“Ball’s Pyramid” is a sheer rock cliff in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. For years this leftover shard of a volcano had a secret.

At 225 feet above sea level, hanging on the rock surface, there is a small, spindly little bush, and under that bush, a few years ago, two climbers, working in the dark, found something totally improbable hiding in the soil below. How it got there, we still don’t know, writes NPR’s Robert Krulwich.

The stick insect — as big as a human hand and called a “tree lobster” because of its hard, lobster-like exoskeleton — disappeared from a nearby island, its only known habitat, after a European ship wrecked there and left rats that wiped out their population.

The Lord Howe stick insect, Dryococelus australis, was presumed extinct. There was a rumor though….

(READ the story from NPR)

Photo by Nick Carlile, inset, John White Photography


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