Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Search Challenge (11/18/15): A couple of odd questions

I have a file... 

... of SearchResearch Challenges that I keep updated with new questions.  In that document I've got a few in the "Odds & Ends" category.  Here are a couple of quick questions that have come up in the past few months that I can't work into a regular Challenge.  So, for today, a special Challenge!  

1.  This wallpaper showed up recently on my Android device; I was struck by how beautiful it is.  Can you figure out where this in on our planet?  What's the lat/long?  (There's no metadata here, I already checked.)  

2.  Some animals have the ability to grow body parts back when they lose them. Some lizards, for instance, can regrow a lost tail; some salamanders can grow back a leg.  But SOME animals don't grow the missing body part back, but reorganize their body plan.  What's this process called?  What kind of animal can do this? 

3.  I ran across this great word Mbaqanga, and I know it refers to a particular kind of music.  But WHAT kind of music is this?  And... how in the heck do you pronounce that word?  

Can you let us know HOW you found the answers to each of these?  

We'll give the answers next Monday, and probably have a couple of other updates during the rest of this week.  Stay tuned! 

Search on! 


  1. Good day, Dr. Russell and everyone. Super interesting as always.


    For 1.

    Google Search with your image. Android M wallpaper. Satellite of dry coastal farmland

    [android m wallpaper coastline]

    [identify place by photo]

    For 2.

    [reorganize body after loosing part]

    After Losing a Limb, Jellyfish Reorganize Their Bodies for Symmetry

    unique strategy of self-repair

    [Symmetrization animals]

    For 3.


    [mbaqanga zulu pronunciation]

    [mbaqanga South Africa]

    mbaqanga, a mode of African-inflected jazz

    [mbaqanga ] advanced Search Tools, South Africa

    Mbaqanga Music

    It is a blend of various styles, of which American jazz; the marabi and the kwela are the most important.


    1. This wallpaper showed up recently on my Android device; I was struck by how beautiful it is. Can you figure out where this in on our planet? What's the lat/long? (There's no metadata here, I already checked.)

    A. Not yet.

    2. Some animals have the ability to grow body parts back when they lose them. Some lizards, for instance, can regrow a lost tail; some salamanders can grow back a leg. But SOME animals don't grow the missing body part back, but reorganize their body plan. What's this process called? What kind of animal can do this?

    A. Symmetrization. Jellyfish species

    3. I ran across this great word Mbaqanga, and I know it refers to a particular kind of music. But WHAT kind of music is this? And... how in the heck do you pronounce that word?

    "Mbaqanga (Zulu pronunciation: [mɓaˈ!áːŋa]) is a style of South African music with rural Zulu roots that continues to influence musicians worldwide today. The style originated in the early 1960s." Source: wikipedia.

    Merriam Webster site shows how is pronounced in English. Need to find in Zulu.

    1. Tried [] with photo. No results. Tried asking ESA because they have fantastic video series Earth From Space.

      Also bottom right looks like volcano so [volcanoes near farmland coastlines. No results

      [google marshmallow wallpapers]
      [google marshmallow intext:coastline wallpaper source]

      Apparently Namibia. Need to verify.

  2. 1. A Google Image search tells me that this is the only new wallpaper known to be included in the next Android M.
    This is probably the first public presentation of this picture (May 28, 2015).
    Arrived there from an article on phandroid.
    The oldest image found by TinEye is from the day after.
    The image shown there is dated 2015:05:18 11:17:26.

    Looking for this image within the Google Earth Imagery Updates from May 2015 would be a nice idea if the updates weren't so many!

    The Google Maps Google Plus page didn't help either. This picture isn't among the ones uploaded since May 2015.

    Answer: Erm… not yet found…

    2. [ regrow and reorganize body parts ] yields plenty of interesting results. This ability is "present across two major orders of the Scyphozoa (order Semaeostomeae and Rhizostomeae)", including the much cited moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita.
    The American Heritage Science Dictionary has an interesting short entry on regeneration, not giving a name to this specific kind of regeneration. (The recent article cited above is also silent about this procedure's name.) Encyclopedia Britannica has a much more complete article, calling this process morphallaxis. "In plants and in coelenterates such as the hydra and jellyfishes, missing parts are replaced by reorganization of preexisting ones."

    Answer: Morphallaxis, as done by hydrae and jellyfishes.

    3. Having lived in Africa and being a linguistics minor buff (a linguist would probably correct this to buffoon), I happen to know that Mb is a common initial sound in many African languages and it sounds like a nasal b, or kind of a short pensive mmm followed by b. If I recall it correctly, in that group of Central and South African languages, the "q" letter is only used in those who have click sounds. So I suspect this might be Xhosa or Zulu. A quick Google search gives an article on Wikipedia, with the Zulu pronunciation in IPA (International Phonetic Language), which isn't much helpful for those who can't read those symbols. I know the exclamation point is used for a click. So even before I try to hear someone utter the word, I know that the pronunciation heard on Merriam-Webster isn't acceptable, not even in English (they say emb-bakanga). Forvo is my usual source to hear how locals say anything, and I have collaborated on some Portuguese words myself. But this time they don't have the word. So my next idea is to find it on YouTube, and there it is.

    Answer: The word mbaqanga as said by South African musician Feya Faku on a New York City performance.

  3. Provided I checked thoroughly, this image is either surprisingly not on Earth View, or the Google crawlers haven't indexed it yet, or Image Search doesn't work perfectly when restricted to a website + Similar Images. The same happens with Google Maps Gallery.

    Limiting the search to several aerial and satellite imagery websites, I also couldn't find it on USGS, Terraserver, Digital Globe, NASA, ArcGIS, Backbridge, Terrafly, UrtheCast, BlackSky or OpenAerialMap.

    I tried to find it on reddit, since this is the kind of "earth porn" that makes a lot of people want to know its exact location, and reddit has some willing (sometimes overwilling…) researchers. Karmadecay didn't find it but Google did it. It's here and apparently the fans of Matías Duarte there don't know the answer either.

    If I were playing GeoGuessr, I would guess somewhere in Central Vietnam, but it could be as far as its antipodes.

    Ramón, that is not a volcano, it's a village. Check the larger image here.

    On Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange the question on "how to identify image location" was already asked four years ago, but its users (cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals) don't know the answer ("there is no software available for searching massive amounts of archived satellite/aerial imagery").

    1. Thanks Luis. I had some doubts but now is clear. Incredible photos, Remmij! And liked how you solved Challenges, Luis.

      After reading your comments thought maybe photo is fake, tried to find out.

      Dr. Russell's photo in fotoforensics

      Luis's photo in fotoforensics.

      Now, trying new ways.

    2. Ah... that's a great idea (to check if it's faked). But it's not. All I did was to screen shot the image (I didn't copy it, as Luis did). That's what leads to a uniform error over the entire image--it's a slightly different size and resolution than the original.

      Good idea though.

      And I assure you, it's a real place. Not a faked image.

    3. Thanks, Dr. Russell, that is helpful. I thought maybe photo was a creation using software and as Remmij said real but not on Earth. Now, we know something else. I'll try searching with the fish shape. Hope that or colors help me to find some answers.

    4. I was just reading online about words than once I heard from my grandparents years ago. It was kind of a game called "Pipis y gañas" Looking for what that meant found that site, they wrote: "ningún libro, por voluminoso que sea, instruye tanto como el teatro." ( No book, no matter its volumen instructs as much as theatre does). Site claims it was said by Voltaire. I searched and found nothing, so I believe is totally fake. Any of you know something about this quote?

  4. thought the Lolli wallpaper might be related to the 'M' wallpaper - problem is, don't know where that one is either…
    if Dan hadn't said this planet, would have gone with the back side of here [Charon]
    think it is heavily manipulated and maybe the location only exists here, in his CPU.

    would like any of these at this point:
    Long Island, Bahamas
    Ambrym volcano
    …or any of these
    Japanese coast

  5. …with a fresh eye and courtesy of the impressive research of Mr. Luís Miguel Viterbo — well done, sir!
    I had decided I was out of luck on this one until looking at Luís's 7:36 PM post and taking a look at Earth View just to enjoy the images…
    and WOWIE-ZOWIE… there it was - serendipitous - thank you - a total chance, stumble-on find - almost jumped out of the chair when it rolled by (in 'Leanback Mode')
    search lessons: perseverance, chance can be a friend, returning rested, and paying attention to the comments & links of proven SearchReSearchers… it will be interesting
    to see what Dan's path is Monday.
    Taolagnaro northeast of Maroloha & Lake Anony
    -25.171741, 46.548278
    on Goo Maps
    it is a wild coast line/coastal plain -
    zoomed out a bit
    the southern tip
    "Earth View is a collection of the most striking and enigmatic landscapes available in Google Earth. The colors, shapes, textures and patterns all contribute to the strange beauty of our planet, reminding us of nature’s uncanny geometry and bewildering simplicity. Each of the 1500 images featured in this collection was hand curated and available for download as wallpaper for your desktop or mobile."
    in the 1500 earth view images
    a YT view

    1. Well... I thought I was posting a really hard Challenge. Instead, it was solved in just over 24 hours! Impressive.

      How did you get into "Leanback Mode"?

    2. Congratulations Remmij! That is impressive.

      Dr. Russell about "leanback mode" don't know if this is what you want [Leanback Mode] says f11 does the trick.

    3. ≡ icon in the upper left, in the drop down menu
      …was just passing this info along to a couple friends. Again, without Luís's prompt, I wouldn't have looked - don't use Google Earth much - like
      the way this integrates Maps into the mix - it's a great function, kudos to the Earth/Maps teams - wish the images were searchable in some way…
      or I could figure out how - as it is, great way to randomly explore the 'mud ball', as my Beijing brother says.

    4. Lucky you are remmij, I stayed for almost an hour in the Leanback Mode (last option of the menu on the left, Dan) but the image didn't show (at least I was reading a book meanwhile). Google said the image came from this site (had this info on Reddit I guess) and due to the quality of the pictures there it seemed true, but I had no time to search the whole site. Well done remmij!

    5. ����❕❕
      In case there's not enough Unicode capabilities, the above means I am truly impressed (or: my mouth is open and letting myself a wowie-zowie escape, followed by two white exclamation marks).

      Both you (remmij) and Wikipedia, are giving way too much credit to me though. "Tolanaro bay discovered by the Portuguese" is wrong, It was solely and paciently discovered by the peculiar researcher with a Dutch Indian Palindromic name.

      How long have you been leaning back and contemplating the mesmerizing Earth View stream until you got your yahtzee moment?

      My next step would be to rely on social networking. Here are the strategies I thought of:
      1. Ask a friend of mine who's a geographer and has been publishing a "Geomorphology Daily" photo on his Facebook page. Paying attention to the type of sand, trees, terrain, crops and dwelling, he might be able to narrow down the possible answers. Also, he might be able to ask his international colleagues.
      2. Ask on Quora, and choose carefully some people to ask-to-answer.
      3. Ask Google / Android, through an employer I know (his name is Dan Russell).

    6. regarding leanback time - 3:49… seriously, would guess 5-6 minutes - having gone back and checked my browser history I can see it was about 70 images in —
      the images cycle at around 5 sec/per so that would suggest just under 6 minutes, but I had paused a few times to check things.
      When I tried to duplicate that, it seemed that the images are randomly shuffled for each new slideshow? that may explain why it didn't appear for Luís & passager…
      Just re-enforces the chance quality — I was about to run out and buy lottery tickets to see if the lucky streak would continue…
      then I read JM's post and saw he/she had 'real' luck… finding that 2 mile stretch of beach by Google Earth searching random portions of East African coast & southern Madagascar and spotting the Marshmallow w'paper location required real good fortune & an eagle eye. It kinda harshed my WOWIE-ZOWIE/Yahtzee/Eureka transcendental search moment… am putting tinfoil cone hat back on.
      madagascar tin
      "Confucius said... "In the [Google] world there are many different roads but the destination is the same. There are a hundred deliberations but the result is one.""
      coastal lengths

      Ede palindrome
      single word
      non-euro discovery

      more solitude
      a little color
      before earthview…

      random African coast
      random African coast

    7. Hello Remmij, thanks for sharing the Coast measures, the lemur , Palindromes and more. It is always great knowledge and fun learning. Proceedings is one of the SRS Challenges I like more.

      About searching Madagascar photo. Today tried [] with Dr. Russell's photo link. Results gives answer. With this I have some questions:

      1. Why when I crop the image and search no good results ?
      2. As Luis says, why when we search photo we didn't see in results photo from earthview site?
      3. Luis, when you searched earthview on November 18, 2015 at 7:36 PM comment, did you try your photo or Dr. Russell as I did today? I wonder if I got the answer in this way because Remmij found it yesterday or or it was always there with that query. As you say, Remmij, looking forward to read Dr. Russell's solution.

    8. "that may explain why it didn't appear" — not really, I haven't even tried. I figured the chances of finding it within an hour would be less than 5% (with remmij's numbers now, I realize it would be 8.4% but still too little to try). I hoped Google Image Search to find it within Eath View ( search by image + [ ] + Visually similar images). I'm not even sure if this strategy would be productive even if Dr. Russell hadn't asked his colleagues to delete all traces of the image in Google Search. ;)

      The only time it took me was to browse the results of that search, trying to find the Android M wallpapaer or a similar one.

    9. You are right, Luis. I expressed bad. I meant search by image Dr. Russell's photo link adding .Today that is how results gave me that name.

      Another interesting thing for me is how fotoforensics works with photos. Ela in one says is fake, another real and both are real. So if we open one image sometimes, saving it without making changes that makes it fake for programs?

    10. …another search lesson: I need to get out into the world more… things seem to be happening (still may be an illusion)… may need a hardware update too…
      I have been staring at so many dazzling earth images I may have retinal burn, (everything on the screen seems to have a blue tinge to it…) BUT may have found ONE that didn't exist (or may not now) on
      until today… hard to know the chronology of the images & when they are added — when this one appeared though, the screen seemed to freeze and then the error message
      superimposed itself…weird… but then I got warm, fuzzy, tactile (no watch/wrist device in play) tingles (think that is the technical term) knowing that Google was looking out for me and monitoring all my activity… even to the cellular level.
      singular 404 error
      interesting similarities histology
      "Colpothrinax wrightii, the Cuban belly palm. Leaf lamina in transverse section, stained with aqueous toluidine blue. From The Anatomy of Palms."
      oddly, my screen is now filling with micro-text of what appear to be multiple, familiar and unknown, alphabets… also cellular?
      something like this… but without the letters
      am going to rest the orbs & destroy some perception neurons… 10 hours should do the trick… don't know if this is South African

    11. Here is the summary of my process.

      1. Search by image Dr. Russell's photo.
      2. Instead of "android m" wrote [] that Luis gave to us and in which Remmij found the answer; and searched again. 2 possible outcomes. a) we look a very similar photo or b) we need to see Visually similar images. In incognito needed to go to b.
      3. To find This one.

  6. 1. Tried Google image search like some others and found nothing.
    Assumed it was an ocean coast not a lake shore. Noticed the village on the right of the image and what looked like fields. Noticed what looked like dirt roads. Assumed a none 1st world country.
    Searched [sand beach farm land coast] Under google image search and saw this image
    Followed it to the site If it was coastal farmland it would be near one of these places. Started looking at Google Earth on east coast of Mozambique - nothing, looked at east coast South Africa nothing. Looked at south coast of Madagascar - Success! It is south east of Lake Anony on the south coast of Madagascar.

    Location of unnamed village
    -25.171711, 46.548661

    1. Congratulations JM. I went back to Earth to see this. You are correct but I would never have spotted it with the big colour differences. jon tU

  7. …was thinking the 90 second tin foil cone hat/electro session had some benefit… maybe not - went back to see if I could find a searchable pattern in the URL…
    Started to think the 6000 series might be the home to all Earthview Madagascar images, but that didn't seem to be the case -
    still it was a nice group of views…

    6000 - 404 error
    starts with Spain?
    6002 - ✭the MmWallpaper✭
    6004 also Madagascar
    6005, ditto
    6006, dittotoo
    Toliara ll
    6008 - Mad. tidal plain
    6009, 6010, 6012, 6020, 6021 - 404 pages
    6011back to Mad.
    then 6032 in Bolivia
    then a big jump to Malaysia 6041
    changed the 6 to a 2 and am in Jordan 2041
    5 - the U.S.
    5641 - China
    wasn't Dan just south of here? ☟ coincidence?
    and I'm out…

    1. Good idea, exploring the url, nicely done.

      Google Search [ inurl:madagascar ] misses four of those (6001, our star 6002, 6003 and 6015) but finds another four:

      Important: to find all these, you have to go to the page bottom and click on repeat the search with the omitted results included. This will set the filter parameter to zero:

      So, apparently not all photos on that Google website are indexed by Google.

  8. Replies
    1. I feel almost the same Remmij for searching and watching El Clasico. And, it is always great to read your posts. Your coastline is very beautiful and the Palms new look is incredible, thanks for sharing. Axolotl is very different than I thought some time ago. Interesting creatures. So new knowledge is appreciated.

      Now that you bring back palms, it is good moment for me to re-read Answer: Victorians and palms trees? A thing?

    2. Thanks, Remmij. Yes, El Clasico was a great game and Barcelona won. Croquet brings great memoirs. I used to play with family but never knew the rules and was good time and no clue how we played just hit balls. Last time we played we had a visitor: a Parakeet. I am sure wind makes it harder. I am with you don't understand that sport.

      Fjords and coastlines data much appreciated! And your Palms link from yesterday lead me to Clouded Leopard video that is very good. I like how they taught leopard and the noise that does

  9. Well, fascinating questions 2 & 3 responded instantly with the appropriate answers,

    However, question 1 has me baffled. I have been up and down, in and out of the windows but I cannot get past Earth View as the source.


    jon tU

  10. The village on the southeastern tip in the photo is Andemby (in Andranobory commune, Tôlanaro district, Anosy region). It's a lobster catching site. Although that coast has oysters and red algae, although the beach looks amazing, it seemingly remains one of the least developed and most neglected places in the whole district — as can be seen on the maps and by the lack of projects on the region's Regional Development Plan (from 2005).

    Here's the coast as seen from the skies yesterday.

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