Princess Louisa Inlet, a fjord located 60 miles from Vancouver, Canada, is a spectacular stretch of remote wilderness. Accessible only by boat or plane, the 3.7-mile-long (6 kilometers) area is popular with outdoor enthusiasts who flock to admire the 120-foot high Chatterbox Falls or to hike the numerous trails to other scenic features. Its dense forests are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, mountain goats, and eagles. Now, thanks to an unprecedented crowdfunding campaign, the pristine land will be preserved forever for future generations to enjoy.
Bees are essential for the pollination of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Sadly, over the past 15 years, the global population of the industrious insects has been declining at alarming rates. Bee Informed Partnership, a collaboration of American insect experts, estimates that between April 1, 2018, and April 1, 2019, the country's managed bee population decreased by 40.7 percent. The numbers are as dire worldwide. Now, some cities in the Netherlands are coming up with innovative ideas to help stem the population decline of these all-important insects.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, home to over 1,500 fish species and countless other marine animals, is in trouble. Rising ocean temperatures, attributed to climate change, have destroyed about half of its coral since 1998. On August 30, 2019, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority downgraded the ecosystem's condition from "poor" to "very poor" and warned that the window of opportunity to save it was rapidly closing. Now, some scientists are hoping that a gigantic piece of pumice stone currently floating towards Australia will aid in the recovery of the world's largest coral reef system.
The Atlantic hurricane season, which spans from June 1 to November 30, had been relatively calm this year, with just one major storm in July. That changed at the end of August, when Dorian, a Category 5 hurricane, came screaming through, leaving a trail of destruction all the way from the US Virgin Islands to the Bahamas and the US and Canadian east coasts.
When Leigh Love stumbled upon a bird's leg bone at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in New Zealand's South Island in 2018, he suspected that they might be those of an ancient penguin. With four other species discovered there, the area has been a hotbed for penguin remains from the Paleocene Epoch, which spanned between 66 million and 55 million years ago. What the amateur paleontologist did not realize was that the fossil belonged to the largest, hitherto unknown, penguin species ever found.
It is not uncommon for human-generated blazes — lit to clear the land out for farming or ranching — in the Amazon rainforest to get out of control. However, this year, the number of wildfires has been extraordinarily high. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has recorded over 73,000 fires in the world's largest tropical rainforest between January and August 2019, 2,500 of which are currently active. This is the highest number observed since the agency began keeping records in 2013, and an astounding 80 percent more than during the first eight months of 2018.
It is common knowledge that the droplets spread from sneezing are one of the key culprits responsible for transmitting infectious diseases between humans. Now it turns out that some plants have a similar ability to share the "love" and spread pathogens to each other. However, while sneezing in humans is an involuntary response to irritants along the lining of the nose, plants "sneeze" due to a quirk in fluid dynamics.
Japan, the host country of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has promised to deliver "the most innovative Games ever organized." On July 24, 2019, a year before the competition begins in Tokyo on July 24, 2020, the Olympic Committee unveiled its first ingenious idea — medals made using precious metals extracted from discarded electronics.