Tag Archives: nature

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)

erodium2

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

Vote For Who You Think Deserves National Geographic’s $50,000 “Expedition-Granted” Prize! (Video)

The wonderful people at National Geographic are hosting another awesome youth-inspiring contest that will award a $50,000 grant to help fund a winning team’s nature expedition. The contest opened its doors to entries from all over, with the only parameters being that the expedition idea pushes boundaries and forges new territory. Unfortunately the doors have been closed for new entries, but the lucky projects that have been recognized as finalists for this year’s grant include all types of expeditions, from

This 5-Year-Old Autistic Girl Paints Incredible Masterpieces Reminiscent of Monet

Autism is a neurological disorder characterized by an impaired ability to communicate and engage in social interaction. But on numerous occasions, it has been shown that people with autism are often gifted with incredible talents. These people are often called autistic savants. Iris Grace, a 5-year-old from the UK, is a perfect example. Along with her speech therapy, her parents decided to introduce her to painting. It proved to be a great decision. Her mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, explains: “We have been

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