Antarctica Has A Native Insect

Due to its harsh home it is flightless and less than 1 centimeter long. Named the antarctic midge, they are technically the largest native land animals of Antarctica, and are specially adapted to the cold. Among other things, antarctic midges freeze solid 9 months of the year. They are currently being studied to help humans store organs for transplants.

Continent of Zealandia Revealed By New Mapping Effort

Scientists determined that the submerged land mass, named Zealandia, was its own continent -- not a part of the Australian continent -- back in 2017. Efforts to map the continent have found that it was 2 million square miles (5 million square kilometers), which is about half the size of Australia. However, only 6% of the continent is above sea level today. Just the two islands of New Zealand. Which makes the continent-mapping effort actually an ocean-mapping effort.

Check out the interactive map scientists have created with the latest information from their mapping work! It shows mountains and ridges beneath the ocean, as well as coastlines, territorial limits, and the names of major undersea features. The map of Zealandia is part of a global initiative to map the planet's entire ocean floor by 2030.

Indigenous Land Management Still Impacting Amazon, Centuries After It Stopped Being Practiced

Researchers from the University of Exeter and Brazil’s State University of Mato Grosso sampled some 4,000 trees in southern and eastern Amazonia, and found that areas of the Amazon where so-called “dark earth” is found have more diverse ecosystems. Edmar Almeida de Oliveira explained that this vegetation includes more edible fruit trees and different species of colossal trees than are found in the surrounding forest. The study shows that these patches of dark earth, which were created over a period of 5,000 years by early farmers who fertilized the soil with charcoal from fires and food waste, still have more nutrients and are thus more fertile than untreated soils. Early farmers are thought to have grown food in the treated soils and forested trees from untreated areas. Dark earth areas were abandoned, the researchers added, when indigenous communities collapsed after the arrival of Europeans.

American singer Dion DiMucci played and recorded his song "Runaround Sue" with African American musicians. But his music video would not be played in the south if it showed African American musicians. Hollywood executives chose to put White actors behind him in the music video, pretending to be his musicians, so they could make more money. Which meant the African American musicians who were the true artists lost credit around the country, not just in the south. Just one more example of how systematic racism -- racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization, such as southern rules about what music videos are okay -- hurt African Americans all around the country.

Justin Fashanu (1961–1998) was a British footballer (soccer player). He played from the late 1970s till 1997. Fashanu was the first professional footballer in England to come out as gay and to this day is the only British male professional player to have done so.

How Birds Got (And Kept) Their Beaks

Turtles and some dinosaurs (and platypuses!) have beaks, too. But birds are the biggest beak-having group. Why?

Someone living in Sweden during the Iron Age wore this cloak. Unfortunately, they wore it while they were murdered: forensic analysis found the holes in the cloak match how stabs would have penetrated the folds of the cloak when it was being worn. Dating to 360 to 100 BCE, is also the oldest known example of a houndstooth pattern!

Weird But True

"Egg" as a verb -- e.g. to egg someone on -- has been in the English language longer than "egg" as a noun -- e.g. a chicken's egg.

Megalith Cist Burials Found in Southern India

  Archaeologists have uncovered a total of 250 cairn circles in southern India’s trade and industrial center of Kodumanal, which was inhabited from the 400s through first century B.C.E. The cairn circles were made of giant rocks or megaliths. Most of the cairn circles were around rectangular chambers built of megaliths, which in turn contained burial cists and three or four bowls or pots. The pottery was likely for offerings placed outside the burial cists, showing a belief system that included something after death. An impressive ten pots and bowls were recently unearthed in a larger circle made of boulders and rectangular-shaped cists made of stone slabs, surrounding a three-chambered burial. This larger, more complex burial might have been intended for someone important in the community.

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    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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