Scientists have identified nearly 100 previously unknown volcanoes in West Antarctica, which, in addition to the 47 already known to exist in the region, makes it one of the largest concentration of volcanoes in the world.
You might be under the impression that plants photosynthesize—using energy from the sun to turn carbon dioxide and water into delicious and nutritious sugar—and you’re mostly right. Even carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap practice this process to some extent (though nutrient-poor environments and inefficiency often lead them to supplement their diets with something a little bloodier). But not all flora are capable of feeding off of the sun. Some long ago abandoned this ability, having evolved other ways of gathering nutrients.
Something weird is going on with human sperm production. For decades, scientists have warned that sperm counts are dropping among Western men, but no one has really been able to prove it. In what is now the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind, scientists have presented compelling evidence in support of this rather alarming assertion, showing that sperm counts have dropped more than 50 percent in just four decades.
It turns out the recognizable half-circle arch of a rainbow is a complete lie. When you’re standing on the ground looking up at a rainbow in the sky, the curvature of the Earth usually blocks its bottom half. But when viewed from a higher vantage point, like from a plane, or the top of a crane, rainbows are magically revealed to be a complete circle.
A South African shark-watching hotspot has recently turned into the scene of a seaside horror movie. For several months, enormous great white shark corpses have been washing up on the Gansbaai beaches, often missing their livers as if feasted upon by cetacean Hannibal Lecters. But this is no movie—it’s just biology, ruthless as ever.
A picture is worth a thousand words. You have to see it to believe it. Pics or it didn’t happen. The trust we put into visual cues is all but encoded into our language. But what happens when the visual information itself is a lie? How effective are we at teasing out fact from optical fiction? Not very, according to a recent study in the journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications.
Microscopic tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are the toughest animals on the planet, capable of withstanding intense radiation, extreme temperatures, and even the vacuum of space. In a fascinating new study, researchers have shown that tardigrades are poised to survive literally anything that nature throws at them—and that of the animals alive today, they’ll be the last ones standing before the Sun annihilates the Earth billions of years from now.