2006/02/12

Lost World

"Lost World" is the title of a science fiction novel written in 1912 by the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Over following decades it has been made into several movies and in recent years a popular television series. In that story a scientific expedition finds a mountain plateau which has been so isolated from the rest of the world that even the evolution of the plants and animals was arrested or took a different tack.

As you may have heard, a group of scientists has reported actually finding such a place in the Foja Mountains, a remote part of Indoesian New Guinea. No dinosaurs roaming about, but there are many unique plants, frogs, butterflies, birds and other animals which have either never been seen before,are endangered elsewhere, or were thought to be extinct.

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Dr Bruce Beehler of Conservation International, co-leader of the group, said, "It's beautiful, untouched, unpopulated forest; there's no evidence of human impact or presence up in these mountains." The scientists came by helicopter as there are no roads nor even trails to this wilderness, and stayed for a month.

In case you didn't read about it yet, here are a few pictures from a BBC News article. For the full story and more pictures, just click on the title above.


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The team repeatedly encountered an epiphytic rhododendron that grew high in the treetops. It produced large white scented flowers that fell to the ground after several days of blooming.


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The team gathered the first photographic record of the Berlepsch's six-wired "lost" bird of paradise.


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Surprisingly unafraid of humans (wait until they get to know us), long-beaked echidnas, primitive egg-laying mammals, were happy to be picked up.


I hope this exciting news gets the kind of attention it diserves in the media - over the daily din of stories about war, political scandals, disasters, and the latest fads. Maybe it will get us all to reflect on the state of our planet which sustains our very lives. It is a rare chance to see the world as it was before our time; take a look around at what we have done to it in the brief span of mankind's existence, and adjust our actions accordingly.

14 comments:

Happysurfer said...

Very interesting, Pandabonium.

Bird of paradise - I only know this to be a flower.

I hope there'll be more news on the discovery.

Thanks for sharing.

Chen said...

Thanks for sharing.. I don't know about this valuable piece of news till I read your post :)

The Moody Minstrel said...

I wonder if corporate developers are drooling right now...

Scientist: We found an area of untouched, virgin forest containing several new species and others that were thought to be extinct.
Developer A: Hmm...think of the oil and gas reserves that could be hiding under there!
Developer B: Think of the real estate and tourist dollars! All we need is an airstrip and an access road...
Developer C: I bet there's all kind of rare hardwoods there, and no one's gonna tell us we can't log 'em!
Developer D: What...no chain restaurants??!?!??

@ロウ 。LOW@ said...

Thanks for highlighting this, my friend. It's all over the paper recently.

Fellow American explorer, Michael Fay, might have the similar experience during his team's year long adventure deep into Congo-Gabon pristine tropical rainforest, as they encounter chimpanzees and gorillas that show no fear of human.

Back in Asia, Brunei might hold the next Lost World - - the country so rich (oil and gas, of course) that most of the forest remain untouched.

I hope these fruitful discoveries doesn't just raise the commercial value of the forest.

FH2O said...

That's an amazing piece of good news for planet earth. Given the state of the world; I would still have been happy if it had remained 'lost'!

Anonymous said...

Panda, please tell us more of the artwork attached to your blog. Are you the artist?

Lrong said...

Amazing finds... and as you said, wait till the 'humans' find this place... and most if not all, will be gone in no time...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Panda. Look forward to reading about the interesting artist and his story. Beautiful drawings.

Pandabonium said...

Happysurfer, same here. Nice flowers, but the bird is simply gorgeous.

Chen, glad I gave you something. check out the stories, there are more photos too.

Moody, as you might say, "Ack!"
-And it's probably all too true.

FH2O - I agree, but I'm not optomistic. This song was written in 1970 and still hits the mark today:
"They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got till it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parkin' lot"

Anonymous - I'm not the artist, but thanks for asking. I'll do a post soon about them as they involve a very interesting artist and story.

lrong,

It will take them some time, but some people and companies are working as fast as they can to ruin things and they don't seem to be slowing down.

wuwux - operative word from a Papuan tribal chant which means "may lonely echidas crawl up the delvelopers' pants."

YD said...

Hey, if we can find untouched paradise here, who knows we can find one in the Borneo islands too! all the thick rainforests and the unexplored land...
this is exciting.. let's see what comes next.

YD said...

haha... n i just saw Low's suggestion of the similar places Brunei..

agus said...

Fascinating! But there are more pictures in your blog than the link. Or maybe I didn't look in t the right places. I would love to see more.

Robin said...

I was told that Man Eater lives there.. I guess it is not that true..now ..

Pandabonium said...

YD - your comments are always a welcome breath of fresh air with your "glass is half full" attitude. (Panda's is always half empty).

Hi Argus, thanks for visiting. For the other pictures, scroll down the BBC page I linked to a little box that says: "FOJA MOUNTAINS SURVEY See more of the plants and animals found by the team" and click the link they provide. They have eight photos there.

Robin - spread the word, it is a very dangerous place and no one should venture there! :-o