You wouldn’t survive a stint on the hellish early Earth that existed between 2.5 billion and 4 billion years ago. There was almost no breathable free oxygen, for one thing. But scientists may have located an ancient oxygen oasis that existed prior to whatever event first oxygenated our atmosphere.
It’s not often that science can answer questions with an easy “yes” or “no.” Usually it’s more of an “evidence suggests” or “this correlation proposes” sort of situation, even if the public’s understanding is generally a little less nuanced. So USGS Seismologist Susan Hough found the right question:
The Yucatan Peninsula is renowned for its extensive network of submerged tunnels and caves. Now, after searching for near two decades, divers with the Gran Acuífero Maya project have proven that two massive caverns are connected, making it the largest known flooded cave on Earth.
In further proof that real life is wilder than fiction, the most active volcano in the Philippines is currently spewing its guts out, creating a scene that looks straight out of Lord of the Rings and that’s caused tens of thousands of nearby residents to flee.
Scientists knew something strange happened when they heard reports of a raft of floating rock near New Zealand back in 2012. That raft eventually grew to around 150 square miles—remains of the largest underwater volcanic eruption in the 20th or 21st century to date, bigger even than Mount St. Helens.
Mars looks like it used to have water—perhaps even entire oceans. But not today. Today, scientists can’t even decide whether it’s got slight trickles darkening the dirt on its mountainsides. If Mars did once have oceans, then where did they go?
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai wasn’t supposed to last. The cloud of volcanic ash that became island-shaped in early 2015, about a month after an underwater volcano erupted in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga, was expected to be washed away by the ocean in three to four months.
Authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people from 224 points on the Indonesian island of Bali this weekend after the eruption of Mount Agung, which spewed gigantic clouds of potentially life-threatening ash into the atmosphere, CNN reported.
As many as 200 workers were killed after a tunnel collapsed at North Korea’s underground nuclear test site, according to unconfirmed reports by Japanese broadcaster TV Asahi. The accident is presumed to have happened in early September following the country’s most recent test of a hydrogen bomb, which may have…
Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate, reads the gates to the Inferno. “Abandon all hope, you who enter,” which is a pretty nice way of saying “welcome to Hell.” But there’s a real underworld, albeit one with fewer dogs and less being blown around by the wind or wading through shit. Scientists are working on a…
Do not lose sleep tonight, the world will not end as the result of some enormous supervolcano eruption in Yellowstone National Park any time soon. But there is a whole lot of other interesting stuff going on there—so maybe it’s worth losing sleep by getting excited about science. Nerd.
At least one man is dead following a dramatic series of rockslides at Yosemite’s iconic El Capitan on Wednesday. A second “significantly larger” rockfall occurred a day later, dropping thousands of tons of rock to the forest floor below.
If you made a building out of bricks and cinderblocks, then hundreds of years later you’d expect it to still be, well, a building made of bricks and cinderblocks. But planets are not buildings if you haven’t noticed. Earth, for instance, just doesn’t seem to have the same composition as the meteors thought to have…
Researchers working at a sedimentary rock formation in northern Labrador, Canada, say they’ve uncovered evidence of primordial life in 3.95 billion-year-old rocks. The discovery, which is already drawing scrutiny and some skepticism, suggests that microbial life emerged relatively quickly after the formation of our…
When NASA’s New Horizons space probe zipped past Pluto in 2015, it revealed portions of the dwarf planet’s surface were strewn with what could only be described as gigantic blades of ice, many of which extended into the Plutonian sky for hundreds of feet. Finally, after nearly two years of research, a team of…
This month has been marked with a staggering number of geological and meteorological catastrophes. Powerful hurricanes have pummeled the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, and a spate of earthquake events rocked Mexico. Now, geologists worry that seismic activity in Indonesia will lead to a powerful volcanic eruption.
Around 36 million years ago, an asteroid smashed into what is now the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. New research suggests that, for a brief time, the temperature at the point of impact exceeded 4,300 degrees F (2,370 C), making it the hottest temperature known to have occurred on Earth.
The strongest earthquake to hit Mexico in a century has struck off the nation’s West Coast, shaking buildings for hundreds of miles and triggering tsunami warnings. At least 16 people have been killed, but officials are expecting the death toll to rise.
The Caspian Sea is about as strange as a body of water gets. Its surface still sits 27.5 meters (90 feet) below sea level, and water doesn’t flow out of it—it’s isolated from the oceans, and relies on a series of Asian rivers to maintain its levels.