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How the Deepwater Horizon Disaster Created an Abyssal Wasteland

How the Deepwater Horizon Disaster Created an Abyssal Wasteland

Want to see fewer ads? .A sickly, oil-spattered crab.In This Storyhe even saw the seafloor. It was 2017 and he had come down with a virus on a month-long research cruise; he was recuperating in his room to avoid infecting his colleagues at the Louisiana University Marine Consortium (LUMCON). From 6,000 feet below, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was transmitting a live feed of the site of the Deepwater Horizon accident—the first images of it taken since 2010. Releasing some four million barrels of oil over 87 days, it was the largest accidental marine oil spill ever recorded, a seething,...

October 3, 2019
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Misty of Chincoteague

Misty of Chincoteague

Want to see fewer ads? .Top Places in Virginiabeloved pony in children’s literature is preserved in more than just books and movies. The body of the real-life Misty of Chincoteague is displayed for all to see. Her pinto coat still looks fluffy and shiny, and her lifeless eyes still hold hints of the sweetness that endeared her to children around the world.Marguerite Henry was inspired to write her book Misty of Chincoteague while spending a summer on the titular island in 1946. Henry was there to witness the annual pony swim and auction. This long-time tradition involved “Saltwater Cowboys”...

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October 1, 2018
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The Native-American Origins of Gumbo

The Native-American Origins of Gumbo

Want to see fewer ads? .Traditional makers still forage for sassafras leaves to make filé.In This Storya gumbo that makes your neighbors jealous is in Kisatchie National Forest. At least, that’s what John Oswald Colson and Dustin Fuqua might tell you. Every summer, Colson and Fuqua make their way through the longleaf pines of Central Louisiana until they find a wispy, unassuming tree with mitten-shaped leaves low enough to pick. This is the sassafras tree, and the highly coveted, gumbo-elevating herb made from its dried and pulverized leaves is called filé.Colson, who is officially...

August 7, 2020
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TWA-United Grand Canyon Collision Mass Grave

TWA-United Grand Canyon Collision Mass Grave

Want to see fewer ads? .Top Places in Flagstaffat 9:01 am, TWA Flight 2 took off from Los Angeles International Airport flying to Kansas City. Three minutes later, United Airlines Flight 718 also took off from Los Angeles headed for Chicago. The two flights would become tragically entwined over the Grand Canyon about an hour and a half later.Shortly after takeoff, the pilot of the TWA plane requested to change his altitude from 19,000 to 21,000 feet to avoid storm clouds. At the time, commercial flights had no direct contact with air traffic controllers after their takeoff, so messages had...

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September 4, 2019
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Pop Culture Gargoyles Hidden in Gothic Architecture

Pop Culture Gargoyles Hidden in Gothic Architecture

Want to see fewer ads? .Alien at Chapelle de Bethlehem.In This StoryFascinating ghouls of another era, gargoyles emerged around the 13th century in European architecture with a vast array of form and function. At first, they were designed as an indispensable engineering trick. Projected from roofs at parapet level, the strange leaning creatures created a siphon for rainwater to protect the walls of the edifice. They evolved to become “grotesques, ” ornamental elements with a specific symbolic charge. With their demonic grins and anthropomorphic shapes, gargoyles and grotesques were used to...

December 21, 2018
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How Australian Nicknaming Conventions Turn an Afternoon Into an 'Arvo'

How Australian Nicknaming Conventions Turn an Afternoon Into an 'Arvo'

Want to see fewer ads? .In This Storyfrom the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, you’re likely to run into a naming convention that is completely confounding from an outside perspective. Jeremy Clarkson, one of the hosts of the U.K.’s Top Gear, is referred to as Jez or Jezza. Same with Jeremy Usborne, a fictional character on Peep Show. Actor and musician Laurence Fox goes by Lozza; his Twitter handle is @LozzaFox. Harry Styles, of One Direction, goes by Hazza. Actress Teresa Palmer goes by Tez, or Tezza.The U.K., with a higher number of celebrities that break onto the international scene...

January 4, 2018
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How Wisconsin Became the Center of the ‘Brandy Belt'

How Wisconsin Became the Center of the ‘Brandy Belt'

Want to see fewer ads? .An Old Fashioned (typically made with brandy in Wisconsin) at Buckhorn Supper Club.In This Storybrandy—if they drink it at all—as an after-dinner digestif, and in most of the United States, its popularity is limited. But Wisconsinites love the stuff. We use it instead of whiskey or gin in classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, Manhattans, and martinis. We freeze it and mix it with sweet tea and juice to make Wisconsin’s version of sangria, the Brandy Slush, and blend it with ice cream and crème de cacao to make a Brandy Alexander, which in Wisconsin is an .The...

January 28, 2021
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California’s Elusive Urban Lizards Can’t Hide From Citizen Scientists

California’s Elusive Urban Lizards Can’t Hide From Citizen Scientists

Want to see fewer ads? .A rare hello!In This Storyup in the San Francisco Bay area, Greg Pauly sometimes found himself running an accidental rehabilitation center for wayward reptiles out of his parents’ house. One neighbor wasn’t particularly sold on the squamates that lived around her yard, he recalls, but her cats, Crackers, Peepers, and Stinkers, kept intercepting them and delivering them to her. Pauly remembers that she paid him a dollar to take the unwelcome gifts off her hands, so he adopted the “three-legged, no tail” lizards as pets.These maimed reptiles were , roughly eight inches...

February 12, 2021
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Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado

Want to see fewer ads? .Top Places in Californiain 1888, the Hotel Del Coronado has hosted presidents, royalty, and perhaps most famously, writers. L. Frank Baum stayed in the hotel while writing parts of his Wizard of Oz series. He also designed the featured chandelier in the hotel’s famous Crown Room.The “Hotel Del,” as it is known to locals, is just across the water from . It’s one of the only surviving examples of an American genre of architecture, the wooden Victorian beach resort. You may recognize it as the inspiration for Disney World’s Grand Floridian. It’s a National...

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December 30, 2019
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How The Thames, Once a 'Zombie River,' Was Brought Back to Life

How The Thames, Once a 'Zombie River,' Was Brought Back to Life

Want to see fewer ads? .An image taken in 2008, about a decade into the concerted effort to revive the Thames, declared "biologically dead" half a century earlier.In This StoryThis piece was originally published in and appears here as part of our collaboration.the Industrial Revolution, London’s River Thames was both a hub of trade and transport and a dumping ground for human excretion and industrial waste. The cradle of England’s industrial heritage was quickly becoming a glorified sewer. The stench was so unbearable during the sweltering summer of 1858 that it forced some government...

Aug 8
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