Drilling Near the Coral Reefs

The Anglo-Dutch oil conglomerate Shell has applied for permits to drill just 30 miles off the World Heritage-listed coral reef in Western Australia thus alarming many naturalists.

World-famous for protecting ecological diversity, the Australian coral reefs may face the prospect of offshore oil drilling. "Just 30 miles away from the marine park that protects Ningaloo Reef, a haven for sealife that was recently nominated for World Heritage status, the proposed drilling project has raised fears of an oil spill that could seriously damage the reef and the creatures that depend on it. Warnings of the risks come shortly after a major international report that three quarters of the world's coral reefs are under severe threat of ecological catastrophe from overfishing, pollution, and climate change."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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