Author Archives: davidbressan

In Search of Punt

May 9, 1871 after a one year long search, the German geologist Karl Mauch finally spotted  was he had hoped for:  the ruins of gigantic buildings of stone – the remains of a long lost city, at least for the … Continue reading

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June 8, 1783: How the “Laki-eruptions” changed History

“The sun fades away, the land sinks into the sea, the bright stars  disappear from the sky, as smoke and  fire  destroy  the world, and the flames reach the sky.” The End of the World according to the “Völuspa“, a … Continue reading

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Newton’s Alchemy and early Geochemistry

Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is today remembered for his contributions to optics, mechanics and gravity, but as a typical polymath of his time he was also interested in alchemy. And through his interest in this early predecessor of chemistry he … Continue reading

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How Forensic Seismology investigates into Ship-Disasters, Terrorist-Attacks and secret Nuclear Tests

The collision of the cruise ship “Costa Concordia” on January 13, 2012 was recorded by the seismograph station “Monte Argentario“, situated on the Italian mainland. From the eyewitness testimony and the Automatic System of the ship the time of collision … Continue reading

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Earthquake Beasts

Myths and legends maybe represent the oldest efforts to record and deal with geological phenomena.  The Japanese Namazu-myth is one of the most popular and remembers the tragic connection between society and earthquakes. However many other societies incorporated earthquakes into … Continue reading

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De Loys’ Ape

Louis François Fernand Hector de Loys, (1892-1935) was a Swiss geologist and pioneer of oil field prospection in Europe, Africa and America. Unfortunately de Loys is today less known for his geological work than for a story involving a strange … Continue reading

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Richard Owen, the “Sea-Serpent Killer”

Philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) argued that science should also consider “all prodigies and monstrous births of nature; of everything in short that is in nature new, rare and unusual“. So if you have a tale or post to share, unusual … Continue reading

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