Hypothetical Solutions to Keeping My Streak Alive (silliness)

Next week I’ll be heading to Penang, Malaysia, and to Singapore, along with @carrieseltzer, @Aztekium, and others, to meet with iNatters, researchers, and others in the region. However, I’m leaving San Francisco the night of January 13th and will arrive in Singapore the morning of January 15th, meaning I’ll miss the calendar date of January 14th entirely, breaking my (currently not very long) #DailyiNat streak of one verifiable observation a day! Quite the conundrum.

Actually, I don’t care too much about it, and I’ll just restart the streak on Jan 15th. But, for argument’s and silliness’s’ sake, hypothetically, how could I keep the streak alive, and what would be acceptable?

Two possible solutions I’ve come up with:

  • When I land in Singapore, make an observation but change the observation’s date, time, and time zone to California time, which should still be January 14th.

  • On the airplane, once it’s January 14th on my phone, look for an old spiderweb or dead fly or something and make an observation of it.

Anything else? Would either of these be acceptable?


if you have a window seat and have a telescope, you can try to spot whales. the flight might pass near Japan or the Phillipines. so you might be able to see some plants or something, too. bring a good microscope and you can always get face mites or something like that…


Set your entire account to GMT, and hope you never have a flight lasting longer than 24 hours?


Only assuming casual obsvs count for your streak–take a selfie on the in-flight date holding a sign saying something like “Dedication. It’s a thing.”


Alas, I’m an aisle seat guy, espeically for a 17.5 hour flight, so no window seat for me. But you’re right in that until I land and turn on my phone’s antenna, it’ll still be on California time so it’s possible to get a photo of a plant while descending.

Alas, must be verifiable.


Ah, well, you might be near a window when you go to the bathrooms, so consider that there could be floating sargassum mats, or similar on the open ocean. And like Pisum said, if an island or continent looks green, you can photograph it and call it “plants”.

Might there be any little dogs in a container under someone’s seat?

Look out for bed bugs on someone’s jacket?


I’m assuming you’re familiar with Capt. VD Dethier’s 1945 paper on “The Transport of Insects in Aircraft” for clues on making iNat insect observations while in an airplane.

In general there are three compartments of importance in which insects may travel: in the fuselage, within wing and tail spaces, and in engine nacelles.

Sounds easy enough.


Look for anyone in the cabin scratching their head (esp kids) and offer to use the zoom on your camera to show them what lice look like up close!


well, i wanted to do the daily inat streak thing too but totally forgot one day, but i have a trailcam up in a park so im hoping that it got something on that day so when i look though its captures i can retroactively get observations for that day and restore my streak. its not too late for you to get one and set it up. you can even just set it on a bird feeder. if you really want to go crazy some even hook up to cellphone networks so you can get the pics immediately rather than having to physically go back to where the cam is set up.


Nuts. Look for wildlife in the between the seat cushions. It’s there. It must be.


When the aliens abduct you midflight, ask them if you can make observations of all the other specimens they take. Preferably before all the probing :)


Ask the pilot if he’ll stop at a rest area so you can stretch your legs (works for me on long drives across country). Of course, stretching legs entails a brief rummage through the rest area vegetation)


Keep a dead bug or plant in your pocket and take it out for a mid-flight observation.


Pack a lunch box now with lots of cheese and fruit, then pull it out mid-flight and photograph any molds that have developed?


Wouldn’t this count as a collected specimen? The date should then be set to the time collected.


You could always ask the other passengers if they’ve got lice for you to iNat. Alternatively, take a photo of someone’s acne and iNat it as Propionibacterium acnes. If you want to go all the way, put a microscope in your carry-on and try getting some human hair follicle mites from yourself to get a look at.


This is how I have observations in 2 continents on the same day (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/jlmartin?utf8=✓&q=&day=19&month=5&year=2018).


I like the ectoparasite option. Maybe you can get a tick on you before leaving CA and photo it mid flight.

I hope my donation to iNat isn’t paying for this trip.


Your post reminded me to go search the house to keep my streak alive. Its dark and snowy outside, so I went to see whats hiding in my house. I was expecting spiders or a dead stinkbug/ladybeetle, but instead, I found a caterpillar :grin: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/37414879

I love the idea of something living on an airplane. I would love to see a random face mite picture over the ocean, less so lice, ticks, or bedbugs… :face_vomiting: Bonus points if its legitimately after midnight local time but before you cross the dateline to lose the day. Unfortunately, out the window pictures are less feasible at that time.

I’d be happy if my donation went to outreach and community building in trips like this. Getting the word out about inaturalist and getting people excited about interacting with nature in a new way is important!

I have an inat-ing friend in Penang- are you having a public get together there?


Setup a camera trap at your home and hope for something to trigger it on the day your gone (maybe even where you know a dog would walk)