Shipworms, which munch through wood and help release essential nutrient stored within it, are incredibly beneficial for other marine animals. However, the saltwater bivalve mollusks have been known to sink boats and cause extensive damage to docks, piers, and other wooden structures. Now, researchers have uncovered a shipworm species of a different kind — one that has the potential to change the course of a river by gnawing through its limestone bedrock!
With self-driving vehicle technology rapidly advancing, many companies are turning to autonomous robots for the final leg — the so-called last mile — of the delivery process, from the store or local distribution center to the customer. The latest to join the trend is e-commerce giant Amazon. Following a successful eight-month test run in Snohomish County, Washington, the company's Scout robots have been making the rounds of Irvine, California, since August 6, 2019.
An estimated four million people worldwide took to the streets on Friday, September 20, 2019, for the youth-instigated Global Climate Strike. The young protestors, and their adult supporters, marched along city streets or lobbied outside government buildings to urge leaders to take aggressive action against climate change. Some US companies, such as Ben & Jerry's, Etsy, and The North Face, also joined in the effort by closing their stores to allow employees to participate. Believed to be the largest-ever climate change rally, the September 20 strike will be followed by a similar event on September 27.
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.
Fans of Scotland's mythical Loch Ness Monster, or Nessie, will be thrilled by the discovery of the remains of a massive look-alike elasmosaurus. Measuring 36 feet long (11 meters), from snout to tail, it is the largest specimen of the four-flippered sea giants — which inhabited Earth between 55 to 66 million years ago — on record.
When the curators at the National Gallery in London, England, applied imaging technology to Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, The Virgin of the Rocks, they fully expected to see a sketch underneath. What they had not anticipated, however, was a drawing that was substantially different from the final masterpiece.
Swimming across the English Channel — the 21-mile-long body of water separating southern England from northern France — is no easy feat. In addition to the strong ocean currents, swimmers also have to endure temperatures that can range from a chilly 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) to a near-freezing 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius). However, don't tell that to Sarah Thomas. The 37-year-old American recently became the first person ever to swim across the length of the treacherous stretch of water, which links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, not once, but four times non-stop!
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.