World’s Strangest

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7 Odd and Extreme Mineral Formations

The world is made up of wondrous chemicals that sometimes do pretty out-of-the-ordinary things. Here are seven places where minerals, carried by water, by heat, or by the actions of Mother Earth herself, left us with strange and wonderful sights. 1. Pamukkale Terraces, Turkey Looks ice cold, doesn’t it? Actually, the water is quite warm at the [...]

Church Guards the Ark of the Covenant

A small church in Aksum, Ethiopia, claims to have the Ark of the Covenant. It is written in Ethiopia’s ancient book of kings that the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (Menelik, conceived during a royal one night stand) brought the Ark from Israel. It is now kept at The Chapel of [...]

Perk Up: It’s International Coffee Day!

Look sharp, java monsters. It’s joe’s big day! While the holiday’s origins are a little murky, we do know that an annual bean-themed event began in Japan in 1983 and has since spread to at least 16 countries that import or export the globe’s favorite hot beverage. The holiday falls on various dates around the [...]

The New Single-Medal Countries (and Two That Left the List)

A few weeks ago, we gave you 21 countries that have only won a single Olympic medal. Now that the London Games are through, it’s time to update our list with the countries that netted their first-ever medal this summer, and the two countries that have now moved into multiple medal territory. First-time medals Bahrain Getty Images Bahrain thought [...]

8 Underdog Nations and Their Memorable Olympic Performances

This week, the tiny Caribbean nation of Grenada won its first Olympic medal when 19-year-old Kirani James took the gold in the 400-meter dash. With a population of 104,000, Grenada is the 17th-smallest country in the world, and now the smallest nation to win a gold medal. Here’s a look back at eight other great Olympic [...]

Early Human Relatives Ate Bark

A fossil species of the human family called Australopithecus sediba is a fairly recent discovery. Some of the two-million-year-old individuals unearthed in Africa have tartar on their teeth, which is rare among primate fossils, but it gives scientists a chance to reconstruct what they ate. That diet was a surprise. The team conducted their studies on [...]

What Exactly Is the Heat Index?

Is it really not the heat, but the humidity? With temperatures spiking around the country, we thought it might be a good time to answer some questions about the heat index. © BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters/Corbis Why does humidity make us feel hotter? To answer that question, we need to talk about getting sweaty. As you probably remember from your [...]

The Hottest Place on Earth

Desert sun overhead, volcanic forces beneath your feet, and the average year-round temperature is 94F (34C)! This is Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, where the ground springs forth with lava and hot mineral springs that evaporate and leave salt formations behind. See a collection of beautiful and foreboding photographs of the region at Environmental Graffiti. Link (Image [...]

Burning Questions About the Heat Index

Is it really not the heat, but the humidity? With temperatures spiking around the country and weathermen warning of days where the heat index surges into the triple digits, we thought it might be a good time to answer some questions about the heat index. © BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters/Corbis Why does humidity make us feel hotter? To answer that [...]

Dietribes: Hummus Among Us

• While love may be the international language, the international love is the chickpea, or the Bengal gram (India), Chickpea (English), Garbanzo (Latin America), Hommes, Hamaz (Arab world), Nohud, Lablabi (Turkey), and Shimbra (Ethiopia), as its sometimes known. • Chickpeas are a high-protein legume, as well as providers of slow burning complex carbohydrates. They can also replenish [...]