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The Only Volcano on Earth You Can Explore From The Inside

The Only Volcano on Earth You Can Explore From The Inside | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

Over the years, we’ve all seen some pretty amazing photographs of volcanoes – from epic eruption shots with rivers of bubbling lava, to more peaceful images of dormant volcanoes and water-filled craters. In fact, the only perspective we don’t see very often is what a volcano looks like from the inside. Obviously, few people would be crazy enough to explore the interior of an active volcano, and even dormant volcanoes are normally inaccessible as they tend to be plugged up with solidified lava. Thrihnukagigur volcano in Iceland is the only known exception.

 

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Gaia Diary
“The more we nurture the planet, the better and more natural a life we'll have.” ― Chris d'Lacey, Icefire
Curated by Mariaschnee
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Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot

It is sometimes said that scientists are unromantic, that their passion to figure out robs the world of beauty and mystery. But is it not stirring to understand how the world actually works — that white light is made of colors, that color is the way we perceive the wavelengths of light, that transparent air reflects light, that in so doing it discriminates among the waves, and that the sky is blue for the same reason that the sunset is red? It does no harm to the romance of the sunset to know a little bit about it
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This Crescent-Shaped Island Is A Snorkeler's Dream Come True

This Crescent-Shaped Island Is A Snorkeler's Dream Come True | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Sail us to the moon and let us play among the starfish.

That’s the tune we’re singing after seeing these gorgeous photos of Molokini, the crescent-shaped volcanic crater located less than three miles off the coast of Maui. The uniquely...
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Gorgeous Portraits of Spineless Sea Creatures

Gorgeous Portraits of Spineless Sea Creatures | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In a new book, San Francisco-based photographer Susan Middleton captures the curious gestures and expressions of marine invertebrates
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Fantastic journey: why animals are driven to migrate

Fantastic journey: why animals are driven to migrate | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
As the seasons turn, millions of birds and animals cross oceans and continents but climate change might have unpredictable consequences for this healthy ecosystem
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Fish Changes Color in a Flash, Scientists Discover

Fish Changes Color in a Flash, Scientists Discover | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Octopuses, squid, and chameleons can do it. And now, it turns out that a fish can do it too. The rockpool goby is the latest animal discovered to have the ability to change their color and the brig...
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Christian Allié's curator insight, October 19, 1:40 PM

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The gobies’ camouflage abilities also suggest that some types of color are easier to take on than others. Although the fish turned red against a red background, they couldn’t quite match a blue background. Blue is rare in their home environment, Stevens says, but there are many red objects, such as red algae and red-brown stones and seaweed. So it’s probably more important for these gobies to be able to turn red than blue.

 

While gobies don’t change color quite as quickly as chameleons or octopuses, Stevens says the fish’s color change abilities are quite nuanced. “They’re able to change brightness independently from color and vice versa,” he says. (See “Beautiful Octopus Pictures: Masters of Disguise and Agile Hunters.”)

 

Devi Stuart-Fox, a zoologist at the University of Melbourne in Australia, who was not involved in the study, was impressed by Stevens’s use of state-of-the-art methods in image analysis to measure the gobies’ color change. “[And] they didn’t stop there,” she says. The authors then went on to estimate whether bird predators would be able to spot the color-changing gobies. They found that the birds couldn’t, “and that’s what counts to a goby,” Stuart-Fox explains.

Stevens plans to delve deeper into these camouflage artists. He’d like to find out whether gobies can tune their camouflage to the visual systems of different predator groups, such as fish and birds, in the same way that chameleons do. For instance, do gobies change their camouflage at low tide to hide from birds, but choose a different camouflage for high tide to escape the notice of other, predatory fish? Only more research will tell.

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Alpine butterflies survived by working their 'net'

Alpine butterflies survived by working their 'net' | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Good connections helped alpine butterflies survive a serious population crash in 2003 that killed off more than 60 percent of the population.
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10,000 seeds sent to Arctic to safeguard humanity against climate chang

10,000 seeds sent to Arctic to safeguard humanity against climate chang | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, on an island off Norway's northern coast, will be vital to ensuring food security in the face of climate change, warns the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which manages the vault.
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Speedy birds track down remote desert rain

Speedy birds track down remote desert rain | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Satellite tracking of Australian banded stilts reveals they fly massive distances at fast speeds after 'sniffing out' inland desert lakes, making them one of the fastest of the nomadic water birds.
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Recent sea level rise 'unusual'

Recent sea level rise 'unusual' | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Sea level rises seen in the past 100 years are not within the natural fluctuations seen over past millennia, a new study suggests.
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UK's 'Greatest Geosites' announced

UK's 'Greatest Geosites' announced | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

The Geological Society of London has named its top 100 geological sites in the UK and Ireland, including 10 "people's favourites".

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Christian Allié's curator insight, October 19, 1:46 PM

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These were the most popular geosites in each of the 10 categories:

 

Landscape: Assynt in the Scottish Highlands, where the remarkable Suilven and other peaks were shaped by glaciation.Industrial and economic importance: Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire, site of much early mining and industry, named after the pioneering bridge that spans the Severn River.Historical and scientific importance: Siccar Point in Berwickshire, the most famous example of Hutton's Unconformity (a junction between rock strata where the older layers underwent erosion before the younger layers were deposited).Educational: Rotunda Museum, Scarborough, built in 1829 in a design suggested by the "father of English geology", William Smith.Adventurous: Staffa in the Inner Hebrides, a volcanic island famous for its hexagonal basalt columns.Human habitation: Stonehenge, the iconic prehistoric monument in Wiltshire.Coastal: Hunstanton Cliffs in Norfolk, noted for their contrasting, colourful layers and many fossils.Outcrops: Craster, Northumberland, where the Great Whin Sill can be seen supporting Dunstanburgh Castle, alongside other formations like Greymare Rock.Folding and faulting: Millook Haven, part of a section of Cornwall's north coast where spectacularly folded beds of sandstone and shale are exposed.Fire and ice: Glencoe, one of Scotland's most famous valleys. Cut by a glacier during the last ice age, it runs between steep mountains left over from an ancient super volcano.
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Fish failing to adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels in ocean

Fish failing to adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels in ocean | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Spiny damselfish study suggests it would take at least several generations for fish to start coping with climate change
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Southern Hemisphere ocean warming 'underestimated'

Southern Hemisphere ocean warming 'underestimated' | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Previous estimates of global ocean warming have been significantly underestimated due to historically sparse temperature data from the Southern Ocean, new research has found.
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The Earth is a Sentient Living Organism

The Earth is a Sentient Living Organism | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

Contrary to the common belief that the Earth is simply a dense planet whose only function is a resource for its inhabitants, our planet is in fact a breathing, living organism. When we think of the Earth holistically, as one living entity of its own, instead of the sum of its parts, it takes on a new meaning. Our planet functions as a single organism that maintains conditions necessary for its survival.

James Lovelock published in a book in 1979 providing many useful lessons about the interaction of physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes on Earth.

Throughout history, the concept of Mother Earth has been a part of human culture in one form or another. …
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Christian Allié's curator insight, October 7, 6:22 AM

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Beyond the scientific importance of what we have discussed here, we might do well to consider some of the more poetical thoughts of the originator of the theory:

“If Gaia exists, the relationship between her and man, a dominant animal species in the complex living system, and the possibly shifting balance of power between them, are questions of obvious importance… The Gaia hypothesis is for those who like to walk or simply stand and stare, to wonder about the Earth and the life it bears, and to speculate about the consequences of our own presence here. It is an alternative to that pessimistic view which sees nature as a primitive force to be subdued and conquered. It is also an alternative to that equally depressing picture of our planet as a demented spaceship, forever traveling, driverless and purposeless, around an inner circle of the sun.”

The strong Gaia hypothesis states that life creates conditions on Earth to suit itself. Life created the planet Earth, not the other way around. As we explore the solar system and galaxies beyond, it may one day be possible to design an experiment to test whether life indeed manipulates planetary processes for its own purposes or whether life is just an evolutionary processes that occurs in response to changes in the non-living world.

About the Author

Liz Bentley is a graduate in geology, professional photographer and freelance journalist with an acute insight into fossil records and climatology.

Sources: 
nationalgeographic.com
bibliotecapleyades.net
phys.org

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World’s Weirdest Natural Places

World’s Weirdest Natural Places | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
As humans, we often let our imagination run wild and can come back with some pretty surreal stuff that can surprise even the most well-seasoned of acid trippers. However, we can’t really compete with nature. Every now and then, we discover a new place that comes by its “could be from a Salvador Dalí painting” vibe completely naturally. Weirdest Natural Places: Mendenhall Ice Cave Few people actually get to see a glacier in person. Even fewer get to see a cave inside the glacier, which is typica
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Stunning Pictures: The Year's Best Wildlife Photographs

Stunning Pictures: The Year's Best Wildlife Photographs | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
National Geographic photographers are among the winners of Wildlife Photography of the Year.
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47 Of The Last Places On The Planet To Witness The Night Sky As Nature Intended

47 Of The Last Places On The Planet To Witness The Night Sky As Nature Intended | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

According to The World Atlas of Artificial Night Sky Brightness: 1/5 of the world’s population have lost the ability to see the Milky Way without a telescope… as of 2001.
That same study suggested that 2/3 of Americans and over 50% of Europeans were particularly affected, and furthermore that 99% of the US and 66% of the world live in areas considered “polluted” Again, this was as of 2001.

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Glimpses of extinction: the pictures that capture the stories

Glimpses of extinction: the pictures that capture the stories | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will again document the planet’s rarest animals and focus on the twists of fate that decide survival
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Catatrosphic Losses of Marine Species Along the West Coast a Signal of Mass Extinction, Warn Scientists

Catatrosphic Losses of Marine Species Along the West Coast a Signal of Mass Extinction, Warn Scientists | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
All across the west coast, starfish are dying in record numbers due to a mysterious 'plague' that liquifies their bodies.…
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How Wolves Can Save The World!

How Wolves Can Save The World! | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
      This is an incredible video detailing the effects wolves have on the eco system! It first started by changing the behavior of the deer; they stopped going into certain areas they knew the wolves could catch them easily.   That enabled trees to grow higher than they ever have! They regenerated forests,…
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A Black Hole Close-Up, and a Telescope as Big as the World

A Black Hole Close-Up, and a Telescope as Big as the World | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
The Event Horizon Telescope will give astronomers an extreme close-up when our galaxy's black hole lights up.

 

"The giant black hole in the middle of our galaxy stays pretty quiet most of the time, flaring up only occasionally. But it is due for a burst of activity any day now, as a large cloud of gas and dust continues to spiral toward the heart of the Milky Way. 

With this sudden influx of material, the normally tranquil black hole — named Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A star") and as massive as 4 million suns — will roar to life, unleashing a fiery discharge of matter and radiation. 

The cloud, dubbed G2, is expected to make its closest approach this year, although it could take decades for the black hole to finish digesting its ethereal prey. Sagittarius A* doesn't dine often, but when it does, it is (like other black holes) a messy eater, drawing in far more material than it can swallow. The vast amount of gas and dust sucked in by the black hole's intense gravitational pull creates an enormous traffic jam that prevents most of this stuff from ever making it into the black hole. Instead, the material keeps piling up. 

As the pressure mounts, atoms and smaller particles grind against each other, heating to temperatures of billions of degrees. With no way in, the now-energized stuff ricochets back into space at nearly the speed of light, forming extended, luminous jets aligned along the black hole’s powerful magnetic fields. At least that’s how theorists think it works; they’re still in the dark about many details concerning these jets. "

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18 Adorable Photos of Animals Caught in a Warm Embrace

18 Adorable Photos of Animals Caught in a Warm Embrace | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

Call it snuggling, hugging or cuddling. When our day is just not going right, all we need is a sweet embrace. From cats to polar bears, we'll show you how the world's animals are a lot like us. They need that tender touch to just get through the day. It's the body's way of saying, "Take a deep breath. It's going to be ok."

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Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #21

Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness #21 | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” Henry David Thoreau A good friend once told me that wildlife photography makes him sad. He explained that when he sees images of the wild c...
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Great Barrier Reef: 'a massive chemistry experiment gone wrong'

Great Barrier Reef: 'a massive chemistry experiment gone wrong' | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Scientists warn that pollution may be dramatically increasing the rate of ocean acidification in inshore areas, threatening coral
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Laser Mapping Reveals a Hidden Cavern the Size of Four Great Pyramids

Laser Mapping Reveals a Hidden Cavern the Size of Four Great Pyramids | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In an age where every square mile of Earth's surface is so easily photographed and surveilled, to be a true explorer—to see what no human has ever seen before—one has to descend into the bowels of the Earth. Armed with high-tech lasers scanners, cavers are slowly mapping that underground world. And now they've found the world's largest cave chamber, equivalent in size to four Great Pyramids carved out underground.
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30 Beautiful Photographs of Fractals in Nature

30 Beautiful Photographs of Fractals in Nature | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
TruthSeekersDaily Nature never ceases to amaze me…every day I come across something new that makes me appreciate the incredible design…
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Where to see autumn colours around the world

Where to see autumn colours around the world | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Everyone knows New England is the place to head for spectacular displays of autumn foliage, right? But there are plenty of other destinations around the world to reward those in search of leafy splendour
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