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jtotheizzoe:

Zhangye Danxia - Geology From a Storybook

Long ago, colorful sediments were deposited in western China, layer after layer, century after century. If you were there at the time, you would have seen unremarkable ground, a single hue of dirt no different from a thousand other places on Earth. 

But after thousands and thousands of years subject to the forces of pressure and tectonic movement, the total of those layers has been pushed upward, letting us peek at a rainbow-hued slice of Earth’s past perhaps unmatched on this planet. The planet looks more like the cross-section of a jawbreaker candy than layers of rock in these photos, near Zhangye, China.

The Zhangye formation, not to be confused with this danxia, a UNESCO heritage site, reminds us how our crust is heaved and hurled throughout the ages, a slow evolution that will continue into the distant future. It’s yet another story of Earth’s past, written in stone, but perhaps with the same pen as a fantasy storybook.

Check out more photos from Flickr user Melinda ^..^, and take some time to tour the formation in Google Earth.

Love love love ❤

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Stellar eruption disrupts atmosphere of an alien world

A team of astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to study the exoplanet HD 189733b, and noticed curious changes in the planet’s upper atmosphere after it was bombarded with intense X-ray radiation from a flare unleashed by its host star. From observations made in 2011, the researchers saw signs that the planet’s atmosphere was evaporating, releasing strong bursts of gas at a staggering rate of at least 984 tons per second, the researchers said. The study’s findings offered an intriguing view of changing climates and space weather on an alien planet.

(Source: MSNBC)

(via The Higgs Boson: Whose Discovery Is It? | Wired Science | Wired.com)
Figuring out exactly when people started to separate into different social strata is one of the tricky, nebulous areas of archaeological research. When and why did humans move from egalitarianism to inherited land, wealth, and power? And now, new evidence suggests that we already had social classes as long ago as 7,000 years ago, in the midst of the stone age. (via Do class divisions go all the way back to the Stone Age?)

Figuring out exactly when people started to separate into different social strata is one of the tricky, nebulous areas of archaeological research. When and why did humans move from egalitarianism to inherited land, wealth, and power? And now, new evidence suggests that we already had social classes as long ago as 7,000 years ago, in the midst of the stone age. (via Do class divisions go all the way back to the Stone Age?)

(via Ant Explorer: Glaucus atlanticus)

Rapid Climate Changes Turn North Woods into Moose Graveyard

Experts who have studied the Northwestern moose — Alces alces andersoni — believe they are witnessing one of the most precipitous nonhunting declines of a major species in the modern era, yet few outside Minnesota fully appreciate the loss.

(Source: scientificamerican.com)

EUROPE’S EARLY MAN DREW FEMALE SEX ORGANS, ANIMALS (via Europe’s Early Man Drew Female Sex Organs, Animals : Discovery News)

EUROPE’S EARLY MAN DREW FEMALE SEX ORGANS, ANIMALS (via Europe’s Early Man Drew Female Sex Organs, Animals : Discovery News)

HUMANS STRIPPING EARTH OF ITS RESOURCES

The world’s biodiversity is down 30 percent since the 1970s, according to a new report, with tropical species taking the biggest hit. And if humanity continues as it has been, the picture could get bleaker.

(Source: news.discovery.com)

Woman burned after picking up rocks at beach

The woman tried to stop, drop and roll but was unsuccessful in getting the flames out, Stone said. Her husband also tried to help and got second-degree burns when he tried to pull the shorts off, Stone said. The rocks, described as small, the size of a hamburger patty, smooth and orange and green in color, fell from the shorts onto the floor and continued to burn the wood floor and fill the house with smoke.

(Source: ocregister.com)