Meet the Zoo Hiding in the Tube Map
All Elephant and No Castle: a secret bestiary of the London Underground
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
Rats and other vermin live in the London Underground, and there are probably urban legends around about bigger, nastier animals down in the Tube. But a whale? An elephant? And an emu? How about a pig, a polar bear and a baby rhino? All these and more species, enough to fill a zoo, live in the Underground – but not in the actual tunnels: they’re cleverly hiding in the map of the Underground.
Someone collected them all at this site, where you can check out all the beasts squatting in the Tube Map. Henceforth, you will be travelling along familiar lines to stations code-named for their parallel purpose in this secret bestiary:
Foxes, the sourge of London - both overground and Underground.
Since Animals on the Underground first came to our attention, the scope of the website has expanded. The site now also shows animals on the New York, Moscow and Paris Metros:
Moscow Metro Goldfish
Blue Tit hiding in the New York Metro, just south of Central Park
An Alsatian on the Paris Metro
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.
- Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
- The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
- One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
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