Geo-Joint: Australia’s Rabbit Proof Fence

Australia is a huge land, harboring many kinds of animals. But before 1788, rabbits were not among them. The initial group of boats that carried settlers from England to Australia, known as the First Fleet, brought domesticated rabbits along as a source of food. They were confined to the pens where they were raised. Wild rabbits were also brought to … Read More

Geo-Joint: Peering into Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe isn’t the world’s deepest lake, but it’s in the top twenty. 1645 feet deep at its lowest point, it averages 1,000 feet over its 191 square-mile surface. Surrounded by the wooded slopes of the Sierra Nevada, it is a treasure nestled between California and Nevada, right where their shared straight line borders form a roughly 130 degree angle. … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Zanclean Flood

Perhaps you have stood on a beach at a lagoon mouth and watched what happens when a stormy sea breaks through the sand berm that had sealed off the lagoon. It starts as a small stream, but soon turns into a rapid torrent as the sand wears away, and the higher lagoon water heads downhill to the sea. Something like … Read More

Geo-Joint: Plastic Water Bottles

This may be an unbelievable thing to younger readers of the Geo-Joint, but 30 or 40 years ago people only very rarely drank water out of a personal container other than a glass or a cup. Sure, there were army surplus canteens, and bottles you could fill with water to take with you on a hike. But outside of some … Read More

Geo-Joint: Hot Springs—Nature’s Soothing Soak

The natural delights of the world range from gorgeous sunsets for the eyes, to powder snow and peeling waves for ecstatic motion, to the music of bird calls for the ears. But for pure sensory immersion, little beats the blissful relaxation of soaking in natural hot springs. Long before the advent of the Jacuzzi, hot springs provided comfort for the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Delaware’s Twelve-Mile Circle

The Geo-Joint brings up the subject of borders every once in a while because they’re so basic to how humans define their place on earth. We solidify our styles, foods, cultures, and even our gene pools according to borders that define “us” and “them.” So as artificial as they often are, their importance can’t be denied. We’ve also talked about … Read More

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