Monday, May 28, 2012
First item from the Sahara, for no particular reason: there is actually wildlife there! Your correspondent imagined it being a totally lifeless wasteland. Perhaps it was only because we were not in the hugest expanses of dunes, but there were several living things. There are actually some flowers and patches of grass in some stretches. Even in the middle of the dunes, though, you can find scarab beetles, as below, which leave funny trails through the sand that would be notable even if the scarab wasn't famous from any number of movies about mummies and other ancient Egyptian stuff.
Even cooler, and pictured below in the hand of one of our guides, is the sandfish. This is weird little lizard that burrows through sand with a motion really does look exactly like swimming. Your correspondent held the sandfish for a moment, and found that despite being very shiny, they are actually really dry and the shine is just because they are so smooth. Oh, also: They are super awesome. Perhaps as testament to their awesomeness, their scientific name is "scincus scincus." Best of all, according to Wikipedia, they are readily available in U.S. pet stores. Get yours today!