Oceans of plastic

From the soles of shoes to contact lenses, from the smartphones we carry around in our pockets to the toothpaste we use every day to clean our teeth, there is no doubt: we live in the plastic era. Everywhere around…


Water grabbing

“Clear, sweet fresh water,” wrote Petrarch, by many considered a precursor of Italian literature. Before him, St. Francis dedicated two of the first lines of his world-famous Canticle of the Creatures to water: “Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister…


Animal architecture, both elegance and precision

Homes, dams, artistic installations. We are often inclined to believe that humans are the only animals able to erect buildings and other constructions that modify the environment to their own advantage, but read here and you will find otherwise!  From…


Tornadoes and waterspouts: phenomena that (also) occur in Italy

When we talk about tornadoes, our thoughts immediately go to the immense American plains and the area known as “tornado alley”, a vast corridor extending over several states in the central region of the USA, where tornadoes very frequently form.…


Science: Anaximander’s revolution

Rerum fores aperuisse, Anaximander Milesius traditur primus. Anaximander the Milesian is reported to have been the first to open the doors of nature. [Pliny, Natural History, II, 31] It is with this quotation from Pliny the Elder, the famous naturalist…


Who is behind that flower?

From ancient Greek, μιμέομαι meaning “to imitate”, mimicry is a phenomenon whereby some species take on the appearance of another organism, or the colours, shapes or other characteristics of the environment in which they live. Perhaps the best-known imitators originate…


A turtle’s life

Sea turtles are the oldest living reptiles today. They have been inhabiting the oceans for over 150 million years without having changed their physical appearance. Up to 200 years ago, millions of them populated the oceans’ waters: now they still…


Is lithium the new petroleum?

In 1925, Charlie Chaplin dedicated one of his most famous films to the “gold rush”, a phenomenon that in the 19th century caused thousands of people to migrate to the United States, in search of fortune in mines, leaving behind…


It takes two to tango: dance and love in the animal kingdom

From tango to belly dancing, flamenco to tarantella, from ancient Oriental palaces to discotheques, dance is not only an authentic art but also synonymous with passion and the art of seduction. Cultures everywhere have always been well aware of this…

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