Fisherman films great white shark leaping from water, stealing fish off line

Captain Hap Farrell says Saturday’s fishing trip was “nothing special,” but the footage he captured from his boat seems to suggest otherwise.

Farrell, who charters a fishing vessel out of Cape Cod, Mass., took two groups of clients out for fishing expeditions near Orleans, and both of them were thwarted by hungry great white sharks. During the latter trip, one of the sharks even leapt from the water — quite dramatically, too — to snag a striped bass off the fishing line.

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“It’s not an unusual occurrence, but the fact that I had a video camera at the time, I was able to get the shot,” Farrell told The Boston Globe. “You can’t plan something like that.”

Farrell later shared the footage of the day’s events on Facebook, where they’ve been viewed close to 200,000 times as of Tuesday morning.

In the first part of the clip, Farrell explains that one of his clients can be seen reeling in a striped bass when a shark chomps it off the line from underwaterprivacy. At Farrell’s urging, the group proceeds to reel in what’s left of their catch: the head of what was once a “decent”-sized fish.

“He chomped your fish!” said one of the young clients to the woman holding the line.

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But during Farrell’s second trip of the day, the captain calmly says he “had another surprise,” and this one wasn’t content to hide beneath the surface of the water.

As seen in the latter portion of the clip, Farrell’s charter group is seen sitting on the stern of the boat, reeling in another fish. But just before they can yank it in, a great white breaches from the water, trapping their catch in mid-air before ripping it off the line and disappearing back beneath the water.

“Whoa!” Farrell hollers as the rest of the group jumps backward at the awesome sight.

However, Farrell later revealed to CBS Boston that the trip wasn’t all that noteworthy for a boat captain such as himself.

“Remember I’ve caught sharks before, so it was nothing special for me,” said the fisherman of 37 years.

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Furthermore, Farrell says he isn’t all that frightened by his close encounters out on the Cape Cod Bay.

“It’s funny about nature,” he added to CBS Boston. “If you don’t play around with it or act scared of it or anything like that, you can pretty much get along with anything.”

Monster croc the size of an SUV caught in Australia

An image of a monster crocodile caught by Outback Wrangler Matt Wright has gone viral, with some animal lovers criticizing the use of duct tape to bind the animal’s snout shut.

Mr Wright uploaded a snap of the saltie to his Facebook page on Saturday, and it has already attracted more than 4,000 likes and hundreds of shares and comments.

Many people were quick to point out the thick layers of tape covering the croc’s snout and eyes.

Tom Miller estimated it would have taken 10 rolls of duct tape to cover the saltie’s mouth.

“Did you get enough tape on him?” Sally-Jo Famlonga said. “Hope that’s not staying on for too long poor boy.”

Dean Adermann said he could see no reason why the monster was caught in the first place. “Leave the poor animal alone,” he said.

Others were quick to jump to Mr Wright’s defence.

“It’s a crocodile, they’ve been around since the dinosaurs,” Jay Ryan said.

“I’m sure he doesn’t mind a bit of tape on his snout.”

Rebecca De Vries praised the Wrangler’s team for catching the saltie and keeping the community safe.

Andrew Buckley pointed out croc catchers moved on salties so they didn’t pose a threat in populated areas, or risk being shot by people.

“Most times these crocs are being relocated as they have clashed with humans/livestock and so if good people don’t relocate them, some redneck will just shoot it,” he said.

When asked about the photo, Wright’s publicist told Fox News:

“As a crocodile conservationist, one of Matt’s efforts is to help relocate crocs that are in danger of being killed by the property owners,” Wright’s representatives said via email. “In this instance, this particular croc was a major threat to nearby people and livestock and had to be relocated. The crocodile’s safety and welfare is always a priority and this method is the recommended way to secure the crocodile’s snout by Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife.”

This story originally appeared in news.com.au with additional reporting by Fox News. 

Lost Roman city that was home to Jesus’ apostles found, say archaeologists

Experts believe they have found the lost Roman city of Julias, formerly the village of Bethsaida, which was the home of Jesus’ apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip.

Last month, archaeologists from the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College, Israel and Nyack College in New York, completed excavations at el-Araj on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. El Araj has long been considered a possible location of ancient Julias, which was also known as Bethsaida.

“The results of this season’s excavation indicate that el-Araj should now be considered a leading candidate for the lost city of Jesus’ Apostles,” explained the excavation team, in a statement emailed to Fox News.

EXPERTS HUNT FOR BIBLICAL TABERNACLE THAT HOUSED THE ARK OF THE COVENANT

“There are indications that we’re excavating Bethsaida-Julia – we have to continue digging to confirm and clarify,” Prof. Steven Notley of Nyack College, the dig’s academic director, told Fox News. “This is really one of the few [biblical sites] that has remained lost.”

The Roman city of Julias was born out of the Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida during the first century A.D, according to the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius. The New Testament describesBethsaida as the home of Jesus’ apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip. Jesus also healed a blind man at Bethsaida, according to Mark 8:22-26, while Luke 9:10-17 describes a nearby location for the feeding of the five thousand people.

While many experts had previously assumed there was no human presence at el-Araj during the Roman period, this summer’s excavations have shed new light on the site. A previously unearthed Byzantine structure, for example, offered plenty of clues to the archaeologists. More than 30 coins found beneath the structure’s floor dated its construction to the 5th century A.D.

DNA DISCOVERY IDENTIFIES LIVING DESCENDANTS OF BIBLICAL CANAANITES

Below the Byzantine era level, however, Roman era pottery dating back to between the 1st and 3rd centuries A.D. was found, along with a bronze coin from the late 2nd century and a silver denarius coin of the Emperor Nero that dates from 65 to 66 A.D.

Some 6.6-feet below the Byzantine floor, a Roman period wall was also discovered. Adjacent to the wall was a large section of black-and-white mosaic floor with mortar, clay bricks and ceramic vents typical of Roman bathhouses.

The archaeologists note that Roman-style baths were uncommon in rural settlements, so their presence at el-Araj indicates an urban site, making it a strong candidate for the city of Julias.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH 2,700-YEAR OLD RESERVOIR IN ISRAEL

Geological research also suggests that the Sea of Galilee, the second lowest lake in the world, was at a lower level than previously thought during the Roman era. Experts had long thought the lake was 686 feet below sea level in Roman times, with the el-Araj site underwater until the Byzantine period centuries later. The Roman wall, however, was discovered at a depth of 692 feet below sea level.

Geologists studying el-Araj found that the site was covered with mud and clay, possibly from flooding of the nearby Jordan river, and abandoned sometime between 250 A.D and 350 A.D. “The Roman layer was buried at a certain period by these sediments derived from the nearby outlets of the Jordan River and Meshushim stream,” explained Prof. Noam Greenbaum of Haifa University, who participated in the excavation. “We hope to deepen and extend our study in the future in order to clarify the full picture.”

The site appears to have been resettled towards the end of the 4th century A.D. during the Byzantine period.

EXPERTS UNCOVER EVIDENCE OF ANCIENT JERUSALEM’S DESTRUCTION BY THE BABYLONIANS

The Byzantine structure at el-Araj also offers a fascinating glimpse into the site’s biblical past. Small gilded glass blocks called tesserae that form part of a mosaic were found, suggesting that the building was once an important church. Archaeologists note that Willibald, the bishop of Eichstatt in Germany, visited the Holy Land in 725 A.D., and describes visiting a church at Bethsaida built over the remains of the house of apostles Peter and Andrew. “It may well be that the current excavations have unearthed evidence for that church,” explained the archaeologists, in their statement.

Other archaeologists have been looking to prove that the nearby site of e-Tell is the location of Bethsaida-Julias.

Excavations at el-Araj will start again in June 2018. “We’re looking right now at trying to do another five seasons,” said Notley.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

NASA Mars rover tour: Batmobile-like concept vehicle aims to inspire next-gen designs

It looks like a Batmobile – and now it’s headed to a city near you.

A NASA Mars rover concept vehicle akin to something out of the caped crusader’s universe is embarking on an educational tour this month aimed to inspire the public about potential manned-missions on the Red Planet.

“Experts believe the first person to step foot on Mars is already born,” Rebecca Shireman, assistant manager of public relations for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, told Fox News.

The 5,000-pound solar and battery-powered vehicle will be on display in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Jersey City and New York City. It is made of aluminum ad carbon-fiber and can split in two pieces, with one half being a laboratory and the other being used for scouting purposes.

It was designed by SeaDek and Parker Brothers Concepts with the help of NASA Subject Matter experts and a former astronaut. The vision was to create a vehicle that would be “as realistic as possible given the challenges of traveling on Mars,” Shireman said.

One feature on the vehicle, Shireman said, are wheels designed to let the sands of Mars slip through.

The rover will not actually touch down on Mars and parts of it were built only for appearance, but NASA hopes some of its characteristics could be incorporated into future designs.

“We would love for [the public] to be inspired to be part of the next generation of space explorers, whether that is as an astronaut or engineer or any other type of person that would be working on or with this journey to Mars,” Shireman told Fox News.

The rover will return to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida after the tour to be featured in a new exhibit opening this fall.

NASA said their next robotic rover will land on Mars in 2020 to search for signs of past life and collect geological samples.

The space agency’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, is currently beaming pictures of the Red Planet back to Earth with the help of artificial intelligence that helps it pick its targets.

PHOTO: NASA shows dramatic picture of massive new Antarctic iceberg

Multiple NASA satellites have captured images of the dramatic and long-awaited birth of one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, which broke off an Antarctic ice shelf this week.

The enormous iceberg contains more than 1.1 trillion tons (1 trillion metric tons) of water and is about the size of Delaware. Its separation from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf occurred sometime between July 10 and today (July 12), and was first reported by scientists with the U.K.-based Project Midas, an Antarctic research group. The calving was confirmed by satellite images from the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission. [How Satellites Watched the New Iceberg’s Birth Over Time]

Now, images from NASA satellites show the iceberg’s gradual separation from the ice shelf. The crack in the ice shelf that formed the iceberg was first observed in the early 1960s, but remained dormant for decades, according to a statement from NASA. The animation above includes images going back to 2006, collected by NASA and the United States Geologic Survey’s Landsat satellites.

The rift in the ice shelf began to spread northward at a significant rate in 2014, and its progress accelerated in 2016, leading scientists to assume it would eventually create a separate iceberg. Between June 24 and 27, the speed of rift tripled, according to scientists with the Midas Project.

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In November 2016, the rift was estimated to be about 300 feet (91 m) wide and 70 miles (112 km) long. Measurements from this summer put the rift at 124 miles (200 km) long.

The MODIS instrument on NASA’s Aqua satellite use thermal data to show temperature differences in the ice and seawater. In a false-color image taken today (July 12), the crack that created the iceberg is visible as a thin, pink line down the mostly purple ice sheet. The warmer temperature of the crack indicates that ocean water lies not far below the surface.

The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on the Landsat 8 satellite also captured temperature data on June 17. The false-color image shows the slightly warmer crack (light blue) running through the very cold ice shelf (mostly white). The image shows warmer areas in orange, including regions of very thin sea ice. [Landsat: Four Decades of Images and Data]

The Larsen C ice shelf is a floating ice shelf, which means the separation of the iceberg will not cause ocean levels to rise, unlike icebergs that calf from land-based ice shelves. Scientists with the Midas Project said they have not found evidence that the iceberg’s formation was directly caused by climate change. However, the scientists said in a statement that this is the farthest back that the ice front has been in recorded history, and they are “going to be watching very carefully for signs that the rest of the shelf is becoming unstable.”

Follow Calla Cofield @callacofield . Follow us @Spacedotcom , Facebook and Google+ . Original article on Space.com .

Dazzling auroras dance on the southern horizon in astronaut’s photo

The southern lights appear to dance on the horizon off the southern coast of Australia in a stunning new photo taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

The eye-catching image was taken on June 19, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory, and the shot captures a gorgeous cosmic interplay: a curved sliver of blue dawn light and the more diffuse green glow of the southern lights (also called the aurora australis), sliced through by one of the space station’s solar-panel-covered wings.

As is the case for its northerly counterpart, the aurora borealis (or northern lights), the otherworldly glow of the aurora australis is caused by collisions of particles high up in the atmosphere. Though most of these particles, which have been blasted off from the sun, are deflected by Earth’s magnetic field, some enter the South Pole. Once there, the particles smash into atmospheric gas, injecting the latter with a burst of extra energy. Then, the gas releases this extra energy in the form of light. [Aurora Photos: See Breathtaking Views of the Northern Lights]

But not all auroras glow green. Two factors determine their hue: the type of atmospheric gas that is smashed into, and the altitude at which these collisions occur. The aurora captured here is a result of oxygen gas releasing light 60 to 250 miles (100 to 400 kilometers) up, according to NASA. Nitrogen struck at higher altitudes makes the sky blaze red, while lower down, this results in a breathtaking blue-purple haze, as was the case in New Zealand skies in 2015, reported Yahoo News.

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But although they represent a spectacular scientific phenomenon, these sky spectacles have also inspired mystical explanations. For example, the Maori people of New Zealand’s North Island believe the red aurora australis is fire lit by spirits — a message that they’re returning home, ABC science reported in 2013.

Original article on Live Science.

Monster alligator steals fish off kid’s line in viral video

Bummer…

Everyone has lost a fish, but I’ll hazard a guess that few anglers have lost one like the kid in this video.

In the clip—first published in February—a boy named Connor has hooked a large redfish, and at first, everything seems to be going to plan. But then the man standing next to him says, “He’s right here.” Then the cameraman repeats, “He’s right here!” And the men were not referring to the redfish.

As Connor reels the fish toward the dock, a huge alligator suddenly appears in frame, swims up, and casually snatches the redfish.

Turning slightly, the gator moseys toward the far shore, with the hooked redfish hanging from its jaws. Finally, one of the men tells Connor, “Dude, you need to cut your line,” as the gator continues across the lake.

Ancient Roman concrete outperforms our own, and science only just worked out why

The Roman Empire may be long gone, but its architecture has stood the test of time — most notably, its insanely durable concrete, which has been hailed as the world’s strongest. The building material, which still remains intact and stronger than ever in many places, has long puzzled scientists who couldn’t fully explain why it was so remarkably strong, or why modern efforts to duplicate its strength have fallen flat. Now, new research suggests that the ancient concrete’s unique mixture had a little help from Mother Nature in becoming one of the best building materials humanity has ever known.

Roman concrete was typically made with a mixture of volcanic ash, rock, and lime, and while that recipe has been known for several years, scientists couldn’t pinpoint what it was that caused the combination to be so well suited for construction, especially on harbors and piers where modern concrete would deteriorate rather rapidly. By studying samples of the concrete and putting it through various tests, scientists working on the Roman Maritime Concrete Study were able to determine that a chemical reaction between the concrete and seawater was the missing piece.

When the seawater filtered through tiny cracks in the concrete it reacted with the concrete’s volcanic ingredients and produced a rare crystal called tobermorite. These crystals helped to further fuse the concrete together, adding strength and durability that modern concrete simply lacks.

The researcher is significant for a couple of reasons. First, finding a way to reliably produce tobermorite — which has a variety of industrial applications — is a huge plus. And, second, finally cracking the mystery of the concrete means that we’re one step closer to reproducing it, and in places where concrete is used in seawater, it would be the ideal material to use.

Human remains unearthed in biblical city, 3,200 years after it was destroyed by ancient Egyptians

Archaeologists in Israel discovered the ancient bodies in the biblical city of Gezer, more than 3,000 years after its destruction by ancient Egyptians.

The 33-acre Tel Gezer archaeological site is located in the foothills of the Judean Mountains in central Israel and continues to fascinate experts. The ancient city of Gezer is mentioned in the biblical account of King Solomon’s fortifications, as well as in several ancient Egyptian and Assyrian texts.

Excavations this summer revealed the remains of three people in a building destroyed by an ancient Egyptian army. “This past season we uncovered a building dating to the end of the 13th century BC that was violently destroyed,” explained Prof. Steven Ortiz, Professor at the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in an email to Fox News.

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The destruction is associated with the “Merneptah campaign,” when the Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah attacked Gezer, according to Ortiz, who co-directed the excavation with Samuel Wolff of the Israel Antiquities Authority. At the time of the attack, Gezer was part of the ancient Canaanite civilization.

The Israeli website Haaretz reports that the remains of two adults and a child, the latter wearing earrings, were discovered in a building in the south of the ancient city.

One adult and the child were found under a 3.3-foot layer of ash and burnt bricks in a room of the building, according to Haaretz. The adult, who was so badly burnt that the sex could not be determined, was lying on its back with its arms above its head.

CRUSADER-ERA HAND GRENADE SURPRISES ARCHAEOLOGISTS

Other artifacts found in the room include a table, storage jars, a grinding stone and a large earthenware jar.

The skeletal remains of the second adult were found beneath rubble in another room within the complex, Haaretz reports. Other items in that room included a 13th century B.C. amulet and cylinder seals.

The finds, Ortiz says, show the importance of the ancient city of Gezer and provide evidence of Egyptian military campaigns at the end of the late Bronze Age. The city was strategically located at a crucial crossroads guarding the pass from the coast up to Jerusalem.

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The Tandy Institute for Archaeology has made 10 excavations at the site, starting in 2006, and  uncovered a King Solomon-Era palace last year.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Archaeologists find tunnel that may emulate underworld

What would make the discovery of a secret passageway under Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Moon even more intriguing? A theory that the tunnel was used to emulate the underworld, to start.

CT scans performed by archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History in June indicate that a tunnel about 30 feet underground spans from the pre-Aztec pyramid to the middle of its outer central square, reports Live Science.

They say it’s possible the tunnel was used for ritualistic purposes, such as ceremonies marking the different agricultural cycles. “The function of the tunnel may have been to reproduce the underworld, a world where life, animals, and plants originated,” says archaeologist Verónica Ortega, per the International Business Times. Construction began on the Pyramid of the Moon in 100 BC; it was initially a small platform that grew in stages over roughly 500 years to a height of 150 feet. The pyramid is believed to have been the site of human sacrifices and other grisly rituals, indicated by its tombs holding human and animal remains. Researchers believe the tunnel below it may contain artifacts that reveal more about the ancient civilization, but further investigation is needed to confirm the tunnel’s existence before it can be explored. A passageway below the Temple of the Sun, Teotihuacan’s largest pyramid, was discovered in the ’70s but had been looted several centuries prior. An interesting side note from the AP: In contrast to other ancient Mexican sites, no remains believed to belong to Teotihuacan’s rulers have ever been uncovered. (Meanwhile, a 3,000-year-old prosthetic toe was found in Egypt).

This article originally appeared on Newser: Archaeologists Find Tunnel That May Emulate Underworld