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geography

A jar of sweet peas might be the key to determining the seasonal conditions that led to the “Atlantis” volcanic eruption on the island of Santorini, Greece. A recent evaluation of evidence found at the eruption site, published in the journal Naturwissenschaften, re-opened this cold case. [read more...]
Brazil is a tropical country with a rich culture – and a lot of rain. Because the equator lies across the northern part of the country, Brazil has a hot climate. The temperature generally stays above 68 degrees. January is the wettest month, with nearly 11 inches of rain falling all across the country. [read more...]
In the Black Hills of South Dakota, there is a curious looking mountain. [read more...]
On the main Japanese island of Honshu, about 60 miles southeast of the capital Tokyo, lies Mount Fuji. Rising to 12,388 feet, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. [read more...]
Near the Black Sea, in the small town of Sozopol, Bulgaria, residents once practiced a method of vampire extermination, which involves skewering bodies of the deceased with sharp objects. [read more...]
President Ortega of Nicaragua has a vision of creating a cross-country shipping canal much like the Panama Canal. In June, Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Company was given approval to build the $40-billion structure. [read more...]
In 1974, outside the city of Xi’an, China, a group of well diggers came across one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of all time: a life-size clay soldier. Chinese authorities were later notified and dispatched to the site, where they uncovered thousands of these clay soldiers. [read more...]
As a full-blooded African, everything in my genes leads me to cringe at the thought of anything related to cold. Recently, however, something fascinating happened in my adopted home state of Wisconsin. This year’s harsh winter allowed for spectacular ice caves to emerge along the shores of Lake Superior. Even someone of my heritage can appreciate the allure of these natural wonders. [read more...]
Back in the 12th century, the Cambodian godking Suyarvarman II constructed an enormous temple he named as Angkor Wat. Today, the temple is still one of the world’s most stunning specimens of Hindu architecture. [read more...]
Because of Iceland's unique position atop the mid-Atlantic ridge, the island nation is continuously being re-built by nature. [read more...]
There is nothing more intimidating and frightful than the unknown. [read more...]
The remains of a palace steamer, shipwrecked in the Great Lakes in 1861, was recently recovered in Lake Huron. [read more...]
The Eiffel Tower is known for its height and beauty. Now Paris’s most iconic structure, the “Tour d’Eiffel” was quite the controversy at the time of its construction. [read more...]
The naturally gorgeous Yosemite National Park area was a mystery to Westerners until 1851. Volunteers of the Mariposa Battalion uncovered it accidentally during an attempt to capture Ahwahneechee Native Americans and move them to a reservation. The name of the park, Yosemite, is a corruption of the Native American word for grizzly bear, uzumati. [read more...]
Without seeing it themselves, people might think the Dead Sea is an actual sea. But in fact it is actually a very long lake made up of two basins located in Jordan, Israel. [read more...]
In 1631, Arjuman Banu Began died giving birth to her fourteenth child. Her husband, Shah Jehan, the Moghul Emperor in India, was devastated. He sought to build a tomb in her memory that was like nothing else in the world. “The Taj Mahal” would symbolize his great love for her. And after 22 years, with the help of 20,000 workers, his desire was realized. [read more...]
With more than seven billion people living on Earth, things can get pretty crowded. [read more...]
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the oldest rock art in North America. Etched as long as 14,800 years ago, these carvings, or petroglyphs, were found at Winnemucca Lake in Nevada. [read more...]
Pickling is an interesting and ancient process. Pickles come in many different types, shapes and sizes. [read more...]
Do you know the difference between a swamp and a marsh? There is one main difference: swamps contain trees and shrubbery, while marshes are waterlogged areas without trees. More land dwelling animals live in swamps, while marshes are home to a variety of birds. [read more...]
First oxen were wild beasts, but now they are tamed cattle. This phenomenon didn’t happen overnight. New research pinpoints when in history cows were domesticated. [read more...]
The lost island Atlantis is the stuff of legend. It’s been that way for centuries, despite the fact that there is no scientific proof of its location. Still, Greek and Egyptian cultures have cultivated their own stories of the island’s origin. [read more...]
The Kalahari is a huge desert located in southern Africa. Because of the dry climate nothing really grows. The things that do grow are small plants such as are thorn bushes, and a few small trees. [read more...]
Fifty-eight million years ago, a 50-foot creature, weighing a little over a ton, roamed the lowland tropics of Cerrejón, Colombia. This vicious, cold-blooded predator is thought to be the Titanoboa cerrejones snake. The discovery of its existence leaves scientists astounded, and causes them to reconsider the nature of archaic life. [read more...]
In a recent article, I wrote about a UW-Madison researcher, Charles Bentley, who drilled through Antarctic ice sheets in search clues about the Earth’s ancient weather patterns. A team of Russian scientists used a similar strategy to learn which organisms inhabit this unique subglacial environment. [read more...]
The average meteor enters the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed between 22,000 and 44,000 miles per hour. Meteors are faster than the speed of sound and create a sonic boom as they enter the atmosphere. These spectacular events are fascinating, but do not occur often. [read more...]
On a clear fall day almost 80 years ago, an amateur fossil hunter was exploring the remote hills of eastern New Mexico. Near the small town of Clovis he found something very exciting. By the 1930s researchers from around the world were investigating human artifacts found at the site. [read more...]
Fifty thousand years ago was ice age time in Madison. The region we live in now was covered with glaciers. These glaciers reached a height equal to five of our state capitol buildings on top of each other. As temperatures warmed and the ice began to melt, the glaciers slowly started to move, gouging holes into the land. The holes filled up with the melted water and became Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa. [read more...]
The Amazon River, located in South America, is home to hundreds of creatures and people. The earliest inhabitants of the Amazonia region arrived 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, following the great migration across the Bering Strait. [read more...]
In November of 1855, explorer David Livingstone became the first European to visit Victoria Falls. What he didn’t know at the time is that he was looking at the largest waterfall on Planet Earth. Livingstone was a missionary and adventurer from Scotland. He found this waterfall while visiting Africa on a missionary venture, hoping to open up this landlocked region to other Christian missionaries. [read more...]
Recently, fellow reporters Rosalinda, Patricia, Alexis, Aarushi, Claire and I visited a museum rich in ancient fossils and animal artifacts. Unlike other museums, this one was located cozily between the kitchen and living room of David Wandel’s house. [read more...]
A Mustang is a free roaming horse that lives in North America. The Spaniards originally brought these animals to North America when they conquered Mexico. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Egypt, ruled a land that was powerful, glamorous, and full of life. It’s no wonder that Roman emperor Octavian wanted to steal Egypt for himself. [read more...]
Early on a Saturday Morning, fellow Free Press teen editor Annie Shao and I set out for the Milwaukee Public Museum. It was a nice day and this was a trip we were looking forward to very much. The exhibit we wanted to see is called, “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt.” We loved it. The exhibit transported us back to Cleopatra’s world to fully understand her life and death. [read more...]
The twisting body of a serpent uncoils across a summit, revealing its black skin rising above ground. The name “Serpent Mound” reflects the mound’s physical features. Preserved by the Ohio Historical Society, Serpent Mound lies in Adams County, Ohio. It sits on top of a plateau that sprouts from a 150-foot hill, rising above the Brush Creek River. Tall trees are scattered about, surrounding the mound, as the winding river adds to the beauty of the sight. [read more...]
The words “biggest” and “smallest” are used often when you’re talking about geography. But these words can also be quite ambiguous. The world’s geography exists in three dimensions, and has been irrevocably influenced by human culture and human migration. [read more...]
“To live in a land of opportunity for both us and our children is all we want,” my parents told me when I asked about why they came to America. [read more...]
The barn owl and the long-eared owl are two very similar birds. Both are native to Wisconsin. These owls hunt small rodents and birds at night and rest during the day. Individuals of both are about the same size – 13 to 16 inches tall. [read more...]
A team of Simpson Street Free Press reporters recently took a trip to the Madison Children’s Museum. In its new location, 100 N. Hamilton Street, this new building is one of the eco-friendliest places in Madison. [read more...]
The Earth’s crust is made up of tectonic plates that continuously shift. Between those plates are fault lines, or fractures, that are created when adjoining plates move against to each other. [read more...]
The regions of South and East Asia, which include China, India and Indonesia, are experiencing enormous economic and industrial growth. These developments are not without consequences. [read more...]
I moved to Madison, with my family seven and a half years ago. I am very glad my parents decided to move here, but it took a while to settle in. [read more...]
Though cougars are not native to Wisconsin, sightings in the state have been reported since the 1940s. The cougar is very rare and mysterious; occasionally these big cats appear quickly, then disappear with a ghostly exit back into the forest. [read more...]
According to a recent Wisconsin State Journal article by Ron Seely, groundwater experts and waterfront property owners are lobbying for a new bill that would regulate high-capacity wells. These wells pump about 100,000 gallons of water per day. The bill would create new management areas in places where pumping groundwater could negatively impact the quality and availability of water. [read more...]
Just south of Verona, where county highway PB meets state highway 69, lies the adorable little town of Paoli. Over the years Free Press reporters have visited Paoli several times to get ice cream, snack on delicious cheese, and study local history. [read more...]
The Earth’s tectonic plates are always shifting, colliding, and floating above our planet’s molten interior. The massive forces created by these huge plates shape our world. They can also be very destructive. [read more...]
An enormous sinkhole recently formed in the middle of Guatemala’s capital city. Because it caused massive destruction to the city, Guatemala’s huge sinkhole is considered among the most tragic events in the history of that Central American country. [read more...]
New research shows that a common herbicide called atrazine certain species of amphibians. In the United States atrazine is a common weed-killing chemical. It is also a contaminate found in well water and drinking water. Scientists now know that this chemical causes some unusual changes in the sex genes of male amphibians, in particular––frogs. [read more...]
Is the water we drink safe? According to Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is some cause for concern. [read more...]
Bar-tailed godwits, bristled-thighed curlews, and artic terns are three examples of birds that make amazing migrations. They travel thousands of miles over vast expanses of ocean in one big stretch. It may seem an impossible feat, but through millions of years of evolution these various bird species have adapted well for their long journeys. [read more...]
Steve Kramer spent an hour and a half swimming in the ocean off the coast of Maine last August. It was the longest he has ever been in Maine’s coastal waters. In past years it was too cold to do more than jump quickly in and out. [read more...]
For a long time scientists believed that Neanderthals were incapable of symbolic thinking. But new research suggests that seashells were used by these early humans for representative reasons. [read more...]
The gray wolf recently returned to the federal endangered species list for the third time in the last two years. This change marks a continued battle between those who want the wolf to remain protected, and those who believe it should be permanently removed from the list. [read more...]
A famous archeological site known as Hadar is located in Ethiopia’s Afar desert in East Africa. The sun-baked landscape is extremely harsh and temperatures routinely reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit. [read more...]
A commonly quoted prediction regarding Himalayan glacial melt is now being criticized as an extreme overestimate. [read more...]
On a recent sunny Saturday, Free Press reporters took a short trip from Madison to Cross Plains. This is a cute little town just west of Middleton on Highway 14. Cross Plains also happens to be where Wisconsin’s first ever “green library” is located. The Rosemary Garfoot Public Library is built to the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). [read more...]