The Gunditjmara have been building an eel-farming system at the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape for more than 6,000 years. Their aquaculture allowed them to build settled villages in the area, thousands of years before European colonization. Not very different from how prehistoric peoples along the South American west coast relied on seafood to support settlements in the middle of the Atacama Desert. Read more about what wildfires revealed about the Budj Bim here
Sure, most of us know that Europe became near-uninhabitable. But check out China, which was mainly steppe/tundra! And New Zealand's northern island had a rainforest! What catches your eye?
The Bramble Cay melomys was a tiny rodent that lived on a tiny Australian island. If you’ve never heard of it before, you’re not alone.
It lived on the uninhabited island of Bramble Cay in the Great Barrier Reef. The island has been impacted by rising sea levels, storm surges, and other weather events that have worsened due to climate change. No Bramble Cay melomys have been spotted since 2013, and after seven years of searching for the rodent, the state government changed the species classification from endangered to extinct. The melomys are the first, but will not be the last, mammals to be done in by a climate changing too quickly for them to adapt.
Fiji society traditionally practiced cannibalism. And forks with a distinctive four-pronged look, or "iculanibokoloa," were reserved for chief's usage during cannibal feasts. This particular example was recorded as being given to an ethnographer by Kandavu Levu, the grandson of the last ‘King’ of Fiji. The grandson was probably Ratu Penaia Kadavulevu, whose grandfather, Ratu Seru Epenisa Cakobau, was succeeded as Tui Viti (roughly translated as 'King' of Fiji) by Queen Victoria in 1874 when Fiji became a Crown Colony.
You’re probably thinking sometime in the late 1800s. But it was actually 1922! The British Empire got some territorial gains after World War I, including Iraq, Oman, and Yemen.
Up to 5% of the world's population died due to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 - 1920. In comparison, World War I killed about 2% and took 4 years to do so.
The 145 million years is a little arbitrary, but it makes for a fun and unusual way to look at the world. Are your mountains young or old?
It is Sundaland -- today's southeast Asia, as it appeared during the most recent Ice Age. To the right is today's Philippines, and to the bottom is today's Indonesia and Malaysia.
The most common foreign language of American presidents is Latin (12 fluent presidents) followed by Greek (7 fluent speakers) and French (6 fluent speakers). This led me down a rabbit hole of fun facts:
- No Latin or Greek speakers led the USA after the 1800s. Except Herbert Hoover, who was fluent in Latin and conversant in Mandarin Chinese.
- Oddly, every president who was fluent in Greek was also fluent in Latin. Hurray for classical education?
- John Quincy Adams was the most multilingual president. He was fluent in Latin French, and German, and partially fluent in Dutch, Greek, Italian, Spanish, and Russian.
- Barak Obama used to be fluent in Indonesian, having attended school there from 6 to 10.
- James Madison liked dead languages. He was fluent in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew (which was dead in the 1700s when he learned it).
Unknown Filipino lady wearing traditional “Terno,” or “María Clara” ensemble. Circa 1890s