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Penguins have their own awareness day, and they deserve it

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Jan. 20 was Penguin Awareness Day and there's a lot of cuteness to celebrate.

But sadly, more than half of penguin species are vulnerable or endangered.

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In all, there are about 17 species -- like the endangered yellow-eyed penguin, native to New Zealand and the African penguin.

Oil spills and overfishing of the African penguin's food supply are big threats to its survival, but the Georgia Aquarium has welcomed 24 baby African penguins since 2012 as part of the Species Survival Program.

It's hoping to raise a lot more.

Report: Ocean to house more plastic than fish by 2050

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The world’s oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050 if current business practices are continued, according to a report released by the World Economic Forum Tuesday.

A collaboration between the World Economic Forum, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and business consulting company McKinsey & Company, the report suggested the numbers stress the need to build a strong after-use plastics economy.

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“The best research currently available estimates that there are over 150 million tons of plastics in the ocean today,” the study, titled “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics,” said. “In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).”

According to the report, 8 million tons of plastics leak into the ocean each year – “equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck into the ocean every minute.

“If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two per minute by 2030 and four per minute by 2050,” said the report.

A majority of the leakage comes from plastic packaging. The study’s authors found most plastic packaging is only used once before it’s discarded.

The report was based on interviews with more than 180 experts and an analysis of more than 200 reports.

This treehouse is Airbnb's most desired rental property in the world

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Treehouses. People want to stay in treehouses.

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Airbnb, the online home rental site, recently released its top wish-listed destinations and properties, and treehouses were at the top.

As Airbnb put it: "A penchant for fantasy is evident when examining the most Wish-Listed properties by type. The adventure of an outdoor treehouse is by far the most popular type of property on Wish Lists."

At the top of those desired treehouses is one in Atlanta, based on the frequency that active listings appear on people's wish lists.

Hidden away in the affluent uptown district of Buckhead, there are three connected treehouse rooms that rent for $350-$400 a night, with a two-night minimum.

The living room, bedroom and deck are connected by rope bridges. The bathroom is a 30-second walk to the main house.

As of mid-January, the first vacancy, according to the Airbnb listing, is in March.

Other desired treehouse locations include one in Italy and one with a pool, in Bali.

Maybe treehouses aren't your thing. In that case, check out the Seashell House in Mexico or the Pirates of the Caribbean getaway in California.

Airbnb's top destination on its wish list is also in Georgia.

Savannah is the top U.S. destination and No. 3 worldwide among "markets with highest percent of listings that have appeared on at least one wishlist with at least 200 currently active listings."

‘Psychedelic swamp’ in Florida displays rainbow colors

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Florida Landscapes, a public Facebook group of almost 10,000 members, invites social media users to post original photos of unique landscapes and cityscapes in the state. 

On Wednesday, a post to the group's page showed a Tallahassee swamp -- a wetland area not usually recognized for its beauty -- in a new light. 

Michael Hussey posted the photo of a "Psychedelic Swamp" with water that appears to be blue, pink, yellow, green and purple.

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"This happens every year as leaves begin to decompose in the water," Hussey wrote. "The decomposing leaves release tannic acid, and when the sunlight hits it, you see this gorgeous rainbow effect over the water.”

So far over 1,300 people have liked the photo on Facebook, and it has over 2,200 shares on the social media site.

The original photo was posted on Hussey's personal Facebook page last February. 

Psychedelic  SwampThis happens every year as leaves begin to decompose in the water.  The decomposing leaves release...Posted by Michael Hussey on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Severe natural gas leak in Los Angeles County could be major disaster

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A massive natural gas leak from a Los Angeles County storage facility is pouring millions of pounds of methane into the atmosphere, and California officials say it's shaping up to be major ecological disaster.

Officials told The Washington Post the Aliso Canyon leak was first detected more than two months ago and is releasing about 110,000 pounds of gas per hour. It's invisible to the naked eye, but the outlet recently obtained infrared video showing the dangerous gas billowing into the air.

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On top of being an explosive hazard, the methane is also a potent greenhouse gas that's reportedly affecting both the atmosphere and the well-being of many nearby residents.

Thousands have been forced to evacuate the area, and students there will have to move to different schools. And several lawsuits have already been filed by people who claim they've been harmed by the leak.

"I have felt the effects, as my husband has — the stomach, the vomiting, the headaches. But when my 17-month-old son has to be on a nebulizer and comes home with bloody noses, there's no excuse," resident Robin Shapiro told NPR.

A spokesperson for the storage facility's owner, Southern California Gas Co., told the Los Angeles Times the leak likely began when an underground well-casing failed, which allowed pressurized gas to push through to the surface.

So far, efforts to contain the gas leak have been unsuccessful, and state officials say it could take months before it's stopped.

This video includes an image from Getty Images.

Watch: Three-eyed catfish reeled in

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A fisherman caught more than he expected when he reeled in a catfish with three eyes. 

"It was a crazy scene," said Greg Hunter, a witness who shot video of the fish as a crowd gathered around. "Some lady was flipping out cause (the fisherman) whacked it dead,” he told WABC.

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The fish was captured in the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York. 

Hunter said a female bystander was upset, citing efforts to preserve wildlife. 

The man who caught the oddity said he was going to eat it.

Social media users have compared the fish's likeness to Blinky, the three-eyed fish character in "The Simpsons."

Read more here.

Watch: Skunk does handstand, 'dances' for camera

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This little skunk's dance moves may be cute but he's definitely got his game face on. 

Footage captured over the summer at Saguaro National Park in Arizona shows a spotted skunk doing a handstand and appearing to dance around in front of a wildlife camera. But according to the Huffington Post, he wasn't trying to show off. He was trying to be intimidating.

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Spotted skunks "are capable of spraying a strong unpleasant scent as a form of defense. But before spraying, spotted skunks will sometimes go into a handstand and attempt to intimidate any would-be aggressors like this skunk is doing with the wildlife camera," the U.S. Department of the Interior, wrote in the photo's caption on Instagram.

Since no one was actually manning the wildlife camera, the skunk may have mistaken it for an enemy and was getting prepared for battle.

Click the image below to watch the video.

You never know what you are going to see at America’s #publiclands. Case in point: A spotted skunk doing a handstand at #Saguaro National Park in #Arizona. This strange interaction was captured by Saguaro’s wildlife camera in Happy Valley. Like the other three groups of skunks, spotted #skunks are capable of spraying a strong unpleasant scent as a form of defense. But before spraying, spotted skunks will sometimes go into a handstand and attempt to intimidate any would be aggressors like this skunk is doing with the #wildlife camera. Video by #NationalPark Service. A video posted by U.S. Department of the Interior (@usinterior) on Nov 4, 2015 at 11:28am PST(Instagram)

Girl 'saves' gopher tortoise by throwing it in water

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"So here's a little note to self if anyone runs into a turtle. Save it. Don't just leave it on the road. They're so cute. Turtle saving is a hobby!"Those may have been the last words spoken around a gopher tortoise (not a turtle) before being tossed into a pond by a girl during a Snapchat video.

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Heavy.com reports that the video was shared on Reddit, but it's not known who the girl is or who she sent the original video to. 

Gopher tortoises are land animals that cannot swim, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They're also a threatened species found in the southeastern United States, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. 

It's not known if the tortoise that was thrown into the pond survived. 

Watch the video HERE.

WATCH: Los Angeles fights drought with 'shade ball' invasion

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Millions of plastic balls are being used to help battle the record drought in Los Angeles.

This week, 20,000 weighted "shade balls" were released into the Los Angeles Reservoir, bringing the total number of balls layered across the top of the water's surface to 96 million.

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Each shade ball costs 36 cents.

The balls are considered a cost-effective way to conserve water and ensure drinking water quality. They block much of the sunlight from hitting the water, which protects it from chemical reactions that could cause algae blooms and other environmental exposures.

The LA Reservoir contains more than 3.3 billion gallons of water. Officials estimate the balls will keep 300 million gallons from evaporating each year.

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