Topic: dirt

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Why the Giant Sequoia Needs Fire to Grow

Giant sequoias, the planet's largest trees and among the oldest living things on Earth—many of the largest are over 3,000 years old—depend on fire to help them reproduce. Learn how a destructive force is necessary for...

Erie Type A and B Steam Shovels from over 100 years ago

Watch a 1915 Erie Type A Steam Shovel working at the Welland Country Fair, filmed in the summer of 2016. The coal-fired Erie type A and B were created by The Ball Engine Company, an industrial steam engine company fou...

A Real-Life Bone Collector: Recovering an Extinct Human Ancestor

Follow biological anthropologist and 'bone collector' Dr. Marina Elliott deep into the ancient underground crevasses that would reveal around 1,500 bone fragments belonging to Homo naledi, a new species in human linea...

Building a ‘bed shed’ sleeping shelter – Primitive Technology

Bundles of long dry grasses thatch the roof of this elevated sleeping shelter. The bed itself is woven from lawyer cane and covered with a woven bark mat. It's all held up with wooden posts tied with vines. Primitiv...

Barrel Tiled Shed & Tiled Roof Hut – Primitive Technology

How do you create a fire and rain proof work shed when you only have what's available to you in an Australian forest? Primitive Technology takes on the challenge in this Barrel Tiled Shed video. Some details from his ...

A puffin and its puffling surface from their underground nest

Though puffins spend much of their life at sea, when they nest on land, they nest underground in the Farne Islands and elsewhere around the globe. Their babies are called pufflings, and in this BBC Earth clip from Wor...

Hikaru dorodango, handmade ‘shining mud dumplings’

Around 2001, Professor Fumio Kayo of the Kyoto University of Education made news by bringing the Japanese art of hikaru dorodango (どろ だんご or 'shining mud dumpling') into preschool classrooms as a play activity, t...

How Does Oakland Turn Food Scraps to Soil?

Though you may not see a compost bin next to the trash and recycling bins where you live, in California's Bay Area, a green bin is the norm. From those green bins, food scraps, yard waste, and the like can be transfor...

Making charcoal, baskets, & stone hatchets – Primitive Technology

In the modern world, we pick up a bag of charcoal at the market if we want our fires to start easily and get hot quickly. But what did humans from the past do when they wanted their fires to burn hot enough to, say, s...

How Does It Grow? Potatoes

Potatoes are stem tubers, nutrient underground storage organs for the nightshade Solanum tuberosum L. Domesticated around 7,000–10,000 years ago in Peru and Bolivia, potatoes are now the fourth most-farmed crop on Ear...

40,000 years of London history created with papercraft

Peel back the pavement of a grand old city like London and you can find just about anything, from a first-century Roman fresco to a pair of medieval ice skates—even an elephant’s tooth. As one of Europe’s oldest capit...

Harvesting carrots with ski lift-style ‘toplift’ machines

Watch organic carrots rise from the dirt and swing from the conveyor belt of a Dewulf carrot toplift harvester. Chop, chop, chop to their tops before they ride up an elevator for collection in crates. This machine dem...

How do living things change their environments?

Think about your day, from when you wake up, to where you spend your day, to your bedtime routine at night. Crash Course Kids asks, "What pieces of it are a result of human intervention? Where did these pieces come fr...

Why is biodiversity so important? – TED Ed

Biodiversity, short for biological diversity, is the term we use for the variety of animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and other intertwined life forms within any ecosystem... "from towering redwood trees to tiny, sing...

Deep in the caves with Homo Naledi & the Rising Star Expedition

More than 1,500 individual bones and teeth of at least 15 skeletons of Homo naledi were excavated by an all-woman "underground astronaut" team during the 2013/14 Rising Star Expedition. Homo naledi is a new species in...

Rachel Atherton’s downhill mountain biking victory at Vallnord

Attack the fast, twisty, often steep, jump-filled, rock and root riddled track at the 2015 UCI MTB World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra with British downhill mountain bike champion Rachel Atherton. Her World Champ...

Why do Leafcutter Ants cut leaves and carry them away?

Where are the Leafcutter Ants carrying all those leaves to? They do drink the leaf sap, but they don't eat them, so what are the leaves for? File under composting and farming: It's all about growing a highly nutritiou...

Beam Drop Inhotim, 2008, Brazil – Chris Burden

A large space in the dirt is cleared, a pit is dug and filled with wet concrete, and a huge crane lifts and drops 100 locally sourced steel I-beams into the pit. This is the work of late American artist Chris Burden f...

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