Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

January 1, 2017 by  
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On the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia rest the remarkable ruins of Nan Madol, the only ancient city ever constructed on top of a coral reef . Referred to as an ” engineering marvel ” by the Smithsonian and nicknamed the “Venice of the Pacific,” this series of over 90 artificial islets could have once housed around 1,000 people. Although the Saudeleur built the city around 1200 AD, it wasn’t until earlier this year Nan Madol was finally named a World Heritage Site . Nan Madol flourished sometime during the 13th to 17th centuries AD as a spiritual and political center for the Saudeleur. Little remains of the intriguing ancient civilization – no art or carvings – other than marvelous ruins atop the coral reef. Oral history says the Saudeleur came to Pohnpei as foreigners in 1100 and ended up ruling the island, with Nan Madol as their dynastic seat. The city also served as a temple for the god the nobility worshiped. Related: Lasers reveal ancient Cambodian cities hidden by jungle near Angkor Wat The Saudeleur utilized columnar basalt, a kind of volcanic rock, to build the impressive city on a foundation of coral – and as the building materials are so heavy, no one has yet figured out how they accomplished the feat. The heaviest pillars weigh around 100,000 pounds. The walls surrounding the island’s largest structure, a royal temple called Nandauwas, are 25 feet high. The enduring stability of the remains is also something of a mystery. According to the National Park Service , “The Pohnpeians, who had neither binding agents like concrete nor modern diving equipment, sank the heavy stones into the lagoon using an unknown method. The building remains and canals are stable enough that even after centuries of abandonment visitors can still tour Nan Madol by boat.” Earlier in 2016, the World Heritage Committee added Nan Madol to both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, underlining the need to protect the fascinating site from unchecked mangrove growth and waterway siltation. Nan Madol is Micronesia’s first World Heritage Site. Via Smithsonian.com , Metropolitan Museum of Art , and National Park Service Images via Stephanie Batzer on Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ), Stefan Krasowski on Flickr , and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

Report reveals 11 million people and half of World Heritage sites are threatened by industry

April 6, 2016 by  
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The World Wildlife Fund issued a new report that warns nearly half of all World Heritage sites are being threatened by industrial activity. Oil and gas exploration, mining, and logging (legal and otherwise) all endanger some of the world’s most beloved and natural locations, many of which are home to biodiverse animal kingdoms. WWF is calling on world leaders to respond by taking more aggressive action to protect natural sites from commercial development and corporate interests. Read the rest of Report reveals 11 million people and half of World Heritage sites are threatened by industry

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Report reveals 11 million people and half of World Heritage sites are threatened by industry

30,000 hanging flowers greet spring in Berlin

April 6, 2016 by  
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30,000 hanging flowers greet spring in Berlin

The Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing Looks Like a Winding White Serpent in Portugal

February 3, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of The Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing Looks Like a Winding White Serpent in Portugal Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Álvaro Fernandes Andrade , Douru River Valley , grass terraces , olympic rowing , passive solar design , Pocinho Center , portugal , serpentine architecture , south facing skylights , world heritage site        

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The Pocinho Center for High Performance Rowing Looks Like a Winding White Serpent in Portugal

University of Washington Scientists Believe Climate Change Is Responsible for Penguin Chick Deaths

February 3, 2014 by  
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A team of scientists from the University of Washington  (UW) believe that climate change is killing chicks from the world’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins. They suspect that ever-changing weather systems, such as powerful storms, are not just killing the young birds, but also their main sources of food. Read the rest of University of Washington Scientists Believe Climate Change Is Responsible for Penguin Chick Deaths Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , heatwaves , Magellanic penguins , penguin chicks , starvations , storms , university of washington        

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University of Washington Scientists Believe Climate Change Is Responsible for Penguin Chick Deaths

Australian Coal Port Expansion Will Hasten the Great Barrier Reef’s Death, Activists Say

December 11, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock With an apparent disregard for warnings from scientists, fishermen and even UNESCO, Australian environment minister Greg Hunt has approved plans for a massive expansion of a coal port just 50 miles from the Great Barrier Reef . The plans will allow the port’s operator, Adani , to dredge three million cubic meters from the sea floor to allow ships to enter and leave the terminal, a move that the Australian Greens party says will hasten the death of the World Heritage site. Read the rest of Australian Coal Port Expansion Will Hasten the Great Barrier Reef’s Death, Activists Say Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adani , australia , australian greens , coal port , coral reef , dredging , environmental destruction , Great Barrier Reef , Greenpeace , greg hunt , marine health , tony abbott , UNESCO , water issues , world heritage site        

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Australian Coal Port Expansion Will Hasten the Great Barrier Reef’s Death, Activists Say

US Navy Will Recover the Bombs it Dropped in the Great Barrier Reef

July 26, 2013 by  
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Last week the US Navy was forced to dump four bombs into the blue waters of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park after a training exercise went wrong. After spotting civilian boats in their designated training area and running low on fuel, the four planes dumped their bombs into 160-foot deep waters near the reef. Now, the US Navy has agreed to remove the bombs, two of which carry explosives, from the ecologically sensitive area. Read the rest of US Navy Will Recover the Bombs it Dropped in the Great Barrier Reef Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Australia military exercises , Australia Reef , Australian shipping lanes , Climate Change , climate change reefs , GBR , Great Barrier Reef , Great Barrier Reef destruction , Great Barrier Reef shipping lanes , Navy bombs , Navy drops bombs on Great Barrier Reef , Navy drops bombs on reef , Shipping lanes , Starfish infestation , US military exercises , US Navy , US Navy Fleet 7 , World Heritage Great Barrier Reef , world heritage site        

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US Navy Will Recover the Bombs it Dropped in the Great Barrier Reef

Irony Abounds: Big Pit Coal Mining Museum in the UK Installs Solar Panels to Save Cash

December 21, 2012 by  
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It seems that irony is a dish best served coal. The Wales National Coal Mining Museum located in Big Pit, Blaenavon, Nr Abergavenny in south Wales has just installed a huge solar panel array to save money. The 400 panels are estimated to offset about $648,000 over the next 25 years. The electricity generated on site will be used to power the facility, and any excess will be sold back to the National Grid, adding another source of income for the museum. Read the rest of Irony Abounds: Big Pit Coal Mining Museum in the UK Installs Solar Panels to Save Cash Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: abergavenny , big pit , blaenavon , china , craig anderson , green technology , India , national grid , Peter Walker , solar panels , UK , Wales , wales national coal mining museum , world heritage site

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Irony Abounds: Big Pit Coal Mining Museum in the UK Installs Solar Panels to Save Cash

Two-Year Renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat is Complete

March 22, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Two-Year Renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat is Complete Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Barcelona chair , Brno , czech republic , Fritz Tugendhat , green renovation , Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , Mies , modern architecture , modernism , onyx , restoration , Tugendhat chair , UNESCO world heritage site , Villa Tugendhat , world heritage site

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Two-Year Renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat is Complete

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