Many superheroes wear capes. But Batman's imposing floor-length cloak is legendary. The twisting sheath not only adds to the Dark Knight's mystique but also transforms into a rigid fabric that allows him to fly for extended periods. Now, engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have replicated the shape-shifting material in real life.
La Palma, one of Spain's Canary Islands, has been feeling the wrath of the Cumbre Vieja volcano since September 19, 2021. The explosive volcano, which came to life shortly after 3:00 pm local time, has been spewing out large amounts of molten lava, sometimes up to 20 feet (6 meters) high. The slow-moving rivers of magma have destroyed nearly 400 homes, buried dozens of kilometers of roads, and consumed hundreds of acres of farmland.
A fish with the body of a shark and the face of a pig may sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie. But that precisely describes the dead shark retrieved from the waters off Italy's Elba Island on August 15, 2021. Not surprisingly, photos of the unusual animal, posted on the Elba Island App Facebook page on September 3, 2021, have caused a stir worldwide. However, locals are not impressed.
Humans have flown to the Moon and may even make it to Mars. But providing clean water to all remains a challenge. The World Health Organization estimates that one in three people globally still do not have easy access to clean water. While desalinating ocean water is an obvious solution, the current process is both expensive and harmful for the environment. Now, some Malaysian students may have found a cheaper, more sustainable way to transform seawater into drinkable water.
The school day had just ended at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in Asheville, North Carolina. Most students had left, and the ones in the school's "supervised homework help" program were inside the campus. Fifth-grade teacher Betsie Stockslager Emry was also heading home when she noticed two playful black bears entering the empty playground. What happened next will bring a smile to your face.
One of the world's most iconic landmarks just got transformed into a work of art. From September 18 to October 3, 2021, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, will be embellished with 25,000 square meters of shimmering silvery-blue plastic fabric, held in place by 9,842 feet (3,000 meters) of red rope. The installation, dubbed "L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," is the brainchild of the late artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is known for making history. It was the first private spaceflight company to transport astronauts to the International Space Station and the first to develop a reusable rocket booster. On September 18, 2021, the American aerospace company did it again by completing the world's first-ever all-civilian mission to space.
The Sequoia National Park in California's southern Sierra Nevada mountains is best known for its namesake giant sequoias. The park boasts 40 groves of the massive trees, which occur naturally only on its western slopes. But the most beloved is the Giant Forest, a collection of 2000 trees that includes half of the Earth's largest and longest-living trees. This past weekend, the ancient wonders came dangerously close to being scorched by the KNP Complex Fire. But thanks to quick-thinking firefighters, the precious grove has been saved.