The mystery of California's ghost redwoods may have been solved.
Brilliant October sunshine filters through the high forest canopy, where the silver-green needles of healthy trees soak up rays and turn them into fuel. But the albino tree lacks chlorophyll, the green pigment that allows plants to make food from light via photosynthesis. It is incapable of the one thing that all trees must do to live.… The mystery of the albino redwood has stumped researchers for more than a century. The trees are so improbable that those who haven't seen them up close sometimes question whether they can exist at all. But Moore is convinced that this ghost story has a scientific solution - one that should change how we view not just the albino trees, but also the entire forest.[more inside]
With "limp and waxy" needles giving the tree the appearance of a "a glow-in-the-dark star you might find in a kid's bedroom", Albino Redwoods lack chlorophyll and grow as a parasite grafted onto another tree. These rarities still manage to grow up to 80 feet tall, and are of interest to those studying the redwood genome.
In honor of Squirrel Appreciation Day 2012, I present the Albino Squirrel Preservation Society. Start a chapter in your area! (Previously on MeFi)
Greetings from the Twine Ball, wish you were here: "But you can't see out of the side of the car, because the windows are completely covered with the decals of all the places where we've already been: there's Elvis-O-Rama, the Tupperware Museum, the Boll Weevil Monument, and Cranberry World, the Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame, Poodle Dog Rock, and the Mecca of Albino Squirrels. We've been to ghost towns, theme parks, wax museums, and a place where you can drive through the middle of a tree ... " [more inside]
Albinos often face mistrust and discrimination, perhaps because they tend to be portrayed as evil in popular culture. But in Tanzania and Burundi, weird delusions that albinos have magical powers mean that they are actually being hunted down, murdered and dismembered to harvest their supposedly magical body parts. One group of albino kids are trying to spread some sense by forming their own "magic" sports team.
Often referred to as “sope”, meaning something magical inhabited by powerful evil spirits, albinos have long been the victims of discrimination in Africa (scroll up). Although Tanzania recently nominated an albino MP, they are being killed and mutilated to support a growing trade.
I finally saw it and captured it on film. The picture got me wondering whether or not anyone else was equally smitten by these freaks of nature. Apparently the good people at The Albino Squirrel Preservation Society are. So are these seemingly nice folks. Leave it to the BBC to be the definitive authority on the topic. Of course there are those who will turn this into a tourist attraction or a way to make a quick buck. There are frauds. There are criminal aspects. There is always a detractor or two, and as always too much hype.