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Mysteries From Ancient Times That Still Defy Explanation

The devices we use every day would baffle people who lived just 100 years ago, as technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the modern age. One of the most amazing inventions is the computer, and it has taken over our lives in every area, from our phones to our cars to our kitchen appliances. Anyone can look at a phone to find out almost anything now. Why, then, are there still mysteries from the past? As archaeologists uncover more artifacts and scientists apply modern techniques to their finds, there are more mysteries instead of fewer ones.

Stonehenge

Perhaps the most famous of all the ancient mysteries, Stonehenge is a popular tourist destination for many tourists who visit Great Britain. We know the monument we call Stonehenge was built around 4,000 years ago, but little else. How were the people in ancient times able to move such heavy stones? Why are they lined up the way they are? There are theories ranging from aliens from outer space to pagans using the site for holy rites. 

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The Loch Ness Monster

There have been tales of a dinosaur in a loch in Scotland as far back as the 7th century. How have so many people seen such a strange creature? What is it? People continue to flock to see the Loch Ness Monster still today.


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The Shroud of Turin

While it seems to simply be a length of cloth, it appears to have the face of a man, and some people believe the Shroud of Turin depicts Jesus and that the shroud is actually his burial shroud. Experts have studied it but not found any definitive answers.


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The Hidden City of Petra

This once bustling city was believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC, becoming the seat of the Nabataean Kingdom in the 4th century BC. Now abandoned, it has become a World Heritage Site destination and people try to learn from the remains.


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The Lost Ark of the Covenant

A wooden chest which is purported to hold the Ten Commandments, the Ark of the Covenant is an object of reverence to many in the Christian Religion. Stories from around the world make claims that the Ark has been found in many locations, and transported secretly from place to place. The Ark continues to be a subject of intrigue and is sometimes the subject of books or movies.


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 The Fountain of Youth

This spring is supposed to restore the youth of anyone who bathes in it, and there are stories from around the world where people claim to have finally been the ones to find the real Fountain of Youth. Spanish explorer  Ponce de León was supposedly told by Native Americans that the Fountain was in a place called Bimini, and there is a park in St. Augustine, Florida, which claims to have been the place where the famous explorer landed.


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Roman Dodecahedrons 

There are more than 100 of these odd 12 sided devices, some of which have been found on sunken ships. Originally thought to be a navigational device of some sort, no one could figure out how they work. One theory is that they are related to religious ceremonies.


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Laos’ Plain of Jars

In northern Laos, there are many mysterious jars which are over 2,000 years old. There are possibly 90 different plains which contain the jars, with varying numbers, including one plain containing as many as 400 jars. They are similar enough that they seem to have been created for the same purpose, but there is no way to find out what that purpose was at this time.


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The Bog Bodies of Northern Europe

People have been finding very well preserved cadavers throughout Northern Europe since the 18th century, but the bodies themselves have been dated back as far as 8,000 BCE. One of the bodies was in such good shape that it was possible to examine his stomach contents. The most mysterious thing, though, is that all of the bodies seem to have been the victim of executions, after which they were placed in the bogs.


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The Antikythera Mechanism

Known as the world’s first computer, this ancient device was able to use a wind-up system to keep track of astronomical events, like eclipses, the phases of the moon, and where the planets were at different times.


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The Venus Figurines

So far there have been over 200 Venus figurines found, with different female characteristics on each. Some seem to be pregnant or to have large breasts, while most are missing their hands and feet.  Even the name Venus is controversial, as no one knows if the dolls represent women or goddesses.


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Baghdad Batteries

A German archeologist, William Konig, made an odd find in the Middle East in 1838. In the area now known as Iraq, he and his team dug up some clay jars that dated to around 200 BCE. The strange thing was what was inside the jars; each of the jars held an iron rod that was wrapped in a copper cylinder. Based on the materials and design, Konig figured out that the contraptions could be used as batteries. A college professor tried it out and the jars successfully conducted electricity. What was the purpose of these ancient batteries?


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Ancient Animal Traps

There is another mystery in the Middle East, where there is a chain of low stone walls crossing across the deserts in Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and other countries. Some of them are up to 40 miles long, and they appear to date as far back as 300 B.C. Long abandoned, there is no one left who can explain who made these formations or why they were abandoned. There is a theory that suggests hunters used the lines of rock as funnels to force their prey into a pit, where they could be dispatched more easily. 


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Sumerian King List

There is a very old cuneiform clay tablet which seems to be a list of all of the ancient Sumer kings, all the way back to the third millenium BCE. The Sumerian King List would be a very good indicator of some of the most powerful men of that time if the information is legitimate. However, the tablet includes the lengths of time of each king’s reign. Some held power for hundreds or even thousands of years. Why does the Sumerian Kings List hold such unusual information — did other men take over one king’s reign so that the people would believe in the divinity of the kings?


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The Devil’s Bible

The origins of the book are unknown, but the claim behind the name is that an ancient monk made a deal with the devil in order to meet a deadline. The monk in question was threatened with a terrible death, where he would be walled up alive and left to starve. He agreed to write a single book containing all the knowledge in the world to get out of his punishment, so he made a deal with the Devil himself. This 13th-century book was over 300 pages and has the same handwriting throughout. The book still exists and is so heavy it takes two men to lift it.


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Japan’s Atlantis

Just off the coast of Yonaguni Jima, Japan, there exist the ruins of an ancient city believed to be 5,000 years old. Some scientists believe the ruins are simply a natural phenomenon while others believe the site is the city where the Jomon culture was found. Of course, most people think of Atlantis when they hear of a lost underwater city, but the ruins are probably the result of rising sea levels that simply overtook the city in time. The ruins were only discovered in 1995, noting arched entryways and stone staircases.


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Rongorongo Tablet

Everyone has seen the giant stone heads on Easter Island, but there is a greater mystery there. The Rongorongo Tablet was first discovered in 1864 but dates back to around 1200. Instead of letters, there is a series of glyphs which seem to have been carved into wooden planks using a shark tooth. No one has yet been able to translate the language, which is particularly intriguing because it is a language that developed without outside influences.


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Saksaywaman Fortress Walls

This fortress is so old it predates the Incan empire, although it has not been definitively dated. The stones weigh more than 200 tons and fit together perfectly, as though constructed with modern machinery. The people in the area, which is in Cuzco, Peru, have a legend explaining how the work was done, using a native plant to make the stones lighter and easier to manipulate. The area was probably used as a temple.


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The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

In the Diquis Delta of Costa Rica, ancient stone carvers carved hundreds of giant almost perfectly round spheres. Made of a type of igneous rock, some of the stones weigh as much as 16 tons and span over two meters in diameter. The spheres were lined up toward the home of the current chief, but nobody knows what the purpose of the rocks was. Wealthy landowners keep them in their gardens now, making it impossible to study them.


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Nasca Lines

Found in the dry desert plains of southern Peru, there are many giant images and symbols carved into the hard-packed earth. Called geoglyphs, these were probably made by the Nasca Culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE. There are some designs that look like they could be runways for planes, while others are birds, fish, or even humans. Why were these symbols clearly made to be seen from someone high above long before air travel was even a possibility?


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The Hellenikon Pyramid

Like the Egyptian pyramids, the Hellenikon Pyramid in Argolis, Greece, is largely a mystery. When was it built? And why? And who built it? Investigators have run across a reference to the Hellenikon Pyramid claiming that it was used as a tomb for soldiers fighting over Argos, but no proof was found to back that up. It may have been built around 2721 BCE, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids.


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The Sajama Lines

The Sajama Lines are etched into the earth, much like the Nasca Lines. The Sajama Lines appear in western Bolivia and appear to intersect each other when seen from far above. Only discovered in 1832, the lines cover 8,700 square miles and are three to ten feet deep. Each line may go for miles. The lines appear to be over 3,000 years old and to have been made by ancient people living by the volcano, but there is no explanation as to why the lines were carved.

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Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni

The only remaining intact example of an underground labyrinth construction in all of Europe, the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta was only discovered in 1902. This puzzling labyrinth is believed by experts to have been used from 4000 to 2500 BCE. Though this labyrinth — carved right out of the rock surrounding it — is made up of three levels, one level stands out. One level, which has been labeled as the Oracle Chamber, is an indication that the carvers of this labyrinth actually had advanced knowledge of acoustics. If you were to stand in this chamber and speak at a normal volume, your voice would be amplified a hundred times and reverberate through the entire chamber.


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Gobekli Tepe

Although Gobekli Tepe in Turkey is thought to be the oldest temple complex ever built by man, dated at 11,000 BCE (an astounding 6,000+ years older than Stonehenge in England), it is also one of the newest finds in the archaeological world; Gobekli Tepe was found in just 2008 by Klaus Schmidt. This temple complex is made up of enormous cared-stone structures, and it helps give scientists a better idea of how societies evolved and how ancient people lived. This find also alludes to the fact that there are even more ancient places and artifacts that are, as of yet, undiscovered and just waiting to be stumbled upon.


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Dashka Stone

Found in the town of Bashkorostan, Russia, which is located in the Ural Mountains, the Dashka Stone is a large stone tablet, which weighs more than a ton. The persons who unearthed this large stone tablet first believed that the cracks and lines on the tablet were formed naturally; however, they then discovered that the cracks and lines were meaningful: they created a topographical map of the surrounding area. More puzzling, though, was the fact that the perspective of the map shows the region from above. The tablet has been aged between 3,000 and 120 million years old.


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Paracas Candelabra

The Paracas Candelabra is also called. the “Candelabra of the Andes.” This mysterious glyph is located on the face of the Paracas Peninsula in Peru and is over 600 feet high. Despite its common name, archaeologists do not really believe that this geoglyph was created to resemble a candelabra. The three-pronged design of this geoglyph more likely resembles a trident — to pay homage to Viracocha, the trident-wielding Incan creator god — or Jimson weed — a hallucinogenic, which was commonly used in religious rituals. Because of other nearby archaeological finds, the Paracas Candelabra is believed to be dated back to around 200 BCE.


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Dogu

Dogu are little clay figurines that depict human-animal hybrids, wearing what looks like helmets with goggles on them. They date back to Japan’s Neolithic Jomon period, which means that these clay figurines can be between 2,300 and 10,000 years old. To date, there have been approximately 15,000 of these clay figurines found in Japan. Even though there are so many dogu that have been found, there is no exact explanation for them. 

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The Big Circles

These huge circles range from 720 to 1,490 feet and are made from stone. Located mainly in Syria, nobody knows the purpose of these 2,000-year-old structures.


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Mount Owen Moa Claw

First discovered in 1986, this ancient claw still has flesh on it and was at first thought to be a dinosaur. It turned out to be a Moa bird, a species extinct for over 3,000 years. How was the claw in such good shape?


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Longyou Caves

These caves appear to have been deliberately carved in sandstone over 2,200 years ago, with some over 100 feet tall. There are carved bridges, pillars, etc throughout the extensive cave system. How was it built, and why?


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Lady of the Spiked Throne

Dating back to 2700 BC, this strange artifact looks like a boat with the head of a bull and 15 passengers. Nothing like it has been found.


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Panxian Cave

These caves are 5,000 feet above sea level and there is evidence people lived in them. The mystery is that there are also bones of very large animals like stegodons and rhinoceros. How did they get up there?


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White Shaman Rock

In the southwestern part of Texas lived the ancient Huichol tribe of Native Americans. The Huichol engaged in cave and canyon drawing and, due to their remote location, were able to evade the Europeans, who were settling other areas of the Sierra Madre Mountains, for longer than most other tribes. However, when the Europeans did finally come upon the Huichol tribe, they were astonished at what they saw. Despite never interacting with the previous groups of European settlers, the Huichol created what is known as White Shaman Rock: a rock with a drawing depicting a 24-foot tall white person. This drawing, which was found in the Lower Pecos River Canyon, is estimated to be at least 4,000 years old, which means that is was created long before these white Europeans became known to the people of the Huichol tribe. 


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Phaistos Disc

The Phaistos Disc has been surrounded by debate ever since it was first discovered in 1908. The Phaistos Disc is an artifact dating back to some time between 1850 and 1600 BC, which puts it into the time period of the middle to late Minoan Bronze Age. This artifact, a round clay disc, was unearthed on the Greek island of Crete in a Minoan palace called Phaistos. The Phaistos Disc has 241 symbols pressed into it, in a spiral pattern. However, the symbols have not been linked to any written language, and the meaning of the symbols are still unknown. 


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Dropa Stones

Archeologist Chi Pu Tei and his team discovered the Dropa Stones in the Bayan-Kara-Ula Mountains of China in 1938. They are in fact hundreds of stone discs that look a lot like modern records which play music. They even have a hole in the center and a spiral groove. When examined more closely under a microscope, researchers also saw symbols in the grooves that looked like hieroglyphs. While we may never know what they say, it is believed that these 12,000-year-old artifacts contain information.


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Red Wolves See Population Boost as 8 Animals Are Released Into the Wild

Kevin Wells

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The red wolf is a striking canine endemic to the southeastern edge of the United States. As an intermediary between the common coyote and the gray wolf, the red wolf is known for its distinct size and color patterns. A contentious member of the canine debate, the red wolf is considered critically endangered as recognized by the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

While population numbers have been dwindling since the act was proclaimed, there has been some positivity to embrace in recent years. A recent court order mandated the release of eight red wolves into nature, a decision put in place by the Southern Environmental Law Center as it worked with conservation groups throughout the nation.

Urging Positive Momentum in Conservation Circles

Critically endangered since 1973, the red wolf, unfortunately, falls to the back of the pack when it comes time to have a national conversation about conservation. According to Ron Sutherland, a member of the Wildlands Network environmental group, this recent proclamation by the court to release the eight wolves was a massive step in the right direction. Sutherland said that he hopes for the Fish and Wildlife Service to start working again with the people of North Carolina to resuscitate the red wolf population.

John Tirpak is a mother prominent voice in the conservation movement geared toward supporting the red wolf population. Tirpak works as the Associate Regional Director of Ecological Services at the Fish and Wildlife Service. Through his efforts, Tirpak hopes to help craft an ‘implementation plan’ based upon established recovery goals to help bring the red wolf back from the brink.

Releasing Red Wolves to Nature

Our latest story of conservation in North Carolina is centered on four red wolf pups that were born at the Akron Zoo. These wolves were then placed within a den at the Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge on the eastern edge of North Carolina. This was done as a proponent of pup fostering, a successful method that helps to prime young pups for re-integration in nature. With a success rate hovering near 100%, pup fostering is one of the primary conservation measures put in place to help bring red wolves back.

Unfortunately, pup fostering can be difficult work. The puppies have to be relocated before they reach two weeks old because their eyes are still closed. With closed eyes, a quick move allows wolves to acclimate with their new litter-mates as they resemble the smell at that age. To properly tackle this process, zookeepers, biologists, and volunteers must work as one across the nation.

Joe Madison serves as the Director at the Red Wolf Program in North Carolina. As the leader of the project, Madison got to watch as the wolf mother moved its foster pups to a new location with the rest of its litter. From then on, scientists have been tracking and monitoring all of their movements near the den.

Tragically, red wolves would be labeled as officially extinct in the 80s. From that point forward, people like Madison and Tirpak were vital in bringing breeding pairs back to the country. In 1987, four breeding pairs were bred from the original 14 animals held at the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge. This would lead to the ‘rewilding’ efforts that we see today.

Right now, Joe Madison is focused on his Prey for the Pack initiative to support landowners in improving their property. In exchange, these same landowners will allow red wolves onto their land to live in peace and quiet while the fostering and rehabilitation process continues unhindered.

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Bicycle Enthusiast Rides Across County to Thank an Organ Donor Family

Kelly Taylor

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In one phone call Christine Cheers’ world was flipped upside down. She had picked up the phone and was told there had been an accident at her son’s military base, Camp Pendleton, and that he had been seriously injured. James Mazzuchelli, 32, had been badly hurt in an aviation accident with a helicopter. By the time Christine and her partner, David Cheers, arrived at the hospital, it was made clear James was being artificially kept alive by life-sustaining machines. His body had already given up its will to survive. The doctors confirmed he was effectively gone and was never going to come back. Christine had to make the hardest choice of her life being next of kin, she had to decide to turn off the machines and allow him to be an organ donor.

After Christine gave the approval, her world collapsed with the loss of her son, but the story wasn’t over. James’ organs were going to go on and change other people’s lives. Mike Cohen was one character in particular. His life had already been a challenge, facing off with leukemia at 18, and going through the horrible grind of chemo and the waiting period to make sure the cancer didn’t relapse.

However, six years later, Cohen was going to have to deal with another challenge. His heart started to go out. He was exhausted and tired, even when he didn’t ride. Then the chest pains started. Things were getting bad. Cohen had barely survived. A blood clot the size of a golf ball was stuck inside one of his ventricles, and within the evening he was hooked up to a pumping machine via surgery. Cohen had gone from an avid biker to practically being an invalid stuck next to an electric plug to keep his heart pumping. A wire cord literally ran from out of his gut to the power source. It was only a temporary reprieve, however. Within six months another blood clot was forming in Cohen’s heart.

By a miracle, Cohen ended up being picked on a priority list for heart transplant. In one day, Cohen went from being stuck to a chair or bed dependent on his pumping machine to a man literally with a new heart recovering in post-surgery the next day. Within two weeks, Cohen was sent home and began his rehabilitation. And in that phase he found an exercise bike at the rehab center and got back on his pedals again.

For Christine, the last she saw after her son was disconnected was his organs heading off to San Diego, the California Bay Area, and other critical donations to organ banks. The heart was the last to go but it was going to save someone, that much Christine and David learned as it was carried in a cooler out the hospital door. In remembrance and to connect somehow with the recipients, Christine sent letters through the hospital to the recipients telling them about her son, their donor. When Cohen finally read his letter, it moved him.

Cohen decided he was going to do something special when he was well enough. He was going ride cross-county to Christine to say thank you. It took a few years and some coordination, but Cohen connected with Christine and agreed after a 2,300 mile ride he would meet them at James’ gravesite. From California to Arizona to Texas and forward Cohen rode, heading to Florida. On November 20, 2019, Cohen made the last leg, and reached the cemetery. When Cohen arrived, he walked up to Christine and simply said, “Hi.” They hugged, and Christine felt a bit close to her son again. She even got to listen to Cohen’s heart with a stethoscope, hearing again her son’s spirit alive and well.

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Act of Kindness From Stranger Calms Young Boy With Autism

Kevin Wells

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There are a few times in life where a kind word or two from a stranger can make all the difference in the world. For Ashley Fox, a trip to Walmart to go shopping with her son turned into one of those situations. Ashley’s son is Norris, a kind 3-year-old who is non-verbal and was recently diagnosed with autism. According to the CDC, nearly 1 in 54 children will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to a study published in 2016.

Ashley and her son Norris were shopping when they came upon a stuffed puppy within the store. Norris fell in love with the toy almost immediately but Ashley had seen the price tag. Far more than she could afford, Ashley was forced to ask the cashier to take the item off of her ticket. This was when things went sideways. Norris would have a meltdown, crying and screaming at the loss of his toy.

Fox explained in an interview with Knoxville WVLT-TV that she had wanted to leave the store quickly. Norris had been screaming and crying and Fox joked that it had looked like she was kidnapping her child. Fox says, “It was bad.”

Hero With a Heart of Gold

As Ashley and her child put Walmart behind them, they were ready to load into the car when a woman approached them from behind. Fox says, “She came up behind me and pulled this puppy out.” The puppy was, of course, the very same toy that Norris had just missed out on.

Fox told her that it was the same toy, and before she realized what was happening, the lady had given the toy to Norris. Fox says, “I thanked her and offered to pay for this puppy, but she wouldn’t let me.” Fox and the woman went on to talk for a little while where it was revealed that the kind stranger had children of her own. Fox says, “She understood, she has kids but I just really want her to know that it made his night and made his day.”

While the puppy may have been just another toy in a crowded store, to Norris the stuffed animal was everything. Fox would take her story to social media later on that day to share the kind moment with the world. Fox explained that she hadn’t expected anything of the sort to happen when she had been shopping, but the kind gesture was impossible to overlook.

Fox’s post on Facebook would quickly go viral as people rallied around Norris’s love for his new puppy toy. Fox said, “Norris and that puppy are inseparable. He loves it.”

According to research performed by the CDC, genetics are involved in the vast majority of autism cases. Early intervention and understanding allow for parents to properly support their children with autism. As currently noted, boys are more than 4 times likely to be diagnosed than girls.

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Nigerian Refugee Becomes Chess National Master at Age 10

Kelly Taylor

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When we were ten years old, our greatest struggle was trying to pick between Pikachu and Charmander. For a young Tani Adewumi, his tenth birthday party was anything but normal! The Nigerian refugee and his family would celebrate an enormous accomplishment this year when Tami scored a rating of 2223 en route to becoming a Chess National Master. One of the highest achievements a young chess player can pursue, Tani’s ascent to Chess Master has been years in the making if you can believe it!

Let’s go back in time a few years to see where Tani’s story first began, how he found momentum, and what led the refugee to such success in competition.

New York State Championship

While Tani is enjoying global headlines for his success, the work for the young man began a couple of years prior. Tani had made headlines for the first time while competing in the New York State Chess Championship — while living in a homeless shelter. At the time of his first competition, Tani had only been competing in the game of chess for a year.

Tani’s success would garner attention from a columnist for The New York Times by the name of Nicholas Kristof. Kristof would cover the young chess master in a column following Tani’s win in New York. The column would highlight a bit of Tani’s story while creating interest throughout the region. It wouldn’t take long for readers to get another dose of their favorite young chess master.

In 2021, social media users online would find out that Tani won another championship, this time in Fairfield, CT. As a fifth-grader, Tani would score a rating of 2223, landing himself a Chess National Master rating. Kristoff had continued to share updates about the young man, commenting that “talent is universal, but opportunity is not.”

Opportunity and Success are Not Always Equal

Tani’s story really highlights the need for social services at a foundational level. Kristoff pointed out in his column that Tani was able to succeed in chess not just because of his natural talent and hard work, but also because he was located in a shelter that had a school district offering chess programs.

When Tani’s teacher at school realized that the young boy was without family resources, the teacher waived the fees. This would allow Tani to explore an opportunity that might not have otherwise been available. Kristoff says of this chess teacher’s decision, “We need more of that!”

On Kristoff’s Facebook page, social media users shared overwhelming support for Tani. One user suggested that Tani’s success was indicative of America’s promise to the world, that everyone can have an opportunity. Another user wrote that a true sadness plaguing developing countries is the loss of talent that gets overlooked without the ability to develop.

Asylum and Reinvention

Tani hadn’t made his way to the United States out of choice. His family had fled Nigeria in 2017 upon becoming targets of the Boko Haram terrorists. After obtaining asylum, Tani and his family would flee to Manhattan where they would begin living in a shelter. After moving to the city, Tani would get the opportunity to unlock his potential by joining the local chess program.

Since finding public fame and attention for his efforts in school and chess, Tani’s fans have raised more than $250k in support for his family. Granted another chance at life through hard work and dedication, Tani and his family have finally settled into their own home in New York City and the future is wide open and waiting for them to embrace!

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Florida Sanctuary Welcomes Former Circus Elephants, Promises New Life

Jess

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There will never exist again a time quite like P.T. Barnum’s. The growth of circuses in America and their role in culture is hard to quantify. Once a traveling show that brought entertainment from one city to the next, we now recognize the harm that circuses can cause animals of all types and sizes. For that reason, this story is particularly heartwarming and more than slightly bittersweet.

The White Oak Conservation Center would announce in 2021 that they were welcoming female Asian elephants at their Yulee refuge, seated just north of Jacksonville. The expectation is that an additional 20 elephants are poised to arrive at the 2,500-acre space.

Newcomers to the White Oak Conservation Center

The White Oak Conservation Center is considered a one-of-a-kind location. Nestled in the heart of northeastern Florida, White Oak encompasses more than 17,000 acres of land with dedicated spaces to endangered species including rhinos, elephants, zebras, condors, and more.

White Oak recently made headlines when it was announced that they were acquiring up to 20 elephants that had previously traveled with circus acts such as Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The elephants were retired in 2016 and desperately in need of a home for care and attention.

Nick Newby is the team leader at the White Oak Conservation Center, and he took point on many of the questions surrounding the new additions. Newby said of the elephant’s arrival, “Watching them go out into the habitat was an incredible moment.” Newby would go on to describe how the elephants all gathered together to comfort and reassure one another before exploring the habitat as a unit.

There are nine fully interlinked areas throughout the White Oak Conservation Center that encompass wetlands, woods, meadows, and more. The Asian Elephants will eventually travel throughout all of these interlinking areas even while the center is continuing construction on future areas. While Oak hopes to have an additional 11 waterholes and a trio of barns installed before too long.

White Oak was established by Kimbra and Mark Walter, a pair of philanthropists with an animal-focused tilt. Already encompassing nearly 17,000 acres, White Oak seeks to become a home to endangered species far and wide.

Understanding the Asian Elephant

The Asian Elephant is sometimes referred to as the Asiatic Elephant. Traditionally found throughout Southeast Asia, the Asiatic Elephant is the largest living land animal on the continent. Endangered since 1986, the Asian Elephant has seen its population decline rather precipitously over the last three generations, entailing a total of 75 years.

Asian Elephants are primarily targeted by poachers, and they are impacted by habitat degradation, fragmentation, and habitat loss due to human encroachment. At the time of this writing, the wild population of Asian elephants sits around 48,000 on a global level.

Within the captive population, female elephants can live upwards of 60 years. Asian elephants don’t always prosper in zoos at a young age, however, which makes fostering their population growth an even tougher challenge due to early deaths.

In the wild, Asian Elephants are classified under the mantle of megaherbivore, consuming more than 330 lbs of plant matter every single day. As grazers and browsers, these giant creatures like to roam for their nutrition, ensuring the consumption of more than 200 liters of water a day in addition to their food stores.

Intelligent and elegant animals, restoring the Asiatic Elephant population is a goal that all conservationists should align on. With the White Oak Conservation Center providing a home for retired female Asian elephants, we can hope that there is more progress in the future.

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