Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Giant stone balls, elements, bugs, and a village with out sun

Costa Rica's giant spheres made out of stone

Banana plantation workers in the 1930s, unearthing large numbers of giant, man made stone spheres. (one was over 2 meters in diameter and weighed over 16 tons!

Similar spheres have also been found in several other places around the world, including most recently in
Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The thing that I find really interesting, is how they were most likely made.
According to University of Kansas archeologist John Hoopes:

"The balls were most likely made by reducing round boulders to a spherical shape through a combination of controlled fracture, pecking, and grinding. The granodiorite from which they are made has been shown to exfoliate in layers when subjected to rapid changes in temperature. The balls could have been roughed out through the application of heat (hot coals) and cold (chilled water). When they were close to spherical in shape, they were further reduced by pecking and hammering with stones made of the same hard material. Finally, they were ground and polished to a high luster. This process, which was similar to that used for making polished stone axes, elaborate carved metates, and stone statues, was accomplished without the help of metal tools, laser beams, or alien life forms."

Don't quite remember your Periodic Table? Chemical Elements has an interactive one to help you brush up on your elements!

Not sure what the difference between a millipede and a centipede is? What's That Bug can tell you! (And show you!)

And the next time you think that winter in Vermont sucks, remember that it could be worse! You could live in the Swiss town of Bondo. They are looking at getting a giant mirror installed to make up for the fact that they don't get any sunlight for three months out of the year! No sun at all for three months! I don't think I could do it...

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