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What you missed: A famous gorilla, a very rare fossil and a historic space mission!9 min read

October 10, 2021 6 min read


What you missed: A famous gorilla, a very rare fossil and a historic space mission!9 min read

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Missed Out is a lowdown on all the wacky, wonderful and sometimes, plain weird, happenings in the world around us. Little videos, facts and tidbits that make for an ideal, fun and educational break.

This week on Missed Out, we have a story that will warm your hearts, a mission to space that will make history, and other interesting happenings from around the world! Scroll down to read what we’re talking about.

Beloved ‘selfie’ gorilla breathes her last

The selfie that made Ndakasi famous! Photo: Ranger Mathieu Shamavu

This sad and sweet story is about the deep bond between humans and animals. Ndakasi, a mountain gorilla, shot to fame when she photobombed her caretaker Andre Bauma’s selfie. Unfortunately, the adorable ape passed away at the age of 14 recently after battling a prolonged illness, at the Senkekwe Centre inside Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

The natural lifespan for these great apes in the wild is between 40 and 50 years.

The Senkekwe Center is the only facility in the world that looks after orphaned mountain gorillas.

Ndakadi and Andre

Bauma had looked after Ndakasi ever since park rangers found her clinging to the body of her dead mother in 2007, when she was just two months old. Too vulnerable to return to the wild, Ndakasi lived with other orphaned mountain gorillas until her death.

“It was a privilege to support and care for such a loving creature, especially knowing the trauma Ndakasi suffered at a very young age. It was Ndakasi’s sweet nature and intelligence that helped me to understand the connection between humans and Great Apes and why we should do everything in our power to protect them,” Bauma said in the statement. For Bauma, the death of his beloved ape was extremely tough, as she passed away lying in his arms.

Ndakasi rests in Andre’s arms right before her death. Photo: Getty Images

Mountain gorillas are endangered, and according to the last census, there are only about 1,063 of them left in the wild! We humans share 98% of our DNA with them, making them highly susceptible to the same kind of illnesses we get.

Riding the Korean wave

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has added 26 Korean words in its September update, which shows just how much of an influence South Korean culture has across the world!

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

The Oxford English Dictionary is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press. James A H Murray wrote the first Oxford Dictionary in 1879.

BTS Photo: Giphy

It is only apt that ‘hallyu’, the Korean word that describes this phenomenon, has also been added to the OED. It has been described as ‘the increase in international interest in South Korea and its popular culture, represented by the global success of South Korean music, film, TV, fashion and food.’

South Korean food and entertainment-related words feature prominently on the list.

Mukbang. Photo: Giphy

“We are all riding the crest of the Korean wave, and this can be felt not only in film, music, or fashion, but also in our language, as evidenced by some of the words and phrases of Korean origin included in the latest update of the Oxford English Dictionary,” the OED said in a statement.

Words such as ‘K-drama’, which refers to South Korean television series, and ‘mukbang,’ or a video featuring a person eating large amounts of food and talking to an audience, are now a part of the OED.

Rare fossil found in 16-million-old amber

The discovery of an incredibly rare fossil is helping scientists learn more about one of Earth’s ancient and most resilient inhabitants: the microscopic tardigrade. The specimen was preserved in 16-million-year-old Dominican amber.

 Amber is a hard yellowish to brownish clear substance that is a fossil resin from trees long dead and that can be polished and used in making ornamental objects.

The fossil of the tardigrade preserved in amber.

Researchers, including those from Harvard University have named this species of tardigrade Paradoryphoribius chronocaribbeus

Tardigrades are known as water bears! Photo: Wiki Commons

Tardigrades, also known as water bears or moss piglets,  have famously survived the vacuum of space, and even returned to life after being frozen for decades in Antarctic moss. These tiny animals are no longer than one millimetre. They have eight legs with claws at the end, a brain and central nervous system, and suckers behind their mouth that can pierce food. Tardigrades are the smallest-known animal with legs!

However, it is still rare to find one that is fossilised. In fact, only two have ever been discovered and formally named — until now.

The world’s coolest neighbourhood!

Time Out magazine has released its list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods. Time Out polled 27,000 city dwellers and then consulted with its local editors and contributors to come up with the final picks, based on food, fun, culture and community.

Photo: Giphy

First place was claimed by Norrebro in Copenhagen, Denmark, thanks to its “dazzling blend of historic landmarks, ultramodern architecture and food”.

The UAE grabbed two slots in the list, while the UK and US can boast of several cities that made it to the list.

The only Indian city to feature of the list of 50 cities is Koregaon Park in Pune.

The first feature film in space

Actress Yulia Peresild (left), director Klim Shipenko (centre), and cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov.
Photo: Roscosmos Space Agency via AP

In a history-making feat, Russia is set to launch an actor and a film director into space to make a feature film in orbit — a project the nation’s space chief has called ‘a chance to raise the prestige of Russia’s space programme’.

Actor Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko are set to blast off for the International Space Station in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft together with cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, who has been on three space missions. After 12 days on the space outpost, the three will return to Earth .

This video below tells you all about this special space mission.

The crew plans to film segments of a new movie titled Challenge, about a surgeon summoned to rush to the space station to save a crew member who suffers a heart condition.

Peresild said it was difficult for her to adapt to the strict discipline and rigorous demands required during the training. She said learning about the design and handling of the spacecraft was the most challenging part of the preparation for the flight.

That’s it for this week! Catch more ‘Missed Out’, and tell us what kind of content you’d like to see more of! Write to us at, or comment on this article.

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