18 Stories

Museum Shocked to Discover Giant Egg in Collection Is Real

It's one of fewer than 40 elephant bird eggs held by public institutions

(Newser) - The Buffalo Museum of Science has been sitting on a rare find. A collections manager with the museum discovered an elephant bird egg nestled away in a cabinet for more than half a century and erroneously labeled as a cast. The egg is 1 foot long, more than 2 feet... More »

'Chaos' in the Rainforest Over Madagascar's Precious Gems

Environmental group is calling for military intervention over sapphire rush

(Newser) - A sapphire rush has brought tens of thousands of people into the remote rainforests of eastern Madagascar, disfiguring a protected environmental area and prompting calls for military intervention, the AP reports. More high-quality sapphires have been found in the biodiverse area known as Corridor Ankeniheny-Zahamena in the past six months... More »

Vanilla Ice Cream Getting Way More Expensive

Thank Madagascar's bad crop year

(Newser) - America's favorite ice-cream flavor is getting a lot pricier and could be challenged by cheaper, synthetic knock-offs. We're talking about vanilla, which became 150% more expensive last year after Madagascar suffered a poor harvest, Munchies reports. Cakes, soft drinks, and perfumes could all be affected, but ice cream... More »

Plane Debris Washes Ashore, Eyed for Links to MH370

'It is way too soon to say'

(Newser) - Debris has washed up on an island in the Indian Ocean and is raising hopes that the fate of the Malaysian passenger jet that vanished last year might finally be known—though it wouldn't be the first false alarm . A French aviation expert tells the Telegraph that plane wreckage... More »

UN Horns In on Explorer's Captain Kidd Claim

UNESCO also dismissed Barry Clifford's claim he found Columbus' Santa Maria

(Newser) - The United Nations is sending experts to Madagascar to assess a claim by underwater explorers that they had found treasure and a shipwreck belonging to the pirate Captain Kidd . Ulrike Guerin, a specialist in underwater heritage for UNESCO, said today that experts will examine artifacts at the site where American... More »

Divers Think They Found Captain Kidd's Treasure

Silver bar pulled from wreck off Madagascar, but it's not confirmed

(Newser) - There are all kinds of maybes involved, but an American explorer thinks he's found Captain Kidd's pirate treasure. Barry Clifford brought up a 110-pound silver bar from a wreck off Madagascar believed to be the Scottish pirate's flagship, the Adventure Galley, reports the BBC . Clifford presented the... More »

Bubonic Plague Returns to 2012's Worst-Hit Country

20 died last week in remote Madagascar village

(Newser) - Experts have detected the bubonic plague in a Madagascar village where at least 20 people were confirmed to have died last week. Though the disease is rare today, the Red Cross warned of a Madagascar outbreak in October, and 60 people in the country died from the disease last year,... More »

Guess How Much This Massive Egg Costs?

Elephant bird egg expected to fetch up to $45K

(Newser) - The gigantic egg is 100 times larger than an average chicken's—it's a foot long and almost nine inches in diameter—and it can be yours for just $45,000. On April 24, Christie's will auction the fossilized egg, which was laid by the elephant bird, reports... More »

Mini-Chameleon Discovered in Madagascar

Inch-long Brookesia micra the result of island dwarfism

(Newser) - A tiny island off the coast of Madagascar is home to the smallest chameleon ever discovered. Scientists believe Brookesia micra, which is just over an inch long, is the result of a double case of "island dwarfism," in which island species shrink as they evolve to adjust to... More »

Gibson Guitar Raid Turns Political

Feds investigate possible imports of endangered wood

(Newser) - Allegations of illegal wood imports prompted the Justice Department to raid Gibson Guitar facilities in Tennessee last week. NPR aired the complicated story involving the 100-year old Lacey Act, which prohibits imports of endangered species, including plants, into the US. No formal charges have been pressed, but it appears the... More »

Richard Branson Creating Lemur Island

Billionaire giving Caribbean island to endangered primates

(Newser) - Mogul Richard Branson has a spare Caribbean island that he's planning to turn over to some of the world's most endangered species. The billionaire plans to create a colony of lemurs on the undeveloped island in the British Virgin Islands. The primates are rapidly disappearing from their native... More »

African Union Suspends Madagascar

Pressure mounts against coup government

(Newser) - International pressure is mounting against the new government of Madagascar, installed this week via coup, the BBC reports. The African Union has suspended the island nation’s membership, calling the takeover “unconstitutional,” and South Africa said it might impose sanctions. France likewise condemned the takeover, and the US... More »

Ex-DJ Takes Over Madagascar

Military hands power to opposition leader after president steps down

(Newser) - Madagascar's military has handed control of the country over to youthful opposition leader Andry Rajoelina, the BBC reports. The 34-year-old former DJ—who installed himself in the president's office yesterday—promised elections within two years. President Marc Ravalomanana stepped down yesterday after a military raid on his palace, and officers... More »

Madagascar Prez Hands Country to Military

Troops stormed palace yesterday

(Newser) - Madagascar's president has handed over power to the nation's military, Reuters reports, following a months-long power struggle that culminated in a military raid on Marc Ravalomanana’s palace yesterday and the opposition's seizure of his offices today. "He came to the conclusion this is best for the country. He... More »

Army Seizes Presidential Palace in Madagascar

(Newser) - Explosions rang out in Madagascar’s capital today, as the army stormed and easily captured the presidential palace at the center of the city. The building appeared deserted, according to an AP reporter, who saw armored vehicles roll through the normally ceremonial palace gates. One colonel said it wasn’t... More »

Madagascar Chameleon Has Shortest Life on 4 Legs

Furcifer labordi dies about a year after it's conceived—and 16-20 weeks out of shell

(Newser) - A small chameleon native to Madagascar looks to own the world record for shortest life span for a creature with four legs and a backbone, the New York Times reports. The Furcifer labordi dies about a year after conception, with just 16-20 weeks on earth after it leaves its shell.... More »

Kamikaze Palm Baffles Botanists

Madagascar giant flowers spectacularly, then dies

(Newser) - Scientists have found a gigantic—and suicidal—new species of palm tree in a remote area of Madagascar, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The tree, so big it can be seen in satellite photos, grows normally for a century or so until it spectacularly erupts with countless tiny flowers that... More »

Top 10 Up & Coming Destinations

(Newser) -
  1. Gdansk, Poland
  2. Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada
  3. Nesebar, Bulgaria
  4. San Ignacio, Belize
  5. Antananarivo, Madagascar
More »

18 Stories