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People once believed that the continents had always been in the same place. This idea came under fire in the late nineteenth century. Explorers found signs of a more turbulent past. Nevertheless, they were the underdogs of society and of the established order. Until one hundred years later, the ultimate proof of the true nature of the continents...

The Niger, Africa's third river, makes an enormous bend in the Sahara. One of Africa's largest kingdoms developed there. Long before that, the Sahara was green and lush, and perhaps early humans sought a route out of Africa through these green regions.

Fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins came home from the moon, bringing with them the first ever samples of lunar rocks to see and study for all. Heads have rolled since then, and new hypotheses on the birth of the moon popped up like mushrooms.

How precious lapis lazuli found its way from the world's most ancient mines to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, has already been described extensively. Go further and discover the geology of lapis lazuli, as it crystallized in seams of precious rocks in the midst of plate tectonic turmoil.

The metropolis of Naples lies ten kilometres from Mount Vesuvius. Some consider this a safe distance. But they forget a much bigger volcano below their feet: the Campi Flegrei. A past eruption was so violent, that it may have delivered a final blow to waning Neanderthal populations.

In the province of Segovia, some villages are reddish, almost burgundy in color, whereas at a few kilometers, the villages are black, or yellow. Did the villages have a slightly crazy artist as a major? No. The coloring is due to what lies beneath. Discover the 'geodiversity' of this part of Spain.

What do diamonds tell us about the Earth? How did they travel from incredible depths in the Earth's mantle all the way to the surface? Follow the long journey through time of one South African diamond, and read how it ended up at southern Africa's windswept coast.

Featured article: Lapis lazuli: Following the trace of a blue gemstone

An original article by Kathelijne Bonne

From high mountain peaks to the pharaohs.  


Read how precious stone lapis lazuli found its way from the world's most ancient mines to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, and finally to the canvases of the great painters. Find out how lapis lazuli formed in the first place, as it crystallized in seams of precious rocks in the midst of plate tectonic turmoil.