Namibia

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First Mass Extinction Likely Caused by 'Utterly Weird' Animals

Animals shaped like 'Frisbees and lumpy mattresses' may have killed early Ediacarans

(Newser) - New fossil evidence dug up in Namibia lends credence to the theory that we should blame "ecosystem engineers" for the world's first mass extinction, and that's not a euphemism for man, asteroids, or aliens. Instead, per a Vanderbilt University study published in the October issue of the... More »

Shipwreck Found in Desert Diamond Field Solves 'Maritime Mystery'

Portuguese ship lost in 1500s yields 2K gold coins

(Newser) - Miners have been pulling diamonds from a vast area of Namibia's Namib Desert called the Sperrgebiet (or "forbidden territory") for more than a century. But in 2008, workers hunting for diamonds where the desert meets the Atlantic Ocean found something even more precious: the likely remains of... More »

'One of Nature's Greatest Mysteries' Appears in Australia

No one knows what's causing the so-called fairy circles

(Newser) - The fairy circles of Namibia—believed to be unique in the natural world—have long been "one of nature's greatest mysteries," according to a recently published study . Then they turned up thousands of miles away in Australia. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,"... More »

After Paying $350K, Texan Kills Black Rhino

It was 'an emotional thing,' Corey Knowlton says

(Newser) - The "kill a rhino" stage of the Dallas Safari Club's " kill a rhino to save the rhinos " plan is now complete. Corey Knowlton, the Texas hunter who bid $350,000 for a permit to bag a black rhino in Namibia, killed one on Monday. He was... More »

Scientists Make Amazing 'Fairy Circle' Finding

The circles' layout matches those of skin cells

(Newser) - The Namibian desert is home to what are called " fairy circles ": strange formations of grassless earth surrounded by grass. Almost perfect circles, they're the subject of local myths, the BBC reports. Researchers still don't know what causes them, but new findings could help them figure it... More »

Town's New Proposed Name Looks Like a Typo

It's !Nami#nus

(Newser) - A linguistic storm is brewing in Luderitz, where some residents of the remote Namibian town are protesting plans to change its name to !Nami#nus. Those are not typographical errors: The name, proposed by some government officials and tribal authorities, incorporates click-like sounds in the language spoken by the Nama ethnic... More »

Why Namibia Is Chainsawing Off Its Rhinos' Horns

A third of the world's 4,800 black rhinos live in Namibia

(Newser) - You know what they say about drastic times. Rhino poaching has gotten so much worse in Namibia in the past year that the government is moving forward with a drastic measure—cutting off the coveted horns before poachers can get to them. Unfortunately, even this may not fully deter poachers,... More »

Namibia to Hunters: Shoot Our Rare Elephants

Country grants 9 permits for adult male desert elephants

(Newser) - At least one rare desert elephant has been killed in Namibia and more are likely to follow. The country has granted nine permits to hunt the large beasts, of which the Conservation Action Trust says only 100 exist. As the permits specify adult males, the trust says that part of... More »

Texas Rhino Hunter Gets Death Threats

Namibia kill will actually help rhino herd, Corey Knowlton says

(Newser) - The winner of a controversial hunting auction in Texas has had to hire security after hearing from a lot of people who want to do to him what he plans to do to one of the world's last 4,000 black rhinos. While he admits he will get a... More »

Hunting Permit for Rare Black Rhino Sells for $350K

Dallas Safari Club goes through with controversial auction, will donate proceeds

(Newser) - The good news for the 4,000 black rhinos left on the planet: A Dallas hunting club has $350,000 with your name on it. The bad news: One anonymous hunter paid that to make your number 3,999. As the AP reports, the Dallas Safari Club last night held... More »

Pilot 'Deliberately' Crashed Plane, Killing 33

Mozambican Airlines pilot locked door, took plane down

(Newser) - A Mozambican Airlines plane that went down in Namibia last month, killing all 33 aboard, was no accident according to preliminary investigations. With the co-pilot in the bathroom, pilot Hermino dos Santos Fernandes locked the cockpit door, reports the AP , then "made a deliberate series of maneuvers" that systematically... More »

Texas Club's Plan: To Help Imperiled Rhino, Kill One

Dallas Safari Club will auction permit to hunt endangered species

(Newser) - Plans to auction a rare permit that will allow a hunter to take down an endangered black rhino are drawing criticism from some conservationists, but the organizer says the fundraiser could bring in more than $1 million that will go toward protecting the species. The Dallas Safari Club earlier this... More »

Desert 'Fairy Circles' Made by ... Termites?

German scientist thinks he's solved the mystery

(Newser) - It's kind of a let-down, if true. A German scientist says the mysterious "fairy circles" that have long cropped up in the desert of southwest Africa are caused by humble sand termites, reports Global Post . The critters live beneath the soil and thrive on grass roots, explains Norbert... More »

One of Africa's Driest Countries Finds Water

And aquifer could be enough to supply northern Namibia for centuries

(Newser) - Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, but perhaps not for long. The BBC reports that an aquifer flowing beneath its boundary with Angola has been discovered—and the new water source could keep the country's north anything but parched for some 400 years. And one encouraging announcement... More »

Mysterious 'Space Ball' Falls From Sky

Namibians say it's made from 'an alloy known to man'

(Newser) - Namibian authorities are scratching their heads over a strange metal ball that fell out of the sky, they reveal. The ball, which weighs about 13 pounds and is 14 inches in diameter, was found lying about 60 feet away from the 12-foot-wide crater it left in the ground when it... More »

Namibia 'Bomb' Just a Security Test: Germany

Suspicious suitcase contained a prop, not explosives

(Newser) - The suspicious device found aboard a Namibian flight bound for Germany was a harmless fake designed to test local security, German authorities said today. “It is a so-called ‘real test suitcase’ from a US company,” Germany’s interior minister told Reuters . “This company produces alarm and... More »

Namibia Stops Suspected Bomb Bound for Germany

Detonator found in Air Berlin baggage

(Newser) - A flight bound for Germany was delayed after authorities in Namibia found what may have been a bomb in a piece of luggage being screened at Windhoek airport, the BBC reports. The bag, checked in for an Air Berlin flight to Munich, contained batteries, a running watch and a detonator,... More »

Babies Big on Cute, Short on Insight

Documentary follows four infants in four countries

(Newser) - Critics are generally won over by Babies, a documentary that follows four infants' first years in San Francisco, Mongolia, Tokyo, and Namibia. Some samples:
  • Wesley Morris, Boston Globe : "As an advertisement for the wonders of figuring out how to be alive, the movie is an engaging proposition."
  • Betsy
... More »

Namibia's Ivory Sale Raises Poaching Fears

Legal auction could lead to more poaching

(Newser) - Namibia kicked off two weeks of ivory auctions yesterday, marking the first time in almost a decade that the elephant tusks have sold legally, reports the Times of London. Seven tons brought $1.18 million from Chinese and Japanese buyers, and 108 tons—the equivalent of 10,000 elephants—will... More »

Sunken Treasure Found off Africa

16th century wreck packed with coins, artifacts

(Newser) - Geologists have discovered a 16th-century Spanish ship with a cache of gold coins and priceless artifacts off the coast of Namibia. The stunning find was made last month by a crew seeking sites for coastal diamond mining operations, the South Africa Times reports. Work has been halted and the site... More »

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