The simplest approach is usually the best, whether it’s writing a story, building a plane or, in the case of one of this week’s discoveries, turning the deserts green.
Dyking, an old and rudimentary construction technique, is having a profound impact on degraded lands in two disparate locations.
In Tanzania, farmers using bunds – barriers which, at their most basic level, are simply mounds of earth – have taken parched, overgrazed and eroded land and made it green again. Barriers trap water flowing from the ground and allow it to enter the earth.
Similar techniques restore peatlands, waterlogged landscapes that contain vast stores of carbon in the soil in Northern Ireland, potentially improving the quality of drinking water.
Lost cities can exert a strong influence on the imagination, and archaeologists working in Iraqi Kurdistan believe they may have identified their location.
Excavations of a 2,000-year-old fortress in the Zagros Mountains have revealed fortifications almost 4 kilometers long, two smaller settlements, carved rock reliefs and a religious complex.
The city is only known because of the few details gleaned from rare pieces, but archaeologists have carefully pieced together the clues found during their excavations at the ancient site.
The Patagonian ice dragon is what scientists call an extremophile, or an organism that can live in extreme environments.
across the universe
Black holes are powerful cosmic phenomena, but they emit no light. That means finding one can take astronomers years of detective work.
Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy, the newly detected space object is at least nine times the mass of our sun. Called VFTS 243, it orbits a hot blue star weighing 25 times the mass of the sun, making it part of a binary system.
The astronomers said they were confident their discovery was watertight.
The footprints in the restaurant’s courtyard belonged to two sauropods, herbivorous dinosaurs known for a long neck and tail, according to paleontologist Lida Xing from China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, who was contacted by the restaurant.
In this case, he was lucky. The restaurant owner has fenced off the site to prevent people walking on the stalls and may be building a shed to protect them.
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