Easter Island, called Rapa Nui by its inhabitants, is famous for its megalithic statues. A recent analysis in PLOS One of the statues’ distribution across the island suggests they were placed away from living areas and near freshwater sources. Water is a very limited resource on Rapa Nui. The analysis only tells of the connection between the statues and freswater sources. The reason why, the deeper meaning behind why the statues were placed near freshwater, can only be hypothetical now because it has been so long since the culture that created them vanished.

Aftershocks from Hawaii Island's largest earthquake, in 1868, continue to the present day. It was estimated to be a 7.9 on the Richter scale and the earthquake and resulting tsunami caused 77 deaths.

How Big Was That Empire?

Now you can compare all the largest empires that have ever existed, by geographic area. Thank you modern geography!

It is estimated that over the past 200 years, the use of toilets -- and the cleaner environments and water supply that indoor plumbing entails -- have add about twenty years to the average human life.

Beware The Jellyfish

The box jellyfish's sting causes severe headaches, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, pulmonary edema, and severe anxiety -- its apparently so bad that some victims beg doctors to kill them. It is estimated that since 1954 box jellyfish have caused more the 5,500 deaths.

What Was The Neolithic Revolution?

The Neolithic Revolution, also known as the Agricultural Revolution, occurred about 12,000 years ago. For those, like me, who are not the best at math, that is around 10,000 BCE. There was a global trend away from nomadic hunting and gathering and towards sedentary farming. It appears to have arisen independently in multiple places in the Middle East, as well as in China and Papua New Guinea. Egypt and the Indus River Valley may have independently developed agriculture as well, or gotten the idea and the seeds from the Middle East or China.

Cereals, like barley in the Middle East and rice in China, were likely the first to be domesticated, eventually supplemented by protein-rice plants like peas and lentils. As people began to settle down they also domesticated animals. The earliest archaeological evidence of sheep and goat herding comes from around 10,000 BCE in the Iraq and Anatolia. Animals could be used as labor in the fields, or as sources of additional nutrients and calories to supplement the new cereal-heavy diet.

The Neolithic Revolution did not happen everywhere, and not all at once. And there remain a variety of hypotheses as to why humans stopped foraging and started farming. Population pressure may have caused increased competition for food and the need to cultivate new foods; people may have shifted to farming in order to involve elders and children in food production; humans may have learned to depend on plants they modified in early domestication attempts and in turn, those plants may have become dependent on humans. Whatever the reason, the Neolithic Revolution changed humanity -- and our world -- for good.

A Well-Described Mystery

Ball lightning is a well-known phenomenon. That is, it has been seen and described consistently by many people in many places, since the ancient Greeks. But after thousands of years, scientists still do not understand what causes ball lightning!

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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