Plants posing stones – Lithops of the succulents type
Plants posing stones – In the deserts of Namibia and Republic of South Africa grow Lithops, plants of the type of succulents, called living stones. It have to face not only high temperature, lack of water and nutrients, but also with animals, for which it is a tasty morsel. This plants use special camouflage. It thick, bulging and fused leaves resemble stones. Lithops reveal identity for a short time during flowering. In order not to lose water, many succulents do not develop stems and leaves. Thanks to this, it have a smaller evaporation surface.
ALMA – Atacama Large Millimeter Array
ALMA – Atacama Large Millimeter Array – 5000 meters above sea level in the Atacama Desert in Chile. So in one of the driest places in our globe. Also one of the least friendly places on our planet. Especially Chajnantor plateau. Here, in northern Chile, the temperature can drop from 20 degrees Celsius to -20 at night. A strong wind rages over the infertile, red-shining plateau, lashing sharp rocks and few bushes that survive here. The air contains half as much oxygen as at sea level. Humidity is almost zero, which makes the atmosphere more transparent. What penetrates from space, reaches the plateau almost unfiltered. Thanks to this, the Atacama desert is the Mecca of astronomers.
The largest radio telescope in the world was created on it. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, a device with revolutionary design. Scientists can reach extremely cold and dark areas in the universe for the first time. Thanks to this network of radio telescopes, specialists are even able to penetrate the impenetrable nebulae. In this way, discover the stars that were created shortly after the Big Bang.
Sixty-six ALMA antennas were mounted in the base at a height of 3000 meters and trucks were transported to the plateau. There they were set with millimeter precision. After their launch and connection, a receiver with an area of approx. 16 km² was created.
Yueyaquan – Lake surrounded by desert dunes
Yueyaquan – literally means “a half-moon lake”. The reservoir really has a crescent shape of 200 m long and 50 m wide. According to the Chinese legend, long ago in the place where it is located, general Li Kuang’s soldiers were so thirsty that they did not have the strength to march on. Then the general struck the sand so much with the sword that water spurted out of him, which gradually formed a crescent-shaped lake. Yueyaquan for at least 2,000 years is a unique oasis, surrounded by the desert dunes of Takla Makan.
It is provided with an underground source, and moisture strengthens its banks, protecting the lake from covering with sand. In the oasis area the amount of precipitation is negligible, therefore the lake gradually dries up. According to measurements carried out in the 60’s. The average depth of the lake was then about 5 meters, while in the deepest place the bottom was 7 meters below the surface. In the 90’s, the depth of the lake was only 90 – 130 cm. Tourists come to the oasis on camels. In a hot and dry desert climate, staying at the lake is refreshing. The oasis is even more surprising in the winter. When the surrounding dunes are scattered with a thin layer of snow.
Synthetic exendin – Previously only from saliva
Synthetic exendin – Eli Lilly & Co. has developed synthetically exendin – 4. Previously only obtainable from the saliva of the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) – one of two venomous lizards in the world. Living in the deserts of the north – western Mexico and south – western United States. During the manufacturing process used the latest methods of biogenetics. Exendin is intended for the treatment of type 2 diabetes has become a forerunner in a new series of drugs known as mimetic (imitation) incretin. They imitate the action of incretin hormones found in nature. In addition to the pancreas incretins also affect other organs in connection with the regulation of glucose – liver, kidney, muscle and brain.
Cutting down amazonian forests – Brazilian Rainforest
Cutting down amazonian forests – Annually, only in the Brazilian portion of the Amazon as a result of deforestation. Into the air is released 54 billion tons of coal. Which accounts for approx. 40% of world production. The destruction in the Amazonia covers 75000 km² per year, which is tragic, but from the point of view of the remaining surface still bearable.
Especially compared to what is happening in Asia. There the process of destroying the jungle proceeds terribly quickly. Forests disappear disappearing at 1.2% area per year. Beautiful, green areas of Malaysia. They became human hands turned into deserts. For Borneo, the death sentence was to find tin deposits. It is terribly on the island of Java. Which was almost completely devoid of trees. Fortunately, there are exceptions in the world. Papua New Guinea has preserved almost entirely the original rainforest area. The “only” 25% dropped out of them. An interesting fact is how long it will be so …
Land speed record – Andy Green in Nevada desert
Land speed record – It belongs to an Englishman, Andy Green. 15.10.1997. In the Nevada desert, using a car Thrust SSC reached 1,227.985 km / h, or 1.02 waving, which means exceeded the sound barrier.