Multiple countries have names whose origin is unknown. You would think we would know why people called their land a certain name, but in some cases, it is a mystery. These "etymology-less" countries include:
- Chile (a really new country!)
- Cyprus (this one is an old country, fine)
- Greece's name for itself, Hellas
- Portugal comes from the Latin "Portucale." "Port" is the same as in English, but it is combined with the unknown word "cale." So half of Portugal's name is of unknown origin
Since the start of human civilization, about 11,700 years ago, the total number of trees on Earth has fallen by around 46%
Many are younger than I thought!
Historians often use the term the "Short 20th Century" for 1914 to 1991. This is because 1900 to 1914 fits in better with the spirit, values, concerns, and activities of the 1800s. And 1991 and after fits better with our present era.
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.