Newly Discovered Reef Towers Over the Ocean Floor

by Nevaeh Powell, age 13

Near the end of October while observing an area near the Great Barrier Reef, scientists found one of the largest underwater structures discovered in over a century: a reef structure made of coral.

The scientists that found the reef were on a year long expedition surveying the seabed around Australia. As the researchers were traveling on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research ship, the Falkor, they were using an subaquatic robot called SuBastian. SuBastian used technology that allowed the scientists to explore and create 3D maps of the ocean. As the group was on their journey, they discovered the tower or “detached reef.'' A detached reef is a structure, or tower in this case, that isn't attached to a larger nearby reef but sits alone at the bottom of the sea floor.

The tower is 1,640 feet above the sea floor at its highest point and nearly a mile wide at the bottom. The tower is taller than the Empire State Building, and it's top is just 130 feet below sea level. [read more]

Ancient Underwater Monument Exposed by Dry Weather

by Abigail Comerford, age 15

A summer of droughts in Extremadura, Spain, brought the Dolmen of Guadalperal--a prehistoric monument--back to the surface to be appreciated and studied by archeologists all over the world. Droughts, known for wreaking havoc on small towns and farms, are actually goldmines for archeologists; they allow them to look further into the past and study monuments that would typically be covered by water, such as the Dolmen of Guadalperal.

In past years, water levels in the Valdecañas Reservoir have fluctuated, causing tips of some of the stones to peek through, but the 2019 droughts revealed the entire monument, which is a very rare occurrence.

During Francisco Franco’s attempt to modernize Spain, his regime carried out many civil engineering projects, including building a dam and the Valdecañas Reservoir that flooded in 1963. These floods and man-made lakes resulted in many monuments hidden under water. [read more]

How Has the Human Species Survived for So Long?

by Sydney Steidl, age 14

Homo sapiens are the only hominids (human-like) species to have survived in all of Earth’s climate changes over the last 45,000 years. Ever wonder how and why we’ve survived, when other hominid species, like the Neanderthal, did not?

Dr. Patrick Roberts and Dr. Brian Stewart published a research paper in 2018, Nature Human Behavior, claiming that since Earth’s geographies have diversified greatly since the first hominids appeared five million years ago, it was critical to our survival for us to adapt to them.

Other scientists credit our survival to our brain's capacity to form cultures and express creativity along with these adaptive abilities. We are “generalist specialists.” which some say is one reason we have survived for this long. [read more]

The Mystery Behind “The Titanic of the Great Lakes”

by Alan Cruz, age 14

The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the largest ships to ever roam North America's Great Lakes. It is also one of the most famous, and is widely known for its mysterious disappearance. The Fitzgerald is the largest ship to sink on Lake Superior.

November is one of the most dangerous months to sail on the Great Lakes. Frequent storms and strong winds can cause the huge lake to turn deadly. One of these deadly storms caught up to the Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10, 1975.

The ship was owned by Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company and built by Great Lakes Engineering Works in 1957 at a staggering cost of 8.4 million dollars, making it the most expensive ship to be built at that time. While the company was well known for investing money in many mineral and iron industries, Northwestern Mutual became the first American insurance company to build its own ship. The ship made its first voyage on September 24, 1958. Big cargo ships on the Great Lakes, like the Fitzgerald, were nicknamed “lakers”. Lakers transported massive amounts of salts, rocks, and grain. The Fitz generally carried taconite, a low-grade iron ore, and hauled the pellets from mines in Minnesota to steel mills near Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. [read more]

Volcanoes: Why People Live in the Shadow of Devastation

by Ruben Becerril, age 8

Did you know there are about 1900 active volcanoes on Earth and most of them are on the Ring of Fire? The Ring of Fire surrounds the Pacific Ocean and it is a 40,000 kilometer horseshoe shape.

The word volcano originated from the name of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan. Volcanoes are formed from the collision of tectonic plates on Earth’s surface. Many volcanoes can be active, dormant or extinct. They can be found on land and even in the ocean or under ice caps.

Magma is hot liquid rock inside a volcano and lava is the name given to hot liquid rock that flows out during eruptions. The biggest active volcano on Earth is Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The biggest volcano in our solar system is on Mars. It is known as Olympus Mons. [read more]

Unraveling the Code of the Incan Khipu

by Moises Hernandez, age 15

Out of all the things a first-year student at Harvard could do during spring break, Manny Medrano, with the help of his professor, spent his making an archaeological breakthrough.

Gary Urton, professor of Pre-Columbian Studies at Harvard University, worked with Medrano to interpret a set of six khipus -- tied strings utilized for record-keeping by the Inca Empire. Matching the khipus to a Spanish census document from the colonial-era, Medrano and Urton revealed the importance of the cords in higher detail than in the past, with findings that could provide a deeper understanding of the Andean civilization’s daily life. [read more]

Remarkable Ancient Texts Preserved in Remote Libraries Deep in the Sahara Desert

by Zainab Yahiaoui, age 14

An ancient and remote village in the middle of the Sahara Desert is home to many sacred texts from libraries that were built more than 1,000 years ago. Now the world’s greatest desert threatens to engulf the history and the libraries of this remarkable place.

The village of Chinguetti was a stopping off point for pilgrims on their way to Mecca. These travelers would stop in Chinguetti to study religion, astronomy, mathematics, and law. All these topics were included in the texts and kept in the libraries at Chinguetti. People could read and study at the libraries as part of their pilgrimage to Mecca. [read more]

Life Without Facebook or Smartphones in America’s Quiet Zone

by Kadjata Bah, age 15

It seems now more difficult than ever to imagine a world without the internet and online devices. We use these devices every day, and it seems almost unimaginable for many younger people to remember there was a time when people weren’t dependent on smartphones and laptops. [read more]

How Climate Change Affects the Poles

by Felix Berkelman, age 14

Although one might think the Arctic and Antarctic seem basically the same climate wise, they are actually noticeably different. Likewise, they are also affected differently by climate change. Both areas have melting ice, however the two poles have it for a different reason.

The main reason for the difference in climate is the positioning of land around the poles. The North Pole consists of an ocean surrounded by land, while the South Pole is the opposite, a land mass surrounded by ocean. Although this detail may seem meaningless, it actually has a drastic effect on the temperature of the poles. [read more]

The Stratovolcano El Popocatépetl

by Desteny Alvarez, age 15

El Popocatépetl (El Popo) is a stratovolcano (a volcano made up of layers of lava and ash) located in Southwest of Puebla and Central Mexico, about 43 miles South of Mexico city. The volcano is located in the Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park, and is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.

El Popo is the second tallest volcano in North America and one of the world’s most dangerous. It is the 89th most popular peak in the world and the 17th most well-known peak in North America. Scientists estimate that El Popo is about 730,000 years old. The volcano’s diameter is 16 miles at the base and over 40 villages are located at the slope of the volcano. [read more]

Mysterious Statues on Easter Island

by Virginia Quach, age 18

Around 800 years ago, Easter Island’s colossal human-like statues were sculpted by the island’s early inhabitants. These statues have fueled decades worth of research to solve their mysteries: why were they created and how did they end up in their locations?

The statues, called moai, weigh up to 92 tons and have puzzled scientist in their search for answers about their properties, usage, and importance. Typically, these moai monuments are settled atop platforms called ahu where they are displayed near the coasts of the island. However, these complementary items did not always have a chance to pair up. [read more]

How Do the Deadliest Storms in the World Form?

by Lah’Nylah Bivens, age 11

Hurricanes are similar to tornadoes, but they form over water. While the official name for these types of storms is tropical cyclones, they are also called typhoons or cyclones, depending on where they occur. They cause damage to coastal cities and can kill thousands of people, and leave thousands of others homeless.

Hurricanes usually form in a tropical place when the sun heats the water, which then evaporates and cools into clouds. As the hot air rises, cold air rushes in to fill the space. Next, the clouds and warm air begin to spin and grow from the ocean's heat and surface water evaporation. The middle of the storm is called the eye. [read more]

Recent Geography Articles

Sauropods, some of the largest animals to ever roam the earth, were long-necked and long-tailed dinosaurs often portrayed in movies eating from the top of the trees. The Brontosaurus, also known as the “thunder lizard,” is part of the sauropod family, but until recently many thought it didn’t exist. [read more...]
The Colosseum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome with millions of people visiting each year. Also known as the Flavian Amphitheater, it has a very rich history dating back to the early A.D. 70’s when it was built as a gift to the Roman people. [read more...]
The Olmec Civilization is an archeological culture in Southern Mexico that thrived between 1200-500 C.E. This means it is understood through artifacts left behind, especially huge head statues, rather than by written history. [read more...]
The Silk Road stretched across Europe and Asia, and traders carried goods back and forth along its routes. Silk was often bought from China to dress European royalty and any patrons who had enough money to afford it. Jades, other precious jewels, porcelain, tea, and spices also were exchanged from Asia. From Europe came horses, textiles, and manufactured goods. [read more...]
About 66 million years ago, an asteroid struck the Yucatán Peninsula and caused apocalyptic ecological havoc, including tsunamis, an overheated atmosphere, darkened skies, and a cold wave. It is estimated that this event wiped away seventy-five percent of known life on Earth, including dinosaurs. But, is this the whole story? [read more...]
Near the end of October while observing an area near the Great Barrier Reef, scientists found one of the largest underwater structures discovered in over a century: a reef structure made of coral. [read more...]
A summer of droughts in Extremadura, Spain, brought the Dolmen of Guadalperal--a prehistoric monument--back to the surface to be appreciated and studied by archeologists all over the world. Droughts, known for wreaking havoc on small towns and farms, are actually goldmines for archeologists; they allow them to look further into the past and study monuments that would typically be covered by water, such as the Dolmen of Guadalperal. [read more...]
Homo sapiens are the only hominids (human-like) species to have survived in all of Earth’s climate changes over the last 45,000 years. Ever wonder how and why we’ve survived, when other hominid species, like the Neanderthal, did not? [read more...]
The influenza pandemic between 1918 and 1919, more commonly known as the Spanish flu, was the biggest and most devastating pandemic of the 20th century. In fact, it was one of the worst so far in human history. The virus killed and spread very quickly. Not much was known about it at the time, which scared many people. [read more...]
Did you know there are about 1900 active volcanoes on Earth and most of them are on the Ring of Fire? The Ring of Fire surrounds the Pacific Ocean and it is a 40,000 kilometer horseshoe shape. [read more...]
Woolly mammoths are an extinct branch of the elephant family that once roamed the Ice Age landscape from from Spain to Canada. In prehistoric times, Asia was connected to North America by a natural landbridge running from what is now Russia to Alaska. And glaciers covered most of modern-day Eurasia and Canada. [read more...]
Dane County officials recently announced an important new land purchase in the Town of Verona. This will be the county’s largest conservation land purchase of 2020. The 160-acre acquisition adds to several other wildlife areas and natural resource areas near the Sugar River in southern Dane County. [read more...]
A study published recently in the biomedical journal Cell, paints a new picture of human history. Omer Gokcumen, a geneticist at the University at Buffalo, describes early human genetics as “almost as a spider web of interactions, rather than a tree with distinct branches.” This new way of looking at history explains how Neanderthal genes integrated into the human race throughout the years. [read more...]
In June of 1867, Chinese workers constructing the transcontinental railroad returned to their tents and refused to work until their wages were raised to a white man’s wage of $40 a month, workdays were shortened to 10 hours, and working conditions improved. That started a labor strike, one of the largest in America history up to that point. For seven days, the Chinese workers remained at the campsite and peacefully protested. It ended with starvation. [read more...]
An ancient and remote village in the middle of the Sahara Desert is home to many sacred texts from libraries that were built more than 1,000 years ago. Now the world’s greatest desert threatens to engulf the history and the libraries of this remarkable place. [read more...]
obert Smalls was born in 1839, son of a slave owner. Growing up, Smalls wasn’t aware of the miseries of slavery as he was removed from it. Being the master's son he was given less work, allowed inside, and to play with white children as well. As he started to grow up, his mother worried he wouldn’t understand the dangers of the world for black people. So when Smalls was about ten years old his mother made him work in the fields, witness whipping and live among his own people. As he became more familiar with slavery he decided to rebel. In fear for his safety his mother asked his owner to send him to Charleston to work. [read more...]
Out of all the things a first-year student at Harvard could do during spring break, Manny Medrano, with the help of his professor, spent his making an archaeological breakthrough. [read more...]
OR-54, a beloved and well-known gray wolf, died recently in California, having played an important role in enhancing the grey wolf population. Only recently has the federal government passed a law making the gray wolf endangered in California and Oregon, an effort meant to protect the species. [read more...]
It seems now more difficult than ever to imagine a world without the internet and online devices. We use these devices every day, and it seems almost unimaginable for many younger people to remember there was a time when people weren’t dependent on smartphones and laptops. While for the vast majority of Americans this far-fetched world exists only in their imaginations, it is absolute reality for one small town. In Green Bank, West Virginia life has taken a somewhat uncommon direction. [read more...]
Although one might think the Arctic and Antarctic seem basically the same climate wise, they are actually noticeably different. Likewise, they are also affected differently by climate change. Both areas have melting ice, however the two poles have it for a different reason. [read more...]
El Popocatépetl (El Popo) is a stratovolcano (a volcano made up of layers of lava and ash) located in Southwest of Puebla and Central Mexico, about 43 miles South of Mexico city. The volcano is located in the Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park, and is part of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. [read more...]
The Midwest, especially the state of Wisconsin, is covered with thousands of ancient effigy mounds. From ground level, these mounds usually just look like small hills, but they were actually created by Native Americans hundreds of years ago. Some of these mounds are over 1,500 years old and can be over 100 meters in diameter. These mounds are usually made in the shape of an animal or human. It is believed that they were often built at the base of hills in order for the entire mound to be seen during construction. [read more...]
Outside of the Midwest, The Upper Peninsula is by all accounts a puzzle to a significant part of the U.S. populace. Shockingly, even to the absolute midwest, it is normal to imagine that the Upper Peninsula is a piece of Canada; and some of the time course readings do not have the foggiest idea what express the Upper Peninsula is in. The vast majority accept that the Upper Peninsula is bordered by water in other locations. [read more...]
The amount of plastic pollution in our oceans has grown rapidly over the last 40 years. At this rate, plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the oceans by the year 2050. [read more...]
Flooding isn’t one of Dane County’s biggest concerns, but there is certainly a risk. [read more...]
In America, “the loneliest road” is located in Nevada on U.S. Route 50. It’s the opposite of Las Vegas, with no big casinos or bright lights. Route 50 is a long road and a quiet place. [read more...]
Have you ever been hiking in the Madison area and seen mounds in the ground? Do you know the significance of a mound to Wisconsin’s history? [read more...]
Sixty years ago, a muddy spring from the San Andreas fault in southern California began to form, moving slowly across the land; 10 years ago it began to pick up speed. [read more...]
Would you say hurricanes are stronger than tropical cyclones? The answer is yes, the difference between them, is the destructive power and wind speed the hurricanes release. [read more...]
Hurricanes are similar to tornadoes, but they form over water. While the official name for these types of storms is tropical cyclones, they are also called typhoons or cyclones, depending on where they occur. They cause damage to coastal cities and can kill thousands of people, and leave thousands of others homeless. [read more...]
Park rangers are a key part of African conservation sites. These sites are essential to protecting endangered species from poaching, also known as illegal hunting. Why, then, are they not being properly supported? It has been shown that with proper equipment and training, rangers do their jobs better. Park rangers need equipment, training, and security to succeed and be safe on the job. [read more...]
Around 800 years ago, Easter Island’s colossal human-like statues were sculpted by the island’s early inhabitants. These statues have fueled decades worth of research to solve their mysteries: why were they created and how did they end up in their locations? [read more...]
In 1880, less than five percent of Africa was ruled by European nations. The majority of European nations were satisfied with the trading colonies they had around the coast of Africa, while the British and the Boers in South Africa were the only ones who moved inland to set up new settlements. [read more...]
The Nile is the world’s longest river at 4,135 miles. It flows North and is located in Africa. The name Nile originally came from the Greek word Neilos, meaning “river valley”. [read more...]
Scientists have recently discovered an animal fossil dating nearly 20 million years earlier than the Cambrian explosion of life. This first known fossil existed 558 million years ago, while the Cambrian explosion happened 540 million years ago. That’s when modern looking animals such as snails and arthropods emerged. [read more...]
Did you know that the intense heat from fires can produce fire clouds? [read more...]
Hurricanes threaten millions of people all over the globe. From formation to the naming process, Simpson Street Free Press is here to answer all your questions about hurricanes. [read more...]
About 11,000 years ago, a man died in what is now Nevada. The body was placed in a blanket and buried at a place called Spirit Cave. Recent research and scientific discoveries, including new research at Spirit Cave, are changing what we know about prehistory. [read more...]
The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the largest ships to ever roam North America's Great Lakes. It is also one of the most famous, and is widely known for its mysterious disappearance. The Fitzgerald is the largest ship to sink on Lake Superior. [read more...]
Recently, a huge prehistoric Mayan city was uncovered using a revolutionary technology called LiDAR. This discovery may change the way that archeologists look at ancient Mayan civilization. LiDAR is a tool that can help archeologists map out areas and discover previously unnoticed ruins or structures; it helped a team of Mayan civilization experts uncover a huge Mayan city. [read more...]
Victoria Falls, Boyomo Falls, Niagara Falls, and Iguazú Falls are some of the world’s greatest waterfalls. But, many people may not realize that some of the world’s largest waterfalls exist underwater, hidden from the public’s eye. [read more...]
Son conocidos como “crazy worms” o “gusanos locos”, están invadiendo nuestros suelos forestales y tenemos que hacer algo al respecto. [read more...]
Eran las once, cuarenta y nueve de la noche cuando un terremoto de 8.2 sacudió los estados mexicanos de Oaxaca, Chiapas, y Tabasco. Aunque este terremoto, que ocurrió el 7 de septiembre del 2017, causó muchos daños, no fue tan devastador como el terremoto de 1985. El terremoto del año 85 fue menor en magnitud, pero causó más daño comparado con el del año 2017. [read more...]
A volcano is an opening in the surface of the Earth. Gas and hot smoke, along with magma and ash, can come out of its opening. [read more...]
Native plants are an important part of our ecosystem due to their many benefits, but their numbers are quickly dwindling. A new program by the Land and Water Resources Department aims to encourage more native gardens around Dane County. The program, called Plant Dane, is growing and offering free native plants to schools and community centers. Native plant gardens can be quite costly due to the high price of native plants. By offering free plants from the county, schools and communities that previously didn't have the money to create a garden now can. [read more...]
Blue-green algae is a problem that plagues many beaches in Dane County. Too much exposure to this bacterium can lead to high risks of health issues such as sore throats and rashes. The toxic algae flourish in Dane County’s phosphorus-rich lakes decreasing water quality and resulting in beach closings. John Reimer, a civil engineer and assistant director of the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, is using new technology to keep the beaches clean and closings at bay while Dane County and local partners work towards long-term water quality improvement. [read more...]
California es un lugar muy deseable para vivir, pero también es uno de los mas difíciles para obtener agua. California está en problemas por esto, ya que es un recurso que todos necesitamos para vivir, pero su escasez ha provocado que tenga un precio muy elevado. [read more...]
The Midwest harbors many fascinating many mounds, burial sites, and historical landmarks - some are even located in Wisconsin. [read more...]
Scientists have always believed that there was one mass migration of people across the land bridge between Asia and the Americas. This group of people then split in two, forming the northern and southern groups, which are the ancestors of modern day Native Americans. This belief was mostly based on DNA from bodies and remains found in settlements. However, a new discovery might completely change the theories about these people and their paths. [read more...]
Ancient Egyptians were skilled mathematicians and architects who built huge stone monuments in honor of their rulers. One type of monument they built for their pharaohs was the pyramid. The most impressive of the ancient monuments were the Egyptian pyramids which were built in Giza. [read more...]
Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. It is also known as Mosi-oa-tunya, meaning “smoke that thunders.” [read more...]
For years, scientists have recorded volcanic eruptions. One such explosion, the biggest in recorded history, is known as “The Big Bang at Krakatoa.” [read more...]
Death Valley is a desert located between California and Nevada. It is the hottest place on planet Earth, the highest temperatures in Death Valley can reach up to 134 degrees Fahrenheit. [read more...]
Coastal sand crumbles at the human touch but is powerful enough to form barrier islands. Have you ever wondered how this is possible? [read more...]
Historians call the process of African colonization “The Scramble for Africa.” It began with an agreement at the Berlin conference, which lasted from 1884 to 1885. There, representatives from 15 European countries met to decide on the process to colonize the continent. [read more...]
In the cold, far east of Europe, there is a country that borders Poland and Russia. Its history of Varangian tribes, Viking rule, and Russian occupation has made for a unique country. This nation, Ukraine, is also home to many revolutionaries. [read more...]
The forests of Madagascar, an island located off the east coast of Africa, are host to many unique plants and animals. Madagascar was first discovered by humans approximately two thousand years ago. Now, less than ten percent of the lush forest remains – the sole habitat of many indigenous animals. [read more...]
During the fall semester of 2017, the students of Badger Rock Middle School made books for students in Guinea. The teacher who began this project, Maya Kadakia, is the English-Language Arts teacher at Badger Rock. [read more...]
What are tsunamis? In Japanese, tsunami means “great harbor waves” Tsunamis happen when the earth’s crust moves and the tectonic plates rub together. This causes the ocean to send shock waves near cities and land. They are powerful, destructive, and can reach up to 100 feet high. [read more...]
“Derecho” is a Spanish word meaning “straight ahead”. It is also the name for severe thunderstorms with winds up to 150miles per hour. [read more...]
The fourth largest island in the world Madagascar has many different climates. [read more...]
Mudslides, a sub-category of landslides, occur when piles of rock, soil, and other debris soaked in water forge an uncontrollable path. They can wash away entire cities and leave hundreds of people dead, injured, or missing. [read more...]
What happens when warm, moist air from Mexico and cool dry air from Canada collide? A tornado occurs. A tornado is a strong rotation of storm wind that reaches the ground. Tornadoes can destroy buildings, knock over trees, and move cars. Each year, there are around 1,000 tornadoes reported nationwide in the U.S. [read more...]
With wind whipping through the sails of her ship, Laura Dekker set off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. She had a dream of sailing around the world, and she wanted badly to accomplish it. At the age of 14, Dekker set out to achieve her dream and began to sail around the world by herself. [read more...]
The Everglades region is a great natural wonder of the world. Located in the southern part of Florida, this sub-tropical marshland provides a home to thousands of fascinating plants and animals. [read more...]
Earlier this year, scientists stumbled upon a specimen they claim to be the oldest fossil ever discovered – dating back at least 3.77 billion years. In a recent study, researchers Mattew S. Dodd, Dr. Dominic Papineau, and their colleagues at the University College London examined rocks from a formation in Canada called Nuvvuagittuq. [read more...]
Algae, mollusks, and sea anemones all live on coastlines. While wetlands have still waters, coastlines alternate between wet and dry terrain. Perhaps surprisingly, a plethora of interesting species thrive in both of these aquatic environments. [read more...]
You probably know the legend of the majestic, antlered deer that live in the North Pole. You may even know that reindeer exist outside of Christmas stories. But did you know that there are actually people who live among reindeer? [read more...]
Did you know that 90 percent of the people who live in Thailand are Buddhist and about three million people there are Muslims? The lifestyle in Thailand is probably very different than yours. [read more...]
Scandinavia is a beautiful region located in northern Europe. Scandinavian countries include Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. Many people consider Scandinavia an ideal place to live. [read more...]
Have you ever seen a bird doing something weird? Many birds have questionable traditions. Three North American birds with especially odd and unique routines are the Tufted Titmice, the Killdeer, and the Great Blue Heron. [read more...]
In 2004, scientists unearthed evidence of the oldest tiger ever discovered. Found in northwestern China, the skull of the extinct, jaguar-sized tiger dates back 2.16 to 2.55 million years. [read more...]
In Ancient Greece, the world was different than it is in many places now. There, people regularly killed domestic animals such as oxen, sheep, and goats and offered them as sacrifices to their gods. In fact, sacrifice was part of the Ancient Greeks' religion. [read more...]
The Great Barrier Reef, the biggest reef in the world, is currently facing extinction. Before addressing this problem, scientists must first answer one question: what's causing this extinction? Today, they propose a number of different answers. [read more...]
The lava lizard gets its name because it is found in groups that sit under the sun and on top of hardened lava. In addition to their common name, the lava lizards' scientific name is Microlphus and its Spanish name is lagartija de lava [read more...]
From housecats to deadly striped tigers, cats are everywhere. But most cats can’t hear like a Lynx can. The fluff on the tip of this animal's ears serves as a megaphone that amplifies the sound of its prey in the distance. [read more...]
The world's biggest ocean holds many secrets. Rich with wildlife, minerals, and volcanic islands, the Pacific Ocean is the deepest and biggest ocean on Earth. The Pacific Ocean is about twice as big as the Atlantic Ocean and contains three times as much water. This ocean has islands everywhere and is surrounded by many of the world’s most highly-populated nations. In fact, more than half of all people currently on Earth live along the Pacific Ocean’s coast. [read more...]
When you think of penguins, you probably picture Antarctic penguins living among snow and ice. But there’s also a lesser-known penguin species called the African penguin. Like its name suggests, this animal lives in southern Africa, where the climate is hot and dry. [read more...]
California’s Yosemite National Park is a very large and beautiful place. Home to thousands of animal and plant species, the park boasts awesome mountains, scenic valleys, and clear rivers. [read more...]
Two years ago I visited the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, Mexico with my parents. This was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about the Pyramid. [read more...]
The pyramids of Giza are wonderful, historical monuments and the oldest of the Seven Great Wonders of the World. They leave all other pyramids behind in terms of size, architecture, and legacy. [read more...]
The Golden Gate Bridge is a stunning entry-way to the city of San Francisco. But it never would have become one of the 100 Wonders of the World without the determination of architect Joseph B. Strauss. [read more...]
Hundreds of individuals were arrested in Moscow during an opposition rally Sunday. Alec Luhn, a journalist working in Russia for The Guardian, was among the arrested. [read more...]
The Black Death, also known as the “bubonic plague,” was a horrible illness that affected Europe and Asia from the 14th through the 15th century. During this period, known today as the Middle Ages, 25 million people died from the Black Death. [read more...]
A new exhibit recently opened to the public at Henry Vilas Zoo. The exhibit celebrates Wisconsin history and the creatures who are the face behind it all—badgers. [read more...]
The marine iguana is an animal with an interesting life. For example, this critter has a complex body structure that helps it survive its environment. [read more...]
All my life, I have left my home in America every year to fly across the Atlantic and spend my summers in Hungary. [read more...]
Mountain gorillas are disappearing; scientists estimate that roughly 700 mountain gorillas are left, putting them in the “critically endangered” category. The remaining mountain gorillas are scattered around the volcanic slopes of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain gorillas are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching. [read more...]
Back in the 1800s, many Irish people emigrated to Wisconsin. To this day, their descendants continue to live throughout the state and influence its culture. [read more...]
One of the most fearsome leaders of the early 5th century was not a war general or a dictator. No, he was the short, illegitimate son of an Irish king. His story is often overlooked in history books and little is known about his personal life, but his legacy lives on along with his name: he is Niall of the Nine Hostages. [read more...]
Did you know that the four lakes of Wisconsin were created by glaciers? Glaciers are huge sheets of ice. Madison was once covered by a glacier as tall as five Capitol buildings stacked on top of each other. Each year, the glacier moved forward, pushing tons of sand and gravel, changing the landscape as it moved. [read more...]
A famous symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was originally a gift to the United States from France in admiration of our nation's democracy. [read more...]
When one thinks about Egypt, gold-hued visions of pyramids, mummies, and ancient structures might come to mind. But what people do these treasures honor and why? [read more...]
Cries of victory echoed from Standing Rock North Dakota as protestors celebrated news of a planned rerouting of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineering announced recently that it would not allow the pipeline to follow the current planned route and will look for alternatives. [read more...]
Did you know that the largest and heaviest reptile is the Komodo dragon? The only place you can find this wild beast is on Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands. [read more...]
Genghis Khan, infamous warrior of central Asia, was born in 1167. Originally born “Temujin,” he was the son of a tribal chief. [read more...]
The ocean is home to many different animals from big to small. Leafy sea dragons, one aquatic species, are fish that look a lot like seaweed. They are not strong swimmers, which is why they float with the current of the ocean. They are found in shallow coastal waters around Australia and feed on sea lice and other tiny creatures. They can also lay up to 250 eggs at a time. [read more...]
One of the most well-known wonders of the world, Niagara Falls, has existed for nearly 10,000 years and lies on the Canadian-U.S. border. [read more...]
In 1631, while giving birth to her 14th child, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife passed away. When the Emperor lost his beloved wife, his hair grew white from grief and he vowed to build a tomb worthy of his wife’s memory. The Emperor wanted something unique, something unequaled anywhere else in the world. [read more...]
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced recently that local benefactor Stephen Morton donated 114 acres of forestland to Dane County Parks. Located in the Black Earth/Mazomanie area, the newly-unveiled Morton Forest illuminates many scenic views including the Blue Mound, which is the biggest hill in southern Wisconsin. [read more...]
About 100,000 years ago tigers roamed the Indochinese region. Thus deemed “Indochinese Tigers,” these powerful beasts are said to be the ancestors of all other tiger subspecies. [read more...]
For years, African American history and culture has been downplayed in literature, films, and the media. However, with the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the African-American narrative will finally become accessible to everyone, creating a richer story of America. [read more...]
Organisms as different as penguins, cacti and zebras all share planet earth based on rainfall and temperature, they each occupy different habitats. The habitats that make up planet earth are oceans, wetlands, forest, grasslands, deserts, mountains, and polar habitats. [read more...]
The Blue Mosque is located in Istanbul, Turkey, but it wasn’t always a mosque. Before becoming a mosque, it was the mother church of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453, the church fell under the Turkish and at that point it became a mosque. It attracts large numbers of visitors each year. The temple houses various exhibits and museums. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered if there are such things as magical rabbits? Well the answer is no, but there is an animal called the “Magic Rabbit.” The “Magic Rabbit”, also known as the Ili pika, is a tiny creature that looks like a teddy bear. They live in the northwestern mountains of China. The Ili pika has to retreat to cold heights to keep cool. It was discovered by a Chinese conservationist, Li Weidong, in remote northwestern China and he named it after his hometown Ili, and by its family name pika. In June 2014, a group of volunteers took a photo of the Ili pika and dubbed it the “Magic Rabbit.” [read more...]
Yellowstone National Park is home to many different types of plants and animals. From birds like osprey to trees like the lodgepole pine, it is truly a shelter and sanctuary for many species. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how some animals survive extreme desert heat? The species who inhabit desert regions use various tactics to survive. The desert has lethal surface temperatures reaching up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. To combat the deadly heat, some animals are constantly on the prowl for water. Consuming water helps these animals maintain low body temperatures. [read more...]
The Great Wall of China is one of the most spectacular architectural structures of all time. With a length of about 3,946 miles, the Great Wall was originally built in the 1600s to keep Mongolian horsemen from invading China. The wall was also constructed to showcase the Emperor's power and glory. [read more...]
By land area, the Mongolian empire was the largest-ever empire. Its first ruler was Temujin, who later became infamous under the name, Genghis Khan. The Mongolian Empire lasted through the early 13th and early 15th century. [read more...]
Visualize a thumbtack without the bottom. Now imagine that as a building, but way taller. [read more...]
Capitalism is an economic system wherein private owners control industry, and trade goods and services to make a profit. Capitalism originated in Western Europe and spread for years until it engulfed the whole continent. In the early modern world (1500-1800), Europe dominated the globe economically due to colonialist exploration of western lands and eastern trade routes. Those European traders were merchant capitalists. [read more...]
Does the language one think in or speak in determine how one perceived events? Does it affect how one notices things? A debate has raged on for over 70 years about whether language affects how people think. [read more...]
The Printing Press, a very important invention, initiated an “information revolution” on par with the Internet today. In fact, the Printing Press changed the world. [read more...]
There are 3,400 snake species in the world. These slithering reptiles live everywhere except Antarctica. Twenty-one of these species, two of which are poisonous, live in Wisconsin. These are the timber rattlesnake and the massasauga rattler. [read more...]
The Arctic is not a place many humans would call home, however, but it's just that for some birds. Though most birds live in warm climates and migrate elsewhere when it gets cold, Arctic birds stick it out through each freezing winter. Arctic birds live in the treeless tundra. [read more...]
Three men stranded on a deserted island were rescued when an overhead U.S. Navy plane saw the word "help" written on the shore of the small island last April. [read more...]
Chad is a land in Africa of the unknown and forgotten. Life in Chad is unlike any other, with an amazing spectrum of wildlife and numerous ethnic groups. [read more...]
Egyptian mummies are the stuff of legends, cryptic video games and adventure films. But why did the Egyptians make mummies in first place? [read more...]
Marianne Winkler was walking on a German beach with her husband when she saw an object that had washed up on the shore. She investigated further to find the object was a message in a bottle. The bottle was sealed shut, so Winkler and her husband decided to break it to get the message [read more...]
Japan is an archipelago of islands found off the Eastern side of Russia. The country places 18th in total land area in the world. Its largest island is called Honshu, second largest is Hokkaido, then Kyushu and Shikoku are runner-ups before the smallest of them all, the Ryukyu islands. [read more...]
The longest river in the world, the Nile flows in many countries. Every year, the Nile rises from July to October despite the fact that it hardly rains in Egypt. This is known as “the riddle of the Nile river.” [read more...]
Siberian Tigers, also known as Panthera Tigris Altica, are the biggest of the big cats. These creatures are among the most ferocious predators in the animal kingdom. They live in north-eastern China and North and South Korea. Like the closely related Snow leopard, Unicia unicia, Siberian Tigers thrive in extremely cold weather. [read more...]
America owes its riches to African slaves. The institution of slavery started during the 17th and 18th centuries in the United States. The country had plenty of natural resources, but it did not have enough labor to farm the land. To the rich white plantation owners, African slaves seemed to be a perfect solution. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Puma and a Cougar? That was a trick question. "Puma" and "Cougar" are actually just nicknames for the Mountain Lion, which is not really a lion at all. The name was given to this cat relative because it resembles a female lioness. Another cat relative with a trick in its name is the Bobcat. [read more...]
Giraffes are like snowflakes – no two look alike. But giraffes share characteristics; they have huge hearts and tongues, to they only give birth to one calf and their “vulnerable” status. On average, giraffes tend to live 20-25 years. Like any other mammal, they have vertebrae. [read more...]
A sovereign state located right outside of Australia, Fiji has a population of 887,027 people who inhabit the 7,054 square mile island. Fiji gained its independence from Britain in 1970. Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, a former coup leader elected in Fiji’s first election in eight years, announced in 2014 that it was “time to dispense with the colonial symbols.” [read more...]
The Himalayas form the largest mountain range in the world. They also host the tallest mountain on the planet: Mt. Everest. In Nepal, the Himalayan mountain range is called “Chomolungma,” meaning Goddess of Mother Snows. [read more...]
Do you know what is the longest river in the whole world? It’s the Nile, Egypt’s most important river. The most important characteristics of the Nile for Egypt’s people, from the prehistoric period up to today, is its annual flood. This gift of the Nile came from African rains and snow on their highlands, which brought large amounts of water into Egypt. [read more...]
Kangaroos, platypuses and many types of exotic fish greet those who visit Australia, also known as The Land Down Under. [read more...]
Meteorologists are people who study the maps of the weather to predict what is to come. [read more...]
The Arctic, a frigid area with few trees and vegetation, is where the tundra lies. During the dark winter, the temperature lowers to -76 degrees Fahrenheit, thus making the tundra one of the most unlivable places on earth. [read more...]
Sixty years ago on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks changed the course of history by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Today, she is remembered as an iconic figure in the Civil Rights movement. Some people believe Parks stayed in her seat because she was physically tired. Parks herself would later explain, “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” [read more...]
After decades of a tumultuous relationship, American-Cuban exchanges have finally taken a positive step forward. This change brings an unlikely ray of hope to the medical field – for America. [read more...]
The history of ancient Greece is very interesting. Ancient Greek people told stories to help each other learn about the world around them. They had ideas about their food that seem weird to us today they also invented theatre as we know it and the Olympic games. [read more...]
A circle of volcanoes marks the boundaries of the Pacific tectonic plate. Scientists call it a Ring of Fire. [read more...]
You probably didn’t know that elephants are very social and intelligent, or that they can weigh up to seven tons. There are so many fascinating facts about elephants. [read more...]
Marie Louise Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, a famous painter during the 1780s and 1790s, was the kind of person every painter dreams of becoming–even today. She was not only one of the most famous, highly-paid painters but also one of the first women accepted into one of the most prestigious art academies in the world. [read more...]
Recently, Simpson Street Free Press reporters ventured out of the City of Madison to Hubertus, WI. Excited and a little nervous, we headed out of the office on a horseback riding mission. We were a little uncertain about the weather, but we were determined to have an unforgettable field trip. [read more...]
The New Kingdom of ancient Egypt started in 1550 B.C.E when the nation’s capital moved to Thebes. During this time, the Egyptians also created the famous underground burial site called the Valley of the Kings. In this valley, tombs surrounded by pyramids held many kinds of treasures. Some tombs even contained food, royal clothing, gilded furniture, jewelery, weapons and chariots, which were all buried with the kings, or pharaohs, to be used during their afterlife. [read more...]
El Canal de Panamá es una de las mayores obras de ingeniería en Panamá, y une el Océano Pacífico con el Mar Caribe, acelerando el comercio marítimo. La magnífica obra terminó con la inauguración de la vía interoceánica el 15 de agosto de 1914. Aunque el canal fue un logro grande para Panamá, la manera como se construyó esa obra fue muy peligrosa e injusta. La mayoría de los obreros que construyeron esa vía fueron negros y el tratamiento que recibieron fue especialmente cruel. [read more...]
Eastern Asia is a large part of the world that includes China, Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. Much of these areas are covered by harsh terrain, including distant mountains, massive deserts, and parched grasslands. Eastern Asia also has many valleys, plains, and fast flowing rivers. [read more...]
The Arctic Ocean is home to a diverse collection of animals including belugas, walruses, narwhals, and jellyfish. [read more...]
South America, the fourth biggest continent, contains about 12 percent of the Earth’s land area. Populated by over 355 million people, this continent is unique and filled with incredible biodiversity. [read more...]
Geronimo was a great Native American leader. He was born in the Apache tribe in 1829 near Clifton, Arizona. Throughout his life, Geronimo gained a reputation as a leader who challenged anyone who threatened his tribe’s way of life. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press student reporters recently had the opportunity to meet and interview potters from the rural Mexican village of Mata Ortiz at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA). Each artist has a unique story—some began the trade at age 17, while others started at only four years old. All of the artists, young and old, share a deep passion for the ceramic arts and their village. [read more...]
The grizzly is one of the most well known bears. In fact, it is nicknamed the “mighty bear.” [read more...]
The “Great Migration” was a significant time in America. During this time, which spanned the late 1800's through the early 1900's, many African American people moved from the South to the North hoping to make better lives for themselves. [read more...]
Most dolphins are gentle aquatic playmates, but it’s a different story when it comes to dolphins trained by Russia. Training these dolphins takes place in Sevastopol, Crimea, at one of only two combat-dolphin training centers in the world. [read more...]
One might not think that penguins can live in warm places. However, a variety of penguin species actually live in South America, Australia, New Zealand, and even South Africa. [read more...]
Cleopatra VII was the last pharaoh of the Macedonian dynasty in Egypt. She is probably most known from the 1963 film, “Cleopatra,” Shakespeare's “Antony and Cleopatra,” and museum exhibits about her family's rich history. [read more...]
Tony the Tiger is a magnificent Siberian-Bengal mix, tipping the scales at 550 pounds. Descended from great hunters in the wild, this stunning animal has lived in a cage in a Louisiana truck stop for more than 10 years. Currently, the Animal Legal Defense Fund is trying to move him to Big Cat Rescue sanctuary, but Tony’s owner and the “Keep Tony Where He Is” Facebook group are opposed to the idea. [read more...]
Water is an important factor in cave formation. It finds its way through cracks, dissolves, and melts, creating caves all over the world. [read more...]
En toda la Unión Europea sólo hay tres países que tienen el mismo número de mujeres que de hombres trabajando en las ciencias y en la ingeniería. Estos tres países son Letonia, Lituania y Polonia. Esto no parece justo, pero ahora, ¿es mejor que en el pasado? [read more...]
A limestone masterpiece, the Great Barrier Reef is constructed entirely of coral. [read more...]
Hace muchos años nuestro planeta se veía distinto a como lo conocemos ahora. Todos los continentes eran parte de uno solo, conocido como Pangea. ¿Cómo fue que el supercontinente Pangea se convirtió en los siete continentes que conocemos hoy en día? [read more...]
Koalas are also called koala bears, even though koalas and bears are very different. Inhabiting Eastern Australia, Koalas are one of the most well-known animals on the continent. [read more...]
About 3,000 years ago, ancient Greeks roamed the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean. Many independent states, each with their own identities, comprised the greater ancient Greek civilization. [read more...]
Language is remarkable. Today, there are over six thousand known languages spoken throughout the world. In the remote territories of northern Australia, natives of the small village of Lajamanu have even invented their own language. [read more...]
One of Earth's oldest nations and Western Europe’s largest country by landmass, France supports a population of more than 66 million people. Covering more than 210,026 square miles, this nation has much more to offer than its most iconic landmark—the Eiffel Tower. [read more...]
You might not know that the country sitting directly above us is the second largest country in the world. In fact, Canada contains one fourth of all freshwater on Earth, is home to over 30 national parks, and includes the 4,350-mile long Trans-Canada highway—a stretch longer than many entire countries! [read more...]
The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, is also known as the world’s highest dump. For 60 years, climbers have been hiking this Nepali mountain and leaving their trash behind. [read more...]
The Arctic can be a cold and desolate place. But with the help of new technological advances and the diligent migrant workers labor, the opportunity for more people to work and live there is expanding. [read more...]
Every summer at Bracken Cave in Texas, a spooky ritual takes place. Twenty million hungry bats swarm out of the cave. Lucky for us, they feed on insects. [read more...]
Did you know that beavers are the largest rodents, or gnawing animals, in North America? Though beavers used to inhabit many places throughout North America including Mexico and the North Artic Regions, they now live primarily in northern-forested regions around the world. [read more...]
The Matterhorn, a mountain formed by glaciers, is one of the most magnificent mountains in the Swiss Alps. A dangerous yet frequently climbed mountain, the Matterhorn spans Switzerland and Italy. Many people have tried and failed to reach its peak. [read more...]
Many people are aware of the recent wars in Afghanistan, but some might not know about this country's wildlife, people, and history. [read more...]
The East African Rift Valley is a beautiful but perilous place. Partially surrounding Lake Victoria, the Rift Valley extends from Tanzania to Ethiopia. The western arm of the rift is 1,900 miles long, while the eastern arm is about 1,600 miles long. This area, marked by constant earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, is also known as the Afar Triangle. [read more...]
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...]