New data suggests that this Thanksgiving will be the busiest one ever, according to the Airlines for America (A4A) group. The organization, which was previously called the Air Transport Association of America, is a trade association and lobby group representing the biggest airlines. According to them, it’s best for travelers to arrive at the airport early for flights this year, the busiest in memory.
An estimated 30.6 million travelers will fly domestically in the 12 days around Thanksgiving. Compare this to this time last year, when the number of passengers aboard these flights reached some 29 million.
The A4A predicts the busiest day will be Sunday, November 25. An estimated 3.06 million people will depart on flights on that day alone. If you’re going to be flying then, heed their warnings, please, and go early. This is for your own sake, especially if you have luggage to check in.
Besides that Sunday, other days that are predicted to have an abnormally large number of passengers are Friday, November 16, and Wednesday, November 27. On average, there are some 2.55 million passengers predicted to board flights every day between those dates. Compared to last year, this comes out to an additional 137,000 people at the airports.
For those set on avoiding the masses of people that will plague the airport, it’s recommended to get a ticket for Thanksgiving Day itself. Only some 1.73 million passengers are predicted to fly on that day. Last year, it was the day with the fourth least amount of travelers.
This compares with the day before Thanksgiving Day last year, which was the 18th busiest day of the entire year. The Sunday after was even busier, coming in as the second busiest day of 2017. The reason behind the increase is credited as the strong economy in the U.S., with a projected 2.9 growth in the GDP for this year.
The artistry of animals isn’t limited to the well-designed homes they build or the way they dance. It can be rightly said that various species of animals are more talented and creative than some humans.
In 2010, millions of spiders in Pakistan crawled up on trees to escape the rising water levels. According to scientists, these large webs helped prevent an outbreak of malaria in the region, which goes on to establish that animals, indeed, are nature’s greatest artists.
A male pufferfish knows a thing or two about creating an artwork that can impress its target audience – a female pufferfish in this case. He often uses his artistic talents to draw intricately designed circles in the sand to win over a female pufferfish.
Female pufferfishes are believed to be one of the harshest art critics in the animal kingdom. Therefore, a male pufferfish works with all his might to create an artwork that will impress his mate, without stopping for a moment to rest or relax.
Ants can be pretty annoying. They can invade your homes and infest them in no time. But, ants are also famed for never giving up, they can teach us about work ethic — just look at the breathtaking colonies they build.
An ant colony, in other words, is the elementary unit around which ants organize their entire lifecycle. A typical ant colony normally comprises of a queen and its workers – working together in keeping the colony safe and prosperous.
Ants are pretty talented, we must say. Just think of weaver ants who are the experts in origami. These ants work with leaves to fashion homes out of it. Weaver ants as its name suggests, weave leaves to make their nests.
The process of weaving the leaves together is a family exercise for the weaver ants, which begins with identifying the leaves to be woven. The leaves are then cut into smaller pieces or tied together to give them a proper shape.
Rufous Hornero or Red Ovenbirds make nests that look nothing short of an artwork. These museum-worthy nests are made by male and female birds using materials such as clay, mud, and grass.
The nests of red ovenbirds normally consist of two chambers: a passage for an entrance and a room to keep the eggs safe. These birds spend a great deal of time building their homes with love and care, often spending almost an equal amount of time safeguarding them.
Chances are that most of us are not aware of what a sapodilla fly is. So, let’s get you acquainted with this insect first. A sapodilla fly is a scavenger fly whose larvae feed off sponges in rivers and lakes.
The larva of the sapodilla fly creates a magnificent silken net around the cocoon. Doesn’t it remind you of some gastronomical treat by an internationally renowned chef? Something that you would probably see on MasterChef. Don’t you agree?
Caddisflies are aquatic insects that gauge water’s pollution levels. The larvae of Caddisfly are known for their ability to form visually appealing cases using a variety of materials ranging from sand to pebbles.
These colorful cases are also known as galleries. These galleries can measure up to several centimeters in length. There is no doubt as to why these creatures have earned the nickname “underwater architects.”
A nest of the mud dauber looks like a panpipe. Commonly found throughout the United States, a mud daubers’ nest is made of (no points for guessing this one) mud.
Since mud daubers are not exactly sociable, they build nests for each and every generation. They are also famous for not defending their nests, commonly found in places such as garages, barns, and attics.
The male Bowerbirds are of artistic temperament as they are known for their one-of-a-kind courtship ritual. A male bowerbird uses twigs and grass to make huts (called bowers) in order to woo a female.
He further places colorful flowers, and berries outside the bower as if to seal the deal. The bowers are then inspected by the female bowerbirds and finally chosen on the basis of construction technique and overall visual appeal.
Commonly found in South Africa, Sociable Weavers as their name suggests are both sociable and artistic in nature. These birds often live in a large communal colony. The colony of sociable weavers contains many nesting chambers.
They also host many other species. The nests of these species are considered to be one of a kind. In fact, no other bird in the animal kingdom does anything that remotely resembles such nests.
Great Barrier Reef
UNESCO world heritage site Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. The entire reef is spread across an enormous area of 348,000 square kilometers.
The reef is said to house around 400 varieties of coral, 1,500 fish species, and around 4,000 types of mollusk. The Great Barrier Reef is a living, breathing work of art as it is made by the species inhabiting it. Isn’t it just beautiful?
European Red Wood Ants
Ants, as we mentioned before, are extremely artistic by nature. The European Red Wood ants, for instance, are widely known for constructing elaborate ant colonies. The ant colonies made by these species of ants have a dome-shaped mound surrounded by dense vegetation.
These colonies are normally found in sunny spots of the forest, built around a tree trunk. The other materials used for building these colonies include twigs, pebbles, conifer needles, and more.
A Baya weaver is known for its intricately trunk-shaped nest. The baya nest is predominantly built by the male, who then shows it to the female for her approval. The female baya closely inspects the nest and gives her approval only after she is satisfied with the quality of materials used for the construction.
Once she approves the nest, she herself gets involved with the rest of the nest-building process. This takes the entire process of craftsman (or woman) ship to the next level.
A compass termite builds tall mounds that look like gigantic tombstones. These mounds normally house millions of termites comprising the queen and its workers.
These mounds have an elongated axis with a north-south orientation. This mound orientation is a result of adaptation to long-term environmental conditions that maintain the temperature at the eastern side of the mound.
Spiders are known for their spinning silky webs. These anthropods have time and again inspired human imagination through their creations. Case in point: the incy wincy spider.
In this image, you can see the egg sac spider. While the scientists are still trying to figure out how this spider was able to do it, one thing is certain: whoever made this is a true artist.
A Swallow’s nest is made of mud and saliva. Swallows dedicate a lot of time to building their home, often taking more than a thousand trips to just make the necessary pellets required for the nest.
The nests are built by male and female members alike in locations ranging from barns to sheds to stables. Swallows are believed to exhibit a fair level of nest faithfulness, only abandoning the nests if they are ravaged by mites.
A list of artistic animals would be incomplete without mentioning the beaver. Commonly found in North America, beavers are known to build makeshift dams to help them gain access to the resources needed for their survival.
But, a beaver-made dam is also known to help humans and the environment in many ways, including increasing frog population, reducing soil erosion, and in many other ways.
Osmia Avosetta Bees
Rare in nature, the beehive of Osmia Avosetta bees is anything, but basic. The beehives made by these species of bees are vividly colorful and gorgeous to look at. The female bees of these species are quite talented and artistic.
They use colorful petals to make their nests. The process of creating the nest begins with shortlisting the best petals, which are then brought to the location of the nest for further processing.
Montezuma oropendolas nests look like elegant chandeliers made of vines and grass. As the nests of these birds are usually tall, they are normally built on trees that are strong and sturdy.
These creatures normally make their nests closer to the nest of a hornet so as to seek protection from its predators. These nests take around nine to eleven days to complete and are made by female members of the species.
The call of a woodpecker is a distinct one. But, that topic is for another story. Today, we’ll focus on their wood-pecking talents. The woodpecker can single-handedly carve out massive holes in a tree with its laser-sharp beak.
They unknowingly also protect the trees by extracting pests from their trunks. Woodpeckers also maintain the health of trees by preventing them from mass infestations.
Next up, we have a turtle that actually paints. We are as much surprised as you. Meet Koopa, the turtle, who is pursuing his painting career and has created more than 800 artworks.
Koopa paints using his belly and has so far managed to raise more than $10,000 for charity purposes. Now retired from painting, Koopa’s artworks hang on the walls of the rich and famous all around the United States.
It’s a known fact that a bee’s honeycomb has inspired countless artists and designers all over the world. But, can we say that nothing beats the original artistry displayed by the bees?
Well, you have to see an original honeycomb to figure out what we are talking about. The geometry of each honeycomb, the hexagonal structure of each cell, and how they come together can put an expert art critic at a loss.
This bird has an artistic eye transforming old junk into something usable. Not only has she given the discarded shoe a new purpose, but she has actually shown how animals can benefit from human junk.
Other, smaller, birds can definitely learn from this little one. It is rightly said that one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. The other ‘man’ is an avian, in this case.
The Painter Elephant
Elephants share many similarities with humans. Besides having a good memory, elephants can be taught to paint. Yes, you read the last part correctly. Suda, the elephant, has been actively painting for 15 years, using her trunk.
Her artworks have raised a sizeable amount of funds for the elephant hospital. Apparently, Suda is so famous that she has been regularly featured in prestigious media outlets such as CNN, WSJ, among others.
Ever wondered why some beaches across the world resemble one big blue twinkling fairy light, not to mention dreamy spots for a romantic walk or a proposal? The answer to this lies in the phenomenon called bioluminescence.
Bioluminescence (Bio = living, Luminescence = emitting light) is caused by algae called sea sparkles. These tiny creatures use light to communicate with each other and to basically protect themselves from predators. And, boy oh boy, they do it so stylishly!
A Bird’s Nest
A bird nest can be considered a design marvel simply due to the fact that they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. These nests are made using a host of materials ranging from straws, dry grass, leaves, twigs, fallen branches, and many other materials.
Watching a bird build its nest can be an exhilarating thing to experience as it showcases a range of values and qualities like patience, perseverance, craftsmanship, and industriousness.
Building Nests in Unlikely Places
A bird can build their nest in the unlikeliest of places, proving that they indeed have quite an imagination. And, isn’t that a hallmark of a true artist? The internet is filled with examples of certain birds choosing to build their nests on different vehicles.
This is irrespective of whether the vehicle is abandoned or not. Look at this pigeon, for instance. It chose to build its nest between the car’s windshield and hood. Pigeons are actually notorious for building their nests in the strangest of places.
Ducks are also likely to build their nests everywhere they can. Just look at the latest model of duck nest. It’s actually a floating nest, which provides excellent protection against predators.
It seems to be relaxing in its nest made on a floating tire. It also looks like they got their own personal escort. Another duck is swimming by the nest.
Notice how this thrush has built its nest inside the traffic light. This image shocked the internet since it first appeared. This picture was actually taken in Leeds, UK.
We are guessing that this thrush loved the bright color of the traffic light so much that it probably mistook it for sun or it simply enjoyed the warmth emanating from the light.
Birds also seem to have a sense of humor. This one, for instance, decided to build her nest literally on the back of this duck. Guess it wanted to be different from the rest of the birds in the pond.
Mallards are known for their weird nesting spots. That’s why it is rather common to stumble upon a Mallard’s nest in supposedly vulnerable locations.
Pigeons are famous for building their nest in random places. But this one takes the cake, baker, and bakery with it. It took this Christmas wreath for a ready-made nest and simply decided to claim it as its own.
We can’t fully blame the bird as the wreath looks enticing and inviting. It seems like a ready-made next for any bird to find shelter and relax for a while before flying off to some other place.
Crowning the Statue
This little fellow was probably enticed by the statue so much that it decided to make itself a home right on top of it. The bird makes use of the available space wisely to create a home for itself.
Also, it seems to be enjoying the view from up there! Doesn’t the nest look like a crown on the head of a statue? If that is not art, we wonder what art is.
Parrots, as we know can impersonate human voices. They can actually converse with you by picking up the words frequently spoken by an individual. But did you know that these beautiful birds can paint as well?
This parrot loves to paint with a brush it holds with its beak. But this parrot is not the only bird that likes to create some art. These birds are taking the art world by storm and include some famous artists such as a parrot called DaVinci.
It seems like when the parrots learned to paint, the dolphins said, “Hey, we want to learn how to paint as well.” So, the art wave seems to have washed over the dolphins too. These friendly creatures can create some stunning artworks.
The dolphins at Dolphins Plus Mammal Responder Facility in Florida have been doing exactly that for 15 years. The best part is that the money raised from selling their artworks is invested in supporting noble causes. How cool is that?
There is no doubt that spiders can be easily considered master weavers. It seems like spiders know how to spin stunning webs inside out.
We know we mentioned spider earlier, but this one deserves some special attention because of this unique design. It is so creative and satisfying to look at.
Any mention of wasps seldom provokes excitement as these insects are considered to be annoying to the core. Plus, they are known to sting. Nevertheless, a wasp nest is a work of art, resembling ancient pottery or a dried piece of artisanal bread, depending on who you ask.
Wasps are known to make their nests both on trees and on man-made constructions. However, no matter how tempting it may look, you should never put your hand inside their nest.
There are owls and then there is the ferruginous pygmy owl. What’s so special about the latter, you may ask. Well, a ferruginous pygmy owl (now considered endangered in some parts of the United States) builds its nest in the cavity of cacti or a giant tree.
These owls often look for the large hollows, made by industrious woodpeckers. Another noteworthy point that deserves a mention here is that these owls are allowed to be traded commercially only if it doesn’t interfere with their chances of survival.
Did you know that nests made by swiftlets are meant to be eaten? In certain parts of the world, such nests are considered to be a real delight. Called EBN (Edible Bird Nests), these nests are considered to be a rich source of protein.
Such nests are made by the birds using their hardened saliva. Though they are normally white in color, they also come in red and are called Blood Nests.
Sand Martins have a very unique way of building their nests. These birds, dig deep burrows inside seaside walls to safeguard their eggs from predators. They are also considered to be communal in their nesting habit as they like to build nests next to each other.
Contrary to popular beliefs, a sand martins’ nest is simple from the inside, made using straws and feathers of various kinds, probably to keep it warm.
This insect can even make a log cabin its home. Doesn’t this look like the miniature version of one of those fancy wood cabins listed on an Airbnb?
On closer inspection, these bug buildings have tiny log cabins. Another point that needs to be highlighted here is the symmetry of the architecture, which makes it a bit hard to believe that something like this can be made by a caterpillar.