Before 1995, the small Caribbean island of Montserrat was a relatively quiet tourist destination — a British Overseas Territory with a population of 11,000. Then, the Soufriere Hills volcano came to life after remaining quiet since the 17th century. Thousands lived in the direct path of ensuing mudflows and pyroclastic flows — cascades of hot gas and rock. The capital city of Plymouth and 20 other settlements were completely destroyed. Dozens lost their lives initially, and thousands were evacuated as eruptions continued off and on for years afterward. More than 7,000 residents moved away, and tourist dollars vanished. While the volcano is still active, it has been relatively quiet since early 2010, and nearly half of the island remains a designated exclusion zone.
Before the first footage of a giant squid in its deepwater habitat airs tomorrow, get a closer look at our giant squid, one of the few specimens housed in a museum in North America.
It was brought to the Museum, frozen, in 1998, after commercial fisherman accidentally caught it in a fishing net off the coast of New Zealand. At 25 feet long, the squid is stored behind the scenes in a large steel tank. Read on here.
A Magical Nighttime Journey Through a Fluorescent Reef
A team from the company FireDiveGear investigated some undersea biology off the coast of Egypt during a night dive. What made it special was that they illuminated their subjects with a narrow band of light, between 450 and 470 nanometers, which just so happens to be the only wavelengths that can penetrate the upper layers of the open ocean.
What this gives us is a beautiful fluorescence that is usually masked by contaminating white lights (and daylight at shallower depths). What would normally be too dim for our eyes is brought to life using this special equipment. In a sense, this is what life really looks like at this depth, to those creatures that have evolved to see it.