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EarthSky Voices

How meteorologists predict the next big hurricane

Hurricane Florence is barreling for U.S. coast, right at the height of hurricane season. How do experts know when and where the next big hurricane is going to hit? It’s complicated.

Top 3 myths about jellyfish

Myth #3: Applying urine to a jellyfish sting can reduce the pain

Wildlife hotspots thanks to livestock dung heaps?

Some of the African savannah’s most biologically diverse wildlife hotspots owe their vitality to heaps of manure deposited over thousands of years by livestock of wandering herders, says a new study.

Why you can smell rain

What you’re smelling is petrichor – a pleasant, earthy scent that accompanies a storm’s first raindrops. A weather expert explains where it comes from.

How a volcano helped defeat Napoleon at Waterloo

In June 1815, the Allied army defeated Napoleon’s army at Waterloo. An Indonesian volcano helped, says a scientist at Imperial College London.

Why are some species more likely to go extinct?

Death is inevitable for individuals and also for species. With help from the fossil record, paleontologists are piecing together what might make one creature more vulnerable than another.

What are rare earth elements?

Most of us use rare earth elements every day – without knowing it. These little-known and fascinating elements make modern electronics possible.

We’re guinea pigs in global microplastic experiment

Microplastics are everywhere – in our water, soil, and even the air we breathe. The consequences of this exposure on human health is unknown.

What’s causing Florida’s algae crisis? 5 questions answered

Red tides and a blue-green algae outbreak are fouling hundreds of miles of coast, killing fish and driving tourists from beaches. Some causes are natural, but human actions also play a role.

The unique elephant brain

Today is World Elephant Day. Here’s a look at how unique brain structures – different from those of any other mammal – are responsible for elephants’ special abilities in learning and memory.