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The one-metre wide hole smashed into an aeroplane's nose by an ALBATROSS

A Japanese Coastguard patrol aeroplane came close to disaster when it was hit by an albatross.

The bird smashed a one-metre wide hole into the Bombardier DHC8-315's nose as it flew at just 300 metres over the East China Sea on Wednesday afternoon.

Remarkably the pilot did not feel the need to perform an emergency landing - despite the dead bird being stuck - and continued for another hour to his destination in Ishigaki, in the Okinawa Prefecture.

None of the onboard nine crew members, who were on the three-hour flight from Naha, were hurt.

The country's transport ministry has now launched an investigation to look into the incident.

And it said it was setting up radar equipment at Tokyo's Haneda Airport in April to help track flocks of birds which would help guide aircraft out of their way.

It will be the first such project in Japan.Bird strikes are on the rise at the nation's busiest airport despite daily efforts by ground staff to disperse birds when they are spotted near flight paths.

It is also a common problem across the world.

Last year passengers onboard a U.S. JetBlue flight from JFK to Aruba had to return to the airport after a 'very big bird', believed to be a turkey, was sucked into the Airbus A320's engine.

'Suddenly the plane smelled like chicken. I thought, Wow they have hot food on this plane,' passenger Gina Vicinanza, 50, told The New York Post.

Death-defying snowboarders make history by becoming first to conquer VERTICAL Alaskan slope

This is the heart-in-mouth moment three daredevil snowboarders dice with death - and become the first people in the world to conquer a vertical slope.

The adrenaline junkies - John Jackson, Travis Rice and Mark Landvik - hurtled down the peak in the 3,000ft Tordrillo Mountains, in Alaska, in a matter of seconds.

Risking the prospect of sparking deadly avalanches through their rapid 80mph movements, the brave trio zig-zagged their way down the 50 degree angle.

And for their piece-de-resistance the trio decided to pull off some big-air tricks for the camera as they plummeted towards the bottom.

The epic descent booked the speedsters a place in the record books by becoming the first people to successfully conquer the perilous peak.

Photographer Scott Serfas, who was watching from the safety of a helicopter, said: 'It was amazing to watch. I knew I was witnessing snowboard history in the making.

'These guys are all top pros and some of the most well respected in the business, if anyone could do it it was them.'

The three professional snowboarders - who each have 20 years experience - were dropped off at the summit by helicopter.

They faced the daunting prospect of ten foot snow drifts and temperatures plummeting to a chilly minus 13C.

But armed with just a shovel, back up CO2 canisters and transceivers should anything go wrong, they launched off from a knife-edge ridge in pursuit of the record.

And within seconds they reached speeds of up to 80mph before vanishing out of sight - resurfacing thousands of feet below where Mr Serfas caught up in his helicopter.

Mr Serfas, 39, a professional photographer from Vancouver, Canada, added: 'Descents like this are always dangerous, but you try to minimize that by playing smart.

'But at the end of the day, no matter what safety gear you have on, nothing is going to save you if something goes wrong.'

The Tordrillo Mountains are a range found 75 miles west-north-west of Anchorage, and stretch 60 miles to the north. It is primarily a volcanic range, with its most recent eruption occuring in June 1992.

World's tallest suspension bridge unveiled in Mexico

The world's tallest suspension bridge opened in Mexico Thursday spanning a ravine higher than New York's Empire State building and Paris' Eiffel Tower.

At 403 meters or 1,322 feet tall, the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge connects between the northwestern states of Sinaloa and Durango in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains.

Officials with the Guinness Book of World Records were present as was President Felipe Calderon for the opening ceremony.

The bridge features four highway lanes celebrated for cutting transportation time between the two regions by an estimated six hours.

Without including the Empire State Building's lightning rod, the bridge can easily fit its towering height from head to toe or the height of Paris' Eiffel Tower which stands at 324 meters or 1063 feet.

Its price tag for that height?

After four years of construction, the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge is priced at 2.18 billion pesos or 158.98522 million U.S. dollars.

It's so named as the country celebrates it's bicentennial independence from Spain which was in 1810.

The Durango-Mazatlan highway newly constructed to reach the bridge cost its own amount of over 20 billion pesos or 1.45858 billion U.S. dollars.

It had been deemed President Calderon's most significant transportation project during his six-year term according to the country's transportation ministry.

'With developments in infrastructure, we'll continue to achieve the targets established during my term,' Mr Calderon said Thursday according to

The world's tallest cat (who is part African wildcat but is docile as a kitten)

When Trouble comes around, he’s hard to miss.

That’s because the Sacramento, California cat is 19 inches tall from paw to shoulder, making him the tallest cat in the world.

Owner Debby Maraspina bred him three years ago and is delighted that her cat has risen to fame.

Trouble is part house cat and part African serval cat, a recognised hybrid called a Savannah, but his height is still surprising, even for his breed.

Mrs Maraspina told the Sacramento Bee that she didn’t really think much of Trouble’s size until a friend, who owns the world’s longest cat, suggested that she get him measured at a cat show in Reno.

The process to get Trouble registered and confirmed as the Guinness-certified tallest cat was a long one.

Mrs Maraspina had to get Trouble measured by a veterinarian and document the cat’s height in both photos and videos.

After all of that – and sending in affidavits – she received a call from London in November.

They had good news to deliver – Trouble was the new tallest cat in the world, beating out the previous record holder by about an inch.

Despite his size, Trouble only weighs 20 pounds. And according to Mrs Maraspina’s husband John, ‘He’s just a relaxed, indoor animal.’

While Trouble may be relaxed, he's a picky eater and turns up his nose at regular cat food. Instead, he feasts on rabbit meat and beef.

And he’s quite pampered. ‘He expects me to get his food out, warm it up and cut it into chunks – off the bone,’ Mrs Maraspina told the Bee.

Savannahs are a recent creation – they were recognised as a breed only ten years ago, after existing for 15 or so years prior to that.

Mrs Maraspina says that the cats are difficult to breed since females are picky over which males they accept, and Savannahs that have more than five or six per cent feral cat are sterile.

Trouble is a quarter serval, and is therefore sterile, but makes a good show cat.

Daring climbers risk their lives scaling 'deadly' 110ft wall of ice

These daring climbers braved temperatures of minus 20 degrees and a terrifying 110ft vertical drop to scale a spectacular wall of ice.

And the brave pair celebrated not getting cold feet on the The Rigid Designator, near Vail, Colorado, by a romantic kiss at the top of the icy pillar.

Naturally formed pillar The Rigid Designator is known to be one of the hardest and deadliest ice climbs in the world.

Those that attempt it risk death or serious injury if they lose their footing and slip.

Photographer Lucas Gilman, 34, watched as his friends Cam Brensinger, 35, and Caitlin Brensinger, 34, completed the climb.

He said: 'The Rigid Designator is rated a WI5, which is one of the hardest and most technical ratings for an ice climb. It is for expert climbers only.

'Ice climbing is similar to rock climbing but the extreme cold of the act makes it very difficult and extreme. It is a very dangerous sport and can lead in many instances to death.

'I love ice climbing due to the extreme nature of the sport and the graphic and colourful qualities of the ice and rock.

'On the morning I took these photos it was a bone-chilling -20 degrees Celsius.'

Mr Gilman, from Colorado, added: 'Only people with a real sense of adventure and ability to deal with extremely cold temperatures excel at ice climbing.

'It's a war of attrition climbing a vertical column of ice in extremely cold temperatures.

'You start to lose feeling in your hands after a while and focus is extremely important, not to make a mistake.'