Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

It seems that every other year or so, an organisation or publication tries to come up with a new version of the Seven Wonders of the World in an attempt to replicate the Seven Wonders of antiquity. One of the more notable efforts of recent years is the New7Wonders website, which solicited over 100 million…

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Geysir: The Namesake of All Geysers

Geysers are rather amazing things: literal jets of hot, pressurised water that shoot from the ground, often dozens of metres into the air. To form these erupting hot springs, water has to travel through fissures to a depth of two kilometres below the surface and be warmed past the boiling point by a constant supply of…

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Counting Down the Largest Lake Islands in the World, Part I: #10-#6

Lists of the world’s largest islands can be found in pretty well any encyclopedia, world atlas, desktop reference book, or geography website. Lists of the world’s largest islands inside lakes, however, aren’t nearly as common in reference guides, generally being relegated to Wikipedia, WorldAtlas.com, or geo-oddity websites. Even if you’re a geo-oddity hunter, you probably…

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Doggerland: Ancient Europe Underwater

Ideas of a ‘lost continent’ where humans used to dwell that became submerged underwater such as Atlantis have long permeated myth and fables, but there actually are submerged lands where humans previously lived for thousands of years.  Take, for example, Doggerland, the land mass that occupied the southern half of the North Sea for thousands…

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The Zanclean Flood: Refilling the Mediterranean

While the Mediterranean Sea is one of the cradles of ancient human civilisation, the water body is rather young geologically, approximately 5.33 million years old.  Researchers have found that this figure marks the date of the Zanclean flood, an epic breach of the Strait of Gibraltar that turned the desiccated Mediterranean basin into a sprawling…

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Why the Nile is the World’s Longest River (And Why It Isn’t)

The Amazon is the world largest river; of that there is no doubt.  One-fifth of the world’s entire freshwater flow is contained within the Amazon Basin.  By most accounts, however, it is not the longest.  That honour belongs to the Nile, at a generally accepted length of 6 650 km (4 152 mi) as compared…

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The Vajont Dam Disaster

Five decades ago, one of the deadliest dam breaches in history taught engineers a tragic lesson about constructing hydroelectric dams in geologically-unstable regions. At 261.6 m (862 ft) in height, the thin concrete arch Vajont Dam, on the Vajont River in the Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia a few dozen metres above its border with…

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