What does Earth have to tell?
Natural science for clever dummies.
Science, dull? Does it remind you of old schoolbooks and dusty classrooms? Or are you interested but you don't know where to start? On GondwanaTalks you will find articles on natural science written especially for science dummies. Everything in nature has its own incredible story, going back in time to an age in which the planet looked completely different. You will think differently about Earth, life, the planets, minerals, humanity and the future. And the more you learn, the more amazed you will be.
Spain was hit by snowstorm Filomena. Then the peninsula was lashed with unusually heavy rains and wind. Globally, weather broadcasters publish one extreme after the other and attribute them to climate change. But how fast does climate change proceed? What are the numbers? How do the extreme weather phenomena of the last decades compare to the climate spikes of the geological past? (picture: Ian Joughin on imaggeo.egu.eu / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
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Carrara marble was discovered by the Romans, who found it high in the Apuan Alps of northern Italy. During the Renaissance, exploitation was at its peak. Michelangelo transformed the valuable stone into the world's most astonishing sculptures. But the stone has existed for almost two hundred million years. At that time, Italy and the Mediterranean Sea resembled a large puzzle of small islands.
The citadel of Machu Picchu, iconic symbol of the Inca Empire, was ingeniously integrated into the natural environment. The Incas took advantage of the unique geology of southern Peru. Built over 500 years ago, it is in a spectacular location on a narrow ridge between two mountain peaks.
In the East African Rift System, we find many of Africa's emblematic landscapes, such as Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Great Lakes. Furthermore, remains of our own ancestors and their relatives were found here. In the future the East African Rift will undergo a major transformation: the African continent will break apart and the space between both parts will be invaded by the ocean.
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— Featured article —
Lapis lazuli: Via the Silk Road to Tutankhamun.
An article by Kathelijne Bonne
From high mountain peaks to the pharaohs.
How precious stone lapis lazuli found its way from the world's most ancient mines to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, and to the canvases of the great painters, has been documented extensively. Discover how lapis lazuli formed, as it crystallized in seams of precious rocks in the midst of plate tectonic turmoil.
Photo: géry60 on Foter.com / CC BY-ND
What is Gondwana?
The inspiration came from the great, lost continent of Gondwana. Gondwana was the land area in which all southern continents were once united into one great supercontinent. When it formed, life had exploded into a myriad of life forms and had risen from a mainly microscopic bacterial world to a world in which animals and plants came to dominate. When Gondwana fell apart, and continents drifted away, new, isolated life forms emerged, of which the peculiar fauna and flora of Australia are the best, but not the only, example.