Topic: desert

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The spectacular stone monuments of Petra, Jordan

"This is Petra, where the sheer improbability of its location is the secret of its spectacular flourishing. The reason why this tomb endured and survived armies and earthquakes is that the Nabataeans who built it cut ...

Camels vs. Cactus: Eating a prickly pear cactus with 6-inch needles

There's something about the prickly pear cactus that these camels like. And they like it enough to brave the six-inch needles on the pads or cladodes. Watch them eat in this video from Camel and Friends, a YouTube cha...

Why Do Tumbleweeds Tumble?

When we think of a desolate plain or a foreboding frontier town in the wild west, we might think of the iconic tumbleweed rolling through the scene. Or they might roll through as a joke. But for people who live in dry...

Building the Giant Magellan Telescope, the world’s largest telescope

Underneath the University of Arizona’s football stadium are the beginnings of the Giant Magellan Telescope, set to be the largest optical telescope in the world. The Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory is the only plac...

The discovery of King Tut and what we’ve learned from his tomb

Ever wonder how Egyptian royalty lived 3,000 years ago? In 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter’s discovery of an intact tomb revealed a wealth of artifacts and information that turned King Tut into a household n...

The secret belowground life of newborn meerkat pups

The sweet cooing, chirping sounds, the small furry faces, the incredibly intimate view that we don't often... ever... get to see. Via the BBC's Earth Unplugged and Animals with Cameras, specifically a wild Kalahari me...

How sand swimming shovel-snouted lizards stay cool in the Namib Desert

Endemic to the Namib Desert, shovel-snouted lizards (Meroles anchietae) have learned how to survive in extreme conditions. They are fast, able to run at over 91.5 cm/3 feet per second. When they rest, they must carefu...

Catching fog to help combat Peru’s water shortage

Along the foggy coasts of Peru, where millions of people don't have access to clean water, Abel Cruz Gutiérrez helps catch 200 to 350 liters (around 50 to 100 gallons) of water per day with each 'fog catcher' he sets ...

The ferocious predatory dinosaurs of Cretaceous Sahara

In Cretaceous times (around 100 million years ago), North Africa was home to a huge river system and a bizarre menagerie of giant prehistoric predators -- including the Spinosaurus, a dinosaur even more fearsome than ...

The Arctic vs. the Antarctic

If you're first learning about them, the Arctic and the Antarctic might be a bit confusing. Which one is which? Where are the penguins and where are the polar bears? Which is made of melting ice and which is a desert?...

Animals drinking water, captured by an underwater bucket cam

Who might you find drinking from a water bucket in the desert heat of southwest Texas? John Wells of The Field Lab, an experiment in sustainable off-the-grid living, found bees, birds, chickens, and other animal faces...

Swarm Of Locusts Devour Everything In Their Path

Behold this incredible footage of a desert locust swarm, captured for the BBC's Planet Earth and narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Some background from Wikipedia sets the stage: Plagues of desert locusts have t...

Building a Volcano-bot | How She Works

Volcanologist Carolyn Parcheta builds and tests Volcano bots, sturdy and compact robots that can explore inside volcanoes. Her team is developing these two-wheeled explorers to learn more about how magma moves and how...

Dinosaur fossils uncovered on an Antarctic expedition

A team of 12 scientists recently completed an audacious fossil hunting expedition to James Ross Island in Antarctica, and returned with over one ton of marine, avian, and dinosaur fossils that are between 71 million a...

Petrified Forest National Park & how petrified wood is made

Fallen coniferous trees from 211-218 million years ago can be found scattered across the desert of eastern Arizona in the form of petrified wood. Made primarily from quartz, these geological wonders are actually fossi...

Superbloom: How Death Valley Springs to Life – Science Friday

Death Valley is the driest place in the United States and is known as the hottest place on Earth (though there are places that are hotter). On top of that, average rainfall is less than 2 inches (5 cm). How can a plac...

ALMA, a telescope so powerful it can see into the past

There’s a telescope deep in Chile’s Atacama Desert that takes pictures so massive that it requires a supercomputer as powerful as 16 million PCs to decipher the images. This is the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA...

New York to San Francisco by train in five minutes

On a three day train ride across the United States -- New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California -- Brooklyn-based designer Tom Harman recorded the landscap...

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