Kids News - Articles for Grade 8

Behold, The World's Most Dangerous Tree!

By Daksha Morjaria on March 19, 2017
Behold, The World's Most Dangerous Tree!

With its wide canopy of leaves, the majestic 50-feet tall manchineel tree that is native to the Caribbean, Florida, the northern coast of South America, Central America, and the Bahamas, looks particularly inviting, especially on a hot summer day. But you may be wise to heed the warning signs given that the deceptively innocuous tree holds the Guinness World Record for “the world’s most dangerous tree.”

Should The Nearly Submerged "Zealandia" Be Classified As A Continent?

By Kim Bussing on March 17, 2017
Should The Nearly Submerged "Zealandia" Be Classified As A Continent?

If some geologists have their way, world maps will soon be altered to reflect an eighth continent. Dubbed “Zealandia,” the landmass that lies east of Australia covers 1.9 million mi2 (4.9 million km2), or an area larger than the Indian subcontinent. The only catch? Over 94 percent of it is submerged in the southwest Pacific Ocean, with just the islands of New Zealand and New Caledonia, visible above sea level.

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About St. Patrick's Day!

By Meera Dolasia on March 16, 2017
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About St. Patrick's Day!

Every year on March 17, millions of people worldwide celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by participating in parades, wearing green, and searching for leprechauns in the hopes of finding gold. So who was this clergyman whose death anniversary is celebrated with such gusto, and how did the fun traditions associated with the holiday begin? Read on.

Clever Ants Use Sponges And Paper To Transport Honey

By Kim Bussing on March 15, 2017
Clever Ants Use Sponges And Paper To Transport Honey

The phrase “good things come in small packages” certainly appears to hold true when it comes to ants. The tiny creatures can survive floods by morphing into rafts, find their way home using an internalized GPS system, and even lift up to 20 times their body weight. In 2013, scientists discovered that the insects whose brains are smaller than a quarter of a small pin’s head could even use tools, a skill that was once believed to be the realm of “intelligent” species like humans, and a select number of animals. Now, researchers from the University of Szeged in Hungary have discovered that when given a choice, the clever insects even have the smarts to select the most efficient tool for the job.

Brush Up Your Math Skills — Pi Day Is Almost Here!

By Meera Dolasia on March 13, 2017
Brush Up Your Math Skills — Pi Day Is Almost Here!

Even if math doesn’t rank high on your list of favorite subjects, chances are you still look forward to Pi Day. That’s because though the discussions may begin with Pi — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — they invariably end with a piece or two of yummy pie! The event is commemorated on March 14 because though the irrational number (its decimal representation never ends and never repeats) has been calculated to over ten trillion digits, it is widely recognized as 3.14.

Elon Musk's Vision Of A Supersonic Transit System Inches Closer To Reality

By Kim Bussing on March 12, 2017
Elon Musk's Vision Of A Supersonic Transit System Inches Closer To Reality

In August 2013, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk released a 57-page white paper concept for Hyperloop — a supersonic mass transit system between high-traffic cities that lie within short distances. The founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX envisioned it to be a frictionless system where pods inside low-pressure, vacuum-sealed tubes would transport passengers and cargo at up to 760 miles an hour — approximately the speed of sound. Powered by solar energy, it would be strong enough to withstand extreme weather and earthquakes.

Holi, The Joyous Festival Of Colors, Is This Sunday!

By Meera Dolasia on March 10, 2017
Holi, The Joyous Festival Of Colors, Is This Sunday!

Holi, the spring festival of colors that will be celebrated on Sunday, March 12, is one of India’s most anticipated events. Observed annually on the last full moon day of the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna, the two-day holiday entails taking to the streets early in the morning to douse strangers and friend alike, with colored powder and water. However, unlike the copycat color runs in the US, revelers do not have to race five or ten kilometers to participate!

Italy's Mt. Etna Puts On A Spectacular Show

By Viswa Teja on March 9, 2017
Italy's Mt. Etna Puts On A Spectacular Show

After a relatively calm 2016, Europe’s most active volcano — Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy — came to life on February 27. The eruption that occurred at about 6:00 pm local time from the relatively new Southeast Crater formed by a 1978 eruption lit up the dark Sicilian skies with fountains of bright orange lava. As is characteristic of all Mount Etna ejections, the lava stream was accompanied by Strombolian eruptions. The short-lived, explosive outbursts that are caused by trapped bubbles of gas escaping through the lava can reach heights of several hundred meters, making for a spectacular show.

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