Earth Science

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

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Fettuccine Rock Could Signal Life on Mars

If fettuccine rock exists on Mars, it would suggest the existence of microbial life there.

Where Does Water Come From?

Water surrounds us, falling from the sky and pouring from faucets, and yet many of us never ask where it comes from. The answer stretches way back — before tides and thunderclouds to the big bang.

The Rockin' State Fossils Quiz

To honor their prehistoric pasts, most U.S. states have designated official state fossils, ranging from trilobites to dinosaurs. Take our quiz to learn more!

What Is Cave Popcorn?

Caves are full of incredible geological formations, including stalagmites and stalactites. But you've probably never seen anything like cave popcorn before.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Paleoart

"Will draw dinosaurs for food" is what they like to think they do. But it's actually way more complicated.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Spring Equinox

The spring, or vernal, equinox traditionally marks the first day of spring — but climate scientists use a different date altogether. Find out more about this and other facts about the spring equniox.

Antarctic Prone To 'Ice Quakes' Every Night, Study Finds

Scientists set up two stations to capture this strange seismic activity.

Nevada's Fly Geyser Is a Manmade Wonder

The decades-old geyser was created by accident when a geothermal company tried to drill a well. Now the strange geyser is open to tourists for the first time ever.

Mexico's Giant Crystal Cave Is Beautiful But Deadly

Massive gypsum crystals were discovered beneath Mexico's Sierra de Naica Mountain in very inhospitable environs — to humans anyway.

Where Have All the Aquanauts Gone? The Story of Sealab

Sealab was a U.S. Navy program that allowed undersea divers to go deeper and stay underwater longer. So why did it disappear?

What Did Your Address Look Like 250 Million Years Ago?

The Ancient Earth visualization map shows the movement of the planet's tectonic plates in a really cool way.

The Anthropocene Epoch and the Age of Humans

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

Sastrugi: Nature's Beautiful Speed Bumps

Sastrugi are gorgeous snow formations found in the polar north, but they're also no fun to travel over.

Ancient Rock Arches Sing Songs

These ancient wonders aren't static sculptures; they vibrate and shift throughout the day, creating a variety of sounds as they stretch their aging, eroding 'bones.'

Lapis Lazuli Found in Teeth of Medieval European Woman

The pigment ultramarine was as expensive as gold in medieval Europe; so how did it end up in the teeth of a nun buried at a monastery in rural Germany?

Peat Bogs Are Freakishly Good at Preserving Human Remains

What makes these spongy, waterlogged areas of decaying plant matter so perfect at preservation? In a word: science.

Earth's Magnetic North Pole Has Rapidly Shifted in the Past 40 Years

Prior to the mid-1990s, the magnetic north pole traveled at speeds of around 9 miles per year. Now, it's 34 miles annually. What accounts for the acceleration?

Earth's Missing Crust Was Removed by Glaciers, New Study Says

Researchers hypothesize that missing rocks from the geologic record, known as the Great Unconformity, were sheared away by glaciers at a time when most — or all — of the world's surface was coated with ice.

What Makes a 'Killer' Lake Explode?

Lakes seem like serene places to escape and enjoy peace and quiet. So you'd probably be surprised to learn that a lake can actually explode without warning. It's happened, with deadly consequences.

Gigantic Undiscovered Cave Found in British Columbia

How, in today's world, could a cave this massive go undetected for so long?

Could Injecting Particles Into the Stratosphere Slow Global Warming?

Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI) is a controversial possibility in the effort to slow the rate of climate change.

Ancient Egyptians Believed Cats Had 'Divine Energy'

Archaeologists recently unearthed dozens of mummified cats from a 2,500-year-old Egyptian tomb. So what were they doing there in the first place?

Massive Underground Mud Geyser Is California's 'Slow One'

A bubbling mud pool is moving toward the San Andreas Fault, but scientists don't see evidence of an impending earthquake.

Tidal Bores Are Rare, Fast and Have Epic Waves

The super-cool phenomenon of tidal bores happens in only a few places on the globe, and it takes a very specific set of conditions to occur.

What Causes High Tide and Low Tide? Why Are There Two Tides Each Day?

The oceans' levels change daily across the globe. We know them as tidal changes. But what causes this constant shift in sea level and why is it more dramatic is some places than others?


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