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Who Created These Mysterious Pillars in Ireland?

by Jonah Smith, age 14

Strange pillars reside in County Antrim, Ireland. They have an unusual shape that appears to be man made. These tightly wedged pillars descend in tiers, in a staircase all the way down to the sea. These columns are mostly hexagonal, though the number of sides these structures have may vary. Although their shape implies that they are manufactured, the complete opposite is true.

There are similar structures such as the Giant’s Causeway in Scotland or Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. With having so many of these unexplained structures around the world, myths for how they were made arose. For the Giant’s Causeway, it is said [locally] that the Irish giant, Finn Mac Cool, drove the columns into the sea one by one so that he could walk to Scotland to fight his rival. These exciting stories theorizing their construction adds new life and attractiveness to these beautiful structures.

The creation of these abnormalities is way more complex than it might seem. During the period where North America and Europe recently split up, the new North Atlantic Ocean in between the two was still a developing feature. The northern area of both Europe and North America was in place, but the body of water still had to form the edges of these continents. The western coast of Greenland separated from Canada around 80 million years ago, but the southwestern coast was still firmly attached to the opposing northwestern coast of the British Isles. 20 million years later, these coasts began to separate and there were major volcanoes in place of a few Scottish islands. [Read More]

Low Mississippi Water Levels Expose Artifacts and History

by Owen Ayite-Atayi, age 15

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the United States and is 2,340 miles long. Although the Mississippi River is a majestic river, there are still many mysteries in this river, especially regarding its artifacts.

The Mississippi River was discovered by an explorer named Hernando De Soto. He was the first ever Spanish conquistador to see this river. Currently, the Mississippi River is suffering from low water levels that impact drinking water. This has created terrible situations for farmers throughout the basin, causing the river to become exposed to its sunken past.

Relic hunters are people who hunt for artifacts and memorabilia from decades and even centuries ago. Most relic hunters use metal detectors to spot these artifacts. Riley Bryant is a full-time relic hunter. Bryant also works for History Seekers and the American Digger Magazine. He is also known as “Relic Riley” because of his amazing relic hunting skills. He started relic hunting at around the age of eleven, when he got his first metal detector. Now, at the age of twenty-one, Bryant started his own TikTok account, posting mainly about finding artifacts around the Mississippi River. Around 397.5 thousand people on this platform followed the many discoveries Bryant made in 2022. One artifact in particular, a Civil War-era cartridge box plate that carried ammunition, was a highlight of his relic hunting. He posted his discovery on TikTok and his video reached more than four million people. [Read More]

Exploring the Largest Lake in Africa: Lake Victoria

by Juan Esteban Palma Zuluaga, age 10

Africa is known for its many beautiful landscapes, animals, and lakes, one being Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is known to be the biggest tropical lake on Earth, and is the second largest freshwater lake on Earth by land area, following only Lake Superior.

Lake Victoria is about 255 miles long and 155 miles wide. It is only 276 feet deep. Being in the East of Africa close to the equator and between the countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, Lake Victoria is one of the most well-known water sources for the Nile River. Other smaller rivers and streams, like the Kagera River, flow into this lake.

Lake Victoria provides help to millions of people that live close by. Its water helps with farming and growing a habitat for the animals. Fishing is also a great source of livelihood, because it keeps over three million people working as fishermen. However, this is becoming a problem, because too many fish are being killed – around 750,000 metric tons per year. The people overfish different species, including catfish, marbled lungfish, and elephant fish, which is causing them to disappear from the lake. Aside from overfishing, climate change and drought also affect the fish population. [Read More]

Explore the Mighty Congo River in the Heart of Africa

by Sol-Saray, age 10

Africa is home to many great rivers. One of them is known as the Congo. In Africa, the Congo is only slightly shorter than the Nile in length, and is just as important to the people who live along the river.

The Congo has been very efficient for the people of Africa when it comes to transporting goods like food, medicine, clothes, and other items to people living along the river. It is also used for fishing and irrigating crops like peanuts, cotton, and sugarcane.

In the river, there are over 30 waterfalls and many other islands. It is near the equator, meaning it can get very hot and wet. The river receives around 90 inches of rain annually. There are 200 species of fish that live on the river. Many animals eat the tall grass that grows along the river, including buffalo, antelopes, zebras, gazelles, and giraffes. [read more]

The Unique History of Lake Ivanhoe, Wisconsin

by Josepha Da Costa, age 18

This past summer, Lake Ivanhoe was one of 40 new historical markers to be designated in Wisconsin. It became only the 8th marker, out of 600, in the state to feature Black History. Peter Baker, a current resident who grew up in Lake Ivanhoe, “the safest place and the coolest place” he’d ever been in his life, played an important part in the process of celebrating this history. His tireless efforts for over 20 years finally made this commemoration possible.

Lake Ivanhoe was founded in 1926, in the town of Bloomfield, by three Black men from Chicago: politician Bradford Watson, business executive Frank Anglin, and attorney Jeremiah Brumfield. These men were looking for a summer vacation place to visit with their families to get away from the racial unrest in Chicago at the time, which was a result of the Great Migration. As Black people started frequently moving to the northern cities, specifically Chicago, segregation became increasingly prominent. Since Black people were not welcome in predominantly white resorts in neighboring places like Lake Geneva, they decided to create their own. This was where the first entirely Black owned community in Wisconsin was born.

The town’s streets were named after famous historical people like Crispus Attucks and Phyllis Wheatley. A large gazebo was built in the middle of town where the neighborhood families were able to hold cookouts, gatherings and concerts. For most of the 1920s, Lake Ivanhoe was a safe haven for Black families to reside and enjoy. However, after the stock market crash in the 1930s, the once lively resort quickly became abandoned. [Read More]

Volcano Explosion Shoots Water into Space

by Theodore Morrison, age 15

A volcanic eruption that occurred in the Pacific Ocean on January 12, 2022 reserved itself a spot in history when it ejected its water vapor into space for the first time in recorded history.

This water vapor, erupting from the volcano Hunga Tonga, which awoke in December of 2021, disrupted the ionosphere, a layer of our planet's atmosphere, at levels emulating a solar geomagnetic storm. The water vapor, in addition to simply reaching space in an historic event, momentarily absorbed light particles. Additionally, the eruption generated unprecedented levels of lightning, generating a minimum of 400,000 lightning strikes during the event.

These findings, observed from NASA’s Global Ultraviolet Imager, were presented in a couple of scientific conferences, including some during a particular meeting in Chicago. The data shows that the eruption overpowered a geomagnetic storm in terms of effects. [Read More]

Rare Zebra Species Struggles to Survive Drought in East Africa

by Allison Torres, age 14

In September 2022, Kenya experienced one of its worst droughts in the last four decades. This was a direct result of climate change.

The drought has especially impacted the East African country’s wildlife, affecting even the most drought-resistant animals, such as the camel, which is known to survive relatively long periods of time without water. Suze van Meegen, an emergency response manager for the Norwegian refugee council in East Africa told CNN, “Camels are a valuable resource for many people in this region.”

Kenya has lost two percent of the world’s rarest zebra species as well as many elephants. The drought has also jeopardized the country’s wildlife food sources by drying up plant life which has drawn the attention of conservationists. [Read More]

Who is the Fastest Mover of Them All?

by Malak Al Quraishi, age 12

Many animals use their speed to catch their prey and others use their speed to escape predators. They all move in different ways.

The cheetah can run up to 60 miles per hour, but that speed is not sustainable because it uses all its energy in a single sprint. It catches its prey by jumping and attacking it. The cheetah’s long skinny legs and strong body help it reach top speed. The tail helps it balance while it chases its prey.

The prey is different. The hare hops fast away from predators 40 miles per hour. The pronghorn is brown with antlers and white stripes around its neck. Its belly is all white and has a very small tail. It is not faster than the cheetah, but can run for longer and will often tire cheetahs out. It can only run at 40 miles per hour for about 10 minutes. The kangaroo jumps for food and water and is found in deserts of Australia. It jumps for long distances and runs up to 43 miles per hour. [Read More]

CN Tower in Toronto Is “Canada’s World Wonder”

by Jonah Smith, age 13

One of the world's tallest freestanding towers can be found in the city of Toronto, Canada. This large tower was made in collaboration with the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Broadcasting Company in the 1970s. The people of Canada treasure this tower and fondly call it “Canada’s World Wonder.”

The base of the tower underwent construction on February 6, 1973. 62,000 tons of earth and rock were dug up in order to pour 57,000 tons of concrete. This concrete was used to support the 130,000 ton weight of the building. The base is 20 feet thick and 230 feet in diameter. This base was built in a hexagonal shape unlike normal circular towers. Using a concrete mold and a hydraulic jack, construction workers poured concrete into the mold, let it set, then used the hydraulic jack to lift the mold up approximately 20 feet each day. Because of this peculiar method of construction, the workers had to check everyday if the shaft of the tower was off its vertical center, using a 220 lb cylinder tied to a rope, to act as a plumb bob (a vertical indicator).

In 1976, once construction was completely finished, the CN Tower officially opened. Inside of this tower, there are two observation decks, a restaurant, and a nightclub. Glass elevators run up and down the side of the tower to take visitors from the ground floor to the top. On the lower level, there is an observation deck. This deck is made out of 2.5-inch thermal reinforced glass strong enough to withstand 38 tons. Looking down through this glass floor, there is a breathtaking view underneath it. Regardless of the reinforced glass, many were afraid of the glass breaking. Due to people’s fear, a carpet was laid on top of the glass. [Read More]

Fun Facts About The Great Sahara Desert

by Amare Smith, age 19

Stretching across a wide range of North Africa with large dunes lies the world’s largest desert: the Sahara Desert. Temperatures in this region can rise to 131 degrees Fahrenheit.

The desert is very humid, it usually has clear skies and hot winds. Due to extremely high temperatures and infertile land, the Sahara is not an ideal location for gardening. Nomads wander around the desert until they reach an oasis where it is possible to farm and cultivate crops in these areas. While some regions are fertile, these lands often become very dry over time. This eventually leads to malnutrition in animals, damaged grasslands, and ineffective pesticides.

There are also problems with fertilization and plowing in the Sahara. Native plants typically have to be removed for farming and there is only a limited water supply for areas of land. To add on, windstorms often rip up plants from the ground. Furthermore, humans have contributed to land infertility with improper farming techniques, leading to more losses in native plants and the expansion of the barren desert. This process is called “desertification.” [Read More]

The Amazon’s Most Famous Species

by Aarosh Subedi, age 12

The Amazon River is a place full of famous animals, including the black caiman, the Amazon River dolphin, the giant otter, and the green anaconda.

The Black Caiman is a semi-aquatic reptile that looks like a large crocodile. Its length can reach up to eight feet. Black caimans almost went extinct due to poachers hunting for their rough skin.

The Amazon River Dolphin is an aquatic species that lives in the river basins. This dolphin weighs up to 400 pounds and measures around eight feet long, making it the biggest river dolphin. They hunt in big groups for fish. [Read More]

Ghost Towns and Glaciers: The Legend of Kennicot

by Anissa Attidekou, age 13

Despite the fact that ghost stories can be scary, they are always interesting. The tale of this ghostly Alaskan glacier might give you a chill, but it will also get you hooked with its unique story.

This ghostly glacier was discovered and explored during the 1800s and site was eventually named the Kennicott Glacier. The mountains around the glacier are embedded with tons of copper. During the 1800s and 1900s, the rise of electricity and telephone use meant an increase in demand for copper wiring. After finding out about the Kennicott Glacier and its copper, several companies quickly built mines.

At its peak, these mining operations employed around 600 miners. They worked long hours every day. The miners produced a lot of copper allowing the owners of the mines to make a great amount of money. [Read More]

Canada’s Great Northern Lake

by Ruben Becerril Gonzalez, age 10

Did you know that the Great Bear Lake is one of the coldest lakes on the planet? Also known as Sahtu, this lake was named by native people living in the area.

Great Bear Lake is both very large and very deep. In fact, it is the fourth largest lake in North America, and the eighth biggest freshwater lake in the entire world! The lake averages 235 feet in depth with a maximum of 1,463 feet. For much of the year, between late November and July, Great Bear Lake is covered in ice.

Great Bear Lake is located near the Arctic Circle in parts of Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is one of the most remote lakes on Earth. There is only one village in this area with a permanent population, Deline, with about 200 residents. The native Sahtu Dene people also reside in this area, as they have for thousands of years. They rely on the area’s plentiful food sources for hunting and fishing. Some of the animals that inhabit the area include musk oxen, caribous, grizzly bears, eagles, and even falcons. There are also many species of fish living in the lake. [Read More]

The Ancient Library of Pergamum — by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14

The ancient library of Pergamum, located in what is now Turkey, was built in the third century B.C. by members of the Attalid dynasty. The library, constructed by a small kingdom that lasted only 150 years, is now one of the most famous libraries in antiquity. [Read More]

The Life of a Young Egypt King: King Tutankhamun — by Justin Medina, age 13

King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, was ancient Egypt’s youngest Pharaoh being only nine years old. He was largely erased from history until his tomb was discovered in the early 1900s. His tomb and mummy continue to be studied today using high-tech tools. [Read More]

Las especies más famosas del Amazonas — por Aarosh Subedi, 12 años

El río Amazonas es un lugar lleno de animales famosos, como el caimán negro, el delfín del río Amazonas, la nutria gigante y la anaconda verde. [Read More]

How Submarines Sparked Arctic Exploration — by Daniel Li, age 14

Built-in 1952, the USS Nautilus was the first submarine ever powered by a nuclear reactor and, coincidentally, also the first to ever reach the North Pole by traveling under ice. William Anderson, the commander of the Nautilus, wrote in his logbook, “Embarked following personage at North Pole: Santa Claus, affiliation: Christmas.” Spending multiple days underwater had not seemed to affect the commander’s sense of humor. [Read More]

Native Asian Moth Spotted in Washington State

by Justin Medina Ruiz, age 13

On July 7, 2022, a giant moth with a ten-inch wingspread was discovered in a garage of a home in the state of Washington. Thankfully, the moth species does not pose a public health threat. The Atlas moth originates from the tropical forests of Asia and has not been seen before in the U.S.

It is not clear how this moth found a way to get to Washington. However, scientists found on eBay, an e-commerce company, an account selling Atlas moth cocoons for $60 each. This account was later taken down because the Atlas moth is a quarantine pest, meaning it is illegal to obtain, sell, or harbor, no matter if they are adults, eggs, larvae, or pupae.

In spite of that, the individual sighting does not mean that there is a population of the Atlas in the U.S. The state’s agriculture department asks the public to take photographs and collect Atlas moths if they find one. [Read More]

Red Panda? More like Red Raccoon! — by Dalya Alquraishi age 10

The red panda is a cute and fuzzy animal that lives in China and the eastern Himalayas. It is commonly believed that these mammals are related to pandas, however red pandas are instead more closely related to raccoons. [Read More]

The Mysterious Story Behind America's Lost Snow Cruiser — by Jazmin Becerril, age 14

During the United States Antarctic Expedition Service of 1939, an amazing new vehicle – unlike any other – was used. The creator, Thomas Poulter, came up with the idea for a huge mobile vehicle base after experiencing a near-death situation in which he was stuck at an Antarctic base due to the weather. He sold his idea to the Research Foundation of the Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois in the mid-1930s which agreed to design the vehicle under Poulter’s supervision. [Read More]

How an Ancient Civilization Thrived and then Collapsed — by Emily Rodriguez, age 13

A mysterious ancient civilization on the island of Malta collapsed within two generations, despite surviving for more than a millennium. [Read More]

The Great Lakes of Africa: Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika — by Sofia Zapata, age 13

There are many lakes in the world, but do people know the important things about some of the African continental lakes? Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika are lakes located in Africa and they are two of the largest and deepest in the world. [Read More]

Eerie Double Aurora Lights Up Northern Sky — <i>by Emily Rodriguez Lima, age 13</i>

Two different auroras have appeared together at the same time with colors resembling a watermelon: green on the bottom and red on top. This phenomenon was seen by amateur astronomer Alan Dyers. Dyers was outside his house when he saw a beautiful display of the Northern Lights up in the sky. He took out his camera to record this unique image; his recording is the most complete recording of this special aurora. [Read More]

The Fire that Reached From Alberta to Pennsylvania — by Dyanara Flores-Gomez, age 14

In early June of 1950, a fire started in northern Alberta, Canada, and spread through northeastern British Columbia. It burned four million acres of land. This fire became the largest fire in North America and was named the Chinchaga fire. It was also known as the Wisp fire or Fire 19. [Read More]

How a Library Made Baghdad the World's Most Important Center of Learning — by Mariama Bah, age 15

When hearing about grand libraries, one might think of the Library of Alexandria or the Library of Congress. However a different library was established in the 9th century as one of the world’s greatest centers of science and learning. [Read More]

My Home: Colombia — by Jeronimo Rosero Perea, age 8

I was born in a beautiful country named Colombia! I want to tell you about my home. In my country of Colombia, there is a population of about 50 million people. The main language in my country is Spanish. Because this country is so big, there is a Capital city. The Capital of Colombia is Bogotǻ and the main religion practiced there is Christianity. [read more]

The Nile: Egypt's Most Important River — by Sol Saray, age 10

Did you know that the Nile River is allegedly the longest river on Earth? Historically, the Nile River was considered the longest river in the world, however, Brazilian scientists recently discovered that the Amazon River is longer than the Nile by 284 kilometers. [Read More]