May 6, 2012 |
JEJU ISLAND, South Korea -- To the South Korean military, this picturesque island is the perfect place to build a naval base: a strategic location guarding the country's southern flank from possible invasion. To its residents, its small-town feel, harbor and coral reefs make it close to perfect just the way it is. The conflict between the two visions has turned into a South Korean David and Goliath story, with Mayor Kang Dong-kyun of the town of Gangjeong leading the majority of its 1,930 people in fighting the giant.
January 27, 2012 |
Just off a rutted dirt road, a beach as white as flour pops into view from behind a wall of sea grape and rustling palms. Pelicans slice over turquoise waters, and not a single person stirs the quiet. The tableau, along a little-developed segment of Mexico's Caribbean coast, is a beachgoer's fantasy of unspoiled seaside splendor. Until you look down. For as far as the eye can see, the sand glitters with bits of bright color: fragments of trash, thousands and thousands of them, strung like a vast, foul necklace.
January 19, 2012 |
As part of a multiattraction expansion this spring, Legoland California plans to update the Star Wars Miniland area that debuted last summer, add a pirate-themed shoot-the-chutes water ride and install a crab exhibit at the adjacent SeaLife Aquarium. Set to open March 29, the Star Wars Gallery will include 3-foot-tall Lego models of a dozen characters from the epic film saga, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2D2, Yoda and Darth Vader. At the same time, model builders will install new characters, weapons and spacecraft to existing Star Wars Miniland scenes rendered in 1:20 scale using Lego bricks.
December 18, 2011 |
Phileas Fogg went around the world in 80 days. I did it in 23. And I bet I visited more amazing sites than he - India's Taj Mahal, Easter Island, Tibet, Cambodia's Angkor Wat, the African plains, to name a few - all without having to endure the tramp steamers, bone-jarring trains and elephants that Fogg used in 1872. I traveled by private jet. The price of a seat, and all that went with it, was $64,950. The trip was sold by National Geographic Expeditions, which each year offers at least one and sometimes four around-the-world tours by private jet, a leased Boeing 757-200 that is configured with only 77 super-large and dreamily comfortable seats.
October 7, 2011 |
Coral reefs have been dying off at alarming rates because of modern human activity, and conservationists struggle to preserve them. Now scientists have found such efforts have a long history. By the beginning of the 15th century, native Hawaiian islanders were engaging in sustainable practices to preserve their reefs — ushering in 400 years of recovery. The research, published Monday in the journal PLoS One, shows that sustainable practices go back a long way and that coral reefs may be better able to regenerate than previously thought.
August 14, 2011 |
We all marveled at the hideous thing, trying not to gasp through our regulators. It was black, striped and about the size of a bass, fins fanning out in all directions. Scuba divers see a lot of weird-looking things but appreciate them all the same. But our dive masters told us that there were bounties on these lionfish, ugly creatures that destroy reef-cleaning fish populations. No one knows where they came from or how many threaten Curaçao's marine park. I had come to this small Caribbean island, 35 miles off Venezuela, in June with my father, Matt, a small-business owner.
July 10, 2011 |
Beware the lionfish. The pretty-but-voracious aquarium favorite, which has been gobbling other reef fish throughout the Caribbean, is swimming up South Florida's estuaries, invading the Gulf of Mexico and spreading along the South American coast. Scientists say the East Coast has never seen a mass marine invasion of this kind before, and they worry that it will set off a cascade of ecological damage to native fish, coral reef and their delicate habitat. Lionfish have been multiplying in the Caribbean and along the Carolina coast for more than a decade, probably after a few were dumped from somebody's aquarium off the shores of South Florida and their offspring rode north and east on ocean currents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2011 |
It was a gamble when Southern California Edison crews pushed basketball-size chunks of rock from a barge off San Clemente three years ago. Eventually, the utility company hoped, the artificial reef it had assembled 50 feet below the waves would support a new kelp forest and fulfill state-imposed requirements to offset the damage its nearby nuclear power plant causes to marine life. Photos: Thriving kelp forest rises from a rock reef But no one expected the 174-acre Wheeler North Reef would thrive the way it has. Or as quickly.
January 20, 2011 |
In the Atlantic Ocean off Florida's coast, at 1,500 feet and deeper, the water is 45 degrees and pitch-black. Yet life thrives there. Scientists are just beginning to explore this vast secret of the deep: extensive coral reefs and the marine creatures that live there because of them. A mission in November explored more than 800 square miles of ocean, from Jacksonville to the Keys, confirming the existence of several deep-water reefs and charting new sites. Like the corals found in shallow, tropical reefs, deep-sea corals help form habitat for crabs, shrimp, fish and other marine life.
July 6, 2010 |
The ocean's rising carbon dioxide levels may cause many coral reef fish to swim toward the smell of predators rather than away from them — and thus toward likely death, marine ecologists said Tuesday. The greenhouse gas' ability to alter fish behavior for the worse points to an "unexpected potential impact of elevated carbon dioxide in the oceans," said Philip Munday, a marine ecologist at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. Much study has been done on the effects of ocean acidification on coral and shelled animals, but little on how the effects would manifest in other forms of marine life, said Munday, who led the study published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.