The First Use of Forensic Science to Resolve a Murder

Sun Tzu’s text the “Washing Away of Wrongs”, written in 1235 A.D., is the first text which records forensic analysis being used to resolve a criminal case. The murder of a farmer prompted a local judge to demand that everyone in the village lay down their sickle before him. While every cythe appeared to be clean, the judge watched for insects as he understood that insects would be attracted to and by consequence fly around within proximity of a blade with fresh blood still attached to it, even if the blood was physically removed to the point at which it could no longer be observed by the human eye. This innovative technique allowed the judge to figure out which member of the community committed the homicide with forensic certainty

Dung Beetle Celestial Navigation

Dung beetles use the Milky Way Galaxy to navigate. The dung beetle’s eyes are much too small and imprecise to see individual stars, however they are accurate enough to see the presence of the stars within the Milky Way Galaxy itself. Dung beetles have a particularly difficult time navigating in a straight line on cloudy or obstructed nights which is what initially lead scientists to the discovery of the dung beetle’s navigation methods. This find was the first time an animal or insect was discovered to navigate using primitive astronomy techniques

Ancient Egyptian Scarab Beetles and the Reason the Egyptians Believed the Beetle to be Immortal

The scarab beetle was among the most popular of all ancient Egyptian jewelry pieces as the beetle represented the God “Khepri”. Khepri was the God of creation and rebirth and controlled the movement of the Sun. There are 30,000 different depictions of scarab which account for approximately 10% of all known beetle species. Beetles feed upon the undigested nutrients left behind within the excrement of larger animals, almost always mammals. Beetles then lay their eggs within the ball of dung and soon after die. The eggs hatch from within the inner dung, set foot into the world, and end up pushing the very ball of dung which they were born in. Ancient Egyptians viewed this as the beetle having eternal life and therefore placed incredible importance upon it

The Zombie Ant Fungus

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis (pronounced “off-eyo-cordi-ceps uni-later-alis”) colloquially known as the “zombie ant fungi” infects an ant after it is ingested by the ant by mistake. The fungi requires its host to die so it purposely infects the ants brain and essentially programs it to commit suicide after eating any large leaf. The fungi then programs the ants jaw to stay clamped shut so that the leaf it is anchored to provides a steady place to sprout and release spores, repeating the entire cycle once again on another unsuspecting ant

The Number of Insects in the World

There are over 900,000 known insect species on Earth, which is 75% of all animal species. It is estimated that there may be another order of magnitude of insects to discover which would equate to approximately 10,000,000 (10 million) species of insect. It is estimated that there are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quintillion also said as 10 billion billion or 1018) on Earth at any given time