You wanna hear insane? “Nathan Drake raced a madman and his entire army to the steps of Shambhala.” “Nathan Drake found a lost city in the middle of the Rub’ al Khali desert.” “Nathan Drake discovered the fabled El Dorado…” “Nathan Drake is a legend.” You know, I shot the man who told me that.
Deep in the recesses of Islamic legend, there was once a region so corrupt that God smote it, not with fire and brimstone, but with sand. And as anyone who’s ever lost a set of keys at the beach knows, finding a city smote with sand is as hard as finding a needle smote with haystack. While some thought the place was a fairy tale, no one could ignore the fact that its name, “Ubar,” kept popping up in the Koran, in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, in the writings of Ptolemy and in Lawrence of Arabia’s wet-mares.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that archaeologists, using NASA satellites and super-radars, located a network of camel roads leading to the remains of Ubar situated deep in the Rub’ al Khali desert in the Arabian Peninsula. The records they discovered indicated the area had been a thriving hot spot. For about 5,000 years, people from Persia, Greece and Rome flocked there for one of the major commodities of yesteryear: heroin. Just kidding – it was frankincense.
And then one day, all the hippies flocking their for their sweet frankincense fix returned saying the roads leading up to the city just sort of … ended. The city had disappeared.
Sand in herpetoculture: perspectives from a herpetologist
Let me preface this post that I would never claim to know as much about keeping animals as many of the members of the herp community here on tumblr. That being said, I do professionally study reptiles and amphibians, and have been studying them in a scientific sense for almost a decade. I may therefore be qualified to offer some opinions on the contentious issue of having sand in terraria based on intimate knowledge of reptiles and their habits, but I urge also against taking my word for gospel. I am just as liable to being wrong on these issues as anyone else; I am not, after all, totally objective (though I like to think I have the best interests of the animals at heart).
I reckon the majority of tumblr’s herp community will have seen the debate that has flared up over using sand as an appropriate substrate for particular species of reptile, specifically Pogona vitticeps, the bearded dragon. Before I talk about bearded dragons in particular, I want to talk generally about sand.