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MS Oasis of the Seas is an Oasis-class cruise ship in the fleet of Royal Caribbean International. The first of her class, she is expected to be joined by her sister ship Allure of the Seas in December 2010. Both vessels are expected to cruise the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She set a new record of carrying over 6,000 passengers. The ship surpasses the Freedom-class cruise ships (also owned by Royal Caribbean) as the world's largest passenger vessel. The vessel was ordered in February 2006 and designed under the name "Project Genesis". Her keel was laid down on 12 November 2007 at STX Europe (formerly Aker Yards) in Turku, Finland. The company announced that full funding for Oasis of the Seas was secured on 15 April 2009. The name Oasis of the Seas resulted from a competition held in May 2008. The ship was completed and turned over to Royal Caribbean on 28 October 2009. Two days later, she departed Finland for the United States. While exiting the Baltic Sea, the vessel passed underneath the Great Belt Fixed Link in Denmark on 1 November 2009. The bridge has a clearance of 65 m (213 ft) above the water; Oasis normally has an air draft of 72 m (236 ft). The passage under the bridge was possible due to retraction of the telescoping funnels, and an additional 30 cm (12 in) was gained by the squat effect whereby vessels travelling at speed in a shallow channel will be drawn deeper into the water. Approaching the bridge at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), the ship passed under it with less than 2 feet (60 cm) of clearance. The ship's power comes from six marine diesel engines, three Wärtsilä 16-cylinder common rail diesels producing 25,290 hp each, and three similar 12-cylinder engines each producing 18,590 hp. The total output of these prime movers, some 130,110 hp, is converted to electricity, used in hotel power for operation of the lights, elevators, electronics, galleys, water treatment plant, and all of the other systems used on the operation of the vessel, as well as propulsion. Propulsion is not provided by screws on the end of long shafts piercing the hull, as on most prior ships, but by three, 20,000 kilowatts (26,800 hp) "Azipods", ABB's brand of azimuth thrusters. These pods, suspended under the stern, contain electric motors driving 20-foot (6 m) propellers. Because they are rotatable, no rudders are needed to steer the ship. Docking is assisted by four 5,500 kilowatts (7,380 hp) bow thrusters in tunnels. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



Chironex fleckeri, the infamous lethally venomous species of Box jellyfish living in northern Australia's coastal waters, is the most lethal jellyfish in the world, and one of the most dangerous animals in the world. The amount of venom in one animal is enough to kill 60 adult humans. First aid consists of washing the sting area with vinegar, and in no circumstance should alcohol, alcohol-based lotions, or methylated spirits be applied. Chironex fleckeri is best known for its incredibly powerful and often fatal sting. The sting produces excruciating pain accompanied by an intense burning sensation, and the venom has multiple effects attacking the nervous system, heart and skin at the same time. While an appreciable amount of venom (contact from about ten feet or three metres of tentacle) needs to be delivered in order to have a fatal effect on an adult human, the potently neurotoxic venom is extremely quick to act. Fatalities have been observed as little as four minutes after envenomation, notably quicker than any snake, insect or spider , and prompting its description as the world's deadliest venomous animal. Frequently a person swimming who gets stung will have a heart attack or drown before they can even get back to the shore or boat. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be required. Medical help should be sought as soon as possible after considering these needs. Notorious for its dangerous sting, C. fleckeri tentacles, up to 3m long, are covered in thousands upon thousands of nematocysts which on contact release microscopic darts, each delivering an extremely powerful venom. Being stung invariably results in excruciating pain, and if the sting area is significant, an untreated victim may die in as little as 3 minutes. Swimmers who are stung face the additional risk of drowning. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]



The World or World Islands is an artificial archipelago of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of a world map, located 4.0 kilometres off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World islands are composed mainly of sand dredged from Dubai's shallow coastal waters, and are one of several artificial island developments in Dubai. The World's developer is Nakheel Properties, and the project was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Islands in the archipelago range from 14,000 to 42,000 square metres in area. Distances between islands average 100 metres; they are constructed from 321 million cubic metres of sand and 31 million tons of rock. The entire development is an area that covers 6 by 9 kilometres and is surrounded by an oval-shaped breakwater island. Roughly 232 km of shoreline was created. The World's overall development costs were estimated at $14 billion USD in 2005. The Times Online reports in September 2009 that work on The World had been suspended due to the effects of the global financial crisis. And in February 2010 the Daily Mail reported that the Islands have started sinking back into the sea. This was later denied by Nakheel and independent technical reports as wholly inaccurate. Despite the denial, The Daily Telegraph reported in January 2011 that an independent company, Penguin Marine, provided verification on the erosion of the islands and the silting of the passage ways between the islands. Due to finance and technical problems Penguin Marine, the company contracted to provide transportation to the archipelago, is attempting to get out of the annual fees of $1.6 million paid to Nakheel properties. The islands of Great Britain and Moscow on The World were acquired by Premier Real Estate Bureau in the Summer of 2008. The news was leaked in a Daily Mail article of January 2009, refuting claims that Great Britain was owned by Irish investor John O'Dolan, Richard Branson or Rod Stewart. Safi Qurashi, the multi-millionaire entrepreneur at the head of Premier and his business partner Mustafa Nagri, paid an estimated $64 million USD for the 11-acre piece of land; he was later convicted for non-payment of cheques and sentenced to seven years in jail. The Irish businessman John O'Dolan, who purchased the "Ireland" island, committed suicide in February 2009, after his consortium fell into financial difficulty. As of early 2011, only one of the islands is occupied by a building (a show home) on it, and commercial or residential properties are not currently being constructed on any of the other islands. Property prices in the emirate have fallen 58 percent from their peak in the fourth quarter of 2008. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





The hammerhead sharks are a group of sharks in the family Sphyrnidae, so named for the unusual and distinctive structure of their heads, which are flattened and laterally extended into a "hammer" shape called a "cephalofoil". Most hammerhead species are placed in the genus Sphyrna; some authorities place the winghead shark in its own genus, Eusphyra. Many, not necessarily mutually exclusive, functions have been proposed for the cephalofoil, including sensory reception, maneuvering, and prey manipulation. Hammerheads are found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. The nine known species of hammerhead range from 0.9 to 6 m long (3 to 20 feet). All the species have a projection on each side of the head that gives it a resemblance to a flattened hammer. The shark's eyes and nostrils are at the tips of the extensions. The hammer shape of the head was thought to help sharks find food, aiding in close-quarters maneuverability and allowing the shark to turn sharply without losing stability. However, it was found that the unusual structure of its vertebrae allowed it to make the turns correctly, more than its head. But as the hammer would also shift and provide lift; hammerheads are one of the most negatively buoyant of sharks. Like all sharks, hammerheads have electroreceptory sensory pores called ampullae of Lorenzini. By distributing the receptors over a wider area, hammerheads can sweep for prey more effectively. These sharks have been able to detect an electrical signal of half a billionth of a volt. The hammer-shaped head also gives these sharks larger nasal tracts, increasing the chance of finding a particle in the water by at least 10 times as against the ability of other 'classical' sharks. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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