One of the major concerns of the 21st century is finding efficient ways to lower humanity’s carbon footprint and combat climate change. Lowering the CO2 emissions of airplanes is one of the projects that scientists and researchers have been working on. A new, iron-based catalyst could make it possible for airplanes to generate jet fuel from the carbon dioxide sucked from the atmosphere!
Lowering the Aviation Industry Carbon Footprint
The airplanes that are used today release a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This is a climate-warming gas that greatly increases the issue of climate change. The aviation industry is responsible for around 12 percent of these emissions and any effort to lower that can be valuable.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible for airplanes to accommodate batteries large enough to provide sufficient electrical power generated by the wind or solar power to sustain flight. The new CO2 to jet fuel converter could be an efficient solution!
How the Jet Fuel Catalyst Works
At the University of Oxford, a chemist named Tiancun Xiao alongside colleagues tested the new catalyst in a small reaction chamber. Under 572°F and air pressure about ten times stronger than that at sea level, the catalyst converted about 38% of the carbon dioxide into other chemical products. Nearly half of the carbon products were jet fuel hydrocarbons.
What the catalyst does is help the carbon molecules separate from the oxygen molecules and combine with the hydrogen molecules placed in the chamber. This creates hydrocarbon molecules. The leftover oxygen combines with hydrogen to make water.
The Advantage of the New Catalyst Over Older Models
The catalysts made in the past used more expensive materials like cobalt and the process of CO2 conversion took several steps. The more affordable iron-based catalyst achieves the conversion faster and in a single step. This discovery could lead to a great decrease in greenhouse gas pollution from the aviation industry.
It’s easy to forget how interesting the world can be when we get bogged down by our mundane, normal lives. To remind you of all of the incredible sights that there are to be explored, we’ve collected some amazing pictures that you probably have never encountered. These rare photos include some truly amazing objects and animals that will surely surprise you.
Magnified Sand Grains
Sand probably looks just brown or black to everyone; depending on the soil type. But if you take a closer look it might be of interest to you, as some grains of sands have really exciting colors when magnified.
This picture is a representation of what sand grains from a Hawaiian beach look like when they are magnified between 100 and 300 times. Colors like purple, cream, green and different shades of yellow are clear to see. Who would have thought?
For an animal known for its smooth and slick hair, a curly-haired horse will surely draw attention. Commonly known as Bashkir Curlies, curly-haired horses have a unique gene that is responsible for the nature of their hair.
These horses usually have a very calm and friendly personality, while also being very strong with a great work ethic. Additionally, curly-haired horses are said to be the only horse breed that is hypoallergenic. This means that everyone can handle them without reactions, even individuals with animal allergies.
Human anatomy dictates that, usually, every individual has five fingers on each hand – making up ten fingers. However, there are exceptions as people sometimes have one extra finger on one hand, and this is not uncommon.
In this case, we have someone with six fingers on each hand, making up twelve fingers in all. All fingers have grown perfectly and look like they’re in good shape.
The Baikal Dzen
The Baikal Dzen makes for a very wonderful sight. Basically, it is a rock on a lake. The Baikal lake usually freezes into ice, with the rock sitting atop it.
However, the rock gets heated during the period of sunlight thereby melting the ice beneath it, and it is submerged underwater. The ice forms again after the sun is gone, and the rock is brought above atop the ice again.
Cat With Amazing Eyes
We have seen the cat with the somewhat scary eyes of Sauron, and here is a cat with the most beautifully captivating eyes you will probably ever see.
The cat named Soren has dreamy eyes that combine shades of deep blue and ocean green. Both colors combine to give Soren one of the most beautiful cat eyes ever. It is too bad that Soren is blind, and cannot see with her amazing eyes.
In this cave, there are crystals that are as big as trees. Located in Mexico, these crystals are much larger than one would expect. This cave contains giant selenite crystals, some of the largest natural crystals ever found.
Exploration of the cave is nearly impossible due to the sheer size of the crystals as it produces heat, and is very toxic to humans. The cave explorer in the picture seems to be struggling.
A Split Lobster
A split lobster is a half male and half female lobster. Along with being half male, half female, split lobsters also come in two distinct colors. Affected by a condition referred to as gynandromorphy, there is just one split lobster in 50 million lobsters.
This particular lobster has two colors of blue and brown, with the brown part of the body being the male side, while the blue part is the female side.
Bees come in different colors which include green, blue, red, orange, black, white as well as purple. A golden bee is therefore a rarity. This type of bee is referred to as Cordovans honey bee.
The Cordovans honey bees are known to be among the gentlest, most docile bees, and are really easy to spot. Their golden appearance comes through color mutation.
Snail With A Crystal Clear Shell
The color of a snail usually varies from dark brown, chestnut, white, yellow to pink. While some of these colors are rare, they are not unusual. A snail with a crystal clear shell is, however, quite unique.
Snail shells act as exoskeletons, therefore leaving the entire anatomy of this snail with a crystal clear shell open to the eyes. It makes for quite a view.
House Covered In Ice
It is a fairly regular occurrence for houses to be covered in snow. A house encased in ice, on the other hand, is a bit strange. This happened in Ohio on the Shore of Lake Erie after a blizzard.
The entire house, save for its right side, is completely covered by ice. The surrounding area is also covered in ice. One can not help but wonder how they managed to get it all off, and how long it took.
Rainbows usually appear in the skies after rainfall. A similar pattern also appears in oil stains, usually referred to as oil slicks. This is a whole pool which shows the pattern of the rainbow.
It is unclear what the cause of this phenomenon is, as it could just be one of nature’s wonders. Along with the trees around, the rainbow pool makes for quite a charming sight.
Tulips in the Snow
Tulips in the snow sound like it should be the name of a Passenger song, but here we have actual tulips blooming in the snow. Tulips are one of the most beautiful flowers known to man, and they do not look less appealing on snow.
In fact, the white color of snow, along with the yellow, green and red colors of the tulips combine to make a real spectacle. This is one of the most fascinating sights in nature.
A Sea Slug
Now, a sea slug is not a rare species, but this sea slug makes our list for its unique characteristics. The sea slug in question greatly resembles a plant and acts like a plant in some capacities.
Photosynthesis is one of the characteristics which this sea slug shares with plants, as it can go up to 9 months without feeding. Rather, it photosynthesizes like a plant, and draws energy from the sun.
The Femur of a Dinosaur
Dinosaurs have been extinct for over 65 million years now, but their fossils are still found around the world today. This fossil, discovered in France, is the femur of a dinosaur.
The femur is about 140 million years old and weighs 500kg, which is way more than the weight of an average man! The vast size of this femur is evident in the size difference with the man. Dinosaurs were surely enormous.
Shower In A Cave
Although this looks like a treasure destination in an adventure movie like Jumanji, it is actually a shower in a cave. This shower was not created, rather it formed naturally.
It appeals to one as a perfect tourist destination, with many picture ideas to be explored at this site. The shower in a cave also makes for a great bathroom idea, and a number of people have surely tried to replicate it in their home.
A Transparent Fish
This transparent fish has been identified by experts as a Salpa Maggiore. The Salpa Maggiore is usually found in the Southern Ocean, and feeds on phytoplankton and other tiny organic matter.
Salpa Maggiore uses its transparent nature as a camouflage, defending it against bigger creatures in the ocean. They are typically found in the upper layers of the ocean, in order to have access to sunlight.
Just like the split lobster we discussed earlier, this butterfly has gynandromorphy. This means that it is half male, half female. This butterfly is referred to as a bilateral gynandromorph as one part of it is fully male, while the other part is fully female.
The two different parts of the butterfly also have distinct colors just like the split lobster. This usually occurs when sex chromosomes are not split during development.
The Cat With the Eye of Sauron
Anyone that is a fan of the movie franchise Lord of the Rings surely recognizes the Great Eye or Eye of Sauron as it is popularly known. The eye which is one of the peculiar things in the movie, is greatly identical to the eyes of this cat.
Just like the Eye of Sauron, the eyes of the cat are the color of fire, with a hint of flames. It is quite telling that the original prototype of Sauron’s character is a giant cat.
A Bird With Baby Feathers
In another strange biological occurrence, this bird has features of both babyhood and adulthood. Although this is an adult bird, it still has some of its baby feathers.
In fact, the baby feathers make up half of its feathers, with the adult variant making up the rest. One cannot help but wonder if other birds sometimes tease the bird because of its peculiarity.
It is shocking to see that plants also sometimes have traits of giantism. Flowers particularly are nice plants that do not grow too tall, as many keep them to beautify the environment.
This sunflower, however, is quite different, as it stands over 8ft tall with big leaves and an unusually big stalk for a flower. At the height at which it stands, it seems taller than the house behind it, as well as some trees.
An Indoor Town
We know of private islands, but it is certain that not many people have heard of an indoor town. Located in Hamilton, this indoor town known as Doverwood Village and it is a local nursing home.
Complete with a cinema that shows movies twice a day and a pub, this indoor town greatly resembles a normal town. Doverwood Village also has a paved streetway with seats on the sidewalk for patients to sit.
This picture sure looks like a close-up picture of shards of broken glass, but it is actually a frozen lake.
Taken in Michigan, this picture will surely scare anyone off frozen lakes, as this definitely looks like it would cut you deeply. There is no way anyone can use a boat on this.
Cycling is one of the most demanding sports when it comes to legwork. If you have any doubts about that, you should look closely at the leg of Janez Brajkolic after an intense race.
A former world champion, Janez Brajkolic’s leg in this strange-looking picture appears to have contracted from the strenuous peddling. His feet also appear pale and very sore. He definitely had some serious muscle cramps from the look of things.
This is a picture of a transparent butterfly in a man’s hand. With the biological name of Greta oto, this type of butterfly is known as a glasswing butterfly.
These unique butterflies use their transparent wings as a tool for camouflage. Glasswing butterflies are typically found in Central and South America as they survive best in tropical regions.
Not everyone can read music notation, and definitely not everyone can write them. But it will interest you to know that before the advent of computers, there existed music typewriters for writing music notations.
Invented by Robert H. Keaton, the first-ever music typewriter was produced in 1933, with an improved version put out in 1953. It looks quite different from regular typewriters.
Frogs are not known for their great size, but they are not extremely small either. This frog here fits the description of tiny, as it is barely noticeable on the coin which it was spotted on.
It is either a baby frog that is just developing or a freak of nature which came in a very unique size.
Time Lapse Picture of a Beehive
This incredible shot shows a beehive in time-lapse mode, and it is beautiful to behold. The picture shows the bees flying all over the field and moving in different directions.
Even though this looks lovely, one is better safe not going close to these bees. The stings from them are very dangerous and can leave your face swollen and tripled in size.
Fossils are our only modern-day connection to dinosaurs. However, this is a photo of a cluster of dinosaur eggs. It is uncertain if these eggs are really dinosaur eggs, as dinosaurs became extinct about 65 million years ago.
Nonetheless, this will definitely pass as real dinosaur eggs if any existed today. There are about seven eggs held together by a tough-looking tissue.
The color of grasshoppers range from brown to green or olive, and they sometimes have red or yellow markings. This is a purple grasshopper, which is quite a strange color.
Sitting on the green leaf as it is, its unique color makes it stand out. This grasshopper will be the delight of a nature photographer.
Just like the split lobster and the gynandromorph butterfly, this is another organism with two colors. The bicolor sunflower is both yellow and red. This coloration is perfectly normal and is due to biological mutation.
It is a normal size, unlike the giant sunflower that appeared earlier. Just like the purple grasshopper above, the bicolor sunflower is a photographer’s delight.
Blue Java Banana
Green, yellow and red bananas are very common. What is uncommon is a blue java banana. Named after its color, the blue java banana tastes just as exotic as its name might suggest.
It is said to have the texture of ice cream, while having a flavor that tastes like vanilla. It is therefore safe to say that the blue java banana is the fruit version of a vanilla-flavored ice cream.
Translucent Blue Tang
We have already seen the Salpa Maggiore, a transparent fish, and here we can see a translucent fish.
A blue tang surgeonfish, otherwise known as Acanthurus coeruleus, allows light to pass through its body due to its translucent nature. One can even see the vertebra of the fish clearly. It looks very fragile.
The Murchison Meteorite is one of the oldest rocks known to mankind today. This rock is said to have existed before the earth formed, making it about 4,600,000,000 years old.
The Murchison Meteorite is believed to have been part of the remnants from the creation of the solar system. It landed in Murchison, Australia in 1900, the place it is named after.
Have you ever wondered what the clouds look like high up in the atmosphere? Well, here is a hint. This is a picture taken from the window of a plane in flight. It shows the cloud knotting into a little ribbon.
This is actually known as altostratus undulatus, or a ripple cloud, which is usually caused by turbulence. In this case, the airplane is responsible for the turbulence. It is a cute ribbon nonetheless.
Due to their tiny sizes, one can hardly tell what the face of an ant looks like. To some, they could well be faceless and made up of just a body.
Over the years, cartoons have given us an idea of what ants look like up close. This is an image of an ant’s face under an electron microscope and it seems the cartoons did a good job. The ant looks cute and scary at the same time.