How do you visualise climate change simply and evocatively? Well, you could knit it.
The Sea of Azov, between Ukraine and Russia, is never more than fourteen metres deep. Parts of the sea are shallow enough to wade across.
Gannets have evolved some very strange adaptations that make them some of the best divers in the natural world.
Everyone eagerly anticipated Halley’s comet showing up in April 1910. It came as quite a surprise, then, when another brighter comet appeared just four months before: the Daylight Comet.
Thwaites Glacier, in West Antarctica, is roughly the size of Florida. This glacier alone contributes four percent of the global rise in sea levels, and if it melted completely oceans would be 65cm higher – hence its alternative name, the Doomsday Glacier.
Bagheera kiplingi is unique amongst spiders: it’s a vegetarian.
An urban legend from the late 1980s claimed that Soviet scientists had drilled so far down they hit hell – and brought back an audio recording of the suffering souls. But it was actually Baron Blood.
Since 1939 an author named Nicolas Bourbaki has published a series of volumes on pure mathematics. But Bourbaki does not exist.
At Barra Airport, in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, you cannot land at high tide.
The shells of almost all common garden snails coil to the right. Almost all.
Socotra, the alien island wedged between the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, is home to the dragon blood tree: a source of dye, paint, medicine, varnish, and magic.
The famed Romantic poet Thomas Gray wrote a verse about his friend’s cat drowning in a goldfish bowl. [2 of 2]
Cat poetry has a long history: Christopher Smart wrote a Romantic religious poem featuring his cat Jeoffry while confined in a mental asylum in the 1760s. [1 of 2]
Gruta Casa de Pedra in Brazil has the largest cave mouth in the world – it is higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza. But the largest cave chamber in the world is larger still.
Some of the best beers in the world (according to aficionados) are also among the rarest beers in the world.
In 1939 a student at UC Berkeley copied down two homework problems from the class blackboard. He solved them in a few days… and then discovered that they were two of the thorniest unsolved theorems in statistics.