Geo-Joint: Glaciers in the Tropics

When you think of the equatorial tropics, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is a beach—a warm, breezy, sea-level scene, complete with coconut palms. Or maybe a lush rainforest, soaking wet and humid, with a steamy heat that makes you break into a sweat just thinking about it. Less likely is the thought of high mountain peaks, … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Lost Nazi Gold Train

The buried gold of pirate stories is the dream of every 8-year-old kid, but historians say pirates were not particularly prone to putting their plunder in a hole and covering it. It’s documented to have happened a few times, though the goods were not commonly buried and left behind unguarded. Burying helped obscure the holdings until the diggers could return … Read More

Geo-Joint: Sandy Beaches on the Move

Does any bit of ground change its appearance on a seasonal, weekly, daily, or even hourly basis as much as the beach? The tide comes in and goes out a couple of times a day in most places, narrowing and widening the margin between land and sea. Different days produce greater or smaller piles of washed-up kelp, flotsam, and jetsam, … Read More

Geo-Joint: Les Grands Goulets

Almost any road, even one crossing a flat valley floor, is the product of careful engineering and hard work. If that road goes over water or through some hills, that much more planning and effort is involved. True mountain roads are really a challenge, but their basic route may follow old game or first-inhabitants’ trails. Rock can be blasted to … Read More

Geo-Joint: Chicxulub Asteroid and the End of the Big Dinosaurs

The dinosaurs. What a crazy bunch, huh? Rule the world for millions of years and then check out in one fell swoop. But if things had been just a liiiiittle bit different, they mighta coulda kept their crown. Maybe. The story of the downfall of The Big Reptiles is pretty well known. Unlike the hapless mega-lizards in Fantasia, succumbing to … Read More

Geo-Joint: Mustang Caves

People have always sought to have places free from intervention by enemies, robbers, or prying eyes. Building something large and seemingly impregnable, like the pyramids, is one way, or you can do it by stealth, creating a space hidden from view in a distant place. Another way is to find a place so difficult to get close to that almost … Read More

Geo-Joint: Volcan Paricutin

Farmers know their fate is tied to the natural cycles of rain, heat, cold, and insect invasion. They know their soil type limits the crops they can hope to grow, and that birds and varmints may take a bite out of their harvest. Nature is a kind of frenemy, but there are rules a farmer can expect to operate within—until … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Golden Gate Bridge

Though it’s hard to imagine when looking at it now, San Francisco was once empty hills, undeveloped beaches, and open wetlands. Its protective bay made the place a natural for the safe mooring of explorers’ ships, and eventually a small town developed. As we know, the discovery of gold in the mountains east of the city led to explosive growth … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Sky on Fire – Catatumbo Lightning

Lightning can, and does, strike in the same place—not only twice, but many, many times. Of course, it helps if that place is the tip of a skyscraper in the Midwest. Tall, especially metallic objects, will provide the shortest and most attractive path for a charged cloud to let loose its abundance of electrical energy. Electrical and broadcast towers are … Read More

Geo-Joint: Pelagic Pyrosomes Present to the Playa

Source: Wikimedia: EncMstr (CC 4.0) You never know what you’ll find at the beach. Just about anything man-made can wash up, and you’ll always find the local shells and kelp. When the currents sometimes wander a little off course and the winds take odd turns, unexpected items can roll in with the waves. Recently, Pacific Coast beachwalkers from Oregon north to … Read More