Hurricane Florence is rapidly intensifying and poses extreme threat to Southeast and Mid-Atlantic

I hope everyone in the storm is preparing for this one.

Hurricane Florence is tracking toward the East Coast with inevitability rarely seen in storms several days away from landfall. While forecasters were careful to cite “high uncertainty” in recent days, their tone changed after watching the storm’s eventual path barely shift from what they had considered to be a worst-case scenario.

Monday morning, as the storm rapidly gained strength, the National Hurricane Center was forecasting Florence to become a strong Category 4 storm before making landfall along the Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast on Thursday.

Computer model forecasts generally project the storm to make landfall between northern South Carolina and the North Carolina Outer Banks, although shifts in the track are still possible and storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs.

Stay safe if you’re in this area.

Stunning picture of bird’s amazing upside-down flight

From EDP24:

Take a closer look at this stunning photograph of a greylag goose.

Your eyes do not deceive you – this puzzling bird really is flying upside down but with its neck and head twisted the right way up.

The incredible display of mid-flight acrobatics is also a remarkable feat of wildlife photography and stunned the man behind the lens when he looked back at his images.

Brian MacFarlane was simply photographing geese buffeted by strong winds at Strumpshaw yesterday, and did not expect to capture a moment of contortionism.

“The wind was making life difficult for the flying birds,” said Mr MacFarlane.

“Some were expert at controlling their flight, while others were being tossed around in mid-air.

“On closer inspection of the image I realised it had flipped upside down but kept its head the right way up. “Quite a feat!”

Today’s Nightmare Post

Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera

The pictures show the spider with its long black legs wrapped around the body of a dead bird suspended in its web.

Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera

The startling images were reportedly taken in Atheron, close to Queensland’s tropical north.

Despite their unlikely subject matter, the pictures appear to be real.

Joel Shakespeare, head spider keeper at the Australian Reptile Park, said the spider was a Golden Orb Weaver.

“Normally they prey on large insects… it’s unusual to see one eating a bird,” he told

(via Arbroath)

Preying Mantis spearing a Hummingbird in mid-flight.

Leopard vs. Crocodile

From the Telegraph:

A series of incredible pictures taken at a South African game reserve document the first known time that a leopard has taken on and defeated one of the fearsome reptiles.

The photographs were taken by Hal Brindley, an American wildlife photographer, who was supposed to be taking pictures of hippos from his car in the Kruger National Park.

The giant cat raced out of cover provided by scrub and bushes to surprise the crocodile, which was swimming nearby.

A terrible and bloody struggle ensued. Eventually, onlookers were amazed to see the leopard drag the crocodile from the water as the reptile fought back.

Cone Snail Eating a Fish

They’re also dangerous to humans:

The bright colours and patterns of cone snails have led curious or inquisitive people to pick them up, sometimes with tragic consequences when the snail fires its harpoon in self-defense. About 30 human deaths have been recorded from cone snail envenomation. One species, Conus geographus, is known colloquially as the “cigarette snail,” in the belief that the victim will have only enough time to smoke a cigarette before perishing. The harpoon can penetrate gloves or even wetsuits. Symptoms of a cone snail sting include intense pain, swelling, numbness and tingling. Symptoms can start immediately or can be delayed in onset for days. Severe cases involved muscle paralysis, changes in vision and respiratory failure that can lead to death. There is no antivenin, and treatment involves providing life support until the venom is metabolised by the victim.

(Thanks PVC)