From today's featured article
The electric eels are a genus, Electrophorus, of tropical freshwater fish from South America in the family Gymnotidae. They are electric fish, and can stun their prey by delivering shocks at up to 860 volts. Their electrical capabilities were first studied in 1775, contributing to the invention in 1800 of the electric battery. Despite their name, they are not closely related to the true eels (order Anguilliformes) but are electroreceptive knifefish (order Gymnotiformes), more closely related to catfish. Previously, the genus was believed to be monotypic, containing only Electrophorus electricus. In 2019 it was discovered that there were three species. They are nocturnal, air-breathing animals, with poor vision complemented by electrolocation; they mainly eat fish. Males are larger than females. Electric eels grow for as long as they live, adding more vertebrae to their spinal column. Some captive specimens have lived for more than 20 years. (Full article...)
Did you know ...
- ... that giant bucket hats (pictured) were placed around Wales and in Qatar to mark Wales' football team reaching the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
- ... that after he, his father, and his grandfather won the Rurrenabaque mayoralty as MNR members, Yerko Núñez switched parties and won a third term, defeating the MNR by a margin of 3,476 votes to 30?
- ... that LCD Soundsystem recorded for the first time in five years by making the song "New Body Rhumba" for the 2022 film White Noise?
- ... that Syndicate was the first to reach 1 million followers on Twitch, beating League of Legends developer Riot Games to the record?
- ... that when students spoke Vietnamese in a graduation speech in Louisiana, the school district proposed banning all non-English languages?
- ... that in 2020 when Persian-Canadian countertenor Cameron Shahbazi performed in Written on Skin in Cologne, his "Luciferian charm" and "iridescent voice" were noted?
- ... that the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, uniquely within the Council of State, has powers in both the executive and legislative branches of government?
- ... that a woman hitchhiked from Indiana to Washington, D.C., to protest the sale of the radio station where she worked?
In the news
- A deadly fire in Ürümqi escalates ongoing protests across China (vigil pictured) in response to the government's zero-COVID policy.
- Anwar Ibrahim of the Pakatan Harapan coalition becomes Prime Minister of Malaysia after the general election produces the nation's first hung parliament.
- An earthquake centred near Cianjur in Indonesia's West Java kills at least 323 people and injures more than 7,000 others.
- In Canadian football, the Toronto Argonauts defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Grey Cup.
On this day
- 1470 – Đại Việt emperor Lê Thánh Tông launched a military expedition against Champa, beginning the Champa–Đại Việt War.
- 1660 – Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, Christopher Wren and other leading scientists met at Gresham College in London to found a learned society, now known as the Royal Society.
- 1943 – World War II: U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt, British prime minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet premier Joseph Stalin (all three pictured) met at the Tehran Conference to discuss war strategy against the Axis powers.
- 1987 – South African Airways Flight 295 suffered a catastrophic in-flight fire and crashed into the Indian Ocean east of Mauritius, killing all 159 people on board.
From today's featured list
Ninety-three nations received medals at the 2020 Summer Olympics, and 65 of them won at least one gold medal, both records. The 2020 Summer Olympics was an international multi-sport event held in Tokyo, Japan, from 23 July to 8 August 2021. The games were postponed by one year as part of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports. Athletes from the United States won the most medals overall, with 113, and the most gold medals, with 39. Host nation Japan won 27 gold medals surpassing its gold medal tally of 16 at both the 1964 and 2004 summer editions. American swimmer Caeleb Dressel won the most gold medals at the games with five. Meanwhile, Australian swimmer Emma McKeon won the greatest number of medals overall, with seven in total. As a result, she tied Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya's seven medals at the 1952 summer edition for most medals won at a single games by a female athlete. Bermuda, Qatar, and the Philippines won their nation's first Olympic gold medals. (Full list...)
Today's featured picture
Siege of Khartoum currency was an emergency issue of paper money created by the British major-general Charles George Gordon, the governor-general of the Sudan, during the siege of Khartoum by Mahdist forces between 1884 and 1885. Denominated in piastres (and 50 Egyptian pounds), the first banknotes were dated 25 April 1884 and they were issued as late as November 1884. This set of ten banknotes, some of which were hand-signed by Gordon, is part of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.