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What the Heck Is This?

Patterns in Nature can sometimes be highly recognizable. But when you zoom in too close, they can be difficult to grasp. This is one of those.

If the photo had been cropped just a bit larger, it would have been pretty easy to guess what this is. But there it is, so what's your best guess?

No hints today. Anyone who can guess this one gets three extra Heck bonus points, whatever those are. See the full-size image below…

It's a cheetah, apparently dozing, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. You wouldn't guess just by looking at the sedentary creature that it is the fastest animal on land, running at up to 70 mph when it needs to (what's the world's fastest swimmer?). Cheetahs often rest in trees. Their spotted coats serve as camouflage in the tall, dry grass of the African plain, say photographers Linda and Dr. Dick Buscher.

A cheetah in a tree in Kruger National Park, South Africa. (Image credit: Linda and Dr. Dick Buscher)

Got a strange or interesting photo related to science, nature or technology? What the Heck, send it to me, and maybe I'll use it.