Our Skyscrapers Are Causing Bizarre "Thundersnow" 

Your typical thunderstorm strikes in summer, when the atmosphere is full of warm, moist air. So when lightning strikes in the middle of a winter blizzard, there is something strange going on. Thundersnow involves an entirely different type of lightning, and our skyscrapers are a key part of it. » 3/26/15 8:10pm Thursday 8:10pm

A Rare Glimpse of Two Volcanic Plumes in Central Africa

From a satellite, the plumes venting from two volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo look like clouds. Right now, they're just spewing harmless steam and gas. But that could change. » 2/14/15 1:30pm 2/14/15 1:30pm

Volcanoes Don't Work the Way You Think They Do

At school, we were all taught that volcanoes—just like the one rumbling away in Iceland—erupt when narrow jets of magma are forced outwards from the core of the Earth. It's a compelling enough story that it's appeared in textbooks for decades—but it's also, apparently, completely wrong. » 9/09/14 11:57am 9/09/14 11:57am

It's So Hot In Yellowstone That a Road Literally Melted

Yellowstone National Park is riddled with constantly changing geothermal hot spots—it's part of the reason for the park's famous geysers. But this past Thursday, the area around one section of road got so hot that asphalt literally started melting. » 7/13/14 2:00pm 7/13/14 2:00pm

What Will Happen When the Earth’s Magnetic Field Switches

The Earth's magnetic field protects life on Earth, shielding it from damaging radiation and moderating our climate. So the idea that it could completely flip around, or collapse altogether, should cause us to worry, right? Well, yes and no. » 4/17/14 6:00am 4/17/14 6:00am

This Ancient Asteroid Strike Was More Insane Than We Realized

Around 3.26 billion years ago — long before the dinosaurs — a massive asteroid measuring nearly 36 miles (58 km) across smashed into the Earth. Geologists have now reconstructed this cataclysmic event, and it was far, far bigger than we thought. Here's how things went down on that fateful day. » 4/10/14 5:19pm 4/10/14 5:19pm

There's Over Twice as Much Magma Under Yellowstone Than We Thought

Everyone knows that Yellowstone is home to a super-volcano—but it turns out that the magma reservoir it sits atop is at least 2.5 times larger than we previously thought. » 10/31/13 9:20am 10/31/13 9:20am

A Super-Accurate Gravity Map Shows You Where You Can Weigh Less

Gravity's often assumed to be constant across the entire planet, but because the Earth varies in shape and density, that's not really the case. Now, this super-accurate gravity map reveals that the fluctuations are even more extreme than scientists previously thought. » 8/21/13 6:11am 8/21/13 6:11am

This Eternal Flame Burns as a Result of Natural Fracking

This is a light that never goes out: an eternal flame, hidden behind a waterfall in Erie county, New York, which is a result of natural gas seeping out from underground rocks. » 7/08/13 5:40am 7/08/13 5:40am

This lost continent off the coast of Scotland disappeared beneath the…

This week, a group of geologists report that they've found a lost continent off the coast of Scotland. 55 million years ago, about 10 million years after dinosaurs died out, a chunk of the seafloor erupted from beneath the water. It created a small continent that existed for at least a million years, covered in… » 7/12/11 2:40pm 7/12/11 2:40pm