Nature

A lonely Antartic landscape.

In 1993, Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge became the first person to cross Antarctica alone. It took him 50 days. The thing that had the biggest impact on him was the silence.

A salmon-colored rock marks the spot of the One Square Inch project, which tries to preserve the most pristine soundscape in the contiguous United States.

One of the quietest places in the U.S. is a spot inside the Hoh Rain Forest in the Olympic National Park in Washington. It's called "One Square Inch of Silence." And it was created by the acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton.

Crochet hyperbolic plane (by Anitra Menning), from the "Crochet Coral Reef" project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

For centuries, mathematicians have been looking for the deep design, the mathematical code to explain everything from microorganisms to spacetime. But it’s a dangerous quest.

An egg in a nest

Frank Wilczek is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist at MIT. He's kind of obsessed, in his own way, with understanding the universe. Specifically, he’s interested in what he calls “the beautiful question." Is the universe naturally, inherently beautiful?

Plastic crochet corals from the "Crochet Coral Reef" project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

What if the geometric structure of the universe has been hidden, for centuries, in crochet? Margaret Wertheim can help you get there with a ball of wool, a crochet hook, and some non-Euclidean geometry.

bamboo graffitt

If climate change is the most urgent problem facing humanity, why are there so few novels about it? Acclaimed novelist Amitav Ghosh believes that’s a big problem. He says climate change is less a science problem than a crisis of imagination.

Before John Muir and Charles Darwin, there was Alexander von Humboldt, the German scientist who shaped our understanding of nature. Now, he’s largely forgotten, but biographer Andrea Wulf says he was once the world's most famous scientist. 

ruined boats

There’s a lot of scientific debate about the future of climate change. But have you ever considered the worst case scenario? David Wallace-Wells gives us one terrifying glimpse into the future.

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