Behold! The World’s Largest Beaver Dam

Photo Courtesy of Parks Canada
Photo Courtesy of Parks Canada

In 2007, an ecologist named Jean Thie was scanning the Alberta wilderness with Google Earth in an effort to study permafrost melt in the Canadian wild. But then something unusual appeared on his screen: A beaver dam so huge, it was more than twice the length of the Hoover Dam.

Located at the lip of Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta, Canada, the world’s largest beaver dam is at least 2790 feet long. It likely contains thousands of trees and appears to have required the handiwork of at least two beaver families. It’s believed the beavers began the construction project up to three decades ago.

While it's an impressive feat of animal engineering, the dam is not very scenic. “The hodgepodge of mud, branches, stones, and twigs is cloaked in a layer of grass, meaning it’s been there for a while,” Atlas Obscura reports. “The dam stretches across a remote wetland area, which provides the creatures with both plenty of fresh water and bountiful building materials.”

In fact, the dam is located in such an inhospitable area of Canadian swampland that it isn't known to have been visited by humans until 2014, when Rob Mark of the Explorers Club of New York City made the trek. He began his journey in Fort Chipewyan, more than 120 miles away, and it took him five hours to cover the final mile (the ground was that boggy). “It was the only hard ground around for miles so I was happy to stand on it,” he said about reaching the dam.

Beavers build dams for a slew of reasons—take food storage. The critters will hide caches of food at the bottom of ponds and will build dams to increase the water's depth, ensuring their stockpile of goodies won't freeze over. Dams also function as a security system. “They create a habitat with lots of water like a moat around their lodges so they can swim and [dive] and keep one step ahead of predators such as coyotes and bears,” biologist Sharon Brown tells The Telegraph.

This isn't the only record-breaking beaver home in Canada, either. Thie also discovered that Pakwaw Lake, Saskatchewan, has what is likely the highest density of beaver dams in that country, and possibly the world—more than 20 dams and lodges per square kilometer (or about 247 acres)!

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Reason Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Crew, Unsplash
Crew, Unsplash

Depending on your mood, a dog that follows you everywhere can be annoying or adorable. The behavior is also confusing if you're not an expert on pet behavior. So what is it about the canine companions in our lives that makes them stick by our sides at all times?

Most experts agree on a few different reasons why some dogs are clingy around their owners. One is their pack mentality. Dogs may have been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they still consider themselves to be part of a group like their wild ancestors. When there are no other dogs around, their human family becomes their pack. According to Reader's Digest, this genetic instinct is also what motivates dogs to watch you closely and seek out your physical touch.

The second reason for the behavior has to do with the bond between you and your pet. As veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack told the American Kennel Club, puppies as old as 6 months can imprint on their human owners like they would their own mothers. Even older dogs will bond with the humans in their lives who show them care and affection. In these cases, a dog will shadow its owner because it sees them as an object of trust and security.

The last possible explanation for why your dog follows you has more to do with your treatment of them than their natural instincts. A popular training tactic is positive reinforcement—i.e. rewarding a dog with treats, pets, and praise when they perform positive behaviors. The point is to help your dog associate good behaviors with rewards, but after a while, they may start to associate your presence with rewards as well. That means if your dog is following you, they may be looking for treats or attention.

A clingy dog may be annoying, but it usually isn't a sign of a larger problem. If anything, it means your dog sees you in a positive light. So enjoy the extra companionship, and don't be afraid to close the door behind when you need some alone time.