See a flock of endangered birds led to safety by a daring pilot – Live!


Sometimes a species is so endangered their numbers can only be increased by raising some of them in captivity. Birds raised this way never learn to migrate right.

Operation Migration is a project to help endangered birds learn to migrate by leading them along the right path with an ultralight aircraft they’ve been taught to follow.

They’re in the middle of a flight right now and you can watch them in action:

Live streaming video by Ustream


The other body part you never knew existed.

Belgian doctors have just announced that the leg has a part that nobody had noticed before. The researchers say that the anteriolateral ligament, a tiny band of connecting tissue on the back of the knee, explains certain knee injuries. It also explains why some people don’t get better after surgery: This whole time surgeons have been missing this tiny but crucial piece of tissue. (UPDATE: It had been noticed before, but never considered important enough to actually make it into any anatomy books)

Last year, doctors announced that they’d discovered a razor-thin sixth layer of the cornea that had gone unnoticed through all of human history before that.

Part of the reason why these things can continue to escape our notice is that too often, we assume that everything important has already been mapped. Things look so clean and obvious in a textbook diagram, but the real world is messy and bizarre. We’re still just beginning to open our eyes.

The body part nobody knew existed

Iris_close-up_Laitr Keiows_Wikipedia

Creative commons image by Laitr Keiows


Until recently, nobody knew about a small part of the eye that’s essential to the cornea’s functioning. Until now, the cornea (the transparent front covering of the eye) had only five known layers. A team of scientists at the University of Nottingham announced the discovery of the sixth layer of the eye.

It’s amazing that something like this could escape our notice for so long.