A list of curious facts
In India, inflated bullock skins were being used up to the early 1900s to ferry people across the river. They were light, cheap and easy to construct:
The skins have been made air-tight, and inflated with air just as you inflate your football. And so they float. As many of these skins as are desired are fastened together by poles so that the ferry boat can be made any size.
The lead image and the close-up below give you a sense of what they looked like:
And here is a much larger Chinese raft carrying wool:
Two: Have you ever visited the “Land of Many Rabbits”? Or how about the “Land of Honest Men” or “Bird’s Tail”? Nope, these aren’t some fantastic realms taken from a children’s storybook—but literal translations of names of real countries. The rabbity one is Spain. Burkina Faso is named for its upstanding men—while Uruguay is inspired by avian anatomy. India—or “Land of the Indus”—is so boring in comparison. OTOH, almost every name in South America is a winner—as you can see below. Visual Capitalist has an excellent world map with all the translations.
Three: Here’s an excellent bit of animal trivia: Penguins take thousands of one-second naps every day. They have embraced extreme power napping—which works very well for them. This kind of behaviour can also be seen in humans—but only when we are sleep deprived. For example: nodding off at the wheel of your car. Also: we stumbled upon this profound bit while researching this item:
Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford… argued, that we may be thinking about sleep backward. It may be the default setting for the animal brain, and scientists should be trying to explain why animals wake up when they do. “You’re basically spending your life asleep, and you just wake up when it’s needed,” Dr. Vyazovskiy said.
Well, if you put it like that… New York Times and NPR have loads more on power napping penguins. And for absolutely no reason, here’s an image of one of the penguins captured by scientists researching their sleeping habits: