Finback Whale — Word's Second-Largest Animal


Finner, razorback, flathead, common rorqual, herring whale, fin whale — these are all names for the finback whale, an animal that few outside of the marine biology or maritime communities know or care about. But it is a majestic animal with sleek hydrodynamic lines and curves that roams the world's oceans gulping down plankton and fish in astonishing quantities. Second in size only to its slightly longer but much heavier cousin the blue whale, the finback whale (Balaenoptera physalus) is the second-biggest animal on Earth, and likely one of the top 5 biggest animals ever to exist!


Laika the Space Dog


Sputnik 1 was successfully launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957, becoming the first artificial object to reach Earth orbit. Having been launched during the Cold War era, this tiny, beeping, ball-shaped satellite caused great concern among many paranoid red-scared Americans for whom the event was not so much a great moment of scientific achievement, but rather a disconcerting development in the Soviet-American balance of power, which effectively put the Soviets thoroughly ahead of the U.S. in the so-called “space race”.

Pronghorn — Second-Fastest Land Animal

Cheetahs are cool. They're sleek. They're majestic. They’re hunters who use their speed to chase down their prey. They’re the fastest land animals around, topping out in some measures at 60-70 mph. The pronghorn is not as fast as the cheetah. To the lay person, a pronghorn looks like any other hoofed antelope-type creature — brownish, white, kinda boring. For the most part, it looks like a goat with aspirations. Despite having been clocked at 50-60 mph in full sprint — just a tad slower than the cheetah — the pronghorn is not nearly as cool.