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© Christopher Rimmer

Cows on the Beach

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© Christopher Rimmer

At first, I thought that photographer Chistopher Rimmer’s gorgeous series of cattle on the beach was staged—that he’d somehow lured a pack of bulls to these beautiful South African shores with big bales of tasty grass and hay. But, apparently, the cows in this part of the world are daily beachgoers!

According to the notes accompanying his show Amapondo, Rimmer first learned about the cows when he read a news story about fatal shark attacks occurring in Port St. Johns. But instead of a toothy shark in the photo accompanying the story about dangerous waters, there was a ridiculous cow standing in the background. As Rimmer puts it, this “large bull [was] seemingly oblivious to all the drama going on around him… It was unexpected, absurd even, but I also found the scene strangely moving.”

© Christopher Rimmer

After doing some research, he learned that the Nguni cattle take daily walks untended to the beach in the sweltering afternoons. The locals believe the cows like the salty water because it helps keep away the parasites; plus, they seem to like cooling their heels. But all that beef on the beach isn’t a new phenomenon: apparently, shipwrecked sailors first talked about these cow-dotted beaches back in the 16th century.

Of course, the stunning photos weren’t just taken in a day or two. Rimmer spent a full year tracking the cattle and capturing the most elegant photos, and there’s no digital manipulation in the pics. You can see more of Rimmer’s incredible Amapondo series at Lens Culture here. The show opens in the U.S. at the Art Expo New York on April 24th, and will hit San Diego and Miami by winter.

For more information on Christopher Rimmer, be sure to click here.

© Christopher Rimmer

© Christopher Rimmer
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Animals
Why Male Hyenas Have It Worse Than Females
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A life of hunting zebras and raising young on the savanna isn’t half bad for a female hyena. Sadly, the same can’t be said for their male counterparts. As MinuteEarth explains, things take a downturn for the males of the species once they hit adolescence. No female in their pack will mate with them, a behavior scientists believe evolved to avoid inbreeding, so they head off in search of a different group to join. After dealing with vicious hazing from their new clan, they file in at the bottom of the rank and wait for other males above them to die so that they can slowly gain status.

Even after rising through the hierarchy, the most a male hyena can aspire to is being second place to the lowest-ranking female. Thanks to their bulky build and aggressive behavior, female hyenas enjoy a dominant position that’s rare in the animal kingdom.

After watching the video below, head over here for more facts about hyenas.

[h/t MinuteEarth]

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Art
A Beached Whale Sculpture Popped Up on the Banks of Paris's Seine River
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In Paris, dozens of fish varieties live in the Seine River. Now, the Associated Press reports that the famous waterway is home to a beached whale.

Rest assured, eco-warriors: The sperm whale is actually a lifelike sculpture, installed on an embankment next to Notre Dame Cathedral by Belgian artists’ collective Captain Boomer. It’s meant to raise environmental awareness, and evoke "the child in everyone who still is puzzled about what is real and what is not,” collective member Bart Van Peel told the Associated Press.

The 65-foot sculpture has reportedly startled and confused many Parisians, thanks in part to a team of fake scientists deployed to “survey” the whale. One collective member even posted a video on social media, warning Parisians that there “may be others in the water” if they opt to take a dip in the river, The Local reported.

The whale sculpture is only temporary—but as for Captain Boomer, this isn’t their first whale-related stunt. Last summer, the collective installed a similar riverside artwork in Rennes, France, and they also once strapped a large-scale whale sculpture to the back of a truck and drove it around France.

[h/t Associated Press]

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