• Green_HERO-1

    The Last Drop of Water in Broken Hill

    In the Australian outback, the future of drought has come early.

  • Sierras granite water Julia Rosen

    How Water, Paradoxically, Creates the Land We Walk On

    It’s no secret that water shapes the world around us. Rivers etch great canyons into the Earth’s surface, while glaciers reorganize the topography of entire mountain ranges. But water’s influence on the landscape runs much deeper than this: Water explains why we have land in the first place. You might think of land as the […]

  • Kushner_HERO

    The Sinkhole Hunters

    In sprawling Florida, one group of geologists is never short on business.

  • big ol collision

    The Genetics of the Earth and Moon

    Imagine that two very similar-looking neighbors undergo a genetic test. The exam shows that the pair’s genetic fingerprints are virtually identical. They feel a flash of shock and excitement. What does this mean? Could they be long-lost twins, separated in a hospital mixup? The Earth and Moon share a similar issue, one that poses a […]

  • Nobel-HERO-2

    Los Angeles Should Be Buried

    A day in the war between the city and its mountains.

  • Hydrothermal_HERO

    In Search of Life’s Smoking Gun

    A journey to the underwater volcanoes where life may have erupted.

  • Nadis_HERO-C

    Why Aliens and Volcanoes Go Together

    Life on other planets may rely on plate tectonics.

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    Sparkly Mints May Help Explain Puzzling “Earthquake Lights”

    Agriculture inspector Jim Conacher photographed these earthquake lights over Tagish Lake, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, in 1972Jim Conacher For centuries, people have been reporting mysterious lights along the ground and in the sky soon before an earthquake hits. But it wasn’t until 1966 that there was some solid evidence of the lights, when one man […]

  • Muir_HERO_3

    The Lightning Beneath Our Feet

    The strange lights that occur before earthquakes may originate underground.

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    Once Upon a Gemstone

    Precious stones hold the stories of continents, oceans, and cultures.