World map showing the zoogeographical regions by Alfred Russel Wallace

The 1876 Map of the World’s Ecozones That Still Holds Up

The 19th-century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace created a visualization that tied different species to specific regions of the world.
The Irish Elk

The Cartoonishly Giant Antlers of the Irish Elk

The mystery of the Irisk Elk's giant antlers attracted the attention of famous evolutionary biologist Steven Jay Gould.
A lode stone encased in a gilded stand

The Souls of Magnets

Lodestones are dull, lumpy, and slate-gray, but their “magnetic intelligence” made them fabulously expensive.
A seismic survey vessel

How Offshore Oil Exploration Affects Marine Life

Offshore oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean will involve seismic blasts, which may be harmful to whales and marine mammals.
An aerial view of Roden Crater

A Decades-in-the-Making Artwork in a Dormant Volcano

James Turrell is building an observatory that uses the human eye instead of optical instruments. It may soon be open to the public for the first time.
Mount Everest North Face Tibet

How to Measure a Mountain

It’s not easy to measure a mountain. Mount Everest's height has been known since the middle of the nineteenth century, but how did they figure it out with no altimeters or GPS?
Compass On Antique Map magnetic poles

What Happens if Earth’s Magnetic Poles Reverse?

What would happen if the Earth's magnetic poles flipped? Earth’s magnetic poles have a long history of switching from North to South and back again. 
Afghanistan colourful mountains

War Has Made Afghanistan’s $1 Trillion in Minerals Worthless

Developing rare earth mining in Afghanistan has been a potential objective since the USGS estimated the country had $1 trillion in mineral ore deposits.
Gypsum crystals of the Naica cave.

Exploring Mexico’s Otherworldly Cave of Crystals

The Cave of Crystals is a massive cavern, filled with gigantic gypsum crystals, larger than any crystals ever before seen on Earth.
karst

The Incredible Unsung Karst Ecosystem

One of the world’s most incredible, yet unsung, ecosystems, karsts are home to a remarkable biological diversity.