Disco Dino at Dubai Mall


Looking at these pictures of dinosaurs I just cannot believe that they inhabited our planet 230 million years ago. They walked the same ground we are walking now!

Looking at the dinosaur at the Dubai Mall, I can’t believe that something from that many million years ago, is just there, next to Tiffany and Cartier – it’s so surreal. 230 million years from now, maybe our bones will be in some public arena for people (or creatures!?) to gape at.

Just to put this all into context, according to the BBC, the history of life on Earth as we know it began about 3.8 billion years ago. The bacteria that we fight everyday were the first living things (!). Evolution did its thing and starting 570 million years ago, species we are familiar with like arthropods (eg. cockroach) and fish started to develop. Mammals came to being about 200 million years ago and us Homo sapiens, only about 200,000 years ago. We’ve hardly been around!

There have been eras of mass extinction that have wiped out entire races of living things, like dinosaurs, while others have survived. When and what will cause the mass extinction of humans? Or will science help us evolve into an immortal race that will still be around 4 billion years from now? Isn’t it crazy to think about!?

So back to the dino in Dubai. She is a 155 million year old long-necked whip-tailed sauropod (translates from Greek to ‘lizard foot’). She is 80 feet long and 25 feet high, and was 25 years old when she died. Had she lived her whole life, she would be at least double the size and weigh as heavy as five elephants put together.

While looking at her, it took me a few seconds to determine which side her head was on. In the image, it’s the bit on the right. It’s a very small head, common for herbivore dinosaurs. Meat eating animals have bigger heads because they need the brains to think about how to find and kill their next prey, is what the Dubai Mall exhibit attendant told me.

They say her bones were found intact in a sleeping position in 2008 in Wyoming (USA), and she probably died after being attacked while fighting for water to drink during a drought. 90% of the bones in the exhibit are original. Her tailbones were damaged and required some fixing.

Dinosaurs first appeared during the Triassic period, 231 million years ago and became extinct about 66 million years ago. The first dinosaur fossils were recognized only in the early 19th century.

It’s so mind-boggling to have access to something that old. I cannot fathom what 155 million years old means. It’s just fascinating. Makes you really think about evolution and what sort of species living beings will turn into in the future.

There is a name the dino competition going on on Twitter #NameTDMDino. I thought I would be able to think of a name once I saw it, but I really can’t – nothing feels right. Cindy? Nicole? Anastassiarex? Natashasaurous? I hope they name her something special, not Dubai Mall Dino.

#Day10, post 7.

50 year old post card!

Sean's Postcard!

Today was a great day because I received this awesome postcard from dear friend, writer, and best person in the world to have breakfast with: Sean. It is about 50 years old and he bought it in one of those cool antique/junk shops in Madrid. Oh how I love receiving snail-mail!

It’s a Luftansa postcard from 1965, and from what it looks like, it was probably one of those freebee promotional flight postcards. What makes it even cooler is that at the back, there is a detail handwritten by the person who actually picked-up the card 50 years ago. He got it, dated it, wrote his destination on it, and then never sent it. Interesting choice by the way, Sean.

I wonder who he/she was? I wonder who he/she bought it for? I wonder why it was never sent, I wonder how it ended-up in a junk shop, I wonder what he/she would say if he/she found out that the postcard was sent to some Indian girl in Dubai. So awesome. Also, notice how they didn’t have closed overhead baggage compartments back in 1965.

Anyhoo. Muchísimas gracias, Sean!

In case it wasn’t clear enough: I want more post! I will even return the gesture, I promise. Anyone want my P.O.Box? (Yes, Ive been deprived of snail-mail for way too long.)

Monkey Business

There’s a restaurant in Japan where monkeys serve you drinks and bring you hot towels in exchange for soya beans. Just too awesome, see a video here. Japan used to be low on my priority list of places to visit. But it’s slowly getting higher and higher.

Looking at monkey stuff, I also came across this video of a man disguised as a monkey in Lucknow; he is there to frighten away monkeys that trouble passengers at the local train station. I don’t get that though, if he looks so much like a monkey, wouldn’t he befriend the monkeys instead? I think the monkeyman would be successful in scaring me more than the monkeys.