World’s most unusual yacht could cost $250M to build

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(Courtesy Gabriele Teruzzi)

Have an extra $250 million lying around? If so, you may one day be the proud owner of the most outrageously cool yacht on the seven seas.

Designed by Gabriele Teruzzi and named Shaddai — which means, loosely, “omnipotent” in Hebrew — the low, sleek vessel looks more like a piece of modern sculpture than a boat for rich people.

Shaddai will have all the accouterments that showy billionaires desire: oversize flat-screen TVs, a pool club, cushy hangout spaces and unparalleled views.

Its most striking feature is a sort of wing in back that rises 125 feet. It is topped off with a poshly outfitted master suite and 1,130-square-foot terrace that looks perfect for al fresco dining.

“To ascend from the ground has been a desire of humankind since the very beginning,” Teruzzi writes in an e-mail to The Post, explaining the thinking behind his luxury perch.

“The futuristic shape of the yacht is inspired by the most contemporary architecture.”

If sunbathing up high gets a little intense, you can always cool off in the glass-walled infinity pool — with a waterfall, of course.

And in case you start to yearn for ocean creatures, simply repair downstairs and move to a second pool to get a shark’s-eye view of a giant aquarium.

Yet to be built, since it is still in concept form, it rivals the most expensive apartment in New York City, a massive unit at 220 Central Park South, in potential cost. Though Teruzzi said he couldn’t estimate the construction bill, it would cost about $250 million to bring the rendering to reality, according to Alberto Mancini, owner of AM Yacht Design, where Teruzzi works. For his part, Teruzzi tackled this design as a personal project.

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Watch the world’s biggest plane land in Australia

NOW PLAYINGWorld’s largest plane touches down in Australia

Tens of thousands of Australians turned out to gawk as the world’s largest plane descended into Perth’s airport on Sunday. The hulking Antonov An-225 cargo plane, which boasts six engines and wings that measure almost 300 feet long, was delivering a 100-plus-ton generator for a refinery. It landed smoothly with puffs of smoke from its many wheels.

It was an unusual aviation event, marking the first time the plane landed in Australia, and the moment spurred huge traffic delays around the airport as people came out to glimpse the enormous airplane, according to local media.

Related: Mystery Mission: Air Force’s X-37B space plane nears 1 year in orbit

The plane, which measures about 275 feet long and is known for its ability to carry huge cargo loads, touched down under partly cloudy skies, and was greeted with sprays of water.

“It’s very rare to get something like this coming here,” David Eyre, president of the Aviation Association in Western Australia, said, according to The aircraft has a split tail and the nose can flip up for loading and unloading cargo.

On Twitter, the Perth airport wished the massive white, yellow, and blue plane a safe voyage out of Australia, writing: “It’s been a pleasure #AN225 Mriya! Safe travels home tomorrow.”

Watch a scuba diver give a giant shark a huge hug

diver shark


It’s difficult not to feel your spine-tingle when you spot the scary fish make a beeline for a scuba diver.

But an amazing clip shows a brave scuba diver, swimming in the North Atlantic waters near Florida, cuddling up to a shark.

In a jaws-dropping twist, the diver reaches out and begins affectionately stroking the shark, which has since been nicknamed Blondie.

Instead of bearing a row of sharp teeth, Blondie almost gives a friendly smile to the camera as she swims through the ocean.

Adorably, Blondie nuzzles into the diver while he’s stroking her face.

Since the jawesome clip was posted online, there’s been speculation over what breed of fish features in the footage.

While some internet users have speculated whether or not it’s a harmless nurse shark, others are adamant that it’s a lemon shark.

Lemon sharks swim the subtropical Atlantic waters of Africa and America and often feed on smaller species of fish.

The International Shark Attack File notes that the lemon shark has carried out ten unprovoked attacks on humans, none of which were fatal.

The surprising video is a dramatic contrast to the terrifying footage of a shark knocking a paddleboarder into the sea which emerged last month.

In the shocking clip, Maximo Trinidad is seen surfing off the west coast of Florida when the spinner shark suddenly torpedos towards him.

The paddleboarder is sent sprawling backwards, almost landing on top of the predator.

As the shocked surfer clambers back onto the board, he screams with delight: “I got it on film!”

Maximo told CBS New York: “He landed on the side of my board and then I had to like jump over him so I won’t get bitten.

“It’s just a matter of a couple of feet. I mean, I could have ended up on top of him.”

The resilient surfer said his encounter should not prevent people from enjoying the ocean, and that people should remain aware of their surroundings.

The video was uploaded to Youtube by Maximo with the caption: “During lunch break and decent surf building with strong offshore winds I had an unexpected encounter of a spinner kind.”

Archaeologists discover world’s oldest axe

The world's oldest axe fragment, seen here under a microscope, is the size of a thumbnail.  (Australian Archaeology)

The world’s oldest axe fragment, seen here under a microscope, is the size of a thumbnail. (Australian Archaeology)

It’s less than half an inch long, but a small stone chip discovered in western Australia is a piece of the world’s oldest ground-edge axe, an archaeologist at the University of Sydney reports.

In fact, the axe’s creation likely coincides with the general time period when humans arrived on the continent, tens of thousands of years ago.

The axe fragment, which weighs just .16 grams, is nearly 50,000 years old, and was first unearthed at a site in Australia called Carpenter’s Gap in the 1990s. But it’s only recently that, after analysis, archaeologists have announced the significance of the discovery. The results are published in the journal Australian Archaeology.

Peter Hiscock, a professor at the University of Sydney and the lead author on the paper, said that the axe fragment dates to between 45,000 to 49,000 years old.

“This fragment is small, but it’s very distinctive,” Hiscock said in a videoexplaining the find. “It has a smooth surface, a high polish, that doesn’t occur naturally. It doesn’t occur by accident. Someone has to sit and grind the edge in order to make an axe.”

Hiscock said that before this discovery, the oldest known Australian axe was about 35,000 years old.

“This discovery is part of the grand out-of-Africa narrative,” Hiscock said. “Modern humans emerge from Africa, they spread across South Asia, and when they reach Australia, they create the oldest edge-ground axes in the world.”

Scientists used radiocarbon analysis to date the age of charcoal found at the same level of the archaeological site as the axe fragment, which is how they arrived at its age.

“The ancestors of Aboriginal people, arriving on the Australian shores, were adapting to the continent,” Hiscock added. “They were inventing new forms of tools to enable them to explore and settle the landscape.”

Hyperloop CEO: ‘We’re trying to make travel suck less’

Aug. 12, 2013: Concept sketches for the Hyperloop transportation system, which uses electromagnets and pneumatic tubes to transport people (and cars) at up to 800 miles per hour. (Elon Musk)

Aug. 12, 2013: Concept sketches for the Hyperloop transportation system, which uses electromagnets and pneumatic tubes to transport people (and cars) at up to 800 miles per hour. (Elon Musk)

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO Dirk Ahlborn says that the high-speed technology could make public transport systems across the world faster and more cost effective.

“We’re trying to make travel suck less,” he explained, during the DLD conference in New York on Tuesday. “We’re trying to fix public transport.”

Unveiled amid much fanfare by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2013, Hyperloop aims to transport people (and cars) at speeds of up to  800 mph. Using Hyperloop, for example, passengers could one day make the journey between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes.

Hyperloop will use sleek pods that hover on a thin cushion of air as they shoot through low-pressure tubes, sped forward by electromagnets.

Related: MIT wins design competition for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

During an on-stage discussion with Jennifer Dungs of mobility and engineering systems specialist Fraunhofer IAO, Ahlborn explained that public transportation systems all over the world are losing money.

“Speed is one of the advantages [of Hyperloop], but it’s not the only one,” he said. “Building something that has economic sense, that has a good business model behind it, for me, is even more important.”

The tubes, which are supported by pylons, offer lower construction and land acquisition costs than railways, according to Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Described as a self-sufficient system, Hyperloop will draw power from solar panels.

Related: Hoverboard company Arx Pax touts hover engines for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

Other methods could also be used to reduce public transport costs. “Do we need a ticket? Or is there a better way to monetize?” asked Ahlborn.

The CEO explained that Hyperloop Transport Technologies recently signed an agreement with the government of Slovakia, which could one day use the system to connect Bratislava with Budapest and Vienna. The company is also having discussions in India and Asia, he said.

Last year the company announced an agreement to build the first Hyperloop system in Quay Valley, Calif. Ahlborn told Hyperloop expects to break ground on the 5-mile test track this year.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Loony inventor creates working hoverbike

 Image result for Loony inventor creates working hoverbike

A crackpot plumber and inventor has taken to the air in a hoverbike he built.

Colin Furze has unveiled his drone bicycle powered by a pair of two-stroke engines and rotor blades.

“It’s the most outrageous thing I’ve ever ridden,” he said.

“Feeling it lift for the first time was such a strange feeling. It only just lifts me off the ground.

“I tried out all sorts of frames; hacked bits off and added bits on, until eventually I started seeing results.”

“The fact the hoverbike worked at all is a miracle, which proves you should try stuff even if you think you know the outcome.”

Experts unearth new ‘mythical beast’ Nazca lines

(Yamagata University)

(Yamagata University)

Researchers from Japan’s Yamagata University working in the Nazca Pampas of Ica, Peru have announced the discovery of a geoglyph with quite a story to tell.

In the central area of the Nazca Pampas, near the Majuleos gully, the team discovered an image thought to be the depiction of an animal with its tongue sticking out, spotted markings on the body and many legs. The team believes that it represents an imaginary or mythical creature, and the scene is one of a decapitation.

Related: Buddhist sculptures discovered in ruins of ancient shrine

According to the team, the image was created using a technique from the Late Paracas Period, (400-200 B.C.) where darker surface stones are removed to expose the lighter ground beneath them. The removed stones are then piled up in order to shape the image.

The team was in its eighth season on location and had discovered another geoglyph nearby in 2011. Both images are located on the slopes and the team said they were easily identified at the ground level.

Related: Shackled skeletons could be ancient Greek rebels

Masoto Sakai and Jorge Olano, of Yamagata University, wrote on the University’s website, “Between these two geoglyphs was found an ancient path leading to the ceremonial center of Cahuachi. We suspect that the geoglyphs were probably related to the pilgrimage to Cahuachi.”

Captain Cook’s ship Endeavour ‘found’ in Newport Harbor

File photo - Crew members sit atop the masts of a replica of the famous 18th century ship The Endeavour in Botany Bay. (REUTERS/David Gray)

File photo – Crew members sit atop the masts of a replica of the famous 18th century ship The Endeavour in Botany Bay. (REUTERS/David Gray) (REUTERS)

Marine archaeologists say they have likely found HMS Endeavour, which Capt. Cook sailed on when he discovered Australia, at the bottom of Newport Harbor.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) says that Endeavour, which was renamed Lord Sandwich, is one of 13 ships scuttled in Newport Harbor in 1778. Lord Sandwich had been used to transport troops during the American Revolution and was scuttled in the days leading up to the Battle of Rhode Island.

The vessel was a bark, or three-masted sailing ship.

Related: Home long thought to be Monroe’s turns out to be guest house

RIMAP used a grant from the Australian National Maritime Museum to locate documents in London that identify the groups of ships in the 13-vessel fleet, and where each group was scuttled. “One group of 5 ships included the Lord Sandwich transport, formerly Capt. James Cook’s Endeavour Bark,” said RIMAP, on its website.

RIMAP says that it knows the general area of Newport Harbor where the five ships were scuttled and has already mapped four of the sites there.  “A recent analysis of remote sensing data suggests that the 5th site may still exist, too,” the group explained. “That means the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project now has an 80 to 100% chance that the Lord Sandwich is still in Newport Harbor.”

A RIMAP spokesman told that the group will provide more details of its plans to confirm the fifth shipwreck at a meeting on May 4. RIMAP will also outline what needs to be done to confirm which ships are in which locations.

Related: Titanic treasures sold at UK auction

“The next phase of the archaeological investigation will require a more intense study of each vessel’s structure and its related artifacts,” explains RIMAP, on its website. “However, before that next phase may begin, there must be a proper facility in place to conserve, manage, display, and store the waterlogged material removed from the archaeological sites.”

May 4 marks Rhode Island’s 240th birthday. “For RIMAP to be closing in one of the most important shipwrecks in world history, for that ship to be found in Newport, and for it to have an international reputation, should be an intriguing birthday gift for all of Rhode Island,” explains RIMAP, on its website.

Related: The ‘Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay’ in pictures

Marine archaeologists have made a number of fascinating finds in recent years. Last year, for example, treasure said to belong to the infamous pirate Captain Kidd was found by divers in the waters of the Indian Ocean off Madagascar.

Earlier this year the 500-year old wreck of a Portuguese ship piloted by an uncle of explorer Vasco da Gama was found off the coast of Oman.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dutch dreamer hopes to bring Noah’s Ark replica to Americas

The ark is a major tourist attraction in Holland, but could be bound for the Americas. (Ark of Noah Foundation)

The ark is a major tourist attraction in Holland, but could be bound for the Americas. (Ark of Noah Foundation)

A Dutch carpenter inspired by a dream to build a massive replica of Noah’s Ark has a new and equally daunting vision – to bring the 410-foot vessel to the Americas in time for this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil.

Johan Huibers’ impressive boat, built at a cost of nearly $4 million, is currently moored in Dordrecht, some 60 miles south of Amsterdam. A popular tourist attraction drawing as many as 3,000 visitors a day, the ark is an interactive museum and event center. Hauling it across the ocean in time to reach an international audience would cost an estimated $1.5 million, according to a California nonprofit recently established to help Huibers realize his latest dream.

“If we are able to purchase a barge, that will make taking it to every port in South and North America a very real possibility,” David Rivera, of The Ark of Noah Foundation, told

The group needs a miracle to achieve Huibers’ latest goal, as just under $1,800 has trickled in to date. But Huibers’s history of overcoming long odds is testament to his tenacity. His life’s work began with a dream, which he was later able to achieve after his contracting business made him a multimillionaire.

“[I hope] to see happy faces, explain the story of the Ark as a tool of God to give hope to mankind.”

– Johan Huibers

“In 1992 I had a dream about the Netherlands being underwater [due to] a flood,” Huibers, 57, told “A short time after, I saw a book and I read it to my children. It showed pictures of the Great Flood. I said then that I want to build the ark. Thirteen years later, I had the means and time to do it.”

At 410 feet long, 95 feet wide and 75 feet high, the ark is half the size of the specifications described in the Bible. It is made of cedar and pine and was built atop a steel barge in the river port of Schagen, some 30 miles north of Amsterdam. Since its completion, it has been towed by canal tugboats to Rotterdam and Arnhem, as well as to its current base.

Completing the 2,500-ton ark took more than four years, during which time Huibers and a crew that included random volunteers, his son and even the local butcher, often slept aboard the 95-foot-wide, 75-foot- high vessel. Given the time and money that went into building the ark, as well as its popularity, Rivera believes bringing it more than 5,200 miles to Brazil is a prophecy that can be fulfilled.

“The price point is actually low,” Rivera said optimistically. “It’s been reduced a bit because of falling oil prices.”

Rivera, an Air Force veteran and retired 3M executive, became involved with the effort to bring the ark to the Americas after visiting it in the Netherlands.

“I was just in awe of the size,” said Rivera, who worked with Huibers to establish the tax-deductible charity to raise funds. “The dimensions. The scale of it. I found it overwhelming, in a good sense.”

The to-date vastly underfunded plan would have the ark docked in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza for as long as four years, with trips penciled in to cities along the South American coast, through the Panama Canal and to U.S. cities along the West Coast.

“I hope that visitors will learn of true hope,” Huibers said.  “[I hope] to see happy faces, explain the story of the Ark as a tool of God to give hope to mankind.”

Although the ark can hold up to 5,000 people, there are no live critters aboard, much less two of everything. But models of the animals the Bible says Noah saved from a devastating flood are part of the museum experience. If they can get it to Brazil, they hope to use proceeds from admissions to create more interactive exhibits, including ones that would feature hologram animals.

“Once in Fortaleza, we will make upgrades to allow visitors of seeing a Bible story come to life,” Rivera said.

Time is running out for Huibers and Rivera to raise the money needed to get the ark to Brazil by early August, when the Olympics begin. But as the foundation’s motto states, above a logo showing a sea of umbrellas opened against an epic downpour, “There is always hope.”

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at@perrych

Supersharp Mars photos show UK’s long-lost Beagle 2 lander

  • Original photo by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing Europe's Beagle 2 lander on the Red Planet (left), compared with a new "super-resolution restoration" image of the same site (right).

    Original photo by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing Europe’s Beagle 2 lander on the Red Planet (left), compared with a new “super-resolution restoration” image of the same site (right). (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/Yu Tao et al/University College London)

New supersharp photos of Mars show Europe’s long-lost Beagle 2 lander, ancient Red Planet lake beds and snaking rover tracks in unprecedented detail.

Scientists “stacked and matched” photos captured over the years by NASA’s eagle-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) using new machine-vision methods, creating images in which features just 2 inches wide can be seen.

This resolution is five times greater than MRO or any other instrument orbiting Earth or Mars had been able to achieve, researchers said. Further use of this technique could help space agencies select safe landing sites for future Mars missions, search for pieces of other lost Red Planet hardware and perform a variety of other science work, they added. [Mars: The Spacecraft Graveyard]

“We now have the equivalent of drone-eye vision anywhere on the surface of Mars where there are enough clear repeat pictures,” study co-author Jan-Peter Muller, of University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, said in a statement. “It allows us to see objects in much sharper focus from orbit than ever before, and the picture quality is comparable to that obtained from landers.”

“As more pictures are collected, we will see increasing evidence of the kind we have only seen from the three successful rover missions to date,” Muller added, referring to NASA’s Pathfinder, Spirit/Opportunity and Curiosity missions. “This will be a game changer and the start of a new era in planetary exploration.”

The team applied the new technique to a variety of regions imaged by MRO, including the ancient, potentially habitable lake beds explored by Curiosity; the “Home Plate” region traversed by Spirit; and the site where Europe’s first Mars lander, Beagle 2, touched down in December 2003. [The Search for Beagle 2 on Mars in Photos]

The United Kingdom-led Beagle 2 was part of the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission, which launched in June 2003 and arrived at the Red Planet six months later. The lander detached from its mother ship, the Mars Express orbiter, on Dec. 19, 2003, and was supposed to touch down on Christmas Day.

Beagle 2 never called its handlers from the Martian surface, and many experts assumed the craft had crashed. But last year, officials with the UK Space Agency announced that they had spotted the lander in MRO photos. These images appeared to show partially deployed solar arrays, suggesting that Beagle 2 had succeeded in touching down softly.

The newly released photos give the best looks yet at Beagle 2, which measures just 7 feet wide, scientists said.

The research team, led by Yu Tao of University College London, described the new “Super-Resolution Restoration” technique in a study that was published in the journal Planetary and Space Science in February. But team members have only recently begun using the method to zero in on specific locations on Mars.

The Mars Express orbiter continues to operate to this day.