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A 21-year-old Brit who had never rowed in her life until last January has become the youngest woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo

***EXCLUSIVE*** Jasmine Harrison set off on her gruelling 3,000-mile journey from La Gomera in the Canary Islands in December.  And she completed the epic trek in 70 days, three hours and 48 minutes when she crossed the finishing line at Nelsons Dockyard in Antigua on Saturday.  Jasmine, of Thirsk, North Yorks, stood in her rowing boat and lit her flares as she came into the bay before proudly posing with the Yorkshire Rose flag for pictures.  She said: "It's been an incredible experience, there's nothing quite like being out in the open sea and getting away from everything.  "The one thing I'm looking forward to is eating - and maybe some cocktails."  She rotated between rowing and sleeping for two hours for 70 days and burnt off more than 5,000 calories. She also drank around 10 litres of water a day during the crossing.  Her boat capsized in early February and again two days ago, injuring her elbow, but she said she felt fine when she crossed the finishing line.

An eccentric man has devoted the last three decades transforming the 8,000 square foot back garden of his detached house into an incredible ‘jungle’ with 100 foot tall palm trees

***EXCLUSIVE*** Dr Simon Olpin, 69, has been passionate about nature since he was a boy but due to his deathly fear of flying he has never been able to travel the world and see any jungles himself.  But the clinical biochemist has brought the jungle to his suburban garden in Sheffield, South Yorks., after planting his first tree from a ‘small pot’ way back in 1987.  Since then, his ‘jungle’ has grown to have more than 100 species of plants, with massive 100 foot palm trees which tower over the sprawling garden.   When Simon moved to the home in Yorkshire from Cambridge in 1987, he said the garden was a ‘blank canvas’ which required a lot of ‘trial and error’ to get to where it is now.  The green-fingered jungle fanatic said he couldn’t even put a number on the amount of hours or money he has spent perfecting his project over the last three decades.

A nine-year-old girl is training to become a contortionist after taking up the physics-defying hobby over lockdown - and hopes to one day be the star of a circus act

***EXCLUSIVE*** Talented Lexi Craven only began training in contortion to keep herself busy last April but since then the hobby has become an “obsession”, according to her mum Julie.  But she can bend her spine backwards and twist her body into all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes after spending lockdown mastering the art of contortion.  She attends online training sessions five or six times a week and spends almost every minute of her free time practising the latest and most bizarre positions she’s learned.  Fantastic pictures taken this week show Lexi showing off her unique talent, which she hopes will springboard her into the circus, where contortionists are highly-regarded.

A schoolgirl has undergone life-changing surgery to straighten her S-shaped spine - after living with a 90 degree curve and in constant pain for two years

***EXCLUSIVE*** Carly Baker, 13, was diagnosed with scoliosis in May 2018 after her mum, Joanne Baker, 48, realised her little girl's shoulders were wonky when she was doing up her outfit for a fancy dress day.  The condition causes the abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine.  Carly was already battling a heart condition that she was born with and had absent patella syndrome - which meant her kneecaps did not form and she had to get a standing frame to help her walk from a young age.  The teen underwent life-changing surgery in January 2021 at Alderhey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, which straightened her crooked back and has given her a new lease of life.  Joanne, a dinner lady, from Formby, Merseyside, said: “It’s amazing how straight it now is.

That was not going to end well: Curious mouse sniffs a blue viper... who promptly eats it with a flash of its fangs

***EXCLUSIVE*** BEKASI, INDONESIA: Incredible images show the moment a brave mouse is gobbled up whole after coming face to face with a twenty-seven-inch blue viper. In one image, the 27-inch blue viper is seen touching noses with the four-inch mouse as the two start sniffing each other out, which resulted in a shot comparable to a ?kiss of death.? In another, the viper opened its mouth wide, exposing its fangs to the terrified mouse before swallowing it whole. The incredible images were shot by photographer Dzul Dzulfikri (48) from Bekasi, Indonesia, who captured the rare moment from his friend?s back garden from just nineteen-inches away. It took just five minutes for the pit viper to swallow the mouse whole. The blue pit viper - a pet of Dzul's friend - is fed mice once-a-week as a treat. Dzul shot the images using a Canon 5D MK IV and a 100mm macro Canon L series lens.

Frog shells out for a tortoise taxi! Indonesian amphibian takes the lazy route

***EXCLUSIVE*** PADANG, INDONESIA: Turtle Power: See the hilarious moment a three-ounce frog decided to hitch a lift on the back of a tortoise. The series of side-splitting snaps showed the dumpy tree frog appearing to smile as it seemed to tell the small sulcata tortoise to ?giddy up? before the pair rode away. Another image showed the five-pound tortoise lifting its feet off the ground as it plodded on with the amphibian on top of its shell. The incredible pictures were taken in Padang, Indonesia, by photographer Yan Hidayat (35) who is also from Padang. Yan got within nine-feet of the spectacle and captured the images on his Nikon D90 using a Nikon 105 F2.6 Vr macro lens. Dumpy tree frogs are found in the canopy of trees near a still water source. The species? diet consists mainly of insects and spiders but can include smaller frogs and even small mammals.

Britain’s toughest commute? NHS carer’s remote island home means she faces a moonlit hike, a treacherous row and sometimes even a rock climb to get to work

***EXCLUSIVE*** Meet the dedicated NHS carer with possibly the UK's toughest commute - including a moonlit hike, a treacherous row and sometimes even a rock climb and bog walk.  Vanessa Rochester, 32, and her family are the sole occupants of a remote otherwise uninhabited Scottish island cut off from the mainland by a raging tidal channel.  But that doesn't stop the mum-of-one diligently doing what it takes to get to the elderly residents she cares for at the NHS home on the mainland - no matter the weather.  After kissing husband Jeff, 48, and their one-year-old Duke goodnight, her journey to work starts with a 30 minute 2.4km hike across the private island.  At the waters edge she clambers into their 8ft plastic boat, and single-handedly rows across the very fast and often dangerous current, her path lit just by the moon and stars.  The 300m crossing can take five minutes on a calm day - and five times as long during a storm - before she reaches her car on the other side and starts a 90 minute drive.  Her worst commute to date saw her blown so dramatically off course she ended up back on her island, and had to abandon her boat and scramble up a cliff and through a bog to safety.

A romantic ghost hunter has turned his home into a direct replica of a famously haunted smugglers inn for his girlfriend's birthday

***EXCLUSIVE*** Steve Higgins, 40, spent two weeks and more than £350 to give his girlfriend Kerry Frost the best surprise for her 30th birthday.  The couple, who love the paranormal, were due to spend a weekend at the famous Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, their stay was cancelled as the hotel is currently closed.  The hotel and restaurant offers regular ghost hunts - and once featured on the popular show 'Most Haunted.'  Steve therefore decided that if he couldn't take Kerry to the Jamaica Inn, he would bring the Jamaica Inn to Kerry.

Penguin with yellow hairdo travels 5,000 miles to join a different colony

***EXCLUSIVE*** A lost royal penguin cuts a lonely figure as the odd-one-out in a colony of gentoo penguins. The bird - with its Boris Johnson-esque golden crest - swam more than 5,000 miles from its home in the Pacific Ocean before arriving at the Falklands Islands. It is still a mystery as to why it strayed so far from home, and the gentoos were said to have kept their distance from the outsider.

Love fight lions

***EXCLUSIVE*** MAASAI MARA, KENYA: Action-packed images showed the moment two five-hundred-pound male lions came to blows when one tried to steal the other's female mate. The incredible pictures revealed the two six-feet-long lions facing off before tensions erupted into an epic brawl which saw both cats rise onto their hind legs with fangs and claws exposed. Other shots featured one of the beasts being dragged to the ground, sending dust flying before the females of the pride appeared to cheer the victorious male cat on. Another image showed the wannabe dominant male skulk off in defeat. The epic shots were taken by photographer Aditya ?Dicky? Singh (54) from Rajasthan, India, on a trip to the Maasai Mara, Kenya. Dicky got within 164-feet of the action and captured it using his Nikon D7100 camera.

Kissing owls

***EXCLUSIVE*** PAIR OF LOVE BIRDS... A male and female burrowing owls sharing an intimate kiss. Professional nature photographer, Marta Demarteau, 39, managed to capture the two burrowing owls showing their affection for one another in a nature park near Diessen, Netherlands. Burrowing owls stay together for years and bond through cuddling and kissing one another. When speaking about her favourite aspect of the image, Marta said: “I love the warm feeling these images radiate, especially now in covid times with social distancing. The cuddling and kissing from the owls remind me of bonding and being together.”

Praying mantis GORGED on five LIVING fruit flies

***EXCLUSIVE*** NORFOLK, UK: The mesmerising moment an ?irresistible? praying mantis GORGED on five LIVING fruit flies has been caught on camera. The footage showed the cream and green coloured target mantis nymph grasping the flies tightly in its spiked ?raptorial? forelegs ? the flies were attracted to a fruit paste smeared on the twig the mantis was perching on. The mantis then tucked into the live flies, gutting them one by one with its sharp teeth. Invertebrate salesman and breeder Martin French (60) from Norfolk, UK, captured the footage on his iPhone camera from less than one foot away. Praying mantis have been known to be cannibals, with females sometimes eating their male partners after breeding in order to get additional nutrients to help their young. However, this varies from species to species with other mantis? happily living communally. Although the praying mantis has two eyes, it only has one ear which is located on the underside of its belly. It uses its ear to hear in ultrasound in a similar way to bats.

Preparing potatoes for sale

***EXCLUSIVE*** Thousands of bright red potatoes are washed and sorted at a vegetable market. Workers hose down tons of the vegetables before packing them into sacks at the market in Shibganj Upazila, Bangladesh. The Red La Soda spuds are then taken to the country's capital Dhaka.

Poor mouse got the short end of the stick in this romantic exchange between two owls

***EXCLUSIVE*** BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA: This poor mouse got the short end of the stick in this romantic exchange between two owls. One incredible photo showed the two-pound male great grey owl holding the tiny, terrified little rodent in its beak as he transported the meal to his female mate. In a second image, the male then handed the two inch mouse over to his female partner as she nested in a nearby tree stump protecting the duo's recently laid eggs. Wildlife photographer and tour guide Anthony Bucci from British Columbia, Canada, took the amazing pictures whilst hiking through the interior region of British Columbia. After coming across a broken tree stump, Anthony spotted a nesting female owl. He set up camp just 100-feet away and photographed the owls for several hours on his Nikon D850 camera using a Nikon 500 f4 lens. The great grey owl is the longest owl in the world with its wingspan sometimes exceeding five-feet. Remarkably, female great grey owls do not build their own nests, but use nests vacated by other large birds.