An amazing story of discovery in New Guinea Jason 06 Feb 2006

39 comments Latest by brian

In this day and age it feels like someone’s seen everything and been everywhere. That’s what makes stories of discovery of hundreds of new species in one expedition so wonderful.

An astonishing mist-shrouded “lost world” of previously unknown and rare animals and plants high in the mountain rainforests of New Guinea has been uncovered by an international team of scientists… The scientists are the first outsiders to see it. They could only reach the remote mountainous area by helicopter, which they described it as akin to finding a “Garden of Eden”… In a jungle camp site, surrounded by giant flowers and unknown plants, the researchers watched rare bowerbirds perform elaborate courtship rituals. The surrounding forest was full of strange mammals, such as tree kangaroos and spiny anteaters, which appeared totally unafraid, suggesting no previous contact with humans.

Fascinating. I hope we get to see the photos soon.

39 comments so far (Jump to latest)

indi 06 Feb 06

I hope we get to see the photos soon

… and get to see video on Discovery HD :-)

Kjell 06 Feb 06

And hey, if we just strove to discover things of this nature, instead of cutting and burning them, just think of all the cool stuff we’d find.

Darrel 06 Feb 06

“Fascinating. I hope we get to see the photos soon.”

Too late. Global warming just wiped them all out.

paik 06 Feb 06

i hope this does not create a media frenzy. we should just let them enjoy their freedom. no pics and videos please. they should be untouched…

Frank 07 Feb 06

Chris 07 Feb 06

This just makes my job designing web sites seem really, really boring. I haven’t discovered ANY new animals ever!

Adam 07 Feb 06

Make that BBC :/

Danny 07 Feb 06

Great! More Discovery channel fodder to give advanced industrial societies a sense of wonder about the earth. I’m sure this “being discovered” thing is really going to help the locals, just as it did in Hawaii, for example. Seriously, experience designers should be able to think this through from the other side, against previous use cases, right?

Dave 07 Feb 06

Check back in ten years. By then human intervention and exploitation will surely have impacted the whole area, several of the species will be on the way out, Hollywood will be demanding we “save” the area, and creationists vs intelligent design battles will lead to protests and violence.

Too bad those helicopters could climb that high. Same old story.

Andrew 07 Feb 06

From CNN “The team of 25 scientists rode helicopters to boggy clearings in the pristine zone. The scientists cut two trails about four kilometers (2.5 miles) long, leaving vast tracts still to be explored.”

25 scientists, several helicopters, chainsaws and machetes….almost makes me sad they found the place…..

Danny 07 Feb 06

I agree with most of you: this place will be as diverse as my back yard after we get done “studying” it for “research”.

As Metallica said: “Kill ‘em All”.

Me? A pessimist? nahhhh … .

Jeremy 07 Feb 06

How long until we can get a Starbucks setup in there?

Robert G 07 Feb 06

One week later… the Garden of Eden gets a Starbucks…

Robert G 07 Feb 06

Wow Jeremy, we must have been posting the same second!!

Jeremy 07 Feb 06

Robert: Have you had your Macchiato yet? (The caffine may have given me the edge)

Robert G 07 Feb 06

Jeremy, it must be that I’ve only had 1 diet coke so far this morning!

Anonymous Coward 07 Feb 06

Painful pessimists. You must really enjoy your life.

Vince 07 Feb 06

AC: Here’s a good example of the “care” these scientists are taking to preserve the integrity of this new “Lost World” …

http://news.yahoo.com/photo/060207/481/jak12502071357;_ylt=AiMYrDcfunqpKYWvB22pd.MDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Traden 07 Feb 06

impressive

Darrel 07 Feb 06

“Painful pessimists. You must really enjoy your life.”

I tried to be pro-industry, polluting, tree-chopping, slash and burn, suburb building, landscape paving, dolphin killing type of guy but I wasn’t happy doing that either.

Aaron F Stanton 07 Feb 06

I wonder how they taste.

Ed 07 Feb 06

few more photos on the guardian site:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/gall/0,,1704306,00.html

Drew Pickard 07 Feb 06

I love it when we make these discoveries.
Makes the world seem exciting again …

And boy do I love frogs.

Andrew Knott 07 Feb 06

A large number of species go extinct every year due to human activity… I know some people get excited about that but not most… It’s a shame…

Warren 07 Feb 06

This news story made my day. It’s really great that places like this are still out there waiting to be discovered.

And you know what? It’s our planet to explore and discover, no matter how much “human guilt” some may choose to carry. Thanks 37s for posting about this.

Regarding the photo posted by Vince, the animal being handled doesn’t appear to object to the treatment. It’s even mentioned in the news story that most of the animals weren’t afraid of being handled.

Awesome, just awesome stuff.

Serpentor 07 Feb 06

Nothing a bomb wouldn’t fix! Cobraaaaaaaa!

Alex 07 Feb 06

Warren: The point is not whether the animal ‘objects to being held’ or if they are ‘afraid’ of humans . . It’s that people go into a situation like that and immediately “impact” it with helicopters and such.

I agree that it is our planet to explore, but the way we do that often jeopardizes whether, in the future, our children will enjoy this same sensation of discovery we feel today.

I don’t want to spoil the fun: this is a great story. I just hope it has a better ending than I think it will 50 years from now.

Warren 07 Feb 06

Alex, thank you for responding. I agree with what you’re saying 100 percent.

I wrote my response mostly as a counterpoint to the tone of many of the comments so far, but neglected to explore the finer aspects of my own position, as you so eloquently have.

Sean Abrahams 07 Feb 06

The surrounding forest was full of strange mammals, such as tree kangaroos and spiny anteaters, which appeared totally unafraid, suggesting no previous contact with humans.

I love how it is implied that had the animals had previous contact with humans, they would be afraid. I can’t say I disagree.

billg 07 Feb 06

>>”Check back in ten years. By then human intervention and exploitation will surely have impacted the whole area…”
Why is it Natural when animals and plants migrate and take over a region, overwhelming whatever was their first, but Bad when humans do the same thing?

Example: We lament the destruction of the great North American buffalo herds, but don’t give a second’s thought to the species wiped out by the development of those herds. The only difference is that the buffalo, we assume, lacked the self-awareness needed to choose another course.

>>”I love how it is implied that had the animals had previous contact with humans, they would be afraid. I canít say I disagree. “

They’d be wary of wolves, tigers, and hyenas, too, if they’d had previous contact.

George 07 Feb 06

the photos you were looking for:

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060207075509990054&cid=

Sebhelyesfarku 10 Feb 06

I want to eat tree kangaroo meat

sandra 17 Feb 06

Has National Geographic been into New Guinea to take pictures of the new discoveries?

sandra 17 Feb 06

Has National Geographic been into New Guinea to take pictures of the new discoveries?

Anonymous Coward 17 Feb 06

Has National Geographic been into New Guinea to take pictures of the new discoveries?

keith 23 Feb 06

hola soy boliviano y deseo conoces una senorita de 18 a 26 anos por favor escribanme.}
Adios.

brian 05 Jul 06

some of you people make me sick the discovery of these species is signifagent not only to that country but to the world if people are aware of these animals they can try to protect them by makeing those governments aware. And human and animal interaction is going to happen no matter what we are a spreading speices

brian 05 Jul 06

about the animals interaction with the humans not being afraid just implies that those species are so isolated that there must be very few or no major predators in that area not that humans have not been there before

Post a comment

(Basic HTML is allowed)

NOTE: We'd rather not moderate, but off-topic, blatantly inflammatory, or otherwise inappropriate or vapid comments may be removed. Repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. Let's add value. Thank you.