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Oldest Tsunami Victim Discovered

A 6,000-year-old human skull discovered in a swamp almost a century ago could be from the world’s earliest known tsunami victim.

In 1929, Australian geologist Paul Hossfeld stumbled on a partial human skull in a mangrove outside the coastal town of Aitape in Papua New Guinea.

Originally thought to belong to Homo erectus, the skull was subsequently dated to the mid-Holocene period.

New research into the area the skull was buried in suggests the individual fell victim to a violent ancient tsunami.

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In 1929, Australian geologist Paul Hossfeld stumbled on a partial human skull (pictured) in a mangrove outside the coastal town of Aitape in Papua New Guinea. New research into the area the skull was buried suggests the individual fell victim to a violent ancient tsunami

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Orange Peels Revitalize Forest

On the right is the lush forest that was loaded with orange peel waste and on ...
On the right is the lush forest that was loaded with orange peel waste and on the left is the untreated land (Credit: Tim Treuer) 

Sixteen years after a controversial biodegradation plan allowed 1,000 truckloads of orange peels to be unloaded onto a barren, deforested area of Costa Rican land, a team of Princeton researchers has discovered unexpectedly positive results. The area that was covered with orange waste is now a lush, overgrown forest with richer soil and more tree species than the adjacent land that was untreated. read more

Italy’s Tiny Volcano

It is known as ‘The Volcano of Monte Busca’, and the smallest in Italy – barely more than a small pile of rocks on a hill.

It has been attracting tourists for decades, with thousands making the climb up the slope near Tredozio village, Province of Forli, every year.

However, while it falls under the definition of ‘volcano’, the four-foot-high burning mound has no crater and expels none of the lava commonly associated with the term.

The littlest volcano: The volcano of Monte Busca, located in the Province of Forli near Tredozio village, is the smallest in Italy

Hardly Vesuvio:  The flame burns day and night, come rain or shine,  as a result of natural gases from under the surface

Burning bright: The volcano of Monte Busca's bright flame is most visible at night against a dark sky

The volcano of Monte Busca is a natural gas vent.

Hydrogen gases from underneath the surface burn when they come in contact with oxygen, causing the flame on the mountain to burn day and night.

The natural phenomenon is also known as ‘flaming fountain’.

Flaming mountain: The fire is caused by hydrogen gas, which burns when it comes into contact with oxygen 

Yellowstone Super-Caldera Has Deformed

As small earthquakes continue to rumble around the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming, scientists have revealed new evidence of the changes going on beneath the ground.

A new map from the US Geological Survey shows how the ground around the Yellowstone caldera has deformed over the span of two years, as the quakes release uplift-causing pressure, allowing the ground to sink back down.

This activity is typically linked to changes in magma and gases deep below the surface – but for now, the experts say there’s no cause for worry.

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In the map above, a bulls-eye shaped section of uplift can be seen at the Norris Geyser Basin, where the ground has risen roughly 3 inches. And, an elliptical subsidence can be seen in the Yellowstone caldera, with the ground dropping about 1.2 inches

EARTHQUAKE SWARM 

The University of Utah’s Seismograph Stations (UUSS) have been monitoring the activity since it began June 12.

A total of 1,562 quakes have been recorded so far at Yellowstone since the swarm began.

Earthquake swarms are common in Yellowstone and, on average, comprise about 50 per cent of the total activity in the Yellowstone region.

Although the latest swarm is the largest since 2012, it is fewer than weekly counts during similar events in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010. 

Tremors were recorded from ground level to 9mi (14.5km) below sea level.

Seismic activity could be a sign of an impending eruption of the supervolcano, although this is impossible to predict exactly

The map, created by USGS geophysicist Chuck Wicks uses data from June 2015 and July 2017 to show how the region around Yellowstone has changed.

In the map, the colourful rings show the changes in the ground’s elevation as seen by a radar satellite, according to USGS.

A bulls-eye shaped section of uplift can be seen at the Norris Geyser Basin, where the ground has risen roughly 3 inches.

And, an elliptical subsidence can be seen in the Yellowstone caldera, with the ground dropping about 1.2 inches.

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Spider-Scorpion Hybrid Found in Arizona

A spider-scorpion hybrid may sound like a creature from the latest horror blockbuster.

But such a creature exists in the real world, and one was spotted this week by a man in Arizona.

The animal is a camel spider, otherwise known as a wind scorpion – a cousin of both spiders and scorpions that has traits seen in both.

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The idea of a spider-scorpion hybrid may sound like a creature from the latest horror blockbuster. But such a creature exists in the real world, and one was spotted this week by a man in Arizona

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Bird-Like Dinosaur Found

A colorful bird-like dinosaur that was almost as big as a man has been identified by scientists.

The blue and beige feathered creature stalked the Canadian ‘badlands’ of Alberta 71 million years ago.

Its remains had been dug up over the years in what is now Red Deer River Valley, a famous dinosaur graveyard, but it’s only now that a true picture of it has emerged.

The study suggests that more detailed studies of fragmentary fossils may reveal more, currently unrecognized, species.

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A colourful bird-like dinosaur that was almost as big as a man has been identified by scientists. The blue and beige feathered creature stalked the Canadian 'badlands' of Alberta 71 million years ago (artist's impression) 

A colorful bird-like dinosaur that was almost as big as a man has been identified by scientists. The blue and beige feathered creature stalked the Canadian ‘badlands’ of Alberta 71 million years ago (artist’s impression)

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No – Pacific Islands are not Disappearing Due to Global Warming

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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“Rising sea levels are eating away at small Pacific Islands and will eventually turn their inhabitants into climate refugees.” So say the climate “experts.”

Allow me to channel my inner Andy Rooney. Did you ever notice that in order to be a “climate expert,” one must first believe in man-caused global warming. Just an observation.

New Scientist reports  that “Over the past 60 years the sea has risen by around 30 centimeters locally, sparking warnings that the [Funafuti] atoll is set to disappear.

Now may I ask a question? How do sea levels rise “locally?” The experts claim that the ocean rose “locally” by 30 centimeters. These islands, or atolls, sit in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Picture the Pacific as a giant bathtub. There are no walls or barriers in the tub segregating the water. After you finish filling the tub to a certain level, someone asks if you can just raise the level of water by 30 centimeters (about 12 inches) “locally,” at one end and not the other. Please tell me how this is done, save for a local storm or swell, which would of course subside. It defies the laws of fluid dynamics.

But as has been occurring more often of late – actual data doesn’t support the claims that these islands will disappear. Quite the opposite. read more

Snorkl Go Anywhere Scuba

The Scorkl offers new worlds of exploration. Instead of holding your breath for 15 to 20 ...
The Scorkl offers new worlds of exploration. Instead of holding your breath for 15 to 20 seconds for each exploratory venture underwater as you would do without assistance, the Scorkl expands your underwater range by 30 to 60 times. (Credit: Scorkl)

Scorkl enables you to breathe underwater for up to 10 minutes. It is small, lightweight and you can pump it up yourself, meaning it is a one-time-cost to be able to swim underwater for 10 minutes at a time, or hang a couple of Scorkls on your belt and go much longer. The Scorkl regulator is always-on, so it is a breathe-on-demand system which combines with a built-in pressure gauge which tells you how much air is left at any time. read more

Watching the California Condor

The condor chick's mother. California condors can reach heights of 15,000 feet when flying and could ...
The condor chick’s mother. California condors can reach heights of 15,000 feet when flying and could travel as far as 150 miles a day using their keen eyesight to search for carcasses on which to feed. (Credit: Molly Astell/USFWS)

With all of the fine entertainment now on TV, you’d think that watching a baby condor go about its business on a remote mountain perch near Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in California wouldn’t be that captivating. But somehow it is. Thanks to a livestream video from the Cornell Lab Bird Cams Project, you can check up on the little bird with big feet whenever you want and, if you’re lucky, you can even see it interact with its parents. read more

Cuban Boas Hunt Together

Once thought to be solitary hunters, the Cuban boa has found power in numbers
Once thought to be solitary hunters, the Cuban boa has found power in numbers (Credit:Vladimir Dinets)

It sounds like the stuff of nightmares: a string of boa constrictors hanging from the mouth of a cave snatching bats out of midair as they leave and return to their roosts. But this exact behavior has been spotted in Cuba, and is remarkable not so much because of the method of the hunt but of the coordination of the hunters.

According to Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, only a small percentage of snakes has ever been seen to hunt in coordination with their brethren. For the most part, the reptiles are considered solitary hunters. So when Dinets observed Cuban boas – the largest native terrestrial predator in the country – hanging from cave mouths to grab bat-based breakfasts and dinners, he investigated further. read more