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Earthquake and tsunami fears erupt on social media in Japan as ‘bad omen’ oarfish spotted
Social media in Japan has exploded after a number of deep-sea fish were caught. People are worried because these creatures are traditionally thought to be omens of natural disaster.
On Monday, an oarfish measuring nearly four metres from snout to tail was found tangled in a fishing net off the port of Imizu, in the north-coast prefecture of Toyama. The fish was already dead but was later taken to the nearby Uozu Aquarium to be studied.
Two more of the slender, snake-like fish were discovered in Toyama Bay nine days earlier. A record four oarfish were found in Toyama Bay in 2015 but there might be even more this year.
The species – which have long, silver bodies and red fins – usually live in deep waters. They are rarely seen from the surface, but legend says that when oarfish rise to shallow waters, disaster is near…
European colonizers killed so many Native Americans that it changed the global climate, researchers say
When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they caused so much death and disease that it changed the global climate, a new study finds.
European settlers killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America, causing large swaths of farmland to be abandoned and reforested, researchers at University College London, or UCL, estimate. The increase in trees and vegetation across an area the size of France resulted in a massive decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, according to the study.
Carbon levels changed enough to cool the Earth by 1610, researchers found. Columbus arrived in 1492,
“CO2 and climate had been relatively stable until this point,” said UCL Geography Professor Mark Maslin, one of the study’s co-authors. “So, this is the first major change we see in the Earth’s greenhouse gases.”
Before this study, some scientists had argued the temperature change in the 1600s, called the Little Ice Age, was caused only by natural forces…