science
Quantum Mechanics Could Shake Up Our Understanding of Earth’s Magnetic Field

Earth’s magnetic field does way more than guide our compasses and cause occasional worry. It’s part of the reason there’s life at all on this planet—it protects us from harmful solar radiation that might otherwise blow our ozone layer away. Read More >>

science
Why Did Montana Experience a Powerful Earthquake Last Night?

Last night, planet Earth rumbled in a place where it usually doesn’t rumble: Montana, USA. But it also rumbled in the Philippines. Come to think of it, it rumbled in Vanuatu and Japan too. The Earth rumbles a lot. Read More >>

science
Scientists Think They’ve Solved the Mystery of Our Atmosphere’s Missing Xenon

Xenon is a peculiar element. It certainly has one of the most mysterious names (from the Greek xenos, or “stranger”). As a noble gas, it refuses to bond with other elements except under exotic conditions. And its uses are all about as creepy as its name: Folks use it for its eerie glow, to detect radiation, or in its liquid form to hunt for the universe’s dark matter. Read More >>

science
Scientists Found a New Window Into the Hellish Ancient Earth

Four and a half billion years ago, some dust from a cloud orbiting around a star coalesced into a rocky planet. But unlike most of the dusty balls in our solar system, this one was special—it was just the right distance away from the star that one day after the surface had cooled, water could exist as a liquid, rather than a solid or gas. The planet’s surface eventually fractured into plates that shifted around, becoming continents. All that shifting has rubbed away the details of that ancient Earth. Was the era as hellish as its name, “Hadean” implies, or was Earth always a water-rich orb with moving plates? Read More >>

science
Complex Life May Have Emerged on Earth Much Earlier Than We Thought

Swedish researchers say they’ve discovered traces of ancient red algae preserved in sedimentary rock dating back 1.6 billion years, making them the oldest plant-like fossils ever found. The discovery shows that complex multicellular life appeared in Earth’s history much earlier than previously thought. Read More >>

science
Yet Another Reason the Dinosaurs Were Screwed

Why did the dinosaurs go extinct? We may never be completely sure, although a giant asteroid and a bunch of enormous volcanic eruptions probably had a lot to do with it. But here’s another factor you may not have considered: too much time in the egg. Read More >>

wtf
Russian Scientists Stationed at Lonely Arctic Outpost Now Also Surrounded by Bears

While working at a remote weather station in the Russian Arctic might sound like a lot of fun, the reality is apparently far grimmer. In addition to the cold, the isolation and the possibility of falling off a cliff thanks to climate change, researchers have to deal with unruly locals, like the dozen or so polar bears currently “besieging” scientists on Troynoy Island in Russia’s Great Arctic State Nature Reserve. Read More >>

siberia
The Russian Arctic Is Having a Very Bad Summer

On a tiny island at the end of the world, a lonely weather station is slowly tumbling off a cliff. It’s a perfect metaphor for the state of our planet. Say hello to Vize Island, Russia. It won’t be around much longer. Read More >>

environment
Why Did This Lake Suddenly Turn Blood Red?

Three months ago, Iran’s Lake Urmia was green. Today, it’s blood red. But it’s not something that’s been added to the lake that caused the change: it’s something that’s been taken out. Read More >>

transport
New Simulation Extends Possible Crash Site of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

Italian researchers have used the location of confirmed debris from Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared two years ago, to estimate where the missing airliner might have crashed, and where further debris may be found onshore. Their simulations show that the wreckage may lie upwards of 310 miles further north than current estimates. Read More >>

environment
Researchers’ Attempt to Find Even One Spot on Earth Untouched by Man Fails

An exhaustive attempt by researchers to find a single untouched space on planet Earth has yielded no results. Sorry, folks, everything is ruined now. Read More >>

environment
The Bizarre Reason Greenland is Getting Darker Each Year

Greenland is one of the brightest spots on planet Earth, but ominously enough, its gleaming surface darkens with each passing year, thanks to a strange series of physical processes, one of which cannot be seen with the naked eye. Read More >>

apps
This New App Turns Your Phone Into a Portable Seismic Station

Whoa, did you feel that earthquake? Even if you didn’t, your phone did, and a new app from seismologists aims to capture those vibrations in your very own pocket seismology lab. Read More >>

maps
Here’s the Most Complete Ocean Floor Map Ever Made

What lies beneath the deep blue sea? So much more than you might think. Read More >>