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Wednesday 3 September  
The swarm: masses of male long-tailed mayflies are searching for females over th

Earth Beat - Out of Nowhere

On air: 2 December 2011 3:00 (Photo: Joe Petersburger)

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Earth Beat, 2 December 2011. We uncover the unexpected. From the man who discovered an island that appeared in the middle of nowhere, to bike lanes that sprung up out of the blue. Stories about some delightful surprises. Comment on the show.

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Joe Petersburger, covered by Mayflies
Joe Petersburger, covered by Mayflies
A mayfly story

As a boy Joe Petersburger would hear fascinating tales of the Mayfly.

They mystified and fascinated him, but despite living close to the river Tisza in Hungary where they breed, he never saw them swarm.

Then many years later, with no warning, something hit him in the face (more photos below).

Joe Petersburger was a Grand Prize, Professional winner in the 2011 "National Wildlife" Photo Contest.


Alex Hartley on the Nowhereisland Expedition
Alex Hartley on the Nowhereisland Expedition
My own private island

Many of us have dreamt of finding our own private island – but artist Alex Hartley has actually done it.

Nowhereisland, as he dubbed his discovery, is a small outcrop of rocks off the coast of Norway.

It only became visible thanks to a melting glacier (more photos below).

Alex tells host Marnie Chesterton what it felt like to be the first person to set foot on this new nation – and why he’s currently in the process of dragging it southwards.

More on Nowhereisland from The Observer - Alex Hartley: The world is still big.


Louise Stoddard and Hille van Dieren, Terschelling
Louise Stoddard and Hille van Dieren, Terschelling
Combing the beach

The island of Terschelling in the Netherlands is a beachcomber's paradise.

Recent years have seen around half a million shoes wash up on the beach, thousands of bananas, fire extinguishers, whisky and children’s toys. And for many islanders it’s become a daily activity to comb the miles of coastline (more photos below).

Earth Beat correspondent Louise Stoddard spoke to beachcomber Hille van Dieren on Terschelling.

More on this story - Dutch island is beachcomber's paradise.
 


Flotsam & Jetsam is a documentary based around the beachcombers on the neighbouring island of Texel. The film follows the lives of the beachcombers (or Jutters as they are known), exploring their relationships and history as extraordinary people in extraordinary situations.


The Takalai Gau (Paramount Chief of Gau) Ratu Marika Lewanavanua releasing a Fij
Release of a Fiji Petrel, Gau Island, May 1 1984
The elusive bird

The Fiji Petrel is one of the world’s most elusive birds.

In April 1984, nearly 130 years after it was first discovered, it made a brief but dramatic comeback, emerging from the darkness to hit Dick Watling on the head.

More from Fijian NGO NatureFiji-MareqetiViti - A grounded Fiji Petrel successfully released.

Videos - BirdLife International - Search for the Fiji Petrel.

Watch more Fiji Petrel videos at NatureFiji-MareqetiViti's YouTube channel.

Pictured, the Takalai Gau (Paramount Chief of Gau) Ratu Marika Lewanavanua releasing a Fiji Petrel in front of Sawaieke villagers on Gau Island on May 1 1984. The first confirmed Fiji Petrel since the type specimen was collected at the same location in 1855 (more petrel photos below).


Painting guerilla bike lanes in Mexico City
Painting guerilla bike lanes in Mexico City
Pedal power

Smog-filled Mexico City might not be the most obvious place to get on your bike, but the number of cyclists there is on the rise.

Problem is, there aren’t any bike lanes.

Oscar Montiel is part of Haz Ciudad, a group which decided to take matters into their own hands – by painting some.

And the best bit? The lanes are still there and growing in popularity (more photos below).

  • The swarm: mass of male long-tailed mayflies are searching for females over the surface of the river Tisza<br>&copy; Photo: Joe Petersburger - http://www.joepetersburger.com/index.html
  • Two male mayflies flying over the surface. Males are so sexually overheated that they try to mate with anything on the surface, like these two males <br>&copy; Photo: Joe Petersburger - http://www.joepetersburger.com/index.html
  • Molting sequence of a male mayfly on an overhanging root at the riverbank<br>&copy; Photo: Joe Petersburger - http://www.joepetersburger.com/index.html
  • A lake frog surrounded by a carpet of dead and dying mayflies<br>&copy; Photo: Joe Petersburger - http://www.joepetersburger.com/index.html
  • Nowhereisland, Nyskjaeret in the High Arctic<br>&copy; Photo: Max McClure, courtesy Situations - http://nowhereisland.org/
  • Nowhereisland Expedition: The Nooderlicht<br>&copy; Photo: Max McClure, courtesy Situations - http://nowhereisland.org/
  • Nowhereisland Expedition: Moment of Declaration<br>&copy; Photo: Max McClure, courtesy Situations - http://nowhereisland.org/
  • Residents of Terschelling search for trainers in their size after a nearby freighter lost dozens of containers, Feb 2006<br>&copy; Photo: Marleen Zorgdrager Swart - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Residents of Terschelling search for trainers in their size after a nearby freighter lost dozens of containers, Feb 2006<br>&copy; Photo: ANP/Arie Ouwerkerk - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • A beach on Terschelling awash with bananas after ten containers fell off a nearby ship<br>&copy; Photo: ANP/Jan Heuff - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • Washed up green bananas on Terschelling island<br>&copy; Photo: Museum &#039;t Behouden Huys - http://www.behouden-huys.nl/
  • Washed up green bananas on Terschelling island<br>&copy; Photo: Museum &#039;t Behouden Huys - http://www.behouden-huys.nl/
  • Terschelling inhabitants browse the contents of containers washed up on the beach, Feb 2006<br>&copy; Photo: ANP/Jan Heuff - http://www.anp-photo.com/home.pp
  • Whiskey washes up in Terschelling<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Grounded Fiji Petrel, October 2011 which was successfully released<br>&copy; Photo: NFMV/Eleazar O&#039;Connor - http://www.naturefiji.org/index.php
  • Dick Watling<br>&copy; Photo: NFMV/Eleazar O&#039;Connor - http://www.naturefiji.org/index.php
  • Birders ready to shoot (L-R) Jörg Kretzschmar, Hadoram Shirihai, Tony Pym<br>&copy; Photo: Amanda Rogers - http://www.naturefiji.org/index.php
  • The first ever photographs of Fiji Petrels at sea – off Gau, May 2009<br>&copy; Photo: Hadoram Shirihai/NFMV - http://www.naturefiji.org/index.php
  • The first ever photographs of Fiji Petrels at sea – off Gau, May 2009<br>&copy; Photo: Hadoram Shirihai/NFMV - http://www.naturefiji.org/index.php
  • The first ever photographs of Fiji Petrels at sea – off Gau, May 2009<br>&copy; Photo: Hadoram Shirihai/NFMV - http://www.naturefiji.org/index.php
  • Painting guerilla bike lanes in Mexico City<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Painting guerilla bike lanes in Mexico City<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Painting guerilla bike lanes in Mexico City<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english
  • Painting guerilla bike lanes in Mexico City<br>&copy; Photo: RNW - http://www.rnw.nl/english

Discussion

Leroi Chisholm 3 January 2012 - 5:48pm / U.S.A

In a recent episode "Places we can't go" I was hoping you would have featured a place called Sentinel Island. I just recently learned about it from a humorous entry in Wikipedia and I was hoping maybe you could find information on someone who has been there and survived.

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Sydney Fordham 5 January 2012 - 12:04pm

This is the island in the Bay of Bengal whose inhabitants reject modern life and attack if contact is attempted, right? Great story! Thanks for the tip, we'll see what we can do.

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