Scientists Discovered A Skin-Crawling Secret That This Strange Island Had Concealed For 80 Years

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To the unassuming traveler, the Lord Howe Island Group probably looks like a tropical paradise. And while it’s true that the lush forests, beaches and coral reef are something of a haven, there’s more to these Australian islands than first meets the eye. Indeed, one particular isle has been harboring a decades-old, skin-crawling secret that was left undiscovered for over 80 years.

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[music]. found between australia and new zealand . the award howe island group lies in the . tasman sea the rocky land masses that . form it are comprised mostly of volcanic. remnants and the main aisle known sibley . as lord howe island is just 6. 2 miles . long the central island was first . discovered in 1788 by a british. lieutenant named henry lidge bird fall . on his way to the nearby norfolk island . ball spotted what would become known as . lord howe island . however on his return trip he claimed it . for his home country and by 1834 the . island had been permanently settled . designed by unesco as a world heritage . site the island group boasts a rich . variety of lush terrain within which . lies a bounty of historical cultural and . natural points of interest. what's more the majority of the islands. are covered in unexplored forests. containing all manner of wildlife well . lieutenant ball claimed the island in . the 18th century it was put to use as a . port for whalers eventually however the . whaling industry took a downward turn . and in its place another economic . enterprise bloomed indeed in the 1880s . traders began exporting ketchup palms . from the island and these are now grown . all over the world to this day the . production of quechua seeds is central . to the island's economy furthermore . following world war two war howe island . became a popular tourist destination in . all 28 different islands form the group . which is protected by the lord howe . island act of 1981 the legislation . covers around 70% of the island . designating it a permanent park preserve . meanwhile the waters around the islands . formed the lord howe island marine park . southwest of the mainland mass lies. balls pyramid an uninhabited island . known for being the world's tallest . volcanic rock formation indeed it stands . at a mighty 1844 feet high and like the . rest of the islands in the group it's a . rocky remnant of a six million year old . volcano balls pyramid was discovered in . 1788 on the same voyage as the main . island was and by the same lieutenant. and yet nobody would step foot on the . island for more than a hundred years . after its discovery indeed it wasn't . until 1882 that geologist henry . wilkinson made the first recorded . journey ashore since then a number of . people have attempted to scale the . volcanic tower in 1964 for instance a . group of australian climbers failed to . complete their ascent after exhausting . their supplies a year later however for . members of the sydney rock climbing club . finally reached the peak the climbing . community's relationship with the island. has been uneasy over the years in fact . in the 1980s climbing there was banned . altogether but nowadays some people are . able to scale the rock after going . through a formal application process . however there's another very different . reason that people travel to ball's . pyramid and it has very little to do . with climbing at all on the contrary it . relates to one of the few forms of life . able to survive on its rocky mass until . the 20th century dry out caucus . australis was plentiful on lord howe . island and was even used as fishing bait . a type of stick insect native to the . island group it displays some unusual. traits when compared to similar species. for instance the male and female insects . pair off behavior considered. particularly uncommon among insects. however the female insects don't need. the males to survive in fact they can . reproduce entirely on their own and this . pandi evolutionary trick helped the . species to live on in particularly low . populations nonetheless by the 1920s the . insects have been declared extinct just . two years earlier a supply ship had run . aground on the shores of lord howe. island bringing with it a plague of . black rats and i hadn't taken long for . the rats to totally destroy the . population of diocles australis so it . was that scientists assumed these stick . insects would never be seen again then . however a group of climbers stumbled . upon the remains of a dry oak occulus . australis unbossed pyramid moreover this . was some 44 years after the last known . sighting of the insect dead or alive . over the next few decades scientists . then managed to find a handful more dead . specimen. however any attempts to discover their . source proved fruitless that was until . 2001 when a team of scientists journeyed . to ball's pyramid to investigate to . themselves. unfortunately the scientists had no luck . finding what they were after during . daylight hours instead then they decided . to come back at night noting that the . insects were historically nocturnal and. lo and behold they soon unearthed a . group of 24 lord howe island stick . insects alive and well the scarcity of . dry oak occulus australis had earned it . the nickname the rarest insect in the . world but 15 years after their . rediscovery these stick insects were a . little less rare indeed in 2003 . scientists collected a pair of them from . ball's pyramid for breeding purposes and . by 2016 13 thousand eggs had been . successfully hatched in order to . establish backup populations the . researchers dispatch the eggs to zoos in . europe the united states and canada it's . astonishing to think that for 80 years . dry okok less australis flew completely . under the radar of humanity yet now it's . flourishing thanks to a tiny community . that managed to survive . [music]. you . .

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