Wednesday, 5 October, 2022

Bold plan to save Aussie animals; Norway’s Nobel Prize parade begins; the great hurricane shark hoax, and Fat Bear Week is back!



Hurricane shark VIDEO

Other dodgy Hurricane Shark videos and images:

Not real:

Collection of hoax shark images:


Fat Bear Week:


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A bold plan to stop Aussie animals from going extinct was launched yesterday as the Australian government committed itself to saving as many of our native animals and plants as possible. 

Sea lions, wallabies, potoroos and bilbies. Honeyeaters, parrots, thornbills and curlews. Swordfish, redfin, seahorse and grey nurse sharks. They’re all among animals identified yesterday by the Federal Govt as a threatened species as it set the ambitious goal of never having an Australian native animal or native plant go extinct again.

The zero extinction target is an attempt to stop the decline of Australia’s biodiversity. Biodiversity – as those of you paying attention in geography class will already know – is the rich variety of animals and plants that exist in a place, and how successfully they interact with each other. 

Australia’s environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, announcied the zero extinction target yesterday. Other countries like New Zealand have a similar target.

Hitting the target will mean preserving the natural habitats of our threatened species, working to wipe out feral animals and other invasive species and working out ways to minimise the impact on plants and animals of catastrophic events like the Black Summer bushfires that swept the country almost three years ago. 

And it’s work that can’t wait … with more than 1,900 species of Aussie wildlife currently listed as threatened – there’s certainly plenty to do.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Norway … in the group of countries called Scandinavia – where a week’s worth of rewarding the world’s smartest, most inspiring people has begun.

They’re called the Nobel Prizes – awarded each year to people who have achieved incredible things in the areas of science, medicine, literature, economics – and even in the pursuit of world peace.

Yesterday – the Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded to Swedish scientist, Svante Paabo who pioneered the study of DNA in the bones of our Neanderthal ancestors. Neanderthals are an extinct species of ancient humans who lived in Europe and Asia until about 40,000 years ago. Dr Paabo even discovered the existence of a previously unknown human species, calle dhte Denisovans from a 40,000 year old fragment of a finger bone discovered in Siberia.


Stay tuned all week as more winners of Nobel Prizes are announced .. and while you’re at it, check out the excellent Squiz Kids Shortcut on Nobel Prizes – a deep dive into the history and surprising origins of the world’s most prestigious awards. Available to Squiz Kids for Schools Subscribers and parents who’ve signed up to our Apple Subscriber Specials – links to free trials of both are in today’s episode notes. 




There aren’t too many annual events we love more here at Squiz Kids than Fat Bear Week – which kicks off this week in the Katmai National Park in Alaska, in the United States. 

We talk about it every year on the podcast – because it’s just too much furry fun.

Each year, park rangers at the national park take photos of bears as they come out of hibernation in June and July – all skinny and bony and hungry after a winter spent hiding out in their favourite cave. Then around this time of the year, as the northern hemisphere summer is drawing to a close and the bears have spent four months stuffing their snouts full of delicious salmon, the park rangers take photos of the big, fat, fish-filled versions of the same bear – and put the photos up online to compare and contrast. 

Then the world is invited to go online, check out the photos and vote for their favourite Fat Bear of Katmai. It’s good, clean, fat bear fun. I’ve stuck a link to the website and voting portal in today’s episode notes. Check out the before and after photos of Grazer, Walker, Hunter and Chunk. For the record, my money is on the bear called 747 .. he’s enormous, and has clearly eaten more than his fair share of salmon this summer.



It’s a Wednesday – and you know what that means? Time to check in with Squiz E the Newshound to see what fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet this week.

And Squiz E’s nose has been twitching overtime since Hurrican Ian swept through Florida last week in the United States. Because each time there’s a hurricane, there’s a flurry of hoax images posted to social media of sharks swimming in places they wouldn’t normally be.

Sharks swimming along freeways, sharks swimming at the bottom of a set of escalators in a shopping centre: the fake photos are posted on social media sites like Twitter and people share them with their followers without Stopping, Thinking and Checking – and the followers share them with their followers – and on and on it goes. 

But get this: among all the hoax shark photos and videos that emerged from Hurricane Ian – there was one real one – of a shark that had gotten caught in a backyard in a place called Fort Myers. I’ve stuck a link to that video in today’s episode notes – as well as links to the other fake shark photos that have been doing the rounds. Thanks Squiz E! (HOWL)

And while we’re on the subject of Newshounds .. don’t forget later this month we’ll be launching our very own media literacy program for primary school kids – called, you guessed it, Newshounds. Join Squiz E as he takes kids on journey of discovery – teaching them to recognise misinformation and ultimately become critical consumers of media. 

The program will be live soon and free to all classrooms across Australia and New Zealand  (CHEER) – If you’re keen to learn more or be among the first to sign up, register your interest at There’s a link to it in today’s episode notes. 



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. In which country in Scandinavia are the Nobel Prizes handed out?
  2. What sort of animals in Katmai National Park in Alaska have been on a salmon-feeding frenzy?
  3. What sharp-toothed sea creature was discovered in a Florida backyard after Hurricane Ian?




It’s October 5  … today is World Teacher Day! Be sure to let your teacher know how much you appreciate them today! 

It’s also the first week back after a long school holiday break – which means getting through today’s birthday shoutouts and checking off all of those Squiz Kids who celebrated a birthday over the school hols …

And it’s a happy birthday today to …Ella from Craigburn and Archie from Hobart. 

And today’s school holiday belated birthday shout outs go to … Jasper from Marylands, Noah, Chloe, Jimmy and Miranda from Forest Lake, Henry from Broome, Jasper from Mitcham, Xavier from Berridale, Sophie from City Beach, Niya from Springfield, Ruby from Kellyville, Carly from Caloundra West, Ari from Wollongong, Clyde from Book Book, Mila from Mansfield, Ersyven (pronounced Er-su-wen) from Vermont South and Happy listening over in Vietnam and Owen listening in Taichung, Taiwan. 

Classroom shout outs go to class 6B and Mrs Bellingham at Walkervale State School in Bundaberg and to year 5 with Mr Harris and Mrs McCormack at Peace Lutheran College in Cairns.  

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Norway
  2. Brown bears
  3. Shark