How do you measure ocean flow? One sverdrup equals a million cubic metres of water per second. All of the world’s rivers emptying into the ocean is 1.2 sverdrups; the largest current in the world is more than a hundred times larger.
In 2005 a French helicopter pilot landed on top of Mount Everest. In 1972 another French pilot flew more than 12,000 metres up… and then his engine stopped.
There is a storm above the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela that produces endless lightning – and has been doing so consistently, year-round, for hundreds of years.
When the Apollo 11 astronauts arrived back on Earth, no-one knew whether they were contaminated with secret space viruses or not – so the astronauts stayed in an Airstream trailer under quarantine for three weeks.
A strange honeycomb pattern appears on sea ridges around the world. We think that it is created by living creatures, but no-one has ever seen one. Oh, and there are fossils of the patterns going back 500 million years.
The glacier Okjökull in Iceland died in 2014.
We’ve all heard of the Dead Sea, so salty that people naturally float in it. But the Gaet’ale Pond in Ethiopia is saltier, and the Don Juan Pond in Antarctica is so salty that it doesn’t freeze, even at -50°C.
Around five million years ago, the Strait of Gibraltar closed and the Mediterranean dried up. When it reopened, the sea refilled in less than two years.
You can search for gold the easy way, with a pan or a pickaxe. Or you could examine the local Eucalyptus trees. This is geobotanical and biogeochemical prospecting.
Two years ago ʻOumuamua was the first interstellar object to be detected passing through our solar system. But the second interstellar object, the comet 2I/Borisov, is passing through right now.
The portable vacuum cleaner Dustbuster was built on the back of technology for the moon landings.
There is a point not more than 20km away from you right now where your normal body temperature is enough to boil the saliva off your tongue and the moisture out of your lungs.
Water freezes into ice. This is not new information to you (I hope). But which kind? Because there are eighteen different phases of ice, including electric viral space ice.
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, also killed the famous author of one of the earliest encyclopedias.
Underneath many large cities lie buried and lost rivers. Sometimes, they return to the surface world.