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Earth Science

Earth Science covers all facets of how the earth works, from from volcanoes to the world's oceans.

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Velociraptor Alert: The Feathered Dinosaur Quiz

Birds are — quite literally — living dinosaurs. Our quiz will test your knowledge of the fluffy, downy and winged dinos of the bygone Mesozoic era, from little Microraptor to the enormous Yutyrannus.

The Stratosphere: Where Birds and Planes Fly and Bacteria Thrives

The stratosphere is the second-lowest level in Earth's atmosphere. It's a bastion of ozone gas and rapid winds, where clouds are scarce, but life endures.

7 Hot Facts About the Pacific Ring of Fire

The Pacific's Ring of Fire is a 25,000 mile long "ring" that's home to 75 percent of all the world's volcanic activity and 90 percent of the planet's earthquakes. So what makes this area so active?

Is Old Faithful Petering Out?

Since its discovery in 1870, the Wyoming cone geyser Old Faithful has wowed spectators with its predictable eruptions, but its eruptions are not quite as predictable or prodigious as they once were.

What Is an Ice Volcano?

Ice volcanoes form when it's freezing cold outside and choppy water is forced to erupt through a hole in the ice around a body of water, cascading down into the classic shape of a volcano.

River-bottom Bones: The Strange World of Underwater Fossil Hunting

Not all fossils are found on dry land. In fact some of the most fascinating fossil finds in history have been submerged for centuries.

What Will Earth Look Like in 500 Years?

"The 26th century" doesn't roll off the tongue as easily as "the 21st century" does. But that hasn't stopped us from imagining what our hometown planet will be like in a few hundred years. Any guesses?

Why Is the Tropic of Cancer Important?

You've probably heard of the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, but do you know the difference?

Why Is the Tropic of Capricorn Important?

You've probably heard of the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, but do you know the difference?

6 Stone-cold Facts About the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle is a region marked by frigid temperatures, strange sunlight and glaciers galore. And for hundreds of thousands of people, it's also home sweet home.

Who Was the World's First King?

This is not an easy question to answer, thanks to the mists of time. But historians have put forth several possibilities. An ancient tablet claims one king ruled for 28,000 years!

It Takes a DJ: Healthy Reef Sounds May Lure Fish to Damaged Reefs

If it looks like a party is on, maybe they'll come back. Playing the sounds of a noisy, healthy coral reef can attract important fish species to devastated reef habitats.

Why Does the 'Dirty Dancing' Lake Keep Draining?

Mountain Lake in Virginia is best known for its starring role in 'Dirty Dancing.' But today, it's nothing more than a muddy pit that's all but dried up ... and geologists think they may know why.

How the Ancient Land Blob Gondwana Became Today's Continents

Gondwana was a humongous landmass that persisted for 300 million years before it began to break up, forming all the continents in the modern Southern Hemisphere.

Plate Tectonics Puts Together the Puzzle of Earth's Shifting Crust

The Earth is unique in the solar system because its surface is made of moving plates, which may enable the very existence of life.

Green or Blue? The Best Turquoise Is More Valuable Than Diamonds

Cultures all over the world have treasured turquoise for its color and rarity for thousands of years — from Native American jewelry and Aztec and Mesoamerican art to King Tutankhamun's death mask.

The Anthropocene Epoch: Humans vs. the Earth

Many scientists believe that humans influence Earth at a rate so massive that a change to the geologic time scale is in order.

Female Citizen Scientists Set Sail to Tackle Ocean Plastic

EXXpedition founder Emily Penn will captain the 300, all-female crew in its first Round the World sailing voyage.

Cobalt: Essential for Batteries and Bright Blues

Cobalt is associated with the color blue, but it's so needed for rechargeable batteries that the U.S. put it on the list of minerals it can't live without.

There's a Rhino-shaped Cave in Washington State

It's perhaps one of the strangest fossils ever discovered. We'll explain how it came to be 15 million years ago, and how hikers found it in the '30s.

6 Tough Facts About Titanium

What's as strong as steel but half the weight; able to live in almost any body part and an important part of both airplanes and cake frosting? Would you believe, titanium?

Is Permafrost Really, Well, Permanent?

Permafrost across the globe is rapidly melting. What could this mean for the future of the planet?

Why Aren't We All on the Same Time Zone?

The world has only had time zones since the late 1800s. Some people think we should eliminate them and have just one universal time.

What’s So Special About Platinum?

This white-hot metal not only makes beautiful jewelry, it's coveted for industrial, medical and military purposes too.

The Geology Behind 5 American Landmarks

The U.S. is full of exceptional geological formations. But these five set the bar high as far as landmarks go.

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