Humpback anglerfish

Do you like the sea? I’m sure most of us love a swim in its waters in the summertime, feel relaxed admiring its powerful waves and enjoy the smell and the sense of freedom when the pleasant sea breeze comes up.

But, how do you feel about its inhabitants, especially when you are having a swim in the ocean? Opinions are divided at this point. On one side we have sea life lovers, who dream about having contact with sea creatures. On the opposite corner, we have the ones who get anxious only at the thought of being lightly touched by something under the water.

If you are part of the first group, I’m sure you are going to enjoy this article. If you are in the second one, don’t worry, it’s quite unlikely that you are going to have contact with the amazing creature I’m going to talk to you about.

The humpback anglerfish

This grotesque creature is not the creation of a sci-fi movie screenwriter or the monster of a tale meant to scare children, but one of the inhabitants of the abyssal trenches (the deepest parts of the oceans). Its name is deep sea anglerfish or humpback anglerfish, and it has many characteristics that make it unique. Let’s see some of these:

General characteristics:

The high pressures that exist in the depths of the sea make the vast majority of the deep-sea fishes known today possess a soft body, and our friend it’s not an exception. Another remarkable aspect of the body of the Humpback anglerfish is its very jelly-like aspect. One of the reasons why these fish don’t have bones is due to the lack of nutrients in their diet, especially calcium and vitamin D. Without these two components it’s difficult for the fish to maintain strong bones and, of course, develop spines.

As you can see in the picture, the Humpback anglerfish has a giant mouth and pronounced sharp teeth. These teeth seem not to obey any specific order, which causes the fish to have a terrifying and dangerous appearance.
heir If you are getting worried about your next swim after seeing this animal, I have two good news for you (apart from the fact that it lives thousands of meters under the surface):

1- Its reproduction is not in masses nor very often, this is why there are not many of them on the ocean floor.

2- The abyssal or humpback anglerfish has a small size. Its approximate size is between 12 to 30 centimeters in length, so we are not talking about a monster that can eat the crew of a ship.
On this aspect, it’s worth mentioning that deep-sea fish have sexual dimorphism since the females are much larger than the males.

humpback anglerfish


One of the most fascinating characteristics of this fish is the fact that they have a “lamp”:

A small antenna that protrudes from the head, specifically from the nose, and has a downward curved shape.

A large number of bacteria congregate at the end of this formation, capable of producing light on their own, and which are also usually in the concave part of the small eyes of the fish, which is a total benefit for the humpback anglerfish since they have difficulty seeing.

So with the help of the light that bacteria emit, fish can swim without any problem.

humpback anglerfish

What Do Humpback Anglerfish Feed On?

The abyssal fish’s diet is irregular, because in the depths in which it inhabits food is scarce. Among the possibilities are: the remains torn by other species in the not-so-deep areas in which they inhabit. These organic sediments descend gradually until the vast deep sea.

In addition, this species usually feeds on both plant and animal zooplankton. Moreover, small microorganisms or fully developed animals such as small crustaceans and molluscs complete their diet.

So, what’s your opinion about this unusual inhabitant of the ocean? Do you find it terrifying or fascinating?

One thing is for sure: this creature is not leaving you indifferent.


  1. What’s the meaning of the term “sexual dimorphism”?
  2. How does the lamp of the humpback anglerfish work?
  3. Where does the humpback anglerfish live?


One of my favourite poems is Invictus, written in 1875 by the British poet William Ernest Henley (1849-1903). It was published in 1888 in his first volume of poems, Book of Verses.
The poem is about strength in the face of adversity. It’s about not giving up. When Henley was a teenager, his left leg had to be amputated owing to complications arising from tuberculosis. Some time later, after seeking treatment for problems with his other leg, he was told it would also need to be amputated.

He then travelled to Edinburgh in August 1873 to get the medical services of Joseph Lister, a renowned surgeon, who was able to save Henley’s leg after many surgical interventions on the foot. While he was recovering, he came up with the verses that became the poem Invictus.

The poem’s central themes of perseverance and self-determination have made it a cultural touchstone. It has been used several times throughout contemporary history and it has been a source of motivation and inspiration.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.


Your Turn!
Do you have a favourite poem? What does the poem mean to you?

The magic light of fireflies

By P. Ruiz – AIT Language School

Have you ever wondered how it is possible that an animal can emit its own light?

It’s thanks to the bioluminescence. But what is it? This is light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism. Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as in some fungi and terrestrial insects such as the firefly.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this and focus especially on fireflies. Why do they take advantage of this curious ability?

Well, it is assumed that this illumination is a warning signal against predators. In some species, male and female adult fireflies’ lanterns are more complex, with the capability of flashing the light, that’s right, like the light on the top of an ambulance. Each species has its own specific light pulse pattern, which allows them to communicate with each other. For example, the female is usually resting in the forest while males are flying around sending and receiving signals. The females respond to “their” males to reveal their location, and reproduction is initiated.

In addition to its own benefits, you may agree with me that this brilliant ability is also a wonderful gift for us. Imagine yourself lying in the grass on a summer night with thousands of fireflies performing a beautiful dance above you.

It’s simply marvelous, isn’t it?

The magic light of fireflies


Answer the following questions:

  1. What is bioluminescence?
  2. Why do the fireflies emit light?

Listen to the song and fill in the gaps.



Owl City

You would not __________ your eyes
If ten __________ fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell __________
‘Cause they fill the open __________
And leave teardrops __________
You’d think me __________ but I would just stand and stare

I’d like to make __________ believe that planet Earth turns __________
It’s hard to say that I’d __________ stay awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause __________ is never as it seems

‘Cause I’d get a thousand __________
From ten thousand lightning __________
As they tried to __________ me how to dance
A foxtrot __________ my head
A sock hop beneath my __________
A disco ball is __________ hanging by a thread (thread, thread)


__________ my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
‘Cause I feel like __________ an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting __________?
(Please take me away from here)
When I’m far too __________ to fall asleep

To ten __________ fireflies
I’m weird ‘cause I hate __________
I got misty eyes as they said, «Farewell» (they said farewell)
But I’ll know where several are
If my __________ get real bizarre
‘Cause I saved a few and I __________ them in a jar (jar, jar, jar)

(chorus) x2

How can I get more sleep?

If you’re failing math, you might think that you just need to study harder. If you’re not performing your best at sports, you might think you just need to practice more. But in both cases what you really might need is more sleep. Consider why.

Why do you need sleep?

  • Sleep sharpens your mental skills. Sleep has been called “food for the brain”. It can help you improve at school, at sports, and in your problem-solving skills.
  • Sleep improves your attitude and mood. Sleep-deprived people are more likely to experience mood swings, feel sad or depressed, and have problems getting along with others.
  • Sleep makes you a safer driver. A study in the United States revealed that drivers aged 16 to 24 were “nearly twice as likely to be drowsy at the time of their crash” when compared with drivers aged 40 to 59.
  • Sleep promotes better health. Sleep helps your body maintain and repair its cells, tissues, and blood vessels. Quality sleep can also lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, and stroke.



Despite the benefits we have mentioned, many teenagers aren’t getting the sleep they need. This is what some of them say:

  • Social life. «It´s too easy to stay up late and waste time, especially on nights when I go out with friends»
  • Responsibilities. «I love to sleep, but it’s hard to get enough with such a busy schedule»
  • Technology. «My phone is a big reason I neglect my sleep. It’s hard to resist looking at it when I’m in bed»


How can you get more sleep?

  • Check your viewpoint about sleep.

Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Without it, the quality of your work, and even the quality of your fun, will plummet!

  • Identify your biggest obstacle to sleep.

For example, do you stay out late with friends? Do you feel overloaded with homework and chores? Does your mobile phone keep you up past your bedtime or wake you up after you´ve gone to sleep?

  • Give yourself time to unwind.

If you start relaxing before it´s time to go to bed, you will likely fall asleep more quickly.

  • Be proactive.

Rather than allow your circumstances to control you, take control of your schedule so that you get the sleep you need.

  • Strive for consistency.

Your body´s internal clock will work for you, but only if you train it. Experts suggest that you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Try it for a month, and see how much better you feel.

  • Let your phone “sleep” too!

For at least an hour before bedtime, resist the urge to browse the internet or send late-night texts to your friends. In fact, some experts warn that the type of light that comes from a phone, a TV, or a tablet can make it harder for you to get to sleep.

The spider-tailed horned viper

Have you ever heard about the spider-tailed horned viper? This species of snake is endemic to the deserts of western Iran and Iraq. This is the kind of place where you expect to find serpents. But this one is a little bit different from most of its «cousins». What makes this viper so special?

The answer is the shape of its tail and how this snake uses it to hunt its prey. As you can see in the picture, at the end of its tail there is a bulb-like end that is bordered by long dropping scales that give the appearance of a spider.

How this viper uses its strange tail to hunt? The colour and the form of the viper’s skin is perfect for camouflage in rocky desserts like the ones in Iran.

So, what this snake does to hunt is to stay completely still so it cannot be detected by its prey, and then waves the tail tip that looks like a little spider, so in the eyes of the birds and other small animals, looks like an arachnid moving close to a rock. These small birds that see the «spider», thinking that they have found an easy meal, come within the striking range of the viper. And guess what? THEY are the easy meal.

Sometimes nature can give us important lessons for our daily life. And what I’ve learnt from this interesting creature is that sometimes what looks like a great opportunity can be a great danger if we don’t check what is behind the surface. Don’t be a hungry bird and always double-check who you trust in your daily life or when you surf on the internet because the world is full of «spider-tailed vipers»!


What are the meanings of these words: viper, bulb, and arachnid?

How does the spider-tailed viper lure its prey?

What lesson can we learn from this snake?

Hyde Park—London’s Heart and Lungs

By Joseph Anthony Salazar, AIT English Language School

What astounds visitors to London more than anything else is the sheer size of the city. Stretching for almost 50 kilometres from east to west, and with a population of almost 9 million people, London is without a doubt the largest capital in Western Europe. Ethnically and linguistically, it’s also Europe’s most diverse metropolis, offering cultural and culinary delights from all around the world. At the centre of this fascinating city is Hyde Park, a vast green open space that offers locals and visitors a chance to breathe, relax and disconnect. Tucked between the well-heeled districts of Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea, the park offers a bracing interlude from the stresses of urban life.

Although Londoners tend to view their city as grimy and built-up, most visitors are taken aback by how green and pleasant so much of the centre is. Hyde Park is the largest of London’s royal parks, covering a distance of almost 3 kilometres from Speaker’s Corner in the northeast of the park to Kensington Gardens in the southwest. In between, you can jog, swim, fish, sunbathe, or float idly in a boat on the Serpentine, Hyde Park’s largest lake. You can also cross the park on horseback or view the modern art on display at the Serpentine Gallery.

The best time to visit Hyde Park, however, is in the summer, when the park comes to life with an array of cultural events to delight all tastes—from Shakesperean plays to open-air jazz and classical music concerts, as well as live performances by artists such as Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Elton John. But if you’ve come just to relax and take a breath of fresh air, do what most Londoners do—buy yourself some sandwiches and a drink, find a patch of grass, lie down, linger and savour the moment.

Image 1: Map of Hyde Park

Image 1: Map of Hyde Park
Image 2: Arial view of Hyde Park
Image 3: View of the Serpentine lake
Image 4: A summer concert at the park
Image 5: Cycling in Hyde Park
Image 6: Hyde Park


Questions for First Certificate Readers

1. Visitors to London are surprised by
(a) the cultural diversity of the city
(b) the amount of people who visit the city
(c) how big the city is
(d) the number of people who live there

2. The districts that surround the park are
(a) impoverished
(b) wealthy
(c) diverse
(d) hectic

3. At the end of paragraph 1, the phrase bracing interlude means
(a) a long pause
(b) a musical option
(c) an animated solution
(d) a refreshing break

4. The inhabitants of London think their city is
(a) dirty and congested
(b) clean and friendly
(c) hectic and stressful
(d) a good place to live in

5. The majority of visitors to London
(a) are not happy to stay in the centre
(b) are fascinated by the green buildings
(c) are surprised by how nice the centre is
(d) want to go back to the centre

6. What does linger mean at the end of paragraph 3?
(a) enjoy
(b) take your time
(c) be determined
(d) sleep

Answer Key
1. c
2. b
3. d
4. a
5. c
6. b


By M.Lancis, teacher at AIT L’Ametlla

Jellyfish have been around on ocean currents for millions of years, even before dinosaurs lived on the Earth. 


These creatures pulse along on ocean creatures with a jellylike body and are abundant in cold and warm ocean water. Depending on the species, you can find them in deep water or along coastlines.  Despite their name, jellyfish aren’t actually fish, they’re invertebrate animals, that means that they have no backbone, like snails. 

A lot of people are afraid of finding jellyfish on the beach because it’s commonly known that jellyfish have tiny stinging cells in their tentacles to stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them, so although they don’t purposely attack humans (most stings occur just touching a tentacle by accident), jellyfish stings can be painful to humans and, depending on the species, they can be deadly. 


Inside their bell-shaped body, there is an opening that serves as a mouth. They eat and discard waste from this opening. Jellyfish also use the mouth to propel forward, squirting water, while tentacles hang down from the smooth bag-like body and sting their prey.


They digest their food very quickly because they wouldn’t be able to float if they had to carry a large, undigested meal around. They dine on fish, shrimp, crabs and tiny plants. Some jellyfish are clear, but others are in vibrant colours such as pink, yellow, blue, and purple, and often are luminescent. Since their body is 90% water, if they get stranded on the sand, they slowly die by evaporation. 


What is your favourite animal? Write a short article about it and let us know!




How to colour an Easter Egg

By Kelly Roper, AIT English Language School

Easter is round the corner and one of our favourite activities is dyeing Easter eggs. Do you want to learn how to do it? Read the following poem by Kelly Roper and find out!


First, you take a nice white egg
And put it in a wire holder.
Then dip it in the cup of dye
And soak it until the colour is bolder.

Then lay it on a paper towel
And let it dry awhile.
And then you have an Easter egg
So pretty it will make you smile.

You can also use a crayon
to draw on fancy designs,
Like polka dots and a lot of stripes
Or even zigzag lines.

Then dip the egg into the dye
And let the colour sink in.
It’ll look so neat when you lift it out,
It will surely make you grin.

Painting easter eggs


What do you need?

  • Cool hard-boiled white eggs
  • A paper towel or newspaper sheet
  • Deep bowls/cups/glasses
  • A spoon
  • Liquid food colouring
  • White vinegar
  • Water


How do you do it?

  1. Cover the table with a sheet of paper towel or newspaper.
  2. Fill a bowl (or a glass or a cup) with enough water to cover the egg. Then add one teaspoon of white vinegar and about 20 drops of food coloring. The more food coloring you add, the darker the color of the egg will be!
  3. Place your egg in a spoon and keep it in the liquid for about 5 minutes. The longer you leave your egg in the dye bath, the brighter the color will be!
  4. Remove the egg and put it on some paper towel to dry. Once the eggs are dry, you can apply stickers, tape or other decorative elements to make them look even more beautiful!

You can watch a video of the process here.


Easter eggs painted

Miner’s Delight: The History of the Cornish Pasty

En 2011, las empanadillas de Cornualles recibieron una Denominación de Origen Protegida. Conoce más acerca de esta receta tradicional.

         The Cornish pasty is known and loved throughout Great Britain and has long been part of its heritage.

It is believed the pasty originated with Cornish tin miners who, unable to return to the surface at lunchtime, could still enjoy a hearty meal. With their hands often dirty from a morning’s work, the pasty could be held easily by the thick pastry crust without contaminating the contents.

The traditional Cornish pasty recipe is perfect for a lunchbox, but also makes a great main course dish when served with fresh vegetables and must be considered one of the first-to-go foods. This recipe uses a short crust pastry made by hand or in a food processor, but if you are short of time, a ready-made pastry will do fine.

In 2011, Cornish pasties were given a Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. For producers to be able to place these designations on their food packaging, they must be prepared in accordance with strict parameters using authentic ingredients and traditional methods of cooking to preserve their integrity. 



  • For the Pastry
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 ounces butter (or half lard and half butter, cubed)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water (cold)
  • For the Filling 
  • 1/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup potato (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
  • 1/2 cup swede (cut into 1/4-inch dice)
  • 1/2 cup rump steak (cut into small cubes)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 large egg


Games that England gave the world

Inglaterra fue la cuna del fútbol y el rugby, deportes que en la actualidad son populares en todo el mundo. ¿Cuáles fueron sus orígenes?

Text found by Alicia Martínez (English and German Teacher at AIT)

         Football (soccer) and Rugby are two of the most successful products ever invented in England. Today these games are played worldwide. This article looks at their early days, and at how Football was first exported to Brazil


Charles Miller, the father of football in Brazil

How football first came to Brazil

    At the end of the nineteenth century, an Englishman living in Brazil sent his son across the Atlantic to be educated in England. Charles Miller went to school, then to university, where he took part enthusiastically in all aspects of life. Sport was one of them; a hundred years ago, Britain already had an established sporting culture.
    During his English years, Charles grew passionately keen on football (i.e. Soccer), and when in 1894 he packed his bags to return to his family in Brazil, among the things he took with him were half a dozen footballs.
    Back in Brazil, he tried to get other people interested in the game. At first, he had little success; the only people who showed any interest were other expatriate Brits; thus, the first game of football in Brazil was played between two teams of young Englishmen, on a field from which the goats had first been removed. 
    Charles asked some journalists to come and see this new English game, but none came along. On the other hand, as the weeks went past, the spectacle of twenty-two young English running round after a ball began attracting spectators from houses nearby; before long, young local men began kicking balls round too. «Balls» is perhaps the wrong word – the only footballs in Brazil at the time were the ones that Charles Miller had brought back with him from England. The first Brazilian amateurs had to concoct their own balls, using whatever they could find to make them with.


English football players in 1881

    Nevertheless, even without real balls, there was plenty of enthusiasm for the new game, as «football» became the great attraction in the popular quarters of Sao Paolo, just like basketball is the great street-sport today in many world cities. By 1901, there was already a league of clubs in Sao Paolo, and the journalists who had originally laughed at the crazy English sport, were jumping on the bandwaggon, writing enthusiastically about the popular new game.
    The rest, as they say, is history.

The origins of football and rugby

    But how did English football, or soccer, and its sister-game Rugby, originate? And why did it happen in England?
    The origins of football go back hundreds of years, and there are several towns and villages in England where ancient forms of football are still played. The original game had few rules, and differed from place to place. Basically, the teams just had to try and get a ball (or some other object) past the opponent’s line. Sometimes the lines were over a mile apart, and the field was the village street…. or even a field with no limits! People could kick the ball (and their opponents), run with it, throw it – anything was allowed.


Football at an English public school in 1889

    In the nineteenth century, public schools developed fast; and since many of them were boarding schools, they had to keep boys occupied all day. Sport was a popular way of doing this; at first each school had its own games, with its own rules; but slowly fixed rules became established. In many schools, carrying the ball was not allowed; the game was called «football». Some schools however preferred a version of the game where players were allowed to carry the ball; one of these schools was in the small town of Rugby.
    In 1863, a group of enthusiasts, who had played ball games at different schools, met in London to fix rules for the game. They formed the Football Association. Eighteen years later, as the game was getting more and more popular, they organised the first F.A.Cup competition.
    Following the example of schools and colleges, the owners of factories (many of whom had been educated at public schools) began encouraging employees to form teams, and football soon became very popular in the industrial north of England. By 1888, the game had become popular enough to support professional clubs, with 12 original clubs forming the Football League.
    Since then, the popularity of both football and rugby has continued to spread across the world; and though rugby has not been adopted in all countries, there is probably no country in the world where football is now unknown. 



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