Papua New Guinea

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Introducing the 'World's Dullest Culture'

The Baining of Papua New Guinea ban kids from playing

(Newser) - A Papua New Guinea group known to anthropologists as "the dullest people on Earth" do everything they can to discourage children from playing, writes Peter Gray at Psychology Today . The Baining—who have caused at least one frustrated anthropologist to give up studying them—are small-scale farmers almost entirely... More »

Cult Busted for Eating Sorcerers

New Guinea group thought witch doctors were charging too much

(Newser) - Twenty-nine members of an alleged cannibal cult have been arrested in Papua, New Guinea, for allegedly hunting, killing, and eating at least seven sorcerers, police revealed today. They allegedly ate their victims' brains raw and made a soup from their penises, the AFP reports. The gang was part of a... More »

238 Saved, 112 Still Missing in Ferry Wreck

No bodies yet found in Papua New Guinea wreck

(Newser) - Rescuers have managed to find 238 survivors of the ferry that sank off Papua New Guinea yesterday and get them to safety—but that still leaves 112 of the 350 who were aboard the Rabaul Queen unaccounted for, the New York Times reports. Search teams, which are using three ships,... More »

Papua New Guinea Ferry Sinks With 350 Onboard

Helicopters, merchant ships join frantic rescue effort

(Newser) - Hundreds of people are missing and feared dead after a ferry with up to 350 people on board sank off Papua New Guinea's northern coast. Merchant ships that arrived on the scene after the Rabaul Queen sent a distress signal have rescued 28 people, and helicopters have joined the... More »

World's Smallest Frog Found

Tiny amphibian discovered in Papua New Guinea

(Newser) - A species of frog so tiny that several of them could fit on a fingernail with room to spare has been found hopping around the forests of Papua New Guinea. At 0.27 inches long, Paedophryne amauensis is the smallest frog ever discovered and, by some measures, is the world'... More »

Plane Carrying 32 Goes Down in Papua New Guinea

Locals say four passengers survived

(Newser) - A plane carrying 32 passengers went down in Papua New Guinea today, and local villagers say just four people survived the crash. The Airlines PNG Dash 8, a twin-propeller plane, crashed en route from Lae to Madang, the AP reports; there was reportedly a violent storm going on at the... More »

Body Found in Home of Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister

His son is questioned in woman's death

(Newser) - Police arrested the adopted son of Papua New Guinea's acting prime minister after a woman's body was found at their family home, an official said today. Acting PM Sam Abal said he had personally reported the "alleged murder" on Monday after the woman's body was found... More »

WWII Pilot Who Forever Repaid Rescuers Dies at 94

Getting shot down in Pacific shaped Fred Hargesheime's whole life

(Newser) - Shot down by a Japanese fighter in 1943, a young US pilot landed in the jungle of a Japanese-held island. He survived, barely, for a month before fate and Pacific islanders found him, nursed him back to health in secret, and eventually got him back in American hands. Fred Hargesheimer,... More »

Indonesia Issues Tsunami Warning After 6.8 Quake

Temblor struck off Papua New Guinea

(Newser) - Indonesia says it issued a tsunami warning after a powerful quake hit off Papua New Guinea. The US Geological Survey says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 and was centered 325 miles northeast of the capital, Port Morseby. It struck 31 miles beneath the ocean floor. Fauzi,... More »

Giant Rat Found in 'Lost Volcano'

Fanged toads, mini 'Ewoks' among species discovered in New Guinea jungle

(Newser) - A new species of giant rat with no fear of humans has been discovered in a volcanic crater deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. It's the same kind of rat "you find in city sewers"—except it's 32 inches long, said a scientist traveling with a... More »

'Witch' Murders Rattle New Guinea

(Newser) - An increasing number of women are being tortured and murdered in a series of witch hunts in Papua New Guinea, reports the Independent. The problem is so severe that the government has launched a new commission to address it. Women are often blamed for any untimely death in a tribe.... More »

'Bloodthirsty' New Guinea Tribesman Sues New Yorker

Tribe complains they were wrongly portrayed as murderous rapists and pig thieves

(Newser) - A Papua New Guinea tribesman portrayed as a bloodthirsty, revenge-driven killer in a New Yorker article is seeking payback from the magazine, Forbes reports. A $10 million lawsuit charges that the story wrongly accuses Daniel Wemp and another tribesman of rape and murder when they had only been recounting traditional... More »

'Witch' Burned Alive in Papua New Guinea

Girl said to spread AIDS; outbreak fuels such sorcery killings

(Newser) - A young woman accused of witchcraft was doused with gasoline and burned to death on a pyre of car tires in Papua New Guinea, reports the Telegraph. The girl, aged between 16 and 21, was accused of spreading AIDS to one of her murderers in an extra-marital affair. Black magic... More »

'Extinct' Bird Flies Again

Beck's petrel hadn't been seen since 1920s

(Newser) - The Beck’s petrel, a bird last seen in the 1920s and long thought extinct, appears to be very much alive, the AP reports. Spurred by unconfirmed sightings in Australia two years ago, an Israeli ornithologist set out for a group of islands off Papua New Guinea and brought back... More »

Eek! A Giant New Rat

Papua New Guinea's 'lost world' yields more wonder

(Newser) - Amid the lush paradise of a so-called lost world, researchers ran into a little reminder of the developed world's sewers: A heretofore undiscovered giant rat five times the size of gutter-variety rodents. The group also came across a new pygmy possum and various rare birds in the remote area of... More »

Coconut Oil Powers Papua New Guinea

On one island, mini-refineries are turning coconut oil into diesel

(Newser) - It's the ultimate in energy independence. On Papua New Guinea's Bougainvillea island, residents are battling expensive and unreliable oil imports by making their own perfumed alternafuel—from local coconuts. The refined coconut oil functions as diesel, residents say, and has already generated inquiries from as far away as Iran. More »

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