Your World This Week, Mar. 27 – Apr. 2

This week in science: What would happen if the sun generated a killer superflare, and the newly discovered fish that can walk up waterfalls.

The Fish That Can Walk Up Waterfalls

The little-known Cryptotora thamicola cavefish, found in Thailand, is just a few inches long and totally blind. But it can do something not only that no other fish can do, but also something that has upended some of our most basic assumptions about evolution and life on this planet: it can walk.

We’re talking honest-to-goodness walking. In the words of researcher Brooke Flammang, “It possesses morphological features that have previously only been attributed to tetrapods. The pelvis and vertebral column of this fish allow it to support its body weight against gravity and provide large sites for muscle attachment for walking.”

Of course, this discovery will have serious implications in determining just how Earth’s creatures went from finned to limbed, from sea to land, some 420 million years ago.

Read more at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Photo Of The Day: The World’s Largest Aircraft Is Almost Ready To Take Off

If 300 feet doesn’t sound like a lot to you, remember that that’s about the size of the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, and some of the largest giant sequoias ever measured. Then imagine something that long — and a whole lot wider — flying through the air. And that’s the Airlander 10, the largest aircraft in the world, now almost ready to hit the skies.

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Map Of The Day: Which Nations’ Tragedies We Care About And Which We Don’t

Tragedy World Map

Image Source: Adapted from Cinismo Ilustrado

Let’s be perfectly clear: the attacks in Brussels earlier this week were a tragedy, and every bit of sympathy and goodwill the country has received is deserved. At the same time, tragedies like that one — and others far, far worse — continually go under-acknowledged. And the underlying problem is that there’s a terrible pattern as to why that happens.

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Photo Of The Day: Is This The Worst Smog In The World?

Worst Smog In The World

Smog over Almaty, Kazakhstan on January 12, 2014. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

By now, you’ve surely heard about China’s crippling smog problem, particularly in Beijing. And perhaps you’ve heard that Beijing isn’t even the worst offender, and that the world’s most polluted city lies elsewhere.

But no matter how much smog you’ve seen, either in photographs or in person, nothing can prepare you for what certainly had to be, at least on this particular day, the worst smog in the world.

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