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.
It’s no surprise that one of the ways we’ll fight climate change is to plant a lot of trees. Across the entirety of northern Africa, millions of trees are being planted to help, and also to hold back the spread of the Sahara.
Every year in late February and early March, at the South Pole research station, the last flight leaves and the last sun sets. Neither will return for months. How do you mark such an occasion? With a horror film festival, of course.
The Mars Climate Orbiter space probe cost 327 million US dollars – and it crashed because of a mix-up between the metric and imperial systems.
What’s the oldest river in the world? Well, Larapinta in western Australia only has water for a few days each year, but it has probably been around for four hundred million years.
Eighty percent of the surface area of the Pacific country Nauru has been strip-mined; most of its land has been shipped to Australia, New Zealand, and Britain.
According to 1917 Roman Catholic canon law, any newly discovered territory fell under the jurisdiction of the bishop of the “port of departure.” So, after the 1969 moon landing, was the Bishop of Orlando also the Bishop of the Moon?
When the air is just right, a large ring appears around the moon. A similar effect makes it look like three suns are rising at once; this may have helped the English king Edward IV win the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross in 1461.
The universe is full of cosmic rays, blasted out from neighbouring galaxies, supernovae, and the like. In 2003, they nearly changed the outcome of a local Belgian election.
July 15 is Saint Swithun’s Day. Legend has it that, if it rains today, we’re in for forty more days of bad weather. It’s like Groundhog Day, but instead of a whistlepig there’s a saint who was buried outdoors.
Where do old spacecraft go to die? Into a graveyard orbit, or into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Continents move – we know this. The Atlantic is growing thanks to the expansion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. But in the future the ridge may start subducting. And with it, the Atlantic may become an inland sea.
I write about blood a lot. Sorry. But there’s a waterfall in Antarctica that is the colour of blood. And it has some interesting implications for astrobiology and extinction event survival.