Imagine the ruins of our modern society on some far-flung future day after Boston Dynamics kills us all. Skyscrapers crumble to dust as vines reclaim them, grass sways over the highways, and all of our laptops grow mushrooms from the filth between the keys. In the absence of man, nature returns. It's a powerful image, but the timetable is all wrong. We can't even turn our backs on our cities for one second without nature sneaking into the most random places. Like how ...
If you drive into Las Vegas at night, the first thing you'll notice is the Luxor Sky Beam -- a massive, ultra-bright collection of spotlights and mirrors that fire one thick beam of light straight up into the sky, upskirting God himself. It acts as a metaphorical "bug light," drawing travelers into the den of sin like moths to a flame.
Also, moths. Actual moths.
The Sky Beam attracts millions of bugs, which swirl in a dense cloud above the hotel at all times, as if Moses put a curse on the joint. This massive column of bugs serves as an all-you-can-eat buffet for groups of bats that roost as far as 20 miles away, but still routinely swoop in for a bite. Here's some footage of the carnage:
And the bats in turn serve as snacks for local owls. It's hard to photograph what's going on up there, but here are some long-exposure shots to illustrate the insanity:
Anyway, enjoy Las Vegas while you can, before the Sky Beam somehow ends up attracting hundreds of pterodactyls and they take over the city.
The abandoned, post-apocalyptic video game setting in the making seen in the video below was formerly known as Bangkok's New World Shopping Mall.
The mall ceased operations over 20 years ago, and subsequent floods turned the site into an ideal breeding ground for marauding mosquitos. To combat this, local shopkeeps started tossing in koi, carp, tilapia, and catfish. But the fish began thriving as well as the mosquitoes, mainly thanks to all the tourists who started showing up to feed them. Since no one thought to send crocodiles to eat the fish, and then hippos to eat the crocodiles, the place became a makeshift aquarium.
In 2015, authorities finally decided that that having an unlicensed aquarium / biohazard / structural menace smack dab in the middle of the city was no longer acceptable. But don't worry, before the entire structure was demolished, the fish were relocated to waterways elsewhere in the country. There, they are presumably shunned and ostracized by the other fish, who cannot believe or even fathom the concept of a mall.
Australia is where God's Sims sessions get really weird, but at least you know what to look out for. The killer jellyfish are in the ocean, the trees that drive you insane are in the forest, and the spots where you can swim with giant man-eating crocodiles are clearly marked as such. It's not like you stumble into an Indiana Jones-type pit of snakes while strolling in a mall in Sydney, or bump into some sharks while visiting a golf course in Melbourne. Because the sharks are at a golf course in Brisbane.
Now THAT'S a water hazard! ... We'll see ourselves out.
For the past 24 years, bull sharks (one of the few shark species with a taste for people-meat) have been living in one of the ponds at Brisbane's Carbrook Golf Course. As you've probably guessed, sharks aren't a typical feature of a water trap, and they were not placed there by a golf course designer who took their inspiration from old Nintendo games.
The sharks got in during a period of catastrophic flooding years ago, when the nearby Logan River spilled onto the course. The owners assumed there were maybe one or two, and that they'd die after a brief reign of terror. But nope! The sharks have managed to thrive because of the abundant fish population and lack of other predators. The owners now believe that they probably own around six sharks, but they're not sure, which is a sentence that can only be said in Australia.
Here is a phalanx of noble storks disregarding their baby-delivering protocols to ... wallow in filth at the local dump.
White storks in Europe figured that instead of making their yearly trek to Africa for the winter, it would be a helluva lot easier to pick through scraps at nearby landfills. But the practice isn't without peril. There's harmful chemical ingestion and plastic traps, for starters. It started out slow, with just a few lazy storks in the 1980s saying that Africa sounds, like ... pretty far, man.
But now, tens of thousands stay behind to gorge themselves at a disgusting but reliable food source. At some point in the future, flocks of storks making their annual journey to cold weather havens will be a thing of the past. As will the birds themselves, unless the steady consumption of toxins mutates them into TMNT villains or something.
Monk parakeets hail from Argentina, and nobody's sure how a bunch of them suddenly wound up in NYC in the '60s. Some believe a shipment got loose from JFK Airport, others assume they're escaped or abandoned pets who banded together to start a bird gang. Either way, the parakeets thrived, managing not only to survive the chilly New York winters (not that different from Andean weather, it turns out), but also that time the city sent exterminators to hunt them down, per Argentina's recommendation.
As a result of their unlikely resilience, monk parakeets are about as omnipresent as Starbucks. You can find them in Flushing, Upper Manhattan, along the George Washington Bridge, in Riverside Park, and especially in Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery.
Some residents consider them pests and want them removed. Others love them -- especially the ones making money by running parakeet tours in New York City. No matter how many times you read that last sentence, it just doesn't look right.
It's actually surprisingly easy to build yourself a koi pond/aquarium like that one up there -- just make sure your fish can hack it year-round.
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