Interesting Facts About Italy You Haven’t Heard Of

The word, “Italian”, itself sounds so classy. So are the country and its culture. Probably, you are also fascinated by Italy, just like me. Hence, you have landed on this page. I am going to take you on a virtual tour of Italy through this article and will let you know some interesting facts about Italy. Be it cuisine, art or culture, Italy has always left a remarkable impression on its visitors. A tour to Italy is all you need, if you are looking out for a historical and relaxing holiday.

Interesting Facts About Italy

Interesting Facts About Italy

Land, People and Geography:

  • The word “Italy” originated from “Italos” which literally means calf. This name was given by the Greeks.
  • Italy is listed fourth in the list of highest number of visitors, every year.
  • Italy was recognized as the best country for family and peer relationships, by the UNESCO, in 2007.
  • The Vatican and San Marino are the two smallest countries in the world, which are surrounded by Italy.
  • The Vesuvius, the Stromboli and the Etna are three active volcanoes located in Italy. Also to be noted, these three are the only active volcanoes of the entire Europe.
  • Po is the longest river in Italy.
  • Italy shares its borders with Switzerland, Slovenia, San Marino, Vatican City, France and Austria.
  • Rome is the capital of Italy.
  • Italy has a Unitary Parliamentary Republic government.
  • Italy is surrounded by Mediterranean Sea from 3 sides.
  • Official language of Italy is Italian, but there are other minor languages, too.
  • In 2002, Italy changed its currency from Lira to Euro.
  • Most of the population in Italy consists of Roman Catholics.
  • Italy has 15 main regions and 5 autonomous regions.

History & Monuments:

  • Italy was the root of Roman civilization, which was the first and the biggest empire in Europe.
  • Napoleon conquered the Republic of Venice, in 1797. This was the longest lasting civilization, till date.
  • The first ever bank in Europe was in Genoa, Italy. It was established in 12th
  • Northern Italy was the starting place for European Renaissance.
  • Peter’s Basilica, which is the biggest Christian edifice, is in Rome. It took 120 years for its construction.
  • University of Bologna is the oldest university of Europe.
  • Rome had the largest building for entertainment, The Colosseum, in ancient times.
  • The color Magenta derived its name from a battle between Napoleon III and Austrians. The battle was called the Battle of Magenta.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa was constructed in Italy, in the year 1173.

Inventions and Achievements:

  • Italy was the cradle to many of the most famous artists of the world like Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Donatello, Michelangelo, Tintoretto, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, Bernini and many more.
  • Italians have created many delicious varieties of cheese like Parmesan, Mozzarella, Ricotta, Provolone, Gorgonzola etc.
  • Pasta and Spaghetti are the inventions of Italy, on which the present world munches, happily.
  • Pizza has its origins in the Naples region of Italy.
  • Calzone and Lasagna were also invented in Italy.
  • Ice-cream and Gelato, too, are a gift to the world, from Italy.
  • Italians also invented some of the best musical instruments like violin, piano, cello and viol.
  • Language and many notations used in music are Italian.
  • Telephone, the thermometer, the barometer, the mechanical clock and the optical glasses were invented in Italy.
  • Some of the most prestigious cars in the world are invented in Italy.
  • Italy invented the Eau de Cologne.
  • Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and John Cabot are the legendary explorers who were from Italy.
  • The famous scientist, Allesandro Volta, was from Italy. He has done great research in electricity. Hence, the unit for electricity is named after him as “Volt”.
  • Galileo Galilei was also born in Italy.
  • Venice is such a city which has a marvelous construction by combining many islands and water channels.

Culture:

  • Family values are a very important part of Italian culture.
  • In Italy, people stay in either nuclear families or extended families.
  • The dressing style is given much importance in Italian social structure. It reflects a person’s education level and family background.
  • Many children in Italy are named after some Catholic Saints.
  • Many buildings have some religious symbols or statues, in Italy.
  • Greeting people in Italy is a very formal affair.
  • You cannot give chrysanthemums as gifts to an Italian because they are used at funerals.
  • Moreover, you cannot wrap your gift with black colored wraps, as black indicates mourning. Purple gift wraps are not welcomed, too. Purple indicates bad luck.
  • In Italy, table manners are very important thing to follow.
  • In a party, you should not be seated till someone invites you to.
  • The host sits at the table first and raises the toast first.
  • While eating, you cannot rest your elbows on the table and cannot rest your hands in your lap, either.
  • Picking up the piece of cheese in your plate is more acceptable.
  • Divorced fathers have to provide child support, even if the children are adults of 30 years or so.

Cuisine:

  • Different regions have different types of food in Italy.
  • Central Italy can serve you with the best dishes that include cheese, olive oil, beef, pasta, wild boar, cured meats etc.
  • Coastal regions are famous for their sea-food.
  • In South Italy, you will find more dishes with citrus fruits, olive oil and tomato sauce.
  • North Italy does not use tomato sauce and olive oil, so frequently, compared to other regions of Italy. Sauces with cream flavors are used more. Rice is preferred over pasta. Risotto dishes are very popular here.
  • Italians love a variety of cakes in their desserts.
  • Espresso Coffee is a very important part of Italian cuisine.
  • Italian cuisine also includes a wide variety of wines.

The fun facts about Italy do not end here. There are still lots of information about Italy, which I would have loved to share. But for now, I hope this much will suffice. So make plans, book tickets and pack up your bags to take a wonderful tour to Italy. If not now, work hard and make it a goal to visit Italy. I am sure you will have the best time of your life in Italy. Buon Viaggio!!!

How Do Dolphins Communicate?

Dolphins are brilliant mammals that are capable of complex emotions. They have proved their proficiency to communicate, coordinate and interact with other species. They maintain a complex social network with associates, relatives and also casual relationships with other dolphins that are associated with the larger group. Dolphins find food by hunting together.  They work in teams to herd the prey and then swim into the school of fish to chomp the meal. It is still not completely understood how dolphins communicate and coordinate despite intense research on the discussion.

How Do Dolphins Communicate?

In case you didn’t know, sound travels faster through water than through air. Dolphins rely on the sound to communicate with their peers. All the bottlenose dolphins have a unique high pitched whistle. It is also called as the signature whistle (Tyack, 2000). It is used to identify the details such as names. Using the whistle, it is capable of letting the other members of the pod be aware of each other’s position. It also helps communicate their mental state.

When a dolphin is in a state of distress, it will emit a high pitch whistle. The whistle is meant to establish physical or vocal contact with the nearest member of the pod. The responder will often mimic the whistle or move towards the direction of the Whistler.

When a calf and its mother is separated, they use the whistle until they are reunited. The whistling is also evident when they are separated from the pod.

Since, it is common for a dolphin pod the whistle at once; Dolphins will not immediately rush to the source of whistle upon hearing the signature call.  But in any case, the Dolphins may whistle to keep track of each other’s position.

While foraging for prey, the bottlenose dolphins may whistle. Research points out that the Dolphins are likely to whistle at a greater frequency upon finding a school of prey. When the calls increase, it attracts more members to partake in the rounding of prey. It also benefits more dolphin members to snack on the fish.  The whistling behavior is also to attract more members so that it establishes the sense of security among the pod from sharks and other larger predators that have interest in the same prey being rounded up by the Dolphins.

Dolphins are capable of mimicking the sounds of other dolphins and can recreate identical whistle.

However, when dolphins are part of a larger group, they whistle to get the attention from the dolphin pod. Despite the research pointing out this fact, it is unclear about the exact reasons for imitating the sounds.

Dolphins are known to use other sounds to communicate with their members. They give pulsed sounds during the courtship period. But, if a dolphin is in a state of aggression, it emits a click-train buzzing.

Despite the Dolphins having keen eyesight above and below the water, they do not rely on the visual communication. Sometimes the silt and floating particles affect their visual efficiency over larger distances. There are questions aplenty with regards to one of the brainiest mammals on earth. The body language and the gestures are still under study waiting to be deciphered to understand the species.

Below are some of the common dolphin behaviors observed from the Dolphin Research Center. These signals are reckoned as visual communication.

Play dead: It rolls over yielding in the vicinity of another dolphin.

Flex: It bends the head and tail outwards

Headwag: Quick side to side jerking of the head.

Arching: It bends the head and the tail inwards.

Eye whites display: Rolls their eyes from a neutral position and exposes the whites of their eye.

Snit: Steep head-jerking from one side to another while the jaws can be closed or open. It may also be accompanied by squealing. But, sometimes it may also be a display of aggression or agitation.

Dolphins also communicate by touching the members of their pod. It is normal for the calves to swim beside their mother making body contact with the pectoral fins or their flanks. It helps build the bond and promotes the social tendency among the pod members. They can also engage in a rough body contact while establishing the dominance or during courtship.

Dolphins use their teeth to make parallel scratches on each other’s skin. It is hard to ascertain their exact relevance in the dolphin community. Here are some signs that dolphins indicated while being studied at the Dolphin Research Center.

Butt: pounding with snout.

Rub: Rubbing each other’s body with friction.

Hold hands: bringing the pectoral fins together.

Bite: Gently gripping the body part another animal with the mouth

Mouth: tapping other animals with mouth open.

Pectoral Pat: tapping with the pectoral fin.

Push: poking another with the head

Ram: Head butting another dolphin with force applied.

Nuzzle: Gently brushing with another with the mouth shut

Standing on chest: Lifting another Dolphin out of the water, while the dolphin lifting will remain inverted. The recipient is placed between the flippers. This behavior is usually seen between mother and her calf.

Tail kick: slapping with the tail.

Tooth Rake: gently placing the grip on the body of another animal with the teeth. It could also indicate aggression or agitation.

For years, dolphin researchers have looked hard into the behavior of dolphins trying to unknot their intricate communication system. It seemed that their communication system is structured in the manner the humans do. Albeit, some dolphins have learned to understand efficiently the hand gestures and computer generated whistles, we are still short of an accurate answer to predict the meaning of their behavior.

Dolphins have evolved gracefully in the complex system, and their learning ability is evident from the behavior and response to the commands of animal trainers. They are graceful creatures that have mastered the art of communicating and interacting not just with their species but also with humans and other animals as well. These animals are capable of detecting a stressful situation and have rescued humans and other animals from distress.  Hence,   it remarkable how the Dolphins had acquired the ability to understand and respond appropriately to situations.

What Does Testosterone Do For Men?

Whenever we hear the word testosterone, we relate it to male characteristics. Most of us know that testosterone is a male sex hormone, but what does testosterone do for men? We come across many facts and myths too, when it comes to sex hormones. In this article, we shall discuss all the aspects related to testosterone. Read further to know more.

What Does Testosterone Do For Men

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone, which is produced by the testicles in males. A negligent amount of testosterone is also secreted by female ovaries. estosterone is responsible for the sex drive of men and the chest hair too. Testosterone plays an important role during the puberty of any male, by increasing the size of penis and testes, and deepening his voice. As the man grows into an adult, testosterone helps to maintain the strength of his body and muscles and helps to keep him interested in sex.

How Is Testosterone Measured?

Out of the many ways to measure testosterone, a blood test is the most common one. Many times, doctors measure the brain hormones that are responsible for the production of testosterone and other hormones related to it. The brain hormones that are associated with differentiation of sex are Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Testosterone can also be measured by detecting the Sex Hormone Binding Hormone (SHBH) flowing in the blood stream. Through SNBH, total testosterone and free testosterone can also be measured.

What Does Testosterone Do For Men?

Let us study the effects of testosterone since the beginning:

Between four to six weeks of gestation

At this stage, the production of testosterone starts in a fetus and causes virilization of the genitals, along with the formation of the penis, seminal vesicles and prostrate.

During the 2nd trimester of fetus stage

There is an increase in the androgen and testosterone levels. So the gender identity becomes precise too. It is also believed that during this stage exposure to increased androgens can predict whether the fetus is a male or a female. However, this theory is still not accepted widely.

During the first weeks of life of baby boys

Testosterone levels increase during this stage. The level of the hormone remains in the pubertal range for quite a few months, but is barely detectable. The reason behind it is still not clear. There are no significant changes due to testosterone in other parts of the body, so it is presumed that the male infant undergoes ‘brain masculinisation’ during this period.

During the period of puberty

The significant effects of androgens are seen since the onset of puberty. They are as follows:

  • Skin and hair become oilier
  • Body odor becomes like that of an adult
  • Acne is the most common symptom
  • Subcutaneous fats from the face start degrading causing a change in the face. Masculine facial features become prominent due to changes in the brow, nose, chin, jaw and other facial bones.
  • Pubic hair start appearing first, then axillary hair show up and lastly facial hair and chest hair start growing.
  • Mass and muscle strength increase too.
  • This is a period of growth spurt.
  • Deepening of voice occurs.
  • There is an expansion of the rib cage and broadening of the shoulders.
  • Bone maturation becomes rapid.
  • Adam’s Apple develops and grows
  • Libido increases and the frequency of erection too
  • Penis, scrotum and testicles enlarge
  • Spermatogenic tissues in the testicles grow and male fertility increases

During the adult phase

Male features are continuously maintained in the adult phase. Also, the effect of androgen and testosterone keep making changes in the male body.

  • Testosterone helps to maintain the normal development of sperms. Genes in Sertoli cells are activated due to it and they aid in the differentiation sperm. During the adulthood period, testosterone, androgens and FSH work in co-ordination to act on the Sertoli cells for the production of sperms.
  • During this stage, if the testosterone is stimulated with exercise and weights, then muscles are enlarged and they become toned.
  • With the help of thromboxane A2 receptors, bleeding and clotting are regulated by testosterone.
  • Androgens cause a change in the structure of the brain and change the behavior pattern of a male.
  • Libido increases
  • Levels of aggression become higher
  • Physical and cognitive energy get regulated
  • The restriction of fat cells to store lipids occurs, along with restriction of fat deposition

What Does Low Testosterone Mean?

It is normal for the testosterone levels to gradually decrease with the increasing age. This is also termed as hypogonadism. It may occur in younger men too. According to research, after the age of 40, the testosterone levels drop by 1.6% every year. In younger men, low testosterone levels may be a permanent condition or may be a temporary condition. Temporary lowering of testosterone levels may be due to insufficient nutrition, excessive exercise or severe illness.

Which Are The Signs Of Low Testosterone In Men?

The normal range of testosterone level is 300- 1000 ng/dL. If the levels drop below this, it can be referred to as hypogonadism.

Following are the signs of low testosterone levels in men:

  • Sex drive decreases what we also call as the lowering of the libido. This condition can happen to a woman too.
  • Testosterone plays a vital role in achieving an erection. So lower levels of this hormone create difficulty in achieving erection. On the other hand, erection occurs at awkward timings like during sleep. Other health condition may also affect the erection factor. So it should not be assumed that the testosterone level has decreased, without proper tests.
  • The man having a low testosterone level will have lower volume of semen. Due to this condition, the motility of the sperms is also negatively affected.
  • Loss of hair occurs in men with low testosterone levels. It means baldness and loss of body hair too.
  • Men with low testosterone level will experience a lack of energy and fatigue, in spite of having proper rest and sleep.
  • Strength and mass of muscles degrade
  • The weight storage capacity of the body of men is also affected adversely due to low testosterone levels. So a man may experience an increase in the body fats.
  • For men who undergo this condition for several years, the bones become thin. Hence, the bone mass is decreased.
  • Low testosterone not only has physical effects, but also induces mood swings Such men often fall victim to depression, irritation and lack of concentration.

Having discussed relevant facts related to testosterone, we hope that you have a clear idea of what testosterone does for men. In case of any query or suggestion, feel free to drop it in the comment box below.

Few Interesting Facts About France You Might Not Know Yet

“France”, it’s not just a country but an emotion. I am always fascinated about the French culture- the magnanimous history, the exotic cuisine, the ever-updated fashion industry, the immense Eiffel Tower, the romantic atmosphere and the list goes on. France is an amalgamation of rich heritage and rational modernization. The love for France and its people has always kept me engaged in exploring more and more about France. Through this article, I just want to reveal to you some Interesting Facts About France.

Interesting Facts About France

Interesting Facts About France

Geographical Facts About France:

  • In Western Europe, France is the largest country. Although, 20 percent of its territories are spread outside Europe, which are called Dom-Toms.
  • France is also called “the hexagon” because of the six-sided shape that it forms.
  • France has a long sea-shore that includes the English Channel, Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • France is also a home to 7 mountain ranges and 5 river systems.
  • Mont Blanc is the highest point in France.
  • There are 12 different time zones used in France, means more than any other country in the world.

Political Facts:

  • Paris is the capital city of France.
  • France tops the list of number of visitors from the world.
  • France is the second largest economy in the Eurozone.
  • French is the official language of France and also the second most learnt language in the world.
  • France was officially declared a republic in the year 1792.
  • France has accepted the motto of liberty, equality and fraternity.
  • 80% of the French population account to be Roman Catholics.

History Of France:

  • ‘France’ is a name derived from a Germanic tribe called “Franks” who took over most parts of the Roman Empire, after its collapse.
  • Paris was named as “Lutetia” by the Romans. It was named as Paris in 5th century, after the fall of Roman Empire.
  • Gothic art originated in France, somewhere around 12th The Abbey of St. Denis, in North France, is believed to be the first structure of Gothic architecture.
  • France was the second largest colonial empire, after Britain.
  • “La Marseillaise”, is the national anthem of France was originally composed in Strasbroug, not Marseillese.
  • A very unusual part of history of France is a surprising fact that King Louis XIX was made a King only for 20 minutes.
  • Great personalities like Napoleon, Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie, Voiltaire, Pascal etc. were from France.
  • Leonardo da Vinci and Van Gogh also spent some of the years of their lives in France.
  • Charles de Gaulle, a French President, holds a World Record in the Guinness Book, for surviving the highest number of assassination attempts, till date.
  • France kept their flag white from 1814 to 1830.

Achievements and Inventions of France:

  • French were the first people to use number plates for vehicles.
  • Metric system was invented by the French.
  • France is the second highest winner of most of the Nobel Prize for literature.
  • Paris held the first ever International Scientific Conference in 1799.
  • France is the first country in the world to conduct face transplant and heart transplant.
  • France is the second producer of electricity through Nuclear Energy, in the world; and the first one in the Europe.
  • Queen Mary 2, world’s most advanced and largest cruise ship, was built in France.
  • Channel Tunnel, the underground rail tunnel in France, is one of its kinds.
  • France is famous for its bicycle race called Tour de France.
  • France has Millau Viaduct, which is the tallest building in the world.
  • The Louvre, is one of the world’s most famous art galleries.
  • Submarines, Hot air balloons, Margarine, Braille and Parachutes were invented in France.
  • The Grand Prix racing also started in France.
  • France is a home to many renowned and expensive fashion brands like Coco Chanel.
  • In the world, Wines and liquors are produced in the highest amount in France.

Culture

  • France is one of the few countries, where still cheques can be used to pay at restaurants.
  • In most restaurants, wine is free, while beer is considered a drink of luxury.
  • It is allowed to marry a dead person, in France.
  • The entire France has no ‘Stop’ sign, except one in Paris.
  • Cannes Film Festival, held in the Cannes region of France, in every May, is popular throughout the world.
  • In France, there is a system to give medals to those people who raise several children, in a dignified way, successfully.
  • It is also believed that one in five persons, in France, suffer from depression.
  • Potatoes were not legally allowed in France, in the duration between the years 1748 and 1772.
  • It’s an offence in France to name a pig ‘Napoleon’.
  • France was the first country to legalize same gender sex.
  • More than 90% of schools in France have condom vending machines.
  • Any man can claim a child from a single mother to be his own, by announcing at the city hall.
  • Till 2012, wearing trousers by women was not legal in Paris.
  • Children Beauty Pageants are banned and punishable in France.
  • France has April Fool’s Day since the 16th
  • France is a home to the world’s finest wines.
  • In France, it is a part of etiquette to give flowers in even numbers.
  • It is also rude to be late by more than 10 minutes for a meal and not give an explanation for that.
  • Kissing on the cheek is the most used form of greeting in France. It has to be on the left cheek first and then on the right one.
  • “French Kiss” is popular throughout the world. Although, it is not legal to kiss on railways, in France.
  • France has 22 regions and each of them have their own traditional attires.
  • Table manners, especially arrangement on the table, are given much importance in France.
  • When in France, you should not eat a fruit without peeling and slicing.
  • It is an offence in France, if you click pictures of police vehicles and police officers.

Food and Beverages:

  • More than 400 types of cheese are produced in France.
  • French cuisine involves lots of ingredients and lots of efforts.
  • Bread and cheese is a typical type of French meal. Wine is an important part of a French meal.
  • The Cordon Bleu, is a cooking school in France, which is the most famous cooking school throughout the world.
  • Every day about 2 cook-books are released in France.
  • The legal drinking age is 16 for mild liquors and 18 for strong liquors.
  • Surprisingly, French toast, French fries and croissants are not French, originally.

After telling you all these interesting facts about France, I will like to just end here by saying that if you have never visited France, just add this activity to your Wish List. Don’t just dream of a kiss under the Eiffel Tower, but discover the lesser known facets of France. Blend yourself in the colors of a French life, be a nomad for few days. When you visit France, don’t be just a tourist, but be a traveler!!!

Super-Permeable Concrete Drains 4000 Liters of Water in 60 Seconds

Water logging is a major issue in most parts of the world when you have no means to drain the excess water; it can leave home and streets flooding with water. However, all that may be the thing of the past because topmix Permeable has just the right solution to prevent water from remaining stagnant on the surface. The company has created a super concrete that has a [permeability rate of 36,000 mm/hour. If that doesn’t amaze you, nothing will. It helps to drain the water rapidly from the surfaces such as parking surface, streets, walkways and driveways when it rains heavily. The company claims their invention is so robust; one has to see their video believe it.

However, some of the frequently asked questions about their product is the utility of the concrete in the frigid temperatures. Also, many web users were curious what would happen if the dirt blocks the permeability of the concrete in due time and the susceptibility of the material to collapsing and opening into a sink hole.

Here is the company’s response.

Will The Pavement Not Crack At Frigid Temperature?

The concrete offers structural stability at varying temperature despite offering ideal permeability. The product was designing bearing in mind the contributing factors such as the permeability to allow idea draining on the event of a storm

The company assured the curious askers that the water wouldn’t sit within the permeable substance and would rather drain below as the storage layer will have an aggregate of 30-40%. Hence, if the water froze within the layer, it wouldn’t compromise the draining potential significantly.

Wouldn’t The Pavement Be Blocked Over Time Due To Dirt And Remain Unusable?

Topmix claims with an average permeability of 36,000mm/hour; it would take an impractical amount of dirt at any point in time to cause failure in the system’s functioning. As the average practical permeability needed is 300mm/hour to deal with a 100-year-old storm despite the fact that permeability could vary depending on local climate conditions. Topmix claims even if there is 95% block, the area will still allow a considerable amount of water.

What About Risks Of Sinkholes?

Sinkholes are caused when the rock beneath gives way due to the acidic water and are a caused by Karst process. Hence, the company assured there won’t be such risks considering the fact that SuDS design is implemented, and a ground investigation is conducted prior to paving or application of concrete.

 

Top Secrets: The Truths Behind 10 Of The World’s Great Wonders

Have you ever felt a desire to travel to an exotic land away from your workaholic life and explore the secrets of their genesis?  If your answer is yes, you should read ahead to know some of the finest and the best destinations that have more riddled versions explaining their origin from the people who have lived there. We will be revealing some of the iconic destinations in the world that have manmade structures that are an engineering feat considering the era they were built in. The list also includes some of the modern marvels that have redefined the construction and engineering. Regale in the knowledge of Top Secrets: The Truths Behind 10 Of The World’s Great Wonders.

The Truths Behind 10 Of The World’s Great Wonders

1. Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Top Secrets: The Truths Behind 10 Of The World's Great Wonders

According to the versions of the legend, it says that the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan had ordered chopping hands of the builders who took part in the construction of one of the iconic monument after the completion. It was to ensure such a building would never be replicated by the hands that build them. Although, there isn’t sufficient backing t this theory, one gaze at the monument’s elegance is enough to make you sweep off the feet. The construction was an engineering marvel of the era.  It was built perfectly vertical from the ground above. The minarets were constructed with a slight outward slant to prevent it from collapsing inwards in the event of an earthquake.

Trip Tip:

Take a train from Delhi to Agra. You will have to get the tickets from Archeological Survey of India (a.k.a Taj Mahal Office) in advance as entry is limited throughout the day. The visitation is closed on Friday.

2. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

Burj Khalifa

It is vertigo inducing tower that cost the Ruler of Abu Dhabi $ 1.5 billion USD to construct. Standing at 828 m high overlooking the vast desert landscape, it is the undisputedly the tallest construction ever by humanity. It is 2.5 times taller than the Eiffel Tower. The building is a technological marvel, considering the location it stands on. The building is regularly exposed to high-speed winds and earthquakes and is perfectly capable of handling the two. Its ability to sustain nature’s brute owes to the buttressed core design. There are three sets of wings that are 120 degrees from each other and rigidly anchored to the stem. Their purpose is to support the other when the building is under stress. Hence, when two wings are under stress, the third will support the rest.

Trip Tip:

The building is located in downtown Dubai. You will have to purchase the deck tickets from the lower ground at Dubai Mall.

3. Moai, Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Polynesia

Moai, Easter Island

Some believe that these ancient statues are held accountable for the collapse of the Easter Island civilization. When the islanders built these statues, they devastated the forest by heaving logging activity to transport these statues over the water. Heave deforestations are believed to have worsened the soil quality, resulting in failed harvest, war, famine, and cannibalism. But, the satellite imagery shows that these statues were probably dragged on land to place them on the sloping hills based on the dirt tracks.

Trip Tip:

You will have to pre-book your flight tickets, to the Rapa Nui as flights are the only way to reach the island and it is always reserved.

4. Stonehenge, England

Stonehenge, England

Ok, it isn’t news that Stonehenge is subjected to countless conspiracies. From druids, aliens and a list of many to count were held responsible for the construction of these monuments. But, none seems to be sure why and who built them. However, recent evidence indicates that the monument was built to celebrate the midwinter, and not the midsummer, unlike the previous account. The conclusion was reached after finding the monuments in the area was built to remain aligned with sunrise and sunset. It was also known that the inhabitants of the area had a habit of eating pork to celebrate the longer days by dating the pig teeth found in the area.

However, most people are curious how they were built in an era without earthmovers or sophisticated construction aid. Some explanations say that in 2600 BC the blue stones were likely to be mobilized on rafts from the Preseli Hills located in West Wales.

The base of each stone was kept perched into a pit, and the lintels were positioned using the scaffolding.

Trip Tip:

You can choose to drive to Stonehenge from London. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Salisbury.

5. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Eiffel Tower, Paris

It was originally used as radio antenna by the Germans to send coded war communications during the WW2. Eiffel Tower was built in the year 1889 by Monsieur Eiffel for the world fair. He made $1 million USD via ticket sales in the initial year.  The tower stood 324m above ground and was made of finest steel.  Every seven years the tower is smeared with 50 tons of paint to prolong its beauty.

Trip Tip:

You will have to arrive at Bit-Hakeim via metro number 6or at Trocadéro via metro number 9. Look for tour packages that will take you for a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, you could also take the boat along the Seine that will stop beside the tower to get that view.

6. Great Wall of China, China

great-wall-of-china

It was originally built using rocks and mud. But, the 16th-century emperor Jiajing reinforced the construction into the stone wall. Millions of workers contributed to making the wall. Many from the army press and volunteers signed up to complete the wall. They worked round the clock and constructed the wall. Some history records indicate that 3 km wall was built in 600 days using just 3000 able workers. The Great Wall of China holds the reputation of being the only man-made structure that can be seen from space,

Trip Tip:

To visit the wall, you will have to take a bus (No. 919) from the old gate of Deshengmen in Beijing, Alternatively, you can take the tour bus from Tiananmen Square. Try avoiding the visitation from Simatai and Jinshanling as they are less exciting for visitation.

7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

It is known as an empire of temples. In a city of 1 million populations, it took more than 300,000 workers less than 35 years to finish the completion using 6000 elephants. Although, most temples take centuries to build, it was a marvelous feat by completing the construction of own of the world’s largest religious complex. The moat around the temple is colossal that it can be seen from space.  The seductive carving (nymphs or apsaras) on the temple walls are known to have 37 different hairstyles.  Now, that must be a very intricately designed temple. Agree not?

Trip Tip:

You will have to take a flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap. You can also take taxi, boat or bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for visiting the temple.

8. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

They were built in the 15 century, dwelled and deserted (within a century) by the Incan civilization. What is left of the destination is the dry walls clinging to the ridges in the Andes.  The Incans were not known to have used wheels for the construction of their settlements. They were hauled by men using bare hands. The protrusions and crevices on the block of rocks indicate it was manual labour that pushed the rock up the slopes into their places. They used some clever engineering principles to secure their constructions. Such as, L-shaped rocks that were used to secure the corners of buildings and also, the mortar weren’t used in the construction. On the event of an earthquake, the constructions wouldn’t collapse. They would rather move and resettle themselves.

Trip Tip:

There are only two choices to reach the destination. You will have to hike the hills or take a train to Aquas Calientes. After you arrive at Aquas Calientes, you will have to take a bus to the destination.

9. Khazneh, Petra, Jordan

Khazneh, Petra

This tourist destination was iconic for being the choice of destination for filming movies like Indiana Jones. The Khazneh wich was carved starting from the top and finishing at the bottom the Rocky mountain side is 2000 years old. However, the rocks you see on the cliff side isn’t part of the original construction as they were created by the vandals to deface the sculptures.

Trip Tip:

Relying on public transport isn’t the best option as they are infrequent. It is best to rent a car or hire a taxi. Look for Wadi Musa and Petra signpost en route the Kings and Desert highways.

10. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

Great Pyramid of Giza

There are very few monuments on the face of the earth that can compete with the elegance of the Great Pyramids. This gargantuan structure was the tallest man-made structure until the completion of Eiffel Tower in 1889.  The pyramids were built to encapsulate three burial chambers. However, it took 30,000 able hands to complete the monument.  Unlike the common belief, that the workers slaved to complete the structure, the carving, and ancient graffiti indicate they weren’t slaves but skilled workers.

Trip Tip:

After reaching Cairo, you will have to take a bus or taxi to the Great Pyramids.

 

 

 

How Much Of Our Brain Do We Use?

OK! Before we dig into the answers, let’s look at the most misrepresented facts that have led to the conjuring of the popular figure (10%) to indicate the brain performance. First of all, you have underrated your brain a lot by quoting a figure of 10 percent to do countless things in your life. Now, figuratively believing that you have used just 10 percent that is still nowhere close to answering how we have managed to make such fantabulous technical advances in the face of history. So, fact or fiction? Your answer is the 10 percent is a certain myth. So, if you are among countless many who are curiously asking how much of our brain do we use, you will need to read ahead to know.

How Much Of Our Brain Do We Use?

Do We Use Only 10% of Our Brains?

Here is the answer from the scientific community. The answer is…

“There is no scientific evidence to suggest that we use only 10% of our brains.”

But wait, don’t scroll away yet! You will need to know how and why the answer to that question remains undefined.

So, let’s look back at the genesis of such a statement and also if there is any evidence that counts to back up that theory.

Backtracking The 10% Myth?

It all started with the famous physician Albert Einstein mentioning in 1908, the variant of the statement that was originally believed to be quoted in 1800’s by William James – “We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources”. Over the years, this misrepresented quote resonated back and forth among many people.

The 10 percent myth could have also been started by the work of Karl Lashley in 1920’s. The documentation revealed that Lashley had extracted large sections of Cerebral cortex in rats. He then learned that these pests showed a tendency to relearn certain tasks. We are now fully aware even the slightest damage to the brain tissue can lead to insurmountable consequences. Hence, most neurosurgeons wouldn’t risk a surgery on the brain without precision mapping of the critical areas. Brain mapping is conducted before the removal of even the smallest brain tissue among patients suffering from brain tumours and epilepsy

Why Does The Myth Cease To Die?

Ever since the myth was triggered at one point in history, it somehow remained stuck and continued to echo. Thanks to the media that made sure the myth just doesn’t fade out.  Soon, a trend began where without the demand for clarification or evidence the masses had accepted the notion that was fed to them.

Although, there has never been a scientifically backed data that indicated that the set percent of the brain was utilized at any point in time, many believers of this myth continue to think, if at all the brain were to be used at full potential (100%), then we would be capable of feats such as super memory and ability to contort objects with thought. However, the fact remains that such notions are too obsolete and impractical.

So What If We Used Just 10% of The Brain?

The more we dig into this discussion, more questions crop up. Such as, what test variables were relied upon to float the 10%, or if we would be perfectly normal if 90% of the brain went to sleep? An interesting way to sum up this is that, imagine if an average human brain that weights 1400g (3 lb) had 90% of the area removed. If that were the case, then we would be left with just 140g (0.3lb) of brain tissue (the average size of sheep’s brain).

The more prominent way to dismantle the 10 percent myth is to observe the aftermath of a stroke victim’s life. Even the slightest damage to the brain tissue will cause paralysis and arching of body parts. Also, some diseases like the Parkinson’s disease will also project identical disabilities due to damage of small section of the brain tissue. Remember, all these disabilities are due to a small section of the brain being affected. But, imagine what if 90% of the brain were to remain idle? Unthinkable. Isn’t it?

The Evidence

When people refer to 10 percent of the brain being utilized, it means just 1 of the ten nerves are in working capacity. Wouldn’t be impractical if just one of the ten nerves cells are firing the neurons?  Now considering such a scenario, it would be far too faint for such neurons to make any difference at all.

Also from an evolutionary standpoint it would be impossible for a larger brain o evolve if we were benefiting from just 10 percent of its potential.  Although, it is a fact that there are redundancies in our brain where there are common pathways for multiple functionalities. The brain has evolved in such a complex manner, that there are multiple pathways for similar functionality as well. It is to ensure they function in a failsafe manner where even if a path suffers disruptions the remaining pathways will continue to function.

The brain imagery shows that there is activity in all parts of the brain at any point in time. That also includes the time when a person is asleep. The fact we can reckon from all this compilation is that at any point in time brain will continue to remain active and functional beyond 10 percent.

So, now that you are aware what your brain is capable, you can certainly claim the brain is always working at full capacity.

So, say it loud “We use 100% of our brain power.”

Don’t be taken by the false notions that are depicted in the movies such as Lucy (2014). Hands down to the director for creating a movie with a brilliant screenplay. However, the facts are stretched too far to be real.

The brain is one of the most gifted and still the most twisted of all areas in the human body. More secrets unravel as the medical technology makes a leap. But, it is with upright clarity that the brain is functional at 100%.

 

 

21 Interesting Facts About Polar Bears

Polar bears are some of the fascinating animals whose numbers are dwindling, thanks to the global warming that has resulted in the catastrophic loss of habitat and hunting by humans. The bear species is staring at the face of extinction and will soon be fade into history if the efforts are not taken to save last of species. In this article, you will learn some Interesting Facts About Polar Bears.

  1. Polar Bears build their dens from old snow that had fallen in the previous year rather than using the fresh snow.
  2. The weight of the adult female polar bear is roughly 500 to 600 pounds (227 to 272 kilogram).
  3. The weight of the polar bear cub is a little over a pound at birth.
  4. The only other predator of the polar bears is humans, who hunt the bears for sport, meat and fur. The excessive hunting has almost driven the species to extinction.
  5. A polar bear’s fur isn’t white. It is opaque as each strand is hollow. The fur has the potential to reflect light. The hollow fur also helps trap the heat and keeps the bear warm in frigid conditions.
  6. A polar bear’s primary source of a meal is the seal. They are efficient hunters when they are in pursuit of a seal.
  7. Often, it’s the pollutants from the humans that have resulted in the devastation of the species.
  8. The mating season for the Bears begin in the month of March and continues till July. The development of the fertilized egg will not begin until September.
  9. Polar bears have disciplinarian parents. When the mother is out hunting a meal, the Cubs are to remain in the enclosure for safety. The mother bear will coach the Cubs to remain frozen till she returns. If the Cubs move at will, it will be disciplined by the mother who whacks the cub’s head.
  10. The polar bears have rough paw pads to prevent them from slipping on the ice.
  11. A polar bear’s fur is water repellant and oily. It helps them dry quickly after a swim through frigid waters of the Antarctica.
  12. Do not get taken by the cuddly looks of the Polar bear. She is a strong, ruthless killer capable of devouring a beefy prey with a single blow of her paws.
  13. Unlike the common notion that bears hibernate, polar bears are an exception. The female bear will remain huddled in the den with her young. Not with an intent to hibernate, but to escape the extreme weather.
  14. A polar bear is a smart animal. Sometimes, the mother bear builds not only a single room den but also a makes a partition with ventilation on the roof.
  15. The polar bears do not start mating until they are 4-5 years old. It is the period when they are mature.
  16. Did you know that polar bears are finest swimmers? They swim using their front paws to generate forward propulsion, and the chunky hind legs are used for steering.
  17. A polar bear conserves the heat by curling up and covering their muzzle (nose) using their paws. It’ll help the bear conserve the heat.
  18. It is easy to assume that the bear will catch a chill in the cold temperature of Antarctica. But, the bear overheats under her excessive fat.
  19. The adult bear can grow up to 10 feet tall and can weigh as much as 1400 pounds.
  20. Polar bears do go visiting places such as the town of Churchill, Manitoba in Canada.
  21. Polar bears are apex swimmers capable of swimming distances of 100 miles (161 kilometers) at a stretch. They can also swim with a top speed of 6 miles an hour.

 

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? – 6 Reasons They Do This

Just like humans, dogs have their own motives and behaviors. If you own a dog, then you might have seen him or her eating some strange things. Though there are many weird things dogs consume, we are here to list down the various reasons to the question – why do dogs eat poop.

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop

Did you know that when many dogs live in same household and if any one falls sick, healthier dogs at times eat the feces of unhealthy dog. Now, this might be an instinctual reaction for hiding the ill dog from predators. Before even dogs were domesticated, as myth goes – they were scavengers. They lived on whatever they found. Thousands of years ago, dogs used to feed on other animals waste. So, poop eating is just a remnant of dog’s history. A dog eats poop for different reasons. Sometimes, it might eat its own poop or other animals’ feces. You might feel sick when you see this but understand that this is a very common behavior in pets. A dog eating poop signifies different reasons, which include:

  1. It Is A Sign Of Nutritional Imbalance

Whenever a dog his or her own poop, know that it is experiencing a nutritional imbalance. Believe it or not, stool still contains some undigested nutrients, minerals and is the main reason why your dog is eating it.

  1. Because It Is Stressed

A dog eats poop out of anxiety or whenever they are lonely. Eating his or her poop signifies a displacement behavior.

  1. Dog Eats Poop Out Of Boredom

So, apart from the above listed reasons, why do dogs eat poop? Well, boredom is yet another major reason. Lack of proper interaction, exercise or any physical activity often makes a dog end up eating his or her stool. In fact, they even play with the poop out of boredom.

  1. Because It Loves The Smell And Taste

This might sound yucky to you but a dog just loves the smell and taste of other animal feces. In fact, the scent and the stuff tempt his or her tongue to have some.

  1. It Wants The Environment To Be Clean

Few dogs might eat poop in the house just to keep their surroundings or living space completely clean. A dog that is physically punished for potty training mistakes often learns to eat his or her stool to prevent the master from getting angry.

  1. It Could Be A Sign Of Illness

Make a note that not all coprophagy is harmless or normal. A dog that suffers from malabsorption syndrome like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency tends to eat stool (either its own or other animal feces). It might be trying to recover the essential nutrients it cannot absorb during normal digestion.

Is It Harmful When A Dog Eats Poop?

It all comes down to the contamination. Is the poop contaminated with fleas, worms or other harmful parasites, which carry viruses and bacteria? If yes, then there is no doubt of the red signs. The consequences of consuming contaminated feces also depend on the dog’s immune system and its overall health. Take for example, young puppies. They have developing and delicate immune systems. Therefore, might be susceptible to bad poop, particularly if they are not fully vaccinated. So, it is better to allow your puppy for neighborhood walks and hikes only after he or she has received all the vaccination shots.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop Of Other Animals?

As said earlier, they are extremely attracted to other animal’s feces, especially a cat’s. The reason why a dog is attracted to cat’s feces is because cat food has more amount of protein and fat than dog food.

How To Stop A Dog From Consuming Poop?

A little amount of poop is certainly not going to hurt your dog. However, if you don’t want your dog to do this, there are certain things you can do about it.

  1. Prevent Your Dog From Accessing Poop

The best way is to keep your environment clean and neat. Tidy your yard to prevent your dog from accessing poop. Lure him or her with something yummier. Even better, try to distract your dog whenever you sense or observe that he or she is going to eat poop or has developed an interest on it.

  1. Keep The Litter Box Out Of Your Dog’s Reach

Not only should you keep the litter box far from your dog’s reach but also make sure to keep it clean.

When You Need A Vet’s Help?

If your dog is eating poop, first you have to make sure that there isn’t any underlying health issue. Few dogs begin eating stool whenever they are not acquiring enough nutrients. Chances are that they have few pancreatic issues or have parasites. Such are the times when a coprophagic dog requires a thorough examination from vet.

Why Is Your Dog More Attracted To Poop Than Dog Food At Times?

Dog’s digestive system depends on a certain mixture of enzymes in order to break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. There are even evidences, which suggest that digestive system of a dog has not caught up to today’s modern diet (which often tends to have less animal protein and more of carbohydrates). Few veterinary nutritionists claim that a dog eats poop to replenish enzymes. Also, there are evidences, which show that dogs are not getting sufficient nutrients and this is exactly when they begin to eat poop. The main reason is lack of B-vitamin, which leads to coprophagia.

Neglectful Parents

A behavior of dog eating poop is often linked to owner. Well, many dogs purposely eat stool to get the attention of their master. Even if the attention is negative, it is still an attention and that is exactly what a dog wants. Also. Few dogs might resort to eat stool only because they aren’t getting adequate real food. Moreover, if the owners don’t keep their dogs’ living area clean, they start eating poop to clear out everything.

We hope you have found this article useful. If you have tried some good tricks to stop your dog from eating poop and want other readers to know about it, feel free to drop them in the comments section.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?

Vets are presented with this question very often by pet-owners who are concerned about their dog licking its paws. This behavior is normal amongst pets, just like tapping your foot or playing with your hair. This is a part of their routine life and only becomes a problem if your pet starts doing it in excess or more frequently than normal.

Your dog can be licking its paws out of boredom and stress or this could be the result of paw irritation. If you find your pet licking and nibbling its front paws and forearms excessively, you should be concerned because most of these cases (no matter which one of the above stated causes it is) are complicated and have excruciatingly difficult solutions.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws Or Feet?

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws

The most common reasons of your dog licking paws can be:

  1. Skin Allergies: Reaction from food or change in environment can cause allergies to your dog. Environmental triggers may include mold and pollen which may result in skin irritation allergies. Some dogs may get allergic to substances like pesticides and soap that result in skin irritation disease called “contact dermatitis”.
  2. Stress or boredom: Remember how people who have anxiety/stress issues bite their nails or play with their hair, dogs react similarly to psychological issues too. Their physical response of licking or biting their paws can be a physical response to the psychological issues of boredom or stress. These issues can be closely related to OCDs (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) in humans which may result from anti-social environment/circumstances. When a dog is involved in such OCD-like behavior, the excessive scratching, chewing or licking can harm its skin and damage body parts if not controlled at early stage.
  3. Dry skin: The cause of your dogs paw licking can also be dry skin. Dry skin can be caused by many factors including but not limited to fatty acid deficiencies or dry winter weather. When such dryness is experienced by the dog, it can react by licking or biting the affected area.
  4. Irregularity in Hormones: Just like any other animal, dogs have hormones in their body as well. These hormones control the integrity of the dog’s health and maintain consistency in skin. If the dog’s body isn’t producing the required quantity of thyroid hormone or producing more than required amount of Cortisol, you may notice skin infections on the surface of your dog’s skin. These can be identified by small red dots and due to the botheration, your dog may lick and bite the area(s) depicting these symptoms.
  5. External/Internal Causes of Pain: The problem might be a simple wound that is not noticeable at a glance and might be mistaken for any other cause of licking the paws/other body part. Do consider the possibility of a thorn or stone which might be making the dog physically uncomfortable. The cause can often be internal as well, including arthritis and hip dysplasia which may result in pain and the physical discomfort that causes your dog to lick/bite the areas affected.
  6. Parasites: Just because you can’t see any mites / fleas on your dog doesn’t mean it is free from infestation. This is one of the most common causes of compulsive dog licking and until it is a large infestation, the fleas and ticks often go unnoticed. Mites are the trickiest of all to identify because of their microscopic existence.

Remedies For Your Dog Licking Paws

Considering the fact that there are so many reasons for dog licking and biting its paws, you should take your dog to the veterinarian once you’ve realized that the issue is present. With help of the vet, you can figure out the cause and determine the best treatment plan. The treatment may include:

  1. Remedy for Infestation: On recommendation of the vet, you can use flea and tick products that will prevent the irritation and infestation. If the cause of your dog licking paws is identified as flea/tick infestation, make sure to wash your dog’s bed and vacuum your carpeting and upholstered furniture. This will help prevent re-infestation and you’ll notice that the licking and chewing has stopped. If you have any other animals in the household, make sure to treat them against infestation too.
  2. Alternate Dog Food: Once identified that food triggers are causing your dog’s itch, you can eliminate such foods that trigger the issue. Beef and wheat might be the cause of your dog’s itch so if the licking and biting issue is because of food allergies, you should replace these first. Fatty acids help in keeping your dog’s coat healthy and you can facilitate the healing process from dry skin by adding diets rich in fatty acids.
  3. Using medication: This one is purely in the hands of the veterinarian. He may prescribe medications to cure the itch that is making your dog lick and bite its paws. Topical or Systemic Antibiotics might also be prescribed by the vet to cure existing hot spots and skin infections.
  4. Preventing the behavior: Keeping your dog close to you and preventing compulsive behavior is the best way to cure its behavioral disorder of licking and biting. Whenever you notice that your dog is licking its paws out of boredom or stress, you just have to distract it by toys or playing with it. You can make use of bitter sprays to discourage its licking habit by applying it on the areas your dog most likes to lick and bite. Some special collars are also available to prevent your dog from reaching to the hot spots which will in response get rid of the habitual licking and chewing.
  5. Solution for boredom and anxiety: Inadequate stimulation, fear or anxiety can sometimes cause compulsive chewing or licking. You have to give enough attention and love to your dog to prevent this from becoming the cause of your issues. Your dog should get regular exercise and time to play with you to rid it of boredom and stress. There are special toys and chew-bones to train your dog in case it needs something to chew on to relieve from stress.

How To Prevent Dogs From Licking Their Paws?

As the famous saying goes: Prevention is better than cure. Wouldn’t it be great not to go through the fatigue of identifying and treating your dog’s issues and prevent them from happening in the first place? Well, follow these steps and you surely can reduce the chances of your dog licking its paws:

Examine your pet for injury every now and then and at the first sign of any irregularity, contact your vet to get it treated. When an injury is escalated to a point that it starts causing severe discomfort to the dog, it reacts by licking and biting the affected area(s).

Make sure that your dog doesn’t encounter any chemicals where it has access to. Make the garden a no-go-area for your dog if you are using chemicals there. Use quality shampoos that are made for dogs and find one that has moisturizing ingredients to hydrate the skin.

Be picky when choosing food for your dog. A well-balance diet is necessary for your dog and you can find that in pet foods that have a good formula for vitamins and minerals including fatty acids. Prevent its indulgence in greasy table scraps and left over food that may harm the integrity of its healthy body.

Provide substantial amount of attention to your pet and spend quality time with it so that his stress and anxiety levels stay normal. If you see any behavioral disorders, redirect his attention by starting to play with it or creating its interest in the toys it loves.

Clues To Follow To Identify The Cause Of Your Dog Licking Paws

If you go all “Sherlock Holmes” on the issue, you may be able to deduce with remarkable accuracy what the cause is. Let’s have a look at how this can be done:

Breed and Temperament: It may seem far-fetched but breed has to do a lot when it comes to dogs licking paws. The prevalence of this issue differs from breed to breed. Some dog breeds suffer from compulsive licking and chewing more than the others. The issue of compulsive licking and chewing is most commonly found in:

  • Labrador retrievers
  • Terriers of all kinds
  • Poodles
  • Chihuahuas
  • Maltese

The problem is more apparent in white and blond-haired breeds as their saliva discolors their paw fur when they compulsively lick and chew them. Greyhounds, Dalmatians and cattle dogs are more likely to relieve stress through over grooming and paw licking as they are highly alert working breeds. This issue can be seen in any breed but statistically this is observed more in purebred or two-way crosses than in the general mutt population.

Start of the Issue: Sometimes the issue of compulsive licking runs in the family. The dog is more likely to follow the trails of its siblings or parents in licking its paws than a dog with a non-licking family background. In the second year of dogs in the group, this habit is usually developed. These kinds of prevalent issues can’t be entirely cured but you can do many things to reduce the frequency and intensity of it. If the issue isn’t inherent (i.e. it was developed later in life), remedies pertaining to improved environment, life style and diet may prove to be entirely successful in resolving the issue.

“When” matters: Dogs who only lick their paws in a specific situation or set of situations are quite likely to respond to treatment involving behavior modification. This can be identified by observing “when” your dog is licking its paws and figuring out a pattern to it. The dog might only be licking its paws when left alone and feeling deprived of attention or after a bath. This can help you identify the trigger and solve the issue accordingly.

“Number of paws” matter too: If your dog is paying too much attention in licking a single paw, examine the paw and you’re most likely to find the problem there. It could be a small issue with the toenail that irritates your dog and causing it to lick or bite the paw. The issue can also be a wound cause by a thorn or some sharp edge that cut the lower pad of the paw. The cause of irritation in older dogs is also found to be skin tumor. It can also be a swollen area within the toes, containing an accumulation of pus (abscess). Examine carefully so that you may find if there is a wound or the thorn is still in their waiting for you to be picked. The cause can also be internal resulting from a broken/fractured bone or arthritis affecting a single joint.

Is it just the paws? The compulsive paw licking can also be part of a bigger set of symptoms identifying a bigger health issue. Look for other anomalies along with paw licking such as discharge from its eyes, loss of hair, infection in ears, musty odor (seborrheic dermatitis), sneezing, rashes etc. These can help you identify presence of fleas and ticks, allergies or contact sensitivities. It is better in this scenario to go for a general health screen that includes blood tests and microscopic skin scraping (to find those nasty microscopic infestations) and rule out a larger issue. Go for this is the simple methods of control are unable to benefit the condition and problem is recurring.

Look closely, you may see the Triggers: Start keeping record of the things that appear to make this problem worse. Note if seasons or specific months increase or decrease the intensity of your dogs compulsive licking habit. Also notice that is the issue reduced in your presence and when you’re not around your dog bites and licks its paws more. You might also observe that the dog gets irritated and starts worrying its paws after grooming sessions or baths. Also keep record of the events that precede a sudden initiation of the problem such as your pet returns from the yard and the problem is heightened. Changing the location directly affecting your pet’s condition is also a clue for you to note down. Abnormal change in the weight and change in activity level are notable identifiers and should be observed. Limping or staying stiff and showing bizarre behavior in your absence point you in the direction of possible causes as well.

So, when you say that the dog is man’s best friend, it means that the man (owner) has to put in energy and love as well for keeping the relationship and dog healthy. Your dog licking paws might seem like a small issue, but ignore it and it just might become a problem you didn’t imagine it would become.