So it’s 2015. We have reached Pluto and you think we have explored it all, at least on Earth? No sir, “Lost World” actually exists. These are unexplored, hard to reach locations with distinct features supporting unimaginable flora and fauna. No dinosaurs perhaps, but yes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was on to something.
Here is a list of 8 lost worlds that are likely to amaze you with their existence. Explore the places and species we thought never existed.
- Melville Range, Australia
Curiosity is the mother of discovery or invention, whatever! Exploration of ‘lost world’ on a remote Australian peninsula led to the discovery of three amazing new species. One of them is a left-tailed gecko (Carphodactylidae: Saltuarius ). This leaf-tailed gecko are about 20 cms long in length and are quite different from their tropical relatives in terms of their long legs—likely used to scramble around rocks—and large eyes, which helps them to see in that gloomy habitat. Exploration team will return back to Melville in search of more interesting species. “All the animals from Cape Melville are incredible just for their ability to persist for millions of years in the same area and not go extinct. It’s just mind-blowing,” Hoskin, one of the primary biologist quoted.
- Sima Humboldt, Venezuela
Sima Humboldt (Sima Major) is an enormous sinkhole on the Sarisariñama Tepui plateau in Venezuela. Not only this sink hole is huge with a whooping volume of 18,000,000 meter cube with a width of 352 m at upper rim and 502 m at lower; it is specially amazing for its flora. Good that pilot Harry Gibson accidentally spotted it when flying by over it in 1961. This crater was named after scientist and explorer Alexander Von Humboldt.
- East Scotia ridge, in Southern Ocean.
In a series of under-sea discoveries, scientists discovered these amazing hydro-thermal Antarctic vents 8000 ft below the surface with temperatures reaching around 700 degF. These hydro-thermal vents support some of the most amazing biodiversity by extending the environmental scope of life beyond our imagination. Team of researchers have observed various undiscovered species, including sea anemones, star-fish, ‘ghost-pale’ octopus and yeti crabs.
- Palawan Highands, Philippines.
In 2007, a team of botanists started exploring the isolated corner of Palawan Island. There are several species indigenous to these islands, some have already been discovered while many are still unidentified. This island is home to pink ferns, blue mushrooms and a ‘meat-eating’ pitcher plant which is the largest of all pitcher plants and feeds on rodents & small monkeys. Monkeys really?
- Son Doong Cave, Vietnam
Son Doong Cave was founded in 1991 by a local man in the deep dense jungle of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. This cave was undiscovered for so long by the other locals of the area because of the loud sounds & roars coming from it. When first explored in 2009, this place was revealed to hide the biggest known cave in the world which is 650 ft wide and 500 ft tall. This cave is so huge that it has a river, jungle and a climate of it’s own.
- Lake Vostok, Antarctica
Lake Vostok is one of the largest subglacial lakes in the world; it is about the extent of Lake Ontario, but twice as deep. It has been sealed off from the rest of world under 2.5 miles of ice for 15 million years. Cut off from light and contact with atmosphere for so long, it is one of the most extreme environments on Earth. Lake’s ecosystem is uniquely based on chemicals in rocks instead of light. As scientists brought the sample from Lake Vostok they found variety of life with unknown DNA thriving in the lake.
- Bosavi crater, Papua New Guinea.
Bosavi crater revealed a very interesting habitat that evolved due to it’s isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago. This lost world is populated by fanged frogs, grunting fish, tiny bear-like creatures, 16 new species of frogs, a new bat and many more. This 3 km wide crater supports a unique rain-forest ecosystem and scientists are hopeful to explore more of this.
- Movile Cave, Romania
In 1986, construction workers accidentally discovered the Movile Cave after digging 30 meters for geothermal plant. This kingdom of strange creatures exists in deep air pockets inside the cave which can only be reached by diving. Forty-eight species of leeches, spiders, scorpions and insects, were found inside the cave, of which 33 are endemic to the cave itself. What’s more interesting is that, the entire bio-dynamics thrives on the metabolism of Hydrogen Sulfide by bacteria on the cave wall and they do not depend upon sunlight at all.
Content source: Hybrid Librarian