By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Earth Day is coming up on April 22, as schools and environmental groups prepare to help protect our planet.
Scientists believe manmade pollution is warming up Earth by trapping the Sun’s heat, causing wild weather and extreme temperatures. They also say that half of Earth’s wildlife has been lost in the past 40 years, and that plants and animals are going extinct 1,000 times faster than they did before humans evolved about 200,000 years ago.
To turn the tide of environmental damage, Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, bringing together volunteers dedicated to saving our world. Ever since then, important laws like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act have been passed to protect natural resources. Now, the Earth Day Network works with more than 50,000 partners in 192 countries, to help Mother Earth get healthy again. Earth Day is also the only paid vacation day for Captain Planet and his Planeteers, so they can finally recharge those magic elemental rings faster than an Apple Watch!
Although many species are fading away, one brand new one was found not too long ago. A Kermit look-alike “glass frog” species has been discovered in Costa Rica, and it looks so similar to the famous Muppet, that even Miss Piggy would be fooled! Like other glass frogs, it’s lime green and partially see-through. You can even see their hearts, livers, and guts through the bellies. Yuck! What makes this amphibian so unique, though, are its big white eyes and black pupils, which look like they were put together by none other than Muppet creator Jim Henson. I wonder if he sings too.
In other good news, the Bouvier’s red colobus monkey has apparently come back from the dead. This African monkey hadn’t been seen in the wild since the 1970s, and scientists assumed the critters were extinct. Hunting and logging had crippled their populations in the Congo River, where they lived among its swampy forests. A modern expedition, however, snapped the first-ever photos of these beautiful primates in the Congo, so it looks like they’ve come back from the dead! Talk about a zombie success story.
Not all surviving species are as adorable as frogs and monkeys, because there’s a creepy glow-in-the-dark vampire squid! These mysterious deep-sea animals are similar to squids and octopi, with eight tentacles and beak-like jaws. However, they have red cloak-like webbing connecting their limbs and red globe-shaped eyes that look like a vampire! The squids don’t actually feed on blood, and they don’t flee in terror from garlic or holy water. But, these creepers are covered in light-producing organs that can send off a flash of light. That’s kind of supernatural!
Featured image and image of Global Citizen event courtesy of Earth Day Network. Image of Kermit-like frog courtesy of Brian Kubicki and the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center.