Happy Saturday! It’s been a busy week for me as I prepare to go to North Carolina tomorrow. I’ll be there reporting on the impact of Hurricane Florence on midterm elections in the state. And apparently, I’ll also be there at the same time as the Trump baby balloon. So on that note, I’m off to enjoy my morning coffee!
This week I learned…
- Earth was covered in giant mushrooms some 420 to 350 million years ago, long before trees existed. And even today, the largest living organism on earth is a fungus in Oregon.
- Doctors in Shetland, Scotland are starting to prescribe bird watching, rambling, and beach walks to patients.
- Turns out, the world’s oldest fossil may actually just be “pretty rocks”.
- A new sea slug has been discovered which looks exactly like seaweed.
By the numbers…
- 300. This many mammals have been eradicated by humans according to a new study.
- 5 million. It could take at least this many years to restore the natural world, even if all poaching and pollution ended in the next 50 years.
- 60. Insect biomass in Puerto Rico’s rainforest has decreased between 10-60 times since the 1970s due to climate change according to a “hyperalarming” new study.
What I’m reading…
- In a Drying Climate, Colorado’s ‘Water Cop’ Patrols for Water Thieves — Luke Runyon for NPR
- Heidi Cruz Didn’t Plan For This — Elaina Plott for the Atlantic
- Navigating the border: The barriers that define the U.S.-Mexico borderline — an interactive by the Washington Post
- I pulled a 1,500-year-old sword of out of a lake — Saga Vanecek for the Guardian
There’s a woman who has built up a special trust with sharks, so much so that they let her remove hooks from their mouths. (via The Dodo).
Caroll Spinney, the original Big Bird, retired this week from Sesame Street after 50 years. He also played Oscar the Grouch.