Tag Archives: nature

Why Millennials Fear the Future – Part III: The Wild World of Human Enhancement


Would you believe me if I told you that earlier this year, Chinese scientists genetically modified human embryos for the first time ever? Actually, it really doesn’t matter if you believe me, because either way it happened. Gene Editing If you weren’t aware of that fact before now, your first thought was probably something along the lines of, ‘Man, that seems like it could pose some serious ethical problems. I feel like we ought to come up with some basic

Germany Is Turning 62 Former Military Bases Into Sanctuaries for Rare Birds and Threatened Species

germany nature preserves

On Thursday (6/18), German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks announced that the country would be turning 62 former military bases into protected nature preserves that will provide sanctuaries for some of the country’s rarest birds. According to Germany’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, the protected areas will also provide critical habitat for a number of threatened species, including beetles, bats, woodpeckers and eagles. In total, the newly protected area will cover 76,000 acres of land, from forests and meadows to moors and marshes. The new additions represent

This Scientist Has Created A “Living Concrete” That Repairs Itself (Video)

self healing concrete feat

Concrete is, by far, the world’s most widely used building material. We’ve been using concrete for more than 2,000 years (the famous Pantheon in Rome is made of concrete), and we consume more than 12.5 billion tons of it annually in our modern world. But despite thousands of years of development, even the best concretes available today eventually fall victim to cracks, which pose serious structural risks. Henk Jonkers, a civil engineering professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, explains: “The problem with cracks

Fossil Discovered In China Belongs to Oldest Known Ancestor of Modern Birds

Researchers have discovered fossilized remains of a new species of bird that’s challenging much of what we know about the origin of modern birds. From Time… “The Archaeornithura meemannae lived roughly 130.7 million years ago in northeastern China, about 6 million years before the previously thought origin of modern birds, according to the researchers who published their findings in Nature Communications.”   The fossil has more in common with modern birds than any other found from this era. The new species belongs to the evolutionary branch Ornithuromorpha, which

This Guy Uses Specialized Molds to “Grow” Furniture (Pictures/Video)

fullgrown furniture

British designer Gavin Munro is taking a fresh new look at how furniture is created. Rather than cutting trees down to craft them into furniture, Munro decided to let nature do all the work as the trees grow. He calls it “Full Grown Furniture“. Using specialized plastic molds, Munro directs the growth of young trees, regularly pruning them and gently guiding them in the right direction when necessary. He also uses grafting to bind branches together, making extremely strong natural joints. “Just like a broken

Watch This Seed Drills Itself Into the Ground Upon Contacting Water (Time-Lapse Video)


If you’re looking for an example of awesome engineering in nature, look no further than Erodium cicutarium. The plant — commonly referred to as redstem filaree, stork’s-bill or pinweed — has a seed that bores itself into the ground upon coming into contact with moisture. To accomplish this feat, the erodium seed uses a specialized spiral stalk that is able to unwind itself in response to daily changes in humidity. As the humidity levels rise and fall, this stalk winds and unwinds, steadily

This Lady Spent 14 Years Photographing Some of the World’s Oldest Trees (Pictures)

ancient trees feat

Beth Moon is a San Francisco-based photographer who has dedicated the last 14 years to capturing some of the oldest trees in the world in breathtaking duotone photographs. Beth traveled all around the globe in search of the elder statesmen of the tree world, and published 60 of her best photos in a new book entitled “Ancient Trees: Portraits Of Time”. Beth described the project in an artist statement, saying: “Standing as the earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe

Watch As 40-Foot Trees Are Swallowed Up In Seconds By An Underwater Sinkhole (Video)

sinkhole feat

Last summer, a massive sinkhole opened up underneath the Corne Bayou in Assumption Parish, Louisiana. The bayou sits above an old salt mine that is slowly collapsing. On August 3, 2012, a one-acre sinkhole opened up, prompting Louisiana mayor Bobby Jindal to order an evacuation of the small Bayou Corne community. In just a single year, the sinkhole expanded in size from one to 28 acres. According to ecology.com, “In places, it is estimated to be 750 feet deep, and some 350 residents of

Some of Earth’s Most Loving Animal Families (Photo Album)

Here at The Higher Learning, we try our best to make sure you almost always leave our site with a new piece of knowledge or a fresh perspective on an issue. But there are some things in this world that words are simply unable to capture- things like love, family, friendship… Sometimes trying too hard to describe and comprehend these things can detract from their natural wonder and awe, so today I just want you to enjoy these pictures for their own sake.   (via

How Ancient Indonesian Cave Paintings Are Challenging Art History

A few simple cave paintings may be drastically changing how we view the history of art in the world. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, archaeologists have discovered cave paintings from as far back as 40,000 years ago, making them some of the oldest in the world. The paintings were actually discovered about 50 years ago – it was initially assumed that they were only about 12,000 years old. But earlier this month, archaeologists published a study in the scientific journal Nature that used exhaustive methods to show

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