Earth news stories

Domestic Crops Evolved 10 Millennia Earlier Than Experts Thought
24th October 2017 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

Ancient hunter-gatherers began to systemically affect the evolution of crops up to thirty thousand years ago – around ten millennia before experts previously thought – according to new research by the University of Warwick.  Human crop gathering was so extensive, as long ago as the last Ice Age, that it started to have an effect on the evolution of rice, wheat and barley – triggering the process by which these plants turned from wild to domesticated.

Journey into Mexico’s Ancient Chicxulub Impact Crater
24th October 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

When the Chicxulub asteroid slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago, it obliterated 80 percent of Earth’s species, blasted out a crater 200 kilometers across, and signaled an abrupt end to the Cretaceous Period.  Article contains a 46 minute video.

North America First: Researchers Publish Scientific Study on Medical Cannabis Production
24th October 2017 | Earth, Humans, Tech

Researchers have published what is believed to be the first scientific paper in North America on improving medicinal cannabis plant production, helping move the industry into the realm of high-tech labs and evidence-based practices.

World’s Oldest Fossil Tree in China Reveals Complex Anatomy Never Seen Before
24th October 2017 | Ancient, Earth

Fossils from a 374 million year old tree found in northwest China have revealed an interconnected web of woody strands within the trunk of the tree that is much more intricate than that of the trees we see around us today.

Images Reveal America’s 1,200 Mountain Glaciers Shrinking Dramatically
24th October 2017 | Earth

A researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle has developed a new technique to measure glacier thickness that involves using high-resolution satellite images to track elevation changes. The news is unsettling and hints that a glacier-less future could be here sooner than we  think.

The NASA Spacecraft Cemetery Where Satellites Go to Die
24th October 2017 | | Earth, Space

Known as the oceanic pole of inaccessibility, this remote stretch of the Pacific Ocean not far from Australia is home to the world’s spacecraft cemetery.

Study: New Magma Pathways Form After Giant Lateral Volcano Collapses
24th October 2017 | Earth

Giant lateral collapses are rather common landslides occurring at the flanks of a volcano during its evolution, often with dramatic consequences such as tsunami and volcano explosions. These catastrophic events interact with the magmatic activity of the volcano, as a new research in Nature Communications suggests.

Siberia’s Kara-Turug Petroglyphs: the Mountainside Gallery with Art from the Bronze Age to Medieval Times
23rd October 2017 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

On the border between Russia and Mongolia are the awe-inspiring Kara-Turug petroglyphs.  There are over 500 exhibits, and the artwork here spans some 4,000 years until the end of the first millennium AD.  Every major civilisation has added their own distinct imprint to the collection of rock art at Dus-Dag mountain in modern-day Tuva Republic, literally from the Age of the Spear until well into Medieval Times

Plant Spirit Helpers
23rd October 2017 | Earth

Plant spirits are one of the major allies of shamans for healing, seeing, dreaming, and empowerment. Shamans heal using their knowledge of plant spirits as well as the plant’s medicinal properties

Earthing: Science Shows What Happens to Your Energy When Walking Barefoot
23rd October 2017 | | Earth, Tech

Earthing, or grounding, is something that includes placing your feet directly on the ground with no socks or shoes or carpet as a barrier. It’s a means of recharging and getting the full energy effect radiating from the Earth itself.  While we’d like to believe that’s just spiritual, there is real science behind it. Putting your feet on the ground allows you to absorb significant amounts of negative electrons through the soles which can help your body stay at the same negatively charged electrical potential as the Earth itself.  According to study findings, earthing has the potential to treat many chronic degenerative diseases.

The Stone Petrospheres of Costa Rica
22nd October 2017 | Ancient, Earth

Fascinating article from the Free Dictionary site about the 300 stone petrospheres of Costa Rica.  In the cosmogony of the Bribri, which is shared by the Cabecares and other American ancestral groups, the stone spheres are “Tara’s Cannon Balls”. Tara or Tlatchque, the god of thunder, used a giant blowpipe to shoot the balls at the Serkes, gods of winds and hurricanes, in order drive them out these lands. Numerous myths surround the stones, such as they came from Atlantis. Some local legends also state that the native inhabitants had access to a potion able to soften the rock. Research has been offered in support of this hypothesis, but it is not supported by geological or archaeological evidence, and it has not been demonstrated that igneous gabbro, the material most of the balls are composed of, can be worked in this way.

The Struggle to Protect a Tree at the Heart of Hopi Culture
22nd October 2017 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

In the American Southwest, the loss of juniper trees at the hands of mining and development could cost the Hopi a crucial part of their heritage.  The juniper provides Hopis the basics of warmth, shelter, tools, and food. Hopis do not cut down junipers, but rather collect deadwood for winter fires and for building houses, corrals, and fences. Juniper roots which can stretch downward 200 feet are carved into cradleboards, bows and arrows, and hairpieces used for the famous squash-blossom hairdo of Hopi maidens.  Juniper berries are considered a “starvation food” for when the tribe’s crops fail.

Indigenous ‘Thunderbird Strike’ Videogame Lets You Destroy Black Snake Oil Pipelines and Restore Buffalo
21st October 2017 | Earth, Humans, Tech

The symbolism of the thunderbird and the snake are prevalent in Anishinaabe culture and others. According to one version of the story, thunderbirds were a clan of people who were asked to return to the waters because the lightning from their eyes would kill others.  In this new videogame from Native American developers, you control a big greenish-blue thunderbird—hand-drawn and animated in a traditional woodland style—that flies around the screen and charges up electricity. Players then use its thunder to restore the local wolf, caribou, and buffalo populations, and also destroy vehicles and pipeline construction sites that threaten the environment.

Younger Dryas Ice Stream Retreats Under a Cold Climate
21st October 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

An article published in Nature Communications shows that a warmer ocean surface in Baffin Bay triggered the Jakobshavn Isbræ ice stream retreat in Greenland during this cold period known as the Younger Dryas period occurred 12,900-11,700 years ago after the last ice age.

Fossil Coral Reefs Show Sea Level Rose in Bursts During Last Warming
21st October 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

Scientists have discovered that Earth’s sea level did not rise steadily when the planet’s glaciers last melted during a period of global warming; rather, sea level rose sharply in punctuated bursts.  Fossil reefs near Texas endured punctuated bursts of sea level rise before drowning.

Can Psychedelics Tune You Into the Divine?
21st October 2017 | Earth, Humans, Weird

The field of archaeology has provided fossil evidence showing that the use of psychedelic substances in ritual ceremonies goes back 10,000 years. Psychoactive plants were used for centuries by indigenous Amazonians, who believed they permitted their “holy men” to treat physical and mental diseases and communicate with forebears and gods.

News stories covering the environment, plant life, and the Earth itself.