How brothers become strangers, and vice versa

Two remarkable etymological maps show twin forces at work throughout human history.

Image by u/Virble, reproduced with kind permission.
  • These two maps capture the centrifugal and centripetal forces at work throughout human history.
  • See how the Proto-Indo-European word for 'brother' spreads and changes, in both sound and meaning.
  • And how the Proto-Germanic word for 'stranger' now is a familiar fixture of European toponymy.
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New lunar map should help U.S. return to Moon

USGS's 'Unified Geologic Map of the Moon' is the definitive blueprint of the lunar surface.

Image: USGS, public domain
  • Combining old maps with new data, the USGS has produced a definitive blueprint of the lunar surface.
  • The new map will help scientists and astronauts find their way around the Moon.
  • NASA's aim is to land the first woman on the Moon as early as 2024.
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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
  • 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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Why the south of Westeros is the north of Ireland

As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.

Image: YouTube / Doosh
  • The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
  • But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
  • Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
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Five Hawks Down: watch the tragic migration of six Californian raptors

Tracking project establishes northern Argentina is wintering ground of Swainson's hawks

Image: @TrackingTalons / Ruland Kolen
  • Watch these six dots move across the map and be moved yourself: this is a story about coming of age, discovery, hardship, death and survival.
  • Each dot is a tag attached to the talon of a Swainson's Hawk. We follow them on their very first migration, from northern California all the way down to Argentina.
  • After one year, only one is still alive.
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