These 9 U.S. biodiversity hotspots urgently need protection

Project to map global 'species richness' highlights the variety of biodiversity itself

  • Biodiversity is essential for ecosystems – and humanity – to survive
  • These maps show the diversity of biodiversity itself: the hotspots are all over the place
  • Compounding U.S. biodiversity data produces a list of 9 'Recommended Priority Areas', most in need of protection
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How does academic freedom change society for good?

Even the most controversial research conducted by scholars can impact cultures and drive progress.

Videos
  • Academic freedom is, at the same time, absolutely critical and underappreciated.
  • This protection drives innovation and progress, but do we take it for granted? Scholars' ability to conduct controversial research impacts culture and society in a positive way.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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How did Africa get its name?

These maps show surprising juxtapositions of ancient and modern toponyms of the Mother Continent.

  • "Africa" is just one of the ancient names that competed to define the entire continent.
  • Geographical terms like Sudan, Maghreb, and Guinea have remarkably wide and changeable areas of application.
  • Newly independent African nations sometimes adopted names of former kingdoms – even faraway ones.
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A world map of private islands (some are a steal!)

There's something special about islands - in some cases, it's the price tag

  • In fiction or reality, islands exert a special attraction on the imagination
  • For the ultra-rich, owning an island is the ultimate luxury
  • However, some islands are affordable even with a modest budget
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Greater Adria, a lost continent hiding in plain sight

Most of it was eaten by Earth's mantle, but scraped-off bits survive in the Alps and other mountain ranges.

Image: Utrecht University
Strange Maps
  • Following a 10-year survey, geologists discover a lost continent in the Mediterranean.
  • 'Greater Adria' existed for 100 million years, and was probably "great for scuba diving".
  • Most of it has been swallowed up by Earth's mantle, but bits of it survive.
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'The West' is, in fact, the world's biggest gated community

A review of the global "wall" that divides rich from poor.

Image: TD Architects
Strange Maps
  • Trump's border wall is only one puzzle piece of a global picture.
  • Similar anxieties are raising similar border defenses elsewhere.
  • This map shows how, as a result, "the West" is in fact one large gated community.
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Behold Sicily's Mount Etna — its volcanic summit is the world's only decipoint

The summit of Europe's most active volcano is also the world's only decipoint.

Image courtesy of Patrick McGranaghan
Strange Maps
  • For millennia, Etna has been Europe's most active volcano.
  • The Sicilian mountain is also the world's only decipoint.
  • Ten municipalities meet at its summit — at least on a map.
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