11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… if you can’t read a topographic map, try turning it upside. Resource of the week!

Use our activity to help students create their own topographic maps.


ice cream, you scream, we all scream from sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that ice cream headaches might be an effective treatment for migraines.
Photograph by Sisse Brimberg, National Geographic

Dig into the rich, delicious history of the ice cream cone.


… scientists may have just identified the biggest dinosaur of all time.

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Patagotitan mayorum—in brown—was a sauropod that lived about 102 million years ago, was likely more than 120 feet long, and weighed 69 tons.
Illustration by Dr. Dennis Bogdan, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-4.0

What are the other giant animals of Earth?


… pollution is turning sea snakes black.

Turtle-headed sea snakes are losing their white rings.
Photograph by Klaus Stiefel, courtesy Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0

Are there other examples of animals adapting their appearance to a polluted atmosphere?


… Louisiana is sinking twice as fast as we thought.

Map by National Geographic Education

Why is Louisiana sinking at all?


… maps can show how water can be precious lifeline—or a weapon.

water map
Water woes have reshaped the map of North America by 2028 in this detail from an imaginative map in the new water atlas. Map by Giovanni Mauro and Giuliano Petrarulo, courtesy Guerrilla Cartography

Take a look at Guerrilla Cartography’s first atlas, on food.


… what it takes to be a country.

NGS Picture Id:2496033
The vast Kurdistan region, stretching from Turkey (where this Kurdish herder lives), Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Is it a country? Photograph by John Stanmeyer, National Geographic

What is a nation?


… archaeologists are tracing the migration of ancestral Puebloans—through turkey DNA.

Scanned by: Retouched by: DT-PK QC'd by: DT-MB
Scientists have suspected that Ancestral Puebloans migrated more than 200 miles from the “cliff palaces” of Mesa Verde, Colorado, to communities north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Illustration by W. Langdon Kihn, National Geographic

Who were the Ancestral Puebloans?


ancient Romans had the best concrete, and modern Romans have one of the worst water crises.

Seawater was the secret ingredient in the best Roman concrete. Photograph Emanuele, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-2.0

What influence did technology like concrete have in ancient Rome?


… medieval manuscripts are a DNA smorgasbord.

Gorgeous gospels like this one (from Lindesfarne) may carry DNA from the animals on whose skin was the source of the parchment, bookworms … and priests who kissed the holy books. Photograph by Eadfrith, courtesy Wikimedia.

How else are medieval manuscripts helping modern scholars?


… where the can’t-miss educational technology events are this school year. Start planning!

Illustration by EdSurge

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