lots of slow motion, bizarre locales, and -- the focus this time -- unusual living creatures. In the clip below, check out the stalk-eyed fly, an insect that inflates its own head with air. Super-weird, super-awesome.

More details tomorrow -- suffice it to say you may want to clear your schedule this Sunday evening (March 21) at 8pm for the first two hours of Life goodness.

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Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
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Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.

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What's the Saltiest Water in the World?
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Saltwater is common around the world—indeed, salty oceans cover more than two-thirds of the globe. Typical saltwater found in our oceans is about 3.5% salt by weight. But in some areas, we find naturally occurring saltwater that's far saltier. The saltiest water yet discovered is more than 12 times saltier than typical seawater.

Gaet’ale is a pond in Ethiopia which currently holds the record as the most saline water body on Earth. The water in that pond is 43.3% dissolved solids by weight—most of that being salt. This kind of water is called hypersaline for its extreme salt concentration.

In the video below, Professor Martyn Poliakoff explains this natural phenomenon—why it's so salty, how the temperature of the pond affects its salinity, and even why this particular saltwater has a yellow tint. Enjoy:

For the paper Poliakoff describes, check out this abstract.

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