Blog Posts by Melissa Knowles

  • Treasure Found Aboard Sunken Ship in Gulf of Mexico

    Deep-sea divers have just made the find of a lifetime. A ship that is believed to have sunk almost 400 years ago, has a bounty of treasure on board. Located a quarter mile deep on the bottom of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, the sunken ship is believed to be the Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario. The ship was part of a Spanish fleet of 28 ships, eight of which met their demise on September 5, 1622, during a hurricane.

    Perhaps the most exciting part of the find are the more than 17,000 pieces of real-life treasure. There were 39 bars of gold, ceramic jars, jewels, precious stones, silver coins, and even a device that was used to navigate the ship by the stars. And apparently, those aboard the ship kept parrots as pets, because bird bones were found on board. This is the first time the remains of a parrot have been found in a shipwreck.

    The shipwreck and its contents were found by Odyssey Marine Exploration, a company that specializes in locating long-lost deep-sea artifacts.

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  • Rescued Dogs Get Fast Ride to New Homes

    Good news is always the most fun to report. That's why it's such a pleasure to share today's story with you.

    Chances are, you know about the cult classic movie "Snakes On a Plane" featuring Samuel L. Jackson, but I'll bet you have not heard of "Puppies on a Plane." It has nothing to do with the movie, but everything to do with rescuing puppies and giving them good loving homes.

    Andriss Skulte is a pilot who volunteers his time to the organization Pilots N Paws. The organization works with animal rescues and deals mainly with kill shelters. They have placed more than 1,200 Labs all over New England. "Rather than the dog … spending days in a car, we can take them in a plane and in a couple of hours, get them home," said Skulte.

    In a promotional video for Pilots N Paws uploaded to YouTube, we witness a family with two young kids who are taken to the airport under the premise that they were picking up a family member. Little do they know, that new family member is of the canine variety.

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  • Georgia High School Students Organize First-Ever Integrated Prom

    It's that time of year when high school students get ready for prom season. It may shock you to learn just how some students conduct their prom. When integration took effect, the school-sponsored prom at Wilcox County High School ended. Instead, parents began raising money for two separate proms. So students at Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Georgia, have held one prom for white students and one prom for black students ever since. But a group of students is working together to change that this year.

    In the fall, Quanesha Wallace, a black girl, was crowned homecoming queen. A white male student was crowned homecoming king. They went to two separate dances and were photographed for the yearbook separately.

    Quanesha and a group of her friends, both black and white, decided that they wanted to bring an end to the separate proms so that all of the students could dance together.

    "It is embarrassing to know that I'm from the county that still does this," said Keela Bloodworth, a white

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  • Astronaut Demonstrates How to Brush Your Teeth at Zero Gravity

    Astronauts are an elite group. But besides being experts at space travel and having superior knowledge of our solar system and the earth itself, astronauts have to become experts at some pretty mundane activities -- doing it all at what is called zero gravity.

    In a video uploaded to YouTube titled "Chris Hadfield Brushes His Teeth in Space," by the Canadian Space Agency, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield demonstrates a step-by-step guide to brushing your teeth in space. It's way more complex than you might imagine, but it's also pretty cool.

    First, Hadfield, who is the commander of Expedition 35, starts with a standard toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste provided by NASA. It does not have a removable cap, leaving one less thing to lose. Hadfield explains that you can't have a running tap or sink of water, because water would go everywhere. So instead, astronauts use a bag that is filled with water and attach a tube or straw-like cylinder to it. Hadfield then carefully squeezes a ball

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  • Newly Discovered Giant Spider is of the Nightmare-Inducing Variety

    Of all of the creepy and crawly things that you can think of, tarantulas probably are near the top of the list when it comes to scariness. Well, get ready to add another terrifying arachnid to your list, because a new type of tarantula has been discovered in northern Sri Lanka.

    Ranil Nanayakkara, a local researcher, and his team found the tiger spider and named it Poecilotheria rajaei, after a local police investigator, Michael Rajakumar Purajah. Purajah helped the team of scientists navigate the remote area where the spider was found.

    The genus Poecilotheria is known for being fast, colorful, and venomous. But why does this newly discovered species stand out from all the rest in its genus? It's huge, for one thing. Its leg span is up to 8 inches across, about the length of your face. It also has distinctive markings on its underside and legs that are geometrically patterned and described as daffodil-yellow and gray.

    So what do these spiders eat? They have a taste for small snakes,

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  • Sea Lion Proves Humans Are Not the Only Mammals Who Can Boogie

    Having rhythm has long been thought to be a human trait only, but a new study from the University of California, Santa Cruz, proves that we're not the only mammals who know how to boogie.

    A sea lion named Ronan has been trained to bob her head in time with rhythmic sounds. According to a UCSC press release, Ronan is also able to move to the sounds of music she has never heard before. She listens, quickly catches the beat, and starts to bob her head accordingly.

    Peter Cook, who works in the Department of Psychology at UCSC and helped train Ronan, said, "When we first trained Ronan, we used a simple repeating sound, something like a metronome." Cook explained that once Ronan had learned how to identify a simple beat, without any further training she was able to find and keep the beat in complex stimuli, including music.

    Before now, the long-standing theory was that only humans and birds with the ability to mimic sounds, such as parrots, could move to a rhythm. Scientists once believed

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  • Woman Barely Escapes Path of Oncoming Train Trying to Save Cell Phone

    So many of us are attached to our cell phones as if they are a part of our bodies. In fact, we can hardly go anywhere without bringing a mobile device along, whether it's to keep in touch with friends and family members or to check social media, or maybe even just to get the high score on a digital game -- most of us will even find an excuse to take our phones to the bathroom with us.

    But what happens when you lose said phone? How far would you go to get it back in your possession? A woman in Brazil was willing to risk her life to save her cell phone. A new video that surfaced on YouTube shows the drastic lengths to which she went to retrieve her phone. She climbed onto the tracks at Sao Paolo's Corinthians-Itaquera train station just as a commuter train bore down on her. You can hear the conductor sounding the warning horns for her to get out of the way.

    In the video, you see the woman toss her purse up onto the platform first, but then she struggles to pull herself up away from the

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  • ‘Kung Fu Grandpa’ Video Goes Viral Thanks to Hilarious Commentator

    When something really funny happens, you don't just want to enjoy all the fun by yourself. You want to share it with friends so they can get a good chuckle, too.

    Luckily for Rev. Aamon Miller, he was able to record a funny scene in the parking lot of a Food Lion Supermarket in Richmond, Virginia. In the video, a man stands beside a pickup truck, nunchucks in hand, having some fun practicing his nunchuck skills. The video, titled "Kung Fu Grandpa in the Food Lion parking lot!," was uploaded to YouTube Friday, and it has already attracted more than 5.5 million views.

    So why are so many people tuning in? It's not just for the impressive nunchuck skills. It may have something to do with Miller's hilarious commentary throughout the video. He begins, "Yeah, what y'all know about getting your Kung Fu nunchuck panda on in the parking lot of the local Food Lion? Get it, my man!" He goes on to describe the man with the nunchucks, joking that the man would "whoop a fool upside his head." Miller

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  • April Fool’s Day Pranks Run Rampant on the Net

    Beware: Today is the day for practical jokers to shine. April Fools' Day marks that one day out of the 365 days of the year on which it is not only deemed socially acceptable, but also somewhat appropriate to play a harmless prank on friends and loved ones.

    Instead of playing a joke on you here on this blog, we're just going to tell you about some of the pranks that have surfaced elsewhere on the Web.

    Most of us have become aware of all of the incredible advancements in cloning technology over the last decade, but they have not come quite this far: The website for London's Telegraph newspaper falsely announced the creation of "Rabbits With Human Ears." One of the rabbits pictured is even outfitted with an earring. It's cute or creepy — depending on how you look at it.

    Two social media giants want you to think that the days of free use are over. On Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg's timeline, he announced that the plan for Facebook this year is called "Facebook Friend Fence." Users

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  • Rescued Cat Steals Soldier’s Heart

    Deployment to Afghanistan is a difficult situation for many U.S. soldiers, but it is also a time when strong bonds are formed between soldiers. Staff Sgt. Jesse Knotts formed lasting friendships with his fellow soldiers, but also with someone a lot smaller -- a stray cat that he named Koshka.

    Knotts found Koshka in the Maiwand district in Afghanistan in 2011 and took him in because he said the cat was "showing some signs that people weren't taking very good care of him." U.S. personnel are not allowed to keep pets, but Knotts cleared out a small space in his office for Koshka to hide in anyway.

    In December 2011, a suicide bomber targeted a convoy near the base, taking the lives of two of the sergeant's friends. While he was crying in his office, Knotts said, Koshka approached him and lay down in his lap to comfort the man who had rescued him. Knotts said, "He pulled me out of one of my darkest times, so I had to pull him out of one of his darkest places." He added, "You lose faith in a

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