Indonesia’s Trying to Figure Out How Many Islands It Contains

From Smithsonian Magazine by Erin Blakemore:

“How many islands are in Indonesia? You might think that the answer “a lot” is a bit glib, but it turns out that the Republic of Indonesia itself doesn’t really know, either. The nation of many islands consists of so many small land masses that they have never been officially counted. Until now: As the BBC reports, Indonesia is embarking on an ambitious island census.”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/indonesias-trying-figure-out-how-many-islands-it-contains-180963606/

New Online Database Catalogues 20,000 Threatened Archaeological Sites

From Smithsonian Magazine by Brigit Katz:

“The endangered archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa Database includes an interactive map and a detailed search function.”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-online-database-catalogues-20000-threatened-archaeological-sites-180963451/

Found: Giant Mounds and Craters Across the Arctic Seafloor

From Atlas Obscura by Sarah Laskow:

In the polar reaches of the Arctic Ocean, in northern Bjørnøyrenna, the seafloor is bumpy, pockmarked mess. Much of the seabed in the region is smooth, but not in the area that’s the subject of a new paper published in Science, where it is dotted with giant mounds and craters.”

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/found-arctic-seafloor-mounds-craters-methane-burps

 

Whooper swans in Sweden

An iconic feature Hillary Step of Mount Everest has collapsed

Mount Everest climbers are reporting that the Hillary Step, a chunk of rock just below the mountain’s summit, is gone. Named after Edmund Hillary, who made the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953 with Tenzing Norgay, the vertical outcrop was considered the last great hurdle for mountaineers to get over before stepping foot on…

via An iconic feature near the top of Mount Everest has collapsed — Quartz

Iceland drills 4.7 km down into volcano to tap clean energy

Tallbloke's Talkshop

World’s hottest borehole, Iceland [credit: BBC]
Not much oil or gas, but plenty of steam available for use in Iceland as Phys.org reports.

It’s named after a Nordic god and drills deep into the heart of a volcano: “Thor” is a rig that symbolises Iceland’s leading-edge efforts to produce powerful clean energy.

If successful, the experimental project could produce up to 10 times more energy than an existing conventional gas or oil well, by generating electricity from the heat stored inside the earth: in this case, volcanic areas.

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