Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 09:58 AM Mar 23 2017
Nature // 

At 582,578 square miles, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument is not just the United States' largest marine protected area—it's currently the largest marine protected area in the world. The monument, a stepladder-shaped oceanic expanse dotted with atolls, shoals, and islands northeast of Hawaii's island of Kauai, was created by President Bush in 2006 and expanded by President Obama in 2016. The goal of Papahānaumokuākea, and of marine protected areas more broadly, is to spare it from the spoilage that frequently happens in unprotected areas: overfishing, pollution, and degradation.

Eleanor Cummins
at 09:58 AM Mar 23 2017
Nature // 

Sure, we'd all love to traipse over to Europa and go hunting for alien lifeforms. But in the meantime, we can enjoy the weirdos that already live right here on Earth. Here are 10 of our favorite Earth-dwelling aliens—organisms so strange they seem otherworldly.

Jeremy Deaton
at 12:07 PM Mar 22 2017
Nature // 

Today, the Sahara Desert is defined by undulating sand dunes, unforgiving sun, and oppressive heat. But just 10,000 years ago, it was lush and verdant. So, what spurred the shift from woodland to wasteland?

Rob Verger
at 08:56 AM Mar 17 2017
Nature // 

When Leigh Orf, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, strives to unravel the mysteries of tornado formation, he needs something way bigger than a laptop. Phenomena like the huge, supercell thunderstorms he studies involve such vast amounts of data, only a supercomputer will do.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 10:00 AM Mar 15 2017
Nature // 

Scientists have known for a while that the Arctic is melting. The signs are everywhere—from the famed Alaskan Iditarod course being moved multiple times due to lack of snow, to the emergence of starving polar bears with nowhere to hunt.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 13:05 PM Mar 7 2017
Nature // 

Everyone cares that pandas and polar bears are endangered because, let's face it, they're adorable. In enviro speak, they're known as “charismatic megafauna”—they're large animals with popular appeal. Also included on this list are elephants, lions, tigers, sharks, and whales. In short, looks matter.

Sara Chodosh
at 13:05 PM Mar 7 2017
Nature // 

Pandas are cute—there's no two ways about it. They have to eat 30 pounds of bamboo a day and then have to poop about 40 times a day, but look at those eye patches! And their fuzzy white butts! There are plenty of adorable bears, so what is it about the panda that's so distinctive?

 
1 2 3 4 5 ... 86
Sign up for the Pop Sci newsletter
Australian Popular Science
ON SALE 30 MARCH
PopSci Live