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Four at Once: Volcano Quartet Erupts on Kamchatka - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Four at Once: Volcano Quartet Erupts on Kamchatka - SPIEGEL ONLINE | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A unique show is taking place on Kamchatka these days: Four separate but nearby volcanoes are erupting simultaneously on the Russian peninsula. A Moscow film crew has produced an awe-inspiring 360-degree video of the natural fireworks.
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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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Elephants possess 'superior' sense of smell

Elephants possess 'superior' sense of smell | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Elephants possess a sense of smell that is likely the strongest ever identified in a single species, according to a study by Japanese scientists.
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Stress not erosion sculpts nature

Stress not erosion sculpts nature | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Elegant arches, pillars and alcoves carved out of sandstone through erosion, are actually caused by the load above the sandstone strengthening the rock beneath to resist weathering, a new study finds.
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We love sunflowers!

We love sunflowers! | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

... great photos of sunflowers

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Whale shark fringe migration: 16-year study suggests Azore islands may play increasing role in whale shark habitat

Whale shark fringe migration: 16-year study suggests Azore islands may play increasing role in whale shark habitat | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
At the fringe of the whale shark range, the volcanic Azore islands may play an increasing role for the north Atlantic population as sea surface temperatures rise.
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Scientists Look for Causes of Baffling Die-Off of Sea Stars by Eric Wagner: Yale Environment 360

Scientists Look for Causes of Baffling Die-Off of Sea Stars by Eric Wagner: Yale Environment 360 | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Sea stars on both coasts of North America are dying en masse from a disease that kills them in a matter of days. Researchers are looking at various pathogens that may be behind what is known as sea star wasting syndrome, but they suspect that a key contributing factor is warming ocean waters.
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Cheetah smuggling driving wild population to extinction, report says

Cheetah smuggling driving wild population to extinction, report says | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Rising demand for luxury pets in the Gulf states taking gruesome toll as two-thirds of snatched cubs are dying en route
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30 of the most beautiful places in the world

30 of the most beautiful places in the world | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Across the roughly 60 million square miles of land covering this breathtaking planet, there are a lot of exceedingly beautiful places. From serene and stirring to surreal and sublime, trying to list them all would be an impossible task; and of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to give a shout-out to some of the places that showcase the amazing accomplishments that Mother Nature – sometimes with an assist from her inhabitants – has achieved. Here are 30 of our favorites to get the conversation started. (Text: Melissa Breyer)
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Earth Words: 80-Year-Old American Agave Getting Ready to Bloom at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Earth Words: 80-Year-Old American Agave Getting Ready to Bloom at Matthaei Botanical Gardens | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

The American agave is more than just a pretty flower stalk. If you think the flower spike of the American agave looks like a giant asparagus spear, you’re on to something. The plant is in the asparagus family. And while many know agave as the source of tequila, the fiery distilled beverage is made only from the tequila agave (Agave tequilana). In areas of Mexico where tequila is produced, the American agave is used to make a similar alcoholic drink called mezcal. The flower stalk of the American agave can be cut before flowering to produce aguamiel, a sweet liquid collected at the base of the stalk. This liquid can be fermented to make a drink called pulque. Additionally, fibers gathered from within the leaves are used for making rope or twine.

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Plants Listen for Hungry Caterpillars, First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests

Plants Listen for Hungry Caterpillars, First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Plants respond to the acoustic vibrations of chewing insects by producing defensive oils meant to ward off predators.
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Fireflies: The Twinkle in Nature's Eye

Fireflies: The Twinkle in Nature's Eye | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
There are some 2,000 species of fireflies, many of them native to the tropics in South America and the Pacific Ocean. They’re all members of the family Lampyridae, which loosely translated means “shining fire.”

 

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Fossil of biggest-known flying seabird found

Fossil of biggest-known flying seabird found | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Fossilised bird bones uncovered in the US represent the largest flying bird in history, with a wingspan of 6.4 metres, say researchers.
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Under the bright lights of an aging sun

Under the bright lights of an aging sun | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Life as we know it on Earth is linked to our star, the Sun, which provides our planet with just the right amount of heat and energy for liquid water to be stable in our lakes, rivers and oceans. However, as the Sun ages, it is steadily growing brighter and brighter. Eventually, the sunlight that supports ...
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Dynamic Photos of the Ocean During Powerful Storms

Dynamic Photos of the Ocean During Powerful Storms | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
This collection of dramatic seascapes captures the striking power of nature as it collides with the fine art of photography. Created by Montauk, NY-based photographer Dalton Portella, the images are filled with a painterly quality that depicts the powerful force of the ocean during stormy weather. Dark, ominous clouds and streaks of lightning fill the sky while layers of texture blend sea and atmosphere together into one vibrantly colored palette.
As each storm rolls in, the ocean moves with violent force to create waves that curl up and crash down again in an instant. Portella captures those exciting moments with a single snap of his shutter, and viewers will almost feel the mist of the ocean water spraying up throughout the air. Portella explains, "With my art, I capture essence; the essence of places I've been, emotions I've felt, and the subjects I paint and photograph. I portray the broad range of the human experience."
Dalton Portella's website via [Feature Shoot]
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Stunning Photos Capture the Otherworldly Beauty of Antarctica's Icebergs

Stunning Photos Capture the Otherworldly Beauty of Antarctica's Icebergs | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Tokyo-based nature and wildlife photographer Martin Bailey captures the otherworldly beauty of Antarctica in this captivating photo series. While the frozen continent is home to many seals and penguins, Bailey chose to photograph the sweeping landscape without any signs of life, instead focusing on the harsh and ethereal beauty of 1,000-year-old icebergs and glaciers.
With a gorgeous palette of pure white, icy blue, pale aqua, and deep cobalt, Bailey's stunning photos draw parallels between manmade civilizations and the isolated, natural allure of Antarctica. Towering, monolithic ice formations evoke the imagery of architectural forms like grand palaces, impenetrable fortresses, and even great pyramids. Resplendent in snow and ice, the frozen tundra's spellbinding beauty looks like something from a dream or another world.
Martin Bailey's website
via [Neatorama], [Trend Hunter], [Feature Shoot]
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Reservoir of molten rock under Yellowstone is 2.5 times bigger than thought | EarthSky.org

Reservoir of molten rock under Yellowstone is 2.5 times bigger than thought | EarthSky.org | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt today, it would have major, perhaps catastrophic, consequences.
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New research found rainwater can penetrate below the Earth's upper crust

New research found rainwater can penetrate below the Earth's upper crust | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Researchers at University of Southampton have found that rainwater can penetrate below the Earth's fractured upper crust. Researchers have now found fluids derived from rainwater at the ductile crust - where temperatures of more than 300 C a...
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Can scientists save the world's sea life from "ocean acidification"?

Can scientists save the world's sea life from "ocean acidification"? | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In the great halls of La Boqueria, Barcelona's central market, tourists, foodies and cooks gather every day to marvel at the fresh food, like pilgrims at the site of a miracle. The chief shrines are the fish counters, where thousands of sea creatures, making up dozens of species, gleam pink and grey on mounds of ice. But to many ocean scientists this is not a display of the ocean's bounty but a museum – by the end of this century, many of these animals may be history, due to man's reckless abuse of the planet. As we keep dumping greenhouse gases into the air, the oceans keep sucking them up, making the waters deadly to their inhabitants.
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New find sheds light on dinosaur flight

New find sheds light on dinosaur flight | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Fossils of the largest dinosaur capable of flight have been discovered in China, according to a new study.
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Most Beautiful Cities in the World (Part 1)

Most Beautiful Cities in the World (Part 1) | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
In this series I will be highlighting some of the most beautiful cities in the world. This can serve as an inspiration for our reads to go out and explore this beautiful world.
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Marina Cano's Stunning Photos Capture the Majestic Beauty of Wildlife

Marina Cano's Stunning Photos Capture the Majestic Beauty of Wildlife | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it

Spanish photographer Marina Cano is known for her stunning photos of nature and and its wildlife. Although she lives in Cantabria in northern Spain, the photographer frequently travels to faraway locations such as South Africa and Kenya to capture spectacular shots of exotic beasts. What sets Cano's photos apart is her unique ability to document the intimacy and beauty of the majestic creatures, giving the viewer a rare glimpse of untamed giraffes, elephants, zebras, and other animals in their daily lives.
Cano recently shared an account of a typical day in her life on 500px ISO. It's no surprise to learn that her breathtaking images aren't just the product of luck or fortunate timing, but of real devotion and tireless work from dawn till dusk. Waking up at 5AM, Cano prepares to spend the day scouring the Amboseli National Park in Kenya for fantastic sights. Even when the light turns harsh around noon, she continues to look for animals to photograph…

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Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides

Second Silent Spring? Bird Declines Linked to Popular Pesticides | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
A popular class of insecticides has been linked to bird die-offs-a finding that parallels Rachel Carson's concerns back in 1962.
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Empire of Rock

Empire of Rock | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Southern China holds the world's largets concentration of the eroded topography called karst. For more than 600 million years, this region was covered by a sea and accumulated miles-thick layers of sediments, including limestone. Uplift and erosion of the geological formation created todays massive caverns. Explorers use a laser scanner to see China’s giant caverns as never before.
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Tropical fish threaten kelp and algae

Tropical fish threaten kelp and algae | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Plant-eating tropical fish species are causing serious damage to algae and kelp forests in sub-tropical and temperate regions around the world, an international team of experts warn.
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Marian Locksley's curator insight, July 9, 11:16 AM

It reveals how algae and kelp-eating tropical fish such as rabbitfish have already led to the collapse of kelp forests - and their associated abalone fisheries - in Japan, and decimated the canopy-forming algae forests in the Mediterranean.

 

Two herbivorous tropical species - rabbitfish and drummer fish - have also been implicated in the loss of kelp forests on both the east and west coasts of Australia, says lead author of the study Dr Adriana Verges, marine ecologist at the University of New South Wales.

Overgrazing of algae and kelp by fish hampers recovery of the ecosystem from events such as heatwaves.

 

'The west coast of Australia had a really bad heat wave that wiped out the kelp, and then because it was warmer, a whole lot of other species came in that prevented the kelp from coming back,' says Verges.

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Japan scientists find ageing cure - for flowers

Japan scientists find ageing cure - for flowers | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Japanese scientists say they have found a way to slow down the ageing process in flowers by up to a half, meaning bouquets could remain fresh for much longer.
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Anti-depressants disrupt fish's brains

Anti-depressants disrupt fish's brains | Gaia Diary | Scoop.it
Drugs designed to ease the symptoms of mental health problems such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress can have major disruptive effects on aquatic animals' brains, say scientists.
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