Plants

Sarracenia pitcher plants typically live in bogs in the southeastern United States.

Carnivorous Plants May Lure Insects With Specially Tailored Scents

Pitcher plants appear to use different odor cocktails to attract bees, moths, ants and other bugs into their death traps

One-third of the world’s population can’t see the starry band of light in the night sky that makes up the Milky Way (above). The new show “Lights Out: Recovering Our Night Sky” at the National Museum of Natural History looks at the devastating impacts of artificial light.

Planet Positive

Why It’s Time for a Worldwide Lights-Out Program

A new Smithsonian exhibition delves into the issue of light pollution, with easy solutions offering an immediate change

The hair strands were found inside decorative tubes.

New Research

Ancient Europeans Took Hallucinogenic Drugs 3,000 Years Ago

Hair strands from the Bronze Age reveal the first direct evidence of drug use in Europe

Researchers use microphones to measure the noises emitted by tomato plants.

Plants Make Noises When Stressed, Study Finds

Scientists detected high-frequency sounds emitted by plants that had been cut or dehydrated

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located in the Norwegian Arctic on the remote island of Spitsbergen.

Take a Virtual Tour of the 'Doomsday' Seed Vault

The impressive depository carefully preserves over one million seed samples in its Arctic location

A screenshot of an interactive walkthrough of the Hantan River in Korea

See Google Street View Images of Korean Demilitarized Zone

Established in 1953, the off-limits area has become a haven for plants and wildlife

Sargassum is not a new problem. But the mass of floating seaweed in the Atlantic Ocean is getting bigger, according to scientists.

A 5,000-Mile-Wide Mass of Seaweed Is Heading for Florida and Mexico

Known as sargassum, the algae can hurt tourism as it piles up on beaches and starts to rot

Industrialization changed Italy’s Bagnoli Bay. Analyzing the DNA that was trapped in sediment offers a record of what was lost—and a clue as to how to get it back.

DNA Buried in Sediment Helps Scientists Picture Past Ecosystems

Examining the evidence offers a way to look back at now damaged environments

An illustration of Tillyardembia, an earwig-like insect that may have pollinated non-flowering plants some 280 million years ago.

Scientists Discover Oldest Known Fossils of Pollen-Carrying Insects

It’s unclear whether the creatures were pollinating prehistoric plants or just getting a snack

Tourists flocked to Walker Canyon to see the poppies during the superbloom in 2019.

Will California See a Wildflower Superbloom This Spring?

If the swaths of show-stopping poppies do appear, officials urge tourists to act responsibly

Archaeologists found saffron, as well as peppercorns, almonds, raspberries and other foods.

Cool Finds

Medieval Pantry Stocked With Spices Found in 500-Year-Old Shipwreck

The vessel, called "Gribshunden," sank off the coast of Sweden in 1495

Dead aspen trees, shrunken by drought, wither near Grant Lake in California last October.

California Lost 36 Million Trees to Drought Last Year

The die-off is expected to continue despite this winter’s rain storms

Over several decades, researchers have identified more than 140 active compounds, called cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. 

The Scientific History of Cannabinoids

Hundreds of these cannabis-related chemicals, both natural and synthetic, now exist, and researchers want to know how they can hurt and help us

The new solar panels would filter light more efficiently.

Farmers May Not Have to Choose Between Crops and Solar Panels

With a new photovoltaic panel, researchers harness sunshine to harvest energy and food together, taking advantage of the full light spectrum

About 100 miles northwest of Mexico City in the UNESCO-designated Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, up to a billion of the brilliant-winged insects spend November to March clustered on branches.

A Ring of Fire, Millions of Monarchs and Other Rare Natural Phenomena Worth Traveling For

Be in the right place at the right time to witness these sublime sights

The flower measures roughly an inch across and is at least three times larger than all other known amber-encased blossoms.

See the Largest Known Flower Preserved in Amber

Aided by modern technology, researchers discovered the prehistoric blossom was a case of mistaken identity

Atlas Moth by Uday Hegde, the second-place winner in the butterflies and dragonflies category of this year's Close-up Photographer of the Year competition

These Awe-Inspiring Images Capture the World's Little Details

See this year's winners of the annual Close-up Photographer of the Year competition

Pollinators, including bees, face pressure from disease-causing organisms, habitat loss, climate change and other factors.

The World's First Vaccine for Honeybees Is Here

It could be a game-changer for beekeepers fighting American foulbrood, a disease that can wipe out entire colonies

This cross section of a sequoia in Yosemite National Park in California has markers identifying the dates of tree rings.

The Science Behind the Oldest Trees on Earth

How experts have determined that bristlecone pines, sequoias and baobabs have stood for thousands of years

Innovators may want to create soft robots that more accurately replicate the dynamics of an elephant’s trunk.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2022 That May Lead to New Inventions

Nature is a breeding ground for innovative solutions to everything from aging to plastic pollution

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