animals
Horrific Scene as 145 Stranded Whales Die on New Zealand Beach

At least 145 pilot whales are dead following a mass stranding at a remote beach in southern New Zealand. The two pods of pilot whales beached themselves over the weekend, their carcasses now littering the picturesque beach. Read More >>

science
A Supervolcano’s Colossal Eruption Has Been Lying About Its Age

The most violent eruption of the last 5,000 years was undoubtedly that of Taupo, a volcanic cauldron found in New Zealand. It’s still an active volcanic system, so the more we know about it the better – but the exact age of that eruption has proved to be a puzzle for scientists. Read More >>

news
Chelsea Manning May Be Banned From Entering Australia: Report

Whistleblower and political activist Chelsea Manning is supposed to start her Australian speaking tour at the Sydney Opera House this Sunday. But that could all change if she isn’t allowed to enter the country. Manning is reportedly facing some trouble getting a visa from the politically turbulent government down under. Read More >>

facebook
Just 53 People Used the App That Let Cambridge Analytica Swipe Data From Up to 311,127 Australians

The vast majority of Facebook user data that was harvested by Cambridge Analytica came from Americans. But smaller countries are actually better at demonstrating just how big the problem got. Access to just 53 users in Australia reportedly allowed data firms to potentially capture information on over 310,000 people. Read More >>

transport
Here’s Our First Look at Kitty Hawk’s Ambitious Autonomous Air Taxi 

While the rest of us are still waiting for self-driving cars to become available, Google cofounder Larry Page and self-driving car pioneer Sebastian Thrun are already working on the Next Big Thing™ with Cora, the pilot-less air taxi from the ambitiously named Kitty Hawk aircraft company. Read More >>

animals
Nigel the Bird Found Dead Next to The Concrete Partner He Tried to Woo For Years

Twenty years ago, conservationists in New Zealand placed 80 fake gannet birds on Mana Island in an attempt to attract some real-life gannets. But only one bird finally showed up in 2015. That bird, which locals named Nigel, spent years in a futile effort to woo a mate who was made of concrete. But sadly, Nigel has been found dead next to his stone cold partner. Read More >>

conservation
The Surprising Way New Zealand Could Soon Solve Its Predator Problem

Early in the morning a few days before Christmas, I was sitting in the living room of my mom’s New Zealand apartment, typing away on my laptop, when a parrot flew up, perched itself on the balcony railing and stared at me expectantly, as if demanding that I bring it a treat. It was a Kaka parrot, a large, greenish-brown bird with a subtly burgundy underbelly that has long been endangered in New Zealand due to forest clearing and invasive possums that compete with the Kaka for food. The bird had tags on its ankle from nearby Zealandia, the city of Wellington’s impressive eco-sanctuary, which has been breeding Kakas since 2002. The last time I had been in New Zealand, the Christmas before, the only Kakas I saw were within the sanctuary walls. At one point, the Kaka was nearly extinct. But recent breeding efforts have been prolific, and now most mornings and evenings, as many as six Kaka perch themselves on my mom’s treetop balcony, squawking, presumably, in celebration of their triumphant comeback. Read More >>

science
Discovery of Extinct Burrowing Bat Tells Mysterious Story About New Zealand

All but three land mammal species living on New Zealand today were brought there by modern humans, beginning around 800 years ago—and all three of those native mammal species are bats. But a newly discovered bat fossil suggests that there may be more species hiding in the isle’s ancient rock. Perhaps the mammal-poor islands once had a far more batty past. Read More >>

crime
Beehive Thefts Explode in New Zealand Because the Bees Can’t Catch a Break

We’re all well aware of what a bad deal the bees have been getting in recent years. Simply put, the bees are dying globally at an alarming rate! Hell, the minute they get put on the endangered species list, bureaucracy steps in to say, “not so fast.” Now, on top of everything, hundreds of their hives are mysteriously being stolen in New Zealand. Read More >>

landslides
Enormous Mudslide Devastates New Zealand Marine Reserve

New Zealand’s Kaikoura Canyon — known for its abundant seabed life — is now an undersea wasteland following a series of earthquake-induced mudslides. Read More >>

science
Will a Radical Plan to Save New Zealand’s Birds With Genetic Engineering Work?

That the kiwi bird still exists at all is something of a marvel. Its native New Zealand has no endemic land predators, and so the bird evolved to be flightless. Today, its nests on the forest floor are under constant attack by invasive species—opossums, rats, feral cats and the occasional misbehaving dog. Read More >>

animals
Hundreds of Whales Are Dead Following a Horrific Mass Stranding in New Zealand

Image: AP
In what’s considered the largest mass stranding in decades, over 400 pilot whales have beached themselves on a New Zealand shore. Hundreds of whales died overnight, and rescuers are now frantically working to save the dozens of remaining whales who are clinging to life. Read More >>

new zealand
New Zealand Could Have Been Part of the United States

Most Americans think of New Zealand as the place The Lord of the Rings was filmed, or the land with more sheep than people. This week, however, the country captured the American imagination, as an article in the New Yorker revealed that it was the hottest spot on the planet for rich Americans to buy property. The New Zealand Herald even discovered that billionaire Peter Thiel, a member of Donald Trump’s transition team, acquired citizenship and owns hundreds of acres there. “Buying a house in New Zealand” is now so common for the wealthy that the phrase has become code for having a backup plan for when the world turns to shit, as one mega rich investor told the New Yorker. Read More >>

wtf
Passport Website Rejects Asian Man’s Photo for Having ‘Closed’ Eyes

Anyone who’s dealt with the complexities of passport photo requirements would probably jump at the chance to have their pics checked online, but automated systems can have their own complications, as a New Zealand man recently learned. Read More >>