New Miniboats Are “Superbuoyant”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 20, 2009   View Article

Copper mesh coated with a highly water repellent material can float extremely well, according to researchers in China who built stamp-size prototypes.

The “boats” even stay afloat “when the upper edges are just a hair below the surface of the water.”

10 shipwrecks that capture our imaginations

Publication:   Date: February 17, 2009   View Article

The Titanic, the 46,000-ton “unsinkable” ocean liner that struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912 and sank within hours to the bottom of the North Atlantic, is the world’s most famous shipwreck. But it’s not the only wrecked ship steeped in history – if not treasure – discovered on the bottom of the sea. Learn about nine more shipwrecks that have enriched our imagination.

Artificial Reefs Made With Sunken Subway Cars, Navy Ships

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 18, 2006   View Article

Along the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to Georgia, thousands of fish are crammed into subway cars—but they’re going nowhere fast, and recreational fishers couldn’t be happier.

The subway cars, along with armored tanks, naval ships, tugboats, and a large amount of concrete culverts, were strategically dumped in the ocean to serve as artificial reefs.

Alien Species Invading Antarctica, Experts Warn

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 6, 2006   View Article

Golf in Antarctica, anyone?

You can’t set a tee time just yet, but a type of grass favored for putting greens—annual bluegrass—has taken root on King George Island, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the icy continent.

Scientists are not amused.

“Sooner or later, invasive species do become a big problem,” said Maj de Poorter, an invasive-species researcher at Auckland University in New Zealand.

Magnetic Field Weakening in Stages, Old Ships’ Logs Suggest

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 11, 2006   View Article

Earth’s magnetic field is weakening in staggered steps, a new analysis of centuries-old ships logs suggests.

The finding could help scientists better understand the way Earth’s magnetic poles reverse.

As Arctic Ice Melts, Rush Is on for Shipping Lanes, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 25, 2005   View Article

The melting Arctic ice is fueling a rush for the North Pole region’s resources.

Governments are jostling for political control over new passages for ships between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The disappearing sea ice could also open the way to exploit a bounty of oil, gas, minerals, and fish once protected by their inaccessibility, scientists and environmentalists caution.

Shampooing to Stop Oil Spill Bird Deaths

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 21, 2004   View Article

Every year at least half a million water birds die from encounters with spilt oil, according to Jay Holcomb, executive director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center in Fairfield, Calfornia. But on occasion rescue teams arrive on scene in time to scrub the birds’ feathers clean and prevent calamity.

Take, for example, the response when approximately 1,300 tons of oil spilled from the bulk ore carrier Treasure. The ship sank in the Atlantic Ocean in June 2000 about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Cape Town, South Africa.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach