New tech 'MERMAIDS' can detect earthquakes before they wreak destruction

A network of devices called MERMAIDs is taking seismographs where they've never been.

(Princeton University)
  • Most of the ocean floor is inaccessible to seismologists.
  • Much can be learned about the interior of Earth by listening to earthquakes.
  • Ingenious new floating sensors are changing the ocean seismology game.
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Oldest animal ever discovered by scientists

Chinese scientists find a 600-million-year-old creature.

Mnemiopsis leidyi. (Image: National Institutes of Health)
  • Researchers in China find fossils of a creature that lived 600 million years ago.
  • This creature resembles a modern-day comb jelly.
  • If confirmed, these would be the oldest animal fossils discovered.
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Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
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Asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs caused a mile-high tsunami

We knew the Chicxulub crater was massive. We just didn't know how widespread the damage actually was.

  • The asteroid that crashed into the Yucatan caused a mile-high tsunami.
  • The wave was 52 times higher and 2,600 times more energetic than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 227,000 people.
  • Sediment was disturbed 3,700 miles from the site of the crash.
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We can assess the health of coral reefs by the sounds algae make

Tiny bubbles talk photosynthesis.

(Freeman, et al)
  • During photosynthesis, algae produces a symphony of little "pings."
  • The sounds are produced by oxygen bubbles breaking away from the plants.
  • Monitoring reef health through its sound is a new avenue for acoustic ecology.
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