Posts Tagged: ‘desert’

You might not realize it, but “packrat” is far more than mere slang for hoarders and collectors. The fine creature lives and thrives and collects stuff like nobody’s business.

So in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I discuss the pint-size rodent’s love of home decoration and den-building. Plus just how do their indoor toilets aid hungry cowboys and inquisitive archeologists? Tune in to find out.

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So, you’ll probably get sand in your shorts. But if you sit down at the top of a 150-foot sand dune in the desert, then push off and slide down the dune, you might hear something familiar: the sound of the televised 2010 World Cup — aka, a whole lot of people blowing vuvuzelas.

Seriously, that’s what a booming dune sounds like.

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There’s a fiery crater in Turkmenistan, and I think you should go see it.

Here’s the deal: About 35 years ago, when the area was run by the Soviets, some geologists were drilling for natural gas and struck upon a huge underground cavern filled with the stuff. To “burn off some excess gas,” they decided to set the cavern on fire, according to TreeHugger. Not the best idea: The crater has been aflame since the 1970s.

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It’s interesting what will drive a man to drink his own urine.

In Mauro Prosperi’s case, it was a sandstorm. The poor guy got lost in one while he was running Morocco’s Marathon Des Sables. To call this race a marathon is a joke, given that the course is a whopping 151 miles across the scorching 120-degrees-Fahrenheit Sahara Desert.

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No, it’s a salt flat in Bolivia. It’s rainy season, so the endless expanse of barren ground has filled in like a puddle on a sidewalk. The water’s shallow — about 6 inches deep. So when you walk across it, you look like you’re pulling that trick Jesus pulled. To make matters even more heavenly, the sky and its puffy white clouds are mirrored rather perfectly in the water. It’s hard to tell which is salt-flat-puddle and which is sunny sky. And whether you’re walking on air.

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Thought the “Seven Seas” were static? Nope, they’ve gone through many incarnations since the ancient Greeks started grouping their local bodies of water into one convenient moniker. European explorers expanded the definition a bit to include a wider sampling of world waters, and today we’d probably list the Arctic, North and South Atlantic, North and South Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans in the big seven — if we used the phrase at all.

But it turns out, there’s a new ocean in the making, rending the African continent right through the middle of Ethiopia.

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First, imagine God. Then imagine God is bored. He’s standing around in the outfield of a kickball game and nothing’s really happening. So, God bends down, picks up a stick and starts drawing lines in the dirt. After awhile, he starts to get creative. He draws some shapes — triangles and trapezoids. And some animals — a monkey, a hummingbird, a killer whale.

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Ever want to catch a falling star and put it in your pocket? Well don’t do it! You could be bogarting valuable scientific data.

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