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Geology

Geology is the study of the composition and physical properties of rocks, minerals, gems and other related earth materials, including diamonds and crystals. Scientists gain an understanding of the Earth's history by studying its composition.

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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.

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?

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.

Toadstools Are Mother Nature's Geological Mushrooms

You can see these rocky formations in the Badlands of Nebraska, and they're as awe-inspiring as they are eerie.

Fettuccine Rock Could Signal Life on Mars

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

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.

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.

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.'

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.

Gigantic Undiscovered Cave Found in British Columbia

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

What's Behind the Gemstones 'Raining' From the Kilauea Volcano

Twitter was abuzz with reports that pretty green gems were spewing out of the Kiluaea volcano in Hawaii. But the experts took the shine off these speculations.

Earthquakes on the Mississippi: The New Madrid Seismic Zone

Will a town in southern Missouri be the epicenter of the next 'big one'?

Rising Rock: Earth's Crust Has Its Own Tides, Too

The oceans on planet Earth cycle through daily tidal changes. But the ground beneath our feet experiences tides of its own, too.

The Sahara Desert Is Getting Bigger

The Sahara has expanded by about 10 percent in the past century, mostly due to natural causes, but not all. We can blame the rest on man-made climate change.

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