Thursday, March 31, 2011

Horrible Deep Sea Creatures



The deep sea angler, known also as Melanocetus johnsoni, is a grotesque-looking fish that lives in the extreme depths of the ocean. Its round body resembles a basketball, and indeed, it looks like it could easily swallow one. It has a large mouth likes with sharp, fang-like teeth. Its appearance has earned it a second name of "common black devil". Despite its ferocious appearance, the angler only reaches a maximum length of about five inches. The angler gets its name from the long, modified dorsal spine which is tipped with a light producing organ known as a photophore. Like many other deep-water fish, the angler uses this organ like a lure to attract its prey. It will flash its light on and off while waving it back and forth like a fishing pole. When the prey fish gets close enough, the angler snaps it up with its powerful jaws. A strange fact about the deep sea angler is the fact that the male is smaller and different in appearance from the female, which is pictures above. The male of the species is about the size of a finger and has small hook teeth, which it uses to attach itself to the female. Once attached, its blood vessels join with that of the female and it will spend the rest of its life joined to her like a parasite, getting all of its nourishment from her body. If the male is unable to attach to a female, it will eventually dies of starvation. The deep sea angler is found throughout the world at depths of over 3000 feet. 


Long-nosed Chimaera

Biologists have gone to great lengths to describe the long-nosed chimaera, Harriotta raleighana, whose kind can reach five feet in length. Its stiletto-like nose reminded one of "the nose contour of a supersonic jet aircraft." Others have dubbed it "rattail," for obvious reasons. In South Africa, it is known as the "ghost shark," though it is only distantly related to sharks. A touch of the venomous spine on the first dorsal fin can kill a person, though such a fate is unlikely given the 8,000-foot depths at which this creature lives. 



The coffinfish (B.melanostomus) has a flabby body and long tail that are both covered with small spines. It has a black mouth lining and an illicium (glossary) on the snout that can be lowered into a groove. This species grows to at least 10cm in length. B.melanostomus has been trawled in the Central to Eastern Indian Ocean at depths ranging from 1320m to 1760m. The name melanostomus comes from the Greek melanos meaning black and stoma meaning mouth. There are two genera in the family Chaunacidae; Bathychaunax and Chaunax. Bathychaunax differs from Chaunax by having a lower lateral line count, longer ilicium, a wider head, more widely spaced body spines and several skeletal characters. 



The Deep Sea Dragonfish, or Grammatostomias flagellibarba, is a ferocious predator in spite of its small size. It is one of many species known to inhabit the deep oceans of the world. This fish grows to about six inches in length. It has a large head and mouth equipped with many sharp, fang-like teeth. The dragonfish has a long barbel attached to its chin. This barbel is tipped with a light-producing organ known as a photophore. The dragonfish uses this organ like a fishing lure, flashing it on and off and waving it back and forth. Once an unsuspecting fish gets too close, it is snapped up in the dragonfish's powerful jaws. The dragonfish also has photophores along the sides of its body. These light organs may be used to signal other dragonfish during mating. They may also serve to attract and disorient prey fishes from deep below. The Dragonfish lives in deep ocean waters at depths of up to 5000 feet (1,500 meters). They are found in most tropical regions around the world.



The fangtooth, also known as Anoplogaster cornuta, is another menacing looking creature that inhabits the deep waters of the ocean. Although it may look like a monster, it only grows to a size of about six inches in length. It has a short body and a large head. The fangtooth gets its name from the long, sharp, fang-like teeth that line its enormous, over-sized mouth. Its gruesome appearance has earned it the name, "ogrefish". The color of the adults ranges from dark brown to black. Juveniles look completely different. They are light gray in color with long spines on their heads. The fangtooth is an extreme deep-water species that lives at depths of about 16,000 feet. The pressure at these depths is intense and the water temperature is near freezing. Food here is scarce, so the fangtooth will eat just about anything it can find. Most of its meals probably fall from the upper depths of the ocean. The fangtooth is found throughout the world in temperate and tropical ocean regions including the waters off the coast of Australia. 



Giant Isopod

The giant isopod, known scientifically as Bathynomus giganteus, is the largest known member of the isopod family. It is very closely related to the small pillbugs that you can find in the garden. It is a carnivorous crustacean that spends its time scavenging the deep ocean floor. Food is extremely scarce at these great depths, so the isopod has adapted to eat what ever happens to fall to the ocean floor from above. It will also feed on some of the small invertebrates that live at these depths. 

Giant isopods are known to reach a size of over 16 inches in length and are one of the largest members of the crustacean family. These animals are very prehistoric in appearance. When threatened, the can roll themselves into a tight ball where they are protected by their strong, armor-plated shells. They have complex mouths that contain many components that work together to pierce, shred, and disembowel live or dead prey. Giant isopods are all over the world at depths of over 2000 feet. 














Giant Squid

The elusive giant squid, known to science as Architeuthis dux, is one of the world's largest animals, reaching a length of up to 60 feet. It is the largest known Invertebrates in the world. The giant squid is a mollusk and is member of the cephalopod class, which includes the octopus and other squids. Very little is known about these mysterious animals because none have been seen alive in the wild. Most of what we know about them comes from the bodies of dead squid that have washed ashore or been pulled up in fishermen's nets. These animals are carnivores, and will eat just about anything they can catch. During World War II, stories from the survivors of sunken ships tell of shipmates being eaten by these creatures in the dark of night. There have even been reports of giant squid reaching out of the water and pulling men off small boats. None of these reports have been officially verified, but they paint a picture of a powerful predator. The squid's eight long tentacles have strong suction cups, which they use to hold on to their prey. A sharp, powerful beak finishes off their helpless victim with eerie efficiency. The giant squid appears to be a favorite meal for the sperm whale. They have been found in the stomachs of dead whales and many these whales bear scars from the squid's suction-cupped tentacles. 


Gulper Eel

The gulper eel, known scientifically as Eurypharynx pelecanoides, is perhaps one of the most bizarre looking creatures in the deep ocean. Its most notable attribute is the large mouth. The eel's mouth is loosely hinged, and can be opened wide enough to swallow an animal much larger than itself. The hapless fish is then deposited into a pouch-like lower jaw, which resembles that of a pelican. In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the pelican eel. The gulper's stomach can also stretch to accommodate its large meals. This giant mouth gives the eel its other common name of umbrellamouth gulper. The eel also has a very long, whip-like tail. Specimens that have been brought to the surface in fishing nets have been known to have their long tails tied into several knots. The gulper eel grows to a length of about two to six feet and is found in all of the world's oceans at depths ranging from 3000 to 6000 feet. 

Vampire squid

The vampire squid, known to scientists as Vampyroteuthis infernalis, looks more like something that swam out of a late-night science fiction movie. The squid has large fins at the to of its body that resemble large ears. It is very gelatinous in form, resembling a jellyfish more than the common squid. The vampire squid has the largest eyes of any animal. It is a small animal, growing to a length of about six inches, bit it has globular eyeballs as large as the eyes of a large dog. The vampire squid's body is covered with light-producing organs called photophores. This gives the squid the unique ability to "turn itself on or off" at will. When the photophores are off, the squid is completely invisible in the dark waters where it lives. These squid live as deep as 3000 feet. Unlike other squid and octopi, the vampire squid has no ink sack. The vampire squid's arms are covered with sharp tooth-like spikes. This gives the animal its name. One pair of arms has been modified into retractile filaments that can extend to twice the body length of the animal. The squid may use these arms to capture its prey. When threatened, the squid can draw its arms up over itself and form a defensive web that covers its body. The vampire squid can swim extremely fast for a gelatinous animal. It can reach a speed of 2 body lengths per second and can accelerate to this speed in only 5 seconds. If danger is present, it can make several quick turns in an attempt to escape its enemies. The vampire squid is found throughout the world in most tropical and temperate regions. 



The Viperfish (Mesopelagic - found at 80-1600 meters - about a mile down) is one of the most wicked looking sea monsters. Some of them are black as night all over with light organs (called photophores) in strategic places on their bodies, including one on a long dorsal fin that serves as a lure for the fish it preys upon. Some viperfish (and many other deep ocean fish species) don't have any pigment (color) at all - they're transparent. They also have enlarged eyes, presumably for gathering as much light as possible where there is little or no light at all. The light organs of this sea animal create lights by using a chemical process called bioluminescence. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Most Amazing Armless People (Part 2)


The Armless Golfer

Tommy McAuliffe was the 'World Champion Armless Golfer'. Tommy was born in 1893 in Buffalo, New York, the oldest of five children. His arms were amputated after being run over by a train in 1902. He was left with no arms, not even stumps. He learned to write by holding a pencil in his mouth. He was the president of his senior class, attended three years of college, married in 1919, father of four children and grandfather of 16. He became a caddy at a nearby golf course. Using an old discarded club, he learned to play by holding the club between his neck and shoulder. He became so good he won the caddies tournament. After finishing college, Tommy was encouraged by his brother Walter, a professional golfer, to start his own Vaudeville Act in New York City. His "Trick Shot' act became so popular he traveled to all 48 states, all over Canada and Australia with his show. He did golf exhibitions at major golf courses in the U.S. He knew and played golf with Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Walter Hagan, Chick Evans, Tommy Armour, Jim Barnes, Geo Van Elm and Sports Writer O.B. Keller. His low score for 18 holes was 85. His average was 92. Tommy became the "World Champion Armless Golfer."





The First Armless Pilot

Jessica Cox suffered a rare birth defect and was born without any arms. None of the prenatal tests her mother took showed there was anything wrong with her. And yet she was born with this rare congenital disease, but also with a great spirit. The psychology graduate can write, type, drive a car, brush her hair and talk on her phone by simply using her feet. Ms Cox, from Tuscon, Arizona, USA, is also a former dancer and double black belt in Tai Kwon-Do. She has a no-restrictions driving license, she flies planes and she can type 25 words a minute.

The plane she is flying is called an Ercoupe and it is one of the few airplanes to be made and certified without pedals. Without rudder pedals Jessica is free to use her feet as hands. She took three years instead of the usual six months to complete her lightweight aircraft licence, had three flying instructors and practiced 89 hours of flying, becoming the first pilot with no arms.



The Armless Guitar Player

Learning to walk means falling a lot for any child. For Tony Melendez, who was born without arms, it meant falling flat on his face time after time, until he learned to tumble and get back on his feet. That lesson, to keep trying, stuck with him. He wanted to play the guitar, and learned to pluck the strings with his toes. He practiced up to seven hours a day until the result was music. In 1987, when Melendez was 25, he played during Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles, and the pope urged him to “continue giving this hope to all the people.” In response, Melendez has traveled to 40 countries and across the United States as a motivational speaker. 



The Armless Fitness Woman

Meet a living inspiration, Barbie Guerra. Barb lost her arms at the age of two in an accident, yet she is a remarkable fitness model.


The Armless Painter

This amazing festive image was painted by an armless thalidomide victim, using his right foot. Peter Longstaff's artwork pieces include flickering candles and another depicts a stag in a magical winter wonderland setting. And as well as teaching himself to paint, the 48-year-old has lived life to the full as a pig farmer, father and youth football coach.

Peter was one of many babies born with deformities in the late 1950s and early 60s when their pregnant mothers were given the drug thalidomide to combat morning sickness.
But as a boy he learned to use his right foot like a right hand and was independent enough to complete main stream schooling growing up on Teesside. Peter said: 'My right foot is like your right hand. I figured out ways of doing things.' He opens doors and turns on light switches standing on one leg, using a mixture of agility and balance. As a teenager he had to endure cruel comments from 'ignorant people' but took it in his stride. His ability to get around between home, studio and sports field is down to an adapted Range Rover, which he steers with a plate under his left foot, but which is otherwise a standard automatic. He was once stopped by a stunned policeman who spotted he had no hands on the wheel - but quickly understood when he opened the door. Peter's artwork was on show at the Royal College of Art in London in 2009.



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Most Amazing Armless People (Part 1)


The Armless Motorcycle Rider

A motorcyclist received a caution from police officers in China - for riding with no arms. Officers in Jimo, Shandong province, stopped the motorcycle for being overloaded - but were shocked when they saw the driver, reports the Qilu Evening Post. Liu, 27, lost both arms at the age of seven after an electric shock. 

When he was 10, his parents sent him to a local circus to learn skills, and from then on, he trained himself to ride a motorcycle without arms. Liu admitted that he had been riding his adapted motorcycle for 10 years without arms - and he didn't even have a license.

He said the circus where he worked had closed down three years ago and he and two other disabled circus workers had been performing on the streets ever since. Police decided against fining him because he didn't have any money but issued him a serious warning. Liu promised them he would not ride motorbikes again.


The Armless Archer 

When Mark Stutzman, of Richland, unzipped his bow case and began assembling his compound bow, it drew a lot of attention from some of the other shooters. There is nothing special about Stutzman's bow, case or the tools he uses to put them together with and nothing extra ordinary about his arrows. What was drawing their attention was that Stutzman, 28, was doing all of this - with his feet. Armless from birth and adopted into a family with seven brothers and sisters, Matt has never let his disability slow him down. He does everything with his feet — eat, drive (non-modified vehicles, even stick shifts), write (more legibly than most people), and punch the keys on his cell phone faster than most people with their fingers. He began getting serious about his archery when he was 16.

Shooting in bigger tournaments has meant learning to adjust to people watching him. His normal shooting position is seated in a chair holding the bow with his right foot. He uses a mechanical release attached to a sling around his right shoulder. To pull the trigger, he uses his jaw. When he shoots in tournaments, he doesn't enter as a disabled shooter. He shoots along with everyone else. His average scores are good enough, he said, that he's a contender for the 2012 Olympic team.


The armless piano player who won China's Got Talent

When Liu Wei first hit the stage on China's Got Talent, you could hear a pin drop, and there wasn't a dry eye in the thousand-strong crowd. Armless pianist Liu Wei, winner of China's Got Talent, plays piano with his toes. Sure, Liu Wei started his run on the show by playing a super sad song on the piano called “Mariage D'amour” by Richard Clayderman. But what actually silenced everyone was that Liu Wei didn't have arms…he played the song with his toes. On Oct. 10, 2010, it was announced, to nobody's surprise, that the Beijing prodigy won the competition, earning him a three-week tour in Las Vegas with Iggy favorite Jolin Tsai. Liu Wei lost both of his arms years ago when he was electrocuted during a game of hide and seek. He said playing piano with his feet was hard at first and it gave him cuts and cramps, but he mastered the instrument over time.

After his first performance he told judges with a winning adorable grin: “There's no rule that says piano can only be played with hands.” And if there was, it's officially broken.



The Street Armless Calligrapher

On May 19, 2010, at noon, an amazing scene on the pedestrian bridge walkway in front of the south entrance to Foxconn Corporation, Shenzhen, captured people's eyes. From Shandong province, an optimistic man with no arms used his feet and wrote down some inspirational words in Chinese calligraphy for the Foxconn employees, to advice them not to do any more foolish things – jumping off buildings and committing suicide. During 2010 there were at least 10 consecutive suicides of Foxconn employees. The armless man wrote, “To brothers and sisters of Foxconn, life is priceless, ought to fulfill filial duty, there is always a way out, harmony relies on oneself”. This man's action soon attracted a number of Foxconn employees who were passing by on their way home from work. Many expressed support and appreciation, some stepped forward asking for the inspirational pieces.

The armless man claimed that a few years ago when he was a chef in Beijing, a gas explosion made him severely disabled. After several surgical procedures, luckily he was able to live. But his parents raised him in many difficulties, in order to fulfill his filial duty, and to carry the load for his parents he practiced hard at writing using his feet. His actions not only motivated many people across the country, but also fully paid for his huge medical bills. Recently he was heartbroken when he heard the news on Foxconn employees' ten suicides. He thought these able young bodies should think about the filial responsibility and social responsibility. He hopes they will not do any more foolish things, heaven never seals off all the exits (天无绝人之路) – there is always a way out.


Armless Wrestler

Kyle Maynard is not your average scholar athlete. Kyle was a top wrestler at his high school and also near the top of his class academically. He also attended the University of Georgia. Why talk with him? Kyle is an inspiration to anyone who ever had a challenge to overcome. Kyle was born without elbows or knees - the result of a rare disorder.

Maynard now works as a speaker for the Washington Speaker's Bureau, specializing in motivational speeches. He is also the author of the memoir No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Most Amazing People With No Legs


The wrestler with only one leg who became a national champion

Anthony Robles of Arizona State University has only one leg, but that didn't stop him from becoming the national champion in his weight class. Born with one leg, Robles took the 125-pound title with a 7-1 win over defending champion Matt McDonough of Iowa. Robles' three-day performance earned him the Outstanding Wrestler award. He took control in the first period, jumping out to a 7-0 lead with a two-point takedown and two turns that exposed McDonough's shoulders to the mat for five more points. Robles uses his gripping power on those turns. “My tilting is due because I have such a strong grip, and that's because of my crutches,” he said.

(Link | Via)



The football player with no legs who also became homecoming king

This is not Photoshop. This is Bobby Martin from Dayton Ohio. He was born with no legs and really does play football. He's also the homecoming King.

He campaigned hard for king. He placed ''Bobby Martin 4 Homecoming King" signs all over the school and gave a passionate speech at a rally that ended with him doing rapid-fire pushups that were more like handstands. At least one of his opponents apologized for running against him and even promised to vote for him.



The little girl who had to use a basketball as her prosthetic body

Qian Hongyan, who was forced to use half a basketball as her prosthetic body, inspired millions with her ambition to compete as a swimmer in the 2012 Paralympics in London. In 2000, Qian Hongyan, was injured tragically in a car accident when she was only 3 years old. To insure her survival, the doctors were forced to amputate her legs. Qian's family, living in Zhuangxia, China, was unable to afford modern prosthetics and instead used half a basketball to get around on. Once on the ball she uses two wooden props to help her move around. She struggled to live her life with a basketball as an underprop, 'walking' between school and home by herself. The girl's story is widely reported in the country, and drew the attention of the Ministry of Public Security and China Rehabilitation Research Center.

Qian now has a pair of proper prosthetic legs, but still says she likes to use the basketball from time to time as it is easier for her to get in and out of the pool.











The man who climbed the Great Wall of China

A man who lost his legs in a train accident climbed the Great Wall of China in 2006. Huang Jianming from China's southern city of Shenzhen had both legs amputated in 1994, after he fell out of a speeding train carriage. Measuring 85 centimeters in height and weighing 39 kilograms, Huang calls himself a "half man," since he has become half the size of an average person due to his accident. He climbed the Great Wall for two hours by using the sheer strength of his arms, pushing himself up the cobblestoned steps in front of hundreds of bemused tourists.

The accident totally changed Huang's life. Without legs, his wife deserted him when he lost his livelihood, but the man from China's Sichuan province remained determined to live a normal life. He began practicing calligraphy and became a traveling street artist, roving through more than 20 Chinese cities in ten years.

"I hope when these tourists see me, a half man, climbing the Great Wall and enjoying being a real man, they will think about themselves." 


The man who became an acrobat

The remarkable Eli Bowen was born in Ohio on October 14, 1844 as one of ten children. While his siblings were physically average, Eli was born with his disproportional feet attached directly to his pelvis. In essence, Eli Bowen was a man born with feet but no legs.

Despite his physical configuration, or perhaps because of it, Eli strived to live an extraordinary life. He wanted to be an acrobat. Eli learned early to use his arms and hands to compensate for his lack of legs. Eli would hold thick, wooden blocks in his palms and use them as ‘shoes', elevating his torso in order to walk on his hands. As a result of that process as well as steady farm labour Bowen developed enormous strength and even in adulthood he was able to navigate his 140 pound frame anywhere he chose. He started his professional career at the age of 13 in various wagon shows before eventually touring independently, performing in dime museums and finally touring Europe with Barnum and Bailey Circus. He garnered a reputation for being a magnificent and effortless tumbler and acrobat and for his phenomenal feats of strength.

Billed as ‘The Legless Acrobat' Eli Bowen was known for his remarkable tumbling abilities but was applauded internationally for his extraordinary routine known simply as ‘the pole routine'. While Eli stood only twenty-four inches in height he had no reservations about climbing a thirteen foot pole in order to balance on a single hand at its peak. Gripping the pole Eli would stretch his torso straight, parallel to the ground, and spin around the pole. Eli would then hold himself parallel to the pole using only his right arm. The routine not only displayed Bowen's strength, but was also unusually graceful. Soon, Eli Bowen was commanding a salary of over $100 a week. As he grew into adulthood, Eli Bowen also became well known for his handsome looks and, at one point, he was considered by many to be the most handsome man in show business.



The woman who raises 130 Children

55-year-old Xu Yuehua, who lost her legs in a train accident at the age of 13, has spent 37 years raising children in a social welfare institute. She has brought up more than 130 children. She moves without legs by using stools; she spends her days on a pair of small stools, so the children call her “Stool Mama”. Stool Mama feels happy to take care of these children and doesn't regret doing it. Xu Yuehua, orphaned at an early age, devotes herself to raise the children at Xiangtan Social Welfare House, Xiangtan, where she shelters them. It is also the same place that helped her through her difficulties.



The man who became a skateboarder

Italo Romano is a talented skateboarder who has no legs. His life and the way in which he has overcome this major obstacle illustrates how the human mind and consequently the human body can adapt quite well in the face of great adversity.


The photographer who takes pictures of people who stare at him

When Kevin Connolly was ten years old his family took him to Disney World, but for some theme park visitors that day, it was Connolly who quickly became the main attraction.

Born without legs, Connolly was already used to the stares of strangers -- but that moment would help him start to understand that the lens could work in both directions.
On a solo trip to Europe, more than a decade later, he felt a man staring at him. Connolly lifted his camera to his hip, shot pictures of that man. Connolly would repeat that action 32,000 more times during his travels, creating a diverse portfolio of individuals from a broad assortment of countries. He posted some of these images online, under the title "The Rolling Exhibition."

While gratifying artistically, it's also an unsettling position for the 22-year-old Montana State photography student. Connolly has spent most of his life shrugging off the perhaps well-intentioned, but ultimately dismissive, stereotypical role of the "inspiring" physically-challenged individual. A prosthetics manufacturer created a custom body shoe for him that looks like a leather bowl covered on the outside with a rubber tread for traction. Connolly uses the device to protect and cushion his torso during most of his activities.

But Connolly learned something else during his photographic odyssey. Many of the people he met, did not wait for him to explain the reason for the absence of his legs. Instead, they automatically supplied their own narrative, suited to their own environment or personal sensibilities. For example, while traveling in New Zealand a woman asked Connolly if he was the victim of a shark attack. In Romania some people thought he was a beggar; at a bar in Montana a man bought him a beer and thanked him for his service, believing Connolly was a wounded veteran of the Iraq War. 


The man with no legs who ran the New York City Marathon

Lance Benson is 36 years old and was born with no legs. Yet he doesn't let that stop him. He competes in sports events by sitting atop a skateboard and using his hands to propel himself. He blazed through the 2005 ING New York City Marathon in just 3 hours and 37 minutes, and competed in the 2006 ING Miami Marathon as well.

Benson's connection with the road began as a simple workout in 2004. He is the only marathoner in the country to use a skateboard in the 26.2-mile event. For a man who, even as a child, refused to sit in a wheel chair and who, as a toddler, learned to walk in prostheses, it made sense.



The dancer with no legs who became India's Got Talent Star

A legless hip-hop dancer appearing on an Indian television reality show has become a rage with his swift dance moves and acrobatic skills. Meet 21-year-old Vinod Thakur shot to fame after performing on the television show India's Got Talent.

Born without legs, he quickly learnt how to walk on his hands at home in East Delhi. The TV show – part of Simon Cowell's global empire – carries a top prize of £68,000, a far cry from the £85 a month he earns repairing mobile phones. What's more, the economics student only started dancing five months prior to that – teaching himself by copying videos downloaded in his local internet cafe.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

World's Most Amazing Contortionists

Lilia Stepanova, an attractive 21-year-old contortionist, shows off her skills by shooting a bow and arrow with her feet. Stepanova, who has gained a lot of popularity from her appearances on famous TV shows like the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Show' and ‘America's Got Talent', is known for her body bending and twisting techniques. She has also performed in front of NBA, NHL and NCAA arenas, while also becoming a regular feature on the ESPN Sports Center opening highlights.  

Daniel Browning Smith holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest time squeezing through both a tennis racquet and a toilet seat. He is known as the Rubberboy.


At the age of four Zlata discovered she had an amazing talent - and she has been bending over backwards ever since to make the most of it. The Russian-born former gymnast, 24, is one of the world's most extreme contortionists. At 5 ft 9 ins, Zlata spends most of her days working out and training for shows around the world.

Zlata has a rare condition that makes all her tendons extremely pliable, allowing her to adopt seemingly back-breaking positions.


Kirsty Nicholson bagged her dream job as a contortionist in the circus after she was cured of her claustrophobia by her mum, who placed her in bins to get her over her fear of small spaces. Nicholson's mother came up with the drastic solution to cure her daughter so she could join the circus as a singer and contortionist.

(Link | Via)

With the ability to press his soles to his cheeks, turn himself into a human dart board, and dislocate his shoulders to escape from a straitjacket, Matt Alaeddine's résumé reads more like a medical examiner's report. Couple that with his sizable mass — well over 400 pounds — and the city comic and contortionist has found a ticket around the world, securing him a place in the infamous Jim Rose Circus. Founded in the '90s, the circus features extreme, often masochistic onstage acts involving everything from sword swallowing to genital lifts.

Alaeddine, 30, is one of three Edmontonians in the American troupe of pain-loving freaks. He started doing contortion as a street performer at the Edmonton Fringe Festival about 10 years ago. When performing his contortions, Alaeddine stuffs his rolling hillsides into a gold nylon suit labelled “one size fits all” that he bought from the women's section of a hipster-friendly clothing store.”


Nokulunga Buthelezi, the contortion star of the show "Africa, Africa", went to a German TV show and kicked some butts with her snake-like choreography.

Arevik and Tatevik Seyranyan perform 2 girls, 1 cu…be.

Alexey I. Goloborodko is a contortionist who has been described by many as the most flexible human on the planet. He was born in Tula, Russia, in December 1994. As well as contortion and flexibility, he has been trained in classical and modern dance, and Chinese martial arts. This helps to add fluency, grace and elegance to his contortion performances. He has performed in a variety of arts festivals and competitions, television programs, circuses and shows.


Richard Rosson (stage name Rubber Ritchie) is a British contortionist who has come to some prominence in the British media in recent years. He has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Channel 4 News, The Richard and Judy Show, and the Saturday morning children's show Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow.

Rosson has appeared in adverts and trailers for various products. Notably, in early 2006, Rosson acted as stunt double in a Walker's Crisps advert for ex-England footballer and BBC presenter Gary Lineker. Rosson has also had an impact on the big screen, shooting scenes as Avery the Death Eater for the blockbuster movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.


Another picture of 24 year old former Russian gymnast Zlata.  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Most Amazing Illusions


Cardiff Bay Illusion

Cardiff Bay barrage visitors would definitely love the art that Swiss artist felice Varini and his team created. Seen at a certain angle, the large optical illusion would render into a public art which would fascinate unknowing visitors. 


Death Ad Illusion

A "Be careful" Ad illusion. It lets people know they should be more careful on how they use those stairs


Earthquake Illusion

The Red Cross creatively used the power of optical illusion to shock viewers in its earthquake-awareness campaign in San Francisco. 


Elevator Floor Illusion

Going into this elevator would certainly makes one nervous. A sign at the entrance cautions the people that goes in about work in progress. A more detailed look shows that the floor has been painted with an illusion that there is no floor. 


Money Illusion

Yes, it's simple, but still cool, since it's so simple, you can do it yourself! 


Leaning Tower Illusion

Here is a novel illusion that is as striking as it is simple. The two digital photography images of the Leaning Tower of Pisa are identical, yet one has the impression that the tower on the right leans more, as if photographed from a different angle. The reason for this is because the visual system treats the two images as if part of a single scene. Normally, if two adjacent towers rise at the same angle, their image outlines converge as they recede from view due to perspective, and this is taken into account by the visual system. So when confronted with two towers whose corresponding outlines are parallel, the visual system assumes they must be diverging as they rise from view, and this is what we see. 


Shadow Illusion

Partners in both life and art, Tim Noble (1966) and Sue Webster (1967) explore the toxic influences of consumer culture through new modes of portraiture. Turning garbage into complex and visually arresting sculptural installations, Noble and Webster exploit, manipulate and transform base materials, often using self-portraiture to undermine the "celebrated" authorship of the artist. This artwork is called "Dirty White Trash", Six months' worth of the artists' rubbish.







Land Shark Optical Illusion

This was featured in the Economist Magazine article titled "Top Ten Signs" and was a finalist for an Epica Award in 2003. All this time we thought the "Land Shark" skits on Saturday Night Live were just comic fun. Little did we know at the time that this might happen. It starts out innocently, a caring relative gets an exotic pet for their niece or nephew. The beast gets big enough to take off a fingertip and flush it's gone. But being the cleverest species of them all, they adapt and the next thing you know you have a land shark as big as a bus. 


Tansparent Street Signs Illusion

Chicago artist Cayetano Ferrer paints street signs with images of its immediate background, thus giving them the illusion of transparency. 


Triple Sunrise Illusion

This is a natural illusion. On this day, the Sun rised due east at the Equinox, a geocentric astronomical event that occurs twice a year. What we see here is a set of ice halos, recorded on a cold winter morning near Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Produced by sunlight shining through common atmospheric ice crystals with hexagonal cross-sections, such halos can actually be seen more often than rainbows. The remarkable sunrise picture captures a beautiful assortment of the types most frequently seen, including a sun pillar (center) just above the rising Sun surrounded by a 22 degree halo arc. Completing a triple sunrise illusion, sundogs appear at the far left and far right edges of the 22 degree arc. An upper tangent arc is also just visible at the very top of the view. 

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