Participants gather in the Union Square subway station during the annual No Pants Subway Ride in New York City on Jan. 8.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Public transportation, sans pants
Participants gather in the Union Square subway station on Jan. 8 during the annual No Pants Subway Ride in New York City. The event, which is staged every January by the group Improv Everywhere, encourages people in dozens of cities worldwide to discard their pants while riding the subway.

 

Related on MNN: How to beat dry winter skin

 

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A young woman laughs while unloading her boat filled with produce at a market in Ganvie, Benin on Jan. 6.

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A farmers market in the Venice of Africa
A young woman laughs on Jan. 6 while unloading her boat filled with produce at a market in Ganvie, Benin.

 

Often called the Venice of Africa, Ganvie is a stilted fishing village on Lake Nokoue, located near Cotonou in Benin.

 

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Koi fish swim in a lake on Jan. 12 at the Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.

Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
School of koi
Koi swim in a fish pond on Jan. 12 at the Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu in China's Sichuan province.

 

Koi, also known as brocaded carp, have been bred for colorful mutations for more than 1,000 years. The ornamental fish are well-known as symbols of love and friendship in countries like Japan, and some have been known to live to more than 200 years old.

 

Related on MNN: 10 animals with the longest lifespans

 

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Recording artist and Intel's Director of Creative Innovation will.i.am holds his Intel Ultrabook device during a presentation at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada on Jan. 10.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Showcasing the latest in consumer electronics
Recording artist and Intel's Director of Creative Innovation will.i.am holds his Intel Ultrabook device during a presentation on Jan. 10 at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

 

Running from Jan. 10-13, CES is the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show. This year the show features 2,700 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to an estimated 140,000 attendees. In addition to will.i.am, many more celebrities stopped by the show, including Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber and Will Smith.

 

Related on MNN: Get yourself connected: GE at CES 2011

 

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South Korean soldiers participate in a winter military training exercise on Jan. 11 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

Photo: Chung Sung-Jung/Getty Images
South Korea
South Korean soldiers participate in a winter military training exercise on Jan. 11 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.

 

With the recent news of North Korea's power transfer following the death of Kim Jung-Il, South Korean troops are getting ready — training in temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius to defend the country against possible attacks from North Korea.

 

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MV Rena is seen in two pieces as the stern falls off Astrolabe Reef on Jan. 10 off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand.

Photo: Maritime New Zealand
Rena's stern parts ways with its bow
MV Rena is seen in two pieces as the stern falls off the Astrolabe Reef on Jan. 10 off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand.

 

The Greek container ship ran aground off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand, on Oct. 5, spilling 350 tons of oil and nearly 100 shipping containers. Since splitting in two this week, floating containers, debris and oil have been found northwest of the vessel, and more is expected to wash ashore over the next several days.

 

Related on MNN: New oil leak as wreck's stern sinks off New Zealand

 

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A recently rescued grey seal pup looks up from its indoor kennel at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Center in Taunton, England on Jan. 9.

Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Seal pup crisis
A recently rescued grey seal pup looks up from its indoor kennel at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Center in Taunton, England, on Jan. 9.

 

The wildlife center is currently dealing with a number of seals that were rescued from the coast after recent storms. Staff hope to release all the seals back into the wild by the spring.

 

Related on MNN: Another pinniped crisis: Harp seals at risk from thinning ice

 

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Volunteers stand and read the morning newspaper while 'waiting for the bus' at Henley Beach in Adelaide, Australia on Jan. 8.

Photo: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
'Waiting for the bus'
Volunteers stand and read the morning newspaper while "waiting for the bus" on Jan. 8 at Henley Beach in Adelaide, Australia.

 

Surrealist artist Andrew Baines recruited 100 volunteers for this human installation, which is meant to illustrate corporate workers enjoying nature rather than waiting in a long queue for a trip to work.

 

Related on MNN: 14 artists with a green message

 

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Andromeda galaxy (M31)

Photo: T. Rector and B. Wolpa (NOAO/AURA/NSF)
Andromeda's close-up
A new Hubble Space Telescope image centers on the 100-million-solar-mass black hole at the hub of the neighboring Andromeda galaxy.

 

This image, which was presented at the American Astronomical Society on Jan. 11, is the sharpest visible-light image ever made of the nucleus of an external galaxy. Also known as spiral galaxy M31, Andromeda is one of the few galaxies outside the Milky Way that is visible to the naked eye.

 

Related on MNN: Hubble snaps startling photo of celestial snow angel

 

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In this photo taken on Jan. 7 by wildlife artist and ocean conservationist Wyland, a shark lurks near the Kronos Reef at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific Ocean.

Photo: Wyland/USFWS Pacific/Flickr
A shark lurks in the Kronos Reef
In this photo taken on Jan. 7 by wildlife artist and ocean conservationist Wyland, a shark lurks near the Kronos Reef at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific Ocean.

 

The Midway Atoll is an unincorporated territory of the United States that lies on the northwest area of the Hawaiian Archipelago.

 

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A man tethered to the roof of a hotel shovels several feet of snow on Jan. 11 near Ischgl, Austria.

Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images
Digging out after seemingly endless snowfall
A man tethered to the roof of a hotel shovels several feet of snow on Jan. 11 near Ischgl, Austria.

 

Over the last few days, heavy snowfalls have caused chaos in parts of Austria and Switzerland by blocking rail and road connections, stranding vacationers at mountain ski resorts and creating the risk of avalanches throughout the region.

 

Related on MNN: Meanwhile in the U.S., what happened to winter?

 

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