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.'

Is this an alien skull? Mystery of giant-headed mummy found in Peru

A mummified elongated skull found in Peru could finally prove the existence of aliens.

The strangely shaped head - almost as big as its 50cm (20in) body - has baffled anthropologists.

It was one of two sets of remains found in the city of Andahuaylillas in the southern province of Quispicanchi.

The skeletal sets were discovered by Renato Davila Riquelme, who works for the Privado Ritos Andinos museum in Cusco in south-eastern Peru.

He said that that the eye cavities are far larger than normally seen in humans.

There is a soft spot in the skull - called an open fontanelle - which is a characteristic of children in their first year of life, yet the skull also has two large molars, only found in much older humans.

Davila Riquelme said three anthropologists, from Spain and Russia, arrived at the museum last week to investigate the findings and agreed it was ‘not a human being’ and would conduct further studies.

He added: ‘Although the assessment was superficial, it is obvious that its features do not correspond to any ethnic group in the world.’

The remains of an eyeball in the right socket will help determine its genetic DNA - and clear up the controversy if it is human or not.

The second mummy is incomplete and is only 30cm (12in).

It lacks a face and seems to be wrapped in a layer as a placenta, fetal position.

The remains bear a striking resemblance to the triangular crystal skull in the 2008 Indiana Jones film Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - which turned out to be of alien origin and have supernatural powers.

Boozing moose is rescued after becoming drunkenly stranded up apple tree

It's a situation many can sympathise with - having one too many and attempting physical feats you'd never consider while sober.
But in this case the shamed boozy culprit was not human, but a moose who had become stuck several feet off the ground in an apple tree.
The inebriated creature managed to trap itself amongst the branches of the tree in Gothenburg after apparently becoming drunk while eating fermented apples.

Police believe it had reached for apples higher up the tree before finding itself wedged in the branches and unable to escape.
The stricken animal was discovered by Per Johansson outside his home in Saro, south Gothenburg when he returned home from work.

Rescuers managed to free the moose the same night, after which Johansson said the animal lay down for a while, apparently recovering while in a drunken stupour.
Mr Johansson told Swedish newspaper The Local: 'I thought at first that someone was having a laugh. Then I went over to take a look and spotted an elk stuck in an apple tree with only one leg left on the ground.

'I thought it looked pretty bad so I called the police who sent out an on-call hunter.

'My neighbour recognised it as the animal that almost ran into her car earlier in the day. She was pretty sure the elk was already under the influence.'
The moose lay on the ground overnight outside Mr Johansson's house, before finally getting up the next morning and wandering off with a hangover.
Boozing mooses are not uncommon in Scandinavia, where the creatures are occasionally spotted eating rotting fruit which drops to the group and ferments.
In 2007, a Swedish moose drowned in Stockholm after getting drunk on apples and falling through the ice of a frozen inlet.

Six-year-old Croatian strongman can stick metal objects to his body

In many respects, Ivan Stoiljkovic is much like any other six-year-old boy in his city.
He enjoys kicking a ball around in the garden of the home he shares with his family and is learning to play the accordion as a hobby.
But there are some areas of his magnetic personality where Ivan differs greatly - namely his ability to stick metal objects to his body.

There are also claims from his family in Koprivnica, in Northern Croatia, of unusual levels of strength and even healing powers.
But one thing is for certain - when Ivan takes off his shirt, he is able to stick metallic objects such as spoons, mobile phones and even frying pans to his body.
In total, his family says, he can carry up to 25kg of metal stuck to his torso.
In the video below, his grandmother Dragica adds metal objects of various sizes to his torso, including a huge metal frying pan.

'I have no problem to hold metal objects, but eventually I get tired,' said Ivan.
But that isn't the end to Ivan's unusual talents.
According to his family, Ivan has also used his 'healing' hands to alleviate stomach pains for his grandfather Ivo and is credited with soothing the pain of a neighbour who hurt his leg in a tractor accident.
Ivo said that when his grandson laid his hands on his stomach, they became extremely hot and the pain simply went away.

'When something hurts us, we ask Ivan to put his hands on the sore and the pain disappears in a flash,' said Dragica.
If that wasn't enough, it is also claimed Ivan is much stronger than other children his age and is able to easily carry bags of cement as heavy as 50lb.
His abilities echo the character Magneto, as featured in the X-Men comics and films, a mutant who has the ability to manipulate metals.
Magneto was played by Sir Ian McKellen in the X-men trilogy of films, and will be played by Michael Fassbender in the upcoming prequel X-Men: First Class.

Girl's snake act charms BGT judges... but terrifies viewers

She had taken the stage to deliver an impassioned poem about the protection of endangered species.

But the audience was more worried about seven-year-old Olivia Binfield’s own survival as she performed on Britain’s Got Talent on Saturday with a 6ft boa constrictor called Lucy wrapped around her neck.

Olivia explained that the potentially dangerous animal is a family pet that lives in her house.

Presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly looked nervous, with McPartlin asking: ‘It is kind of wrapping round her head, is that normal?’

After Olivia, from Thanet, Kent, finished her poem, Ant and Dec hurried on stage to speed up the judges’ comments.

Dec said: ‘She is getting strangled by a snake.’

It appears viewers shared their concerns.

Among comments on the Twitter website, one wrote: ‘I can’t actually believe how close that snake came to killing that kid.’

A show spokesman said: ‘The safety and welfare of all our contributors is of paramount importance.’

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Britain's smallest twin who weighed just 13oz at birth

Liz and Jeff Barrett were devastated when they lost their daughter Mollie just two days after Liz went into premature labour at 23 weeks.

But they were thrilled and amazed when her smaller twin Freya-Grace refused to give up the battle for survival despite only weighing 13oz at birth.

Over eight months she had nine blood transfusions, a plasma transfusion, and a delicate heart valve operation.

The feisty youngster was allowed home from hospital today to Deri in South Wales with an oxygen supply to help strengthen her lungs.

Many hospitals leave babies born before 24 weeks to die because they only have a two per cent chance of survival and often have severe disabilities.

However, doctors are hopeful that Freya-Grace will go on to live a normal life.

Mrs Barrett said: 'We are so proud of her. It's just fantastic Freya-Grace is home and putting on weight every day.

'She already brings us so much joy and her fighting spirit has got her through.'

Liz and her self-employed builder husband Jeff, 33, kept a cotside vigil - taking it turns to be with their little girl.

When their daughter was born she fitted easily into Liz's hand and her skin was so transluscent some of her veins were visible.

Customer service advisor Liz said: 'At first, we were shocked that Freya had survived - she was the smallest of the two girls.

'We thought the doctors had made a mistake - we thought Mollie was going to live.

'When I saw Freya, she reminded me of cooked chicken. She was so small. Her skin was shiny, you could almost see straight through her.

'She didn't look like a normal baby should. It was horrible to see her hooked up to all these wires. I wanted to hold her but she was too fragile to touch.'

But she said her brave little girl is living proof that babies are viable at 23 weeks.

She is furious after a leading consultant questioned whether babies should be resuscitated when born at 23 weeks.

Dr Daphne Austin, of the West Midlands Specialised Commissioning Team, told a BBC documentary that rescuscitating '23-weekers' was doing more harm than good.

Liz, who became pregnant through IVF treatment, said: 'I was infuriated by her comments.

'I would like to meet Mrs Austin, ask her to look into Freya-Grace's eyes then ask whether she thinks treating 23-week babies is a waste of money.'

Liz and Jeff say they will always be grateful to the doctors and staff at the specialist neo-natal unit at Singleton Hospital, in Swansea, where Freya-Grace spent her first eight months.

Freya-Grace weighs in at 9lbs now - still less than the birth weight of many babies.

Liz said: 'She's a determined little girl. She's already pulling herself up and arching her back. She's so strong.

'Every milestone that Freya reaches is that little bit happier, I'm just so grateful she's still here.'

The previous smallest surviving twin born in Britain was in July 2010 to Amanda Staplehurst in Portsmouth to a boy weighing 1lb 4oz. His sister, weighing 1lb 20z also survived.

Zookeepers stunned by birth of 5ft baby giraffe after ‘secret’ pregnancy

Zoo keepers have been shocked by the birth of a 5ft baby giraffe to a mother who kept her pregnancy hidden.

The as-yet-unnamed calf was born at Paignton Zoo in Devon on Monday morning to first-time mother Sangha.

Zoo keeper Jim Dicks said: 'The birth has come as a bit of a surprise. We thought Sangha might be pregnant back in the summer, but the signs were not clear and we began to think it was a false alarm.

'Wild animals are very good at keeping this sort of thing hidden. The first we knew about it was when we found the youngster when we arrived early on Monday morning.'

Although he is Sangha's first baby following a 16-month pregnancy, his father Yoda had a calf by the zoo's other female, Janica, in February last year.

Because the first few days of a baby giraffe's life are so critical, the zookeepers prefer not to choose a name, but their shortlist is from three Swahili names - Kito (Jewel), Nakuru (waterbuck haven) and Mosi (first born), and the Czech names Jacob and Josef.

All the signs are good so far,' said zoo press officer Philip Knowling.

The new arrival is expected to draw big crowds to the tourist attraction, which in 2006 tragically lost all three of its giraffes - Paddy, Kizi and their week-old calf - in a fire.

The zoo now has five Rothschild's (Baringo) giraffes, which are classified as endangered.

Curator of mammals Neil Bemment said: 'We are very pleased to have a second youngster within a year.'

The calf is expected to be given some time to find his feet before going on show.

Sangha, who is five and a half, arrived from Liberec Zoo in Slovakia, while six-year-old Yoda came from Givskud Zoo in Denmark.