CLOSE
Original image
Wikimedia Commons

17 Canadian World Heritage Sites

Original image
Wikimedia Commons

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognizes World Heritage Sites that are of great cultural or natural value. The designations are meant to help drum up an international commitment to preserve the sites. There are currently 981 sites on the list, and 17 of them are in Canada, including two that straddle the border with the United States.

1. L'Anse aux Meadows

This 11th century Viking settlement is the earliest evidence of Europeans living in the Americas. It was inhabited until about 1500. It's on the island of Newfoundland, at the end of the Great Northern Peninsula.

2. Nahanni National Park

Wikimedia Commons

This park spans about 1800 square miles' worth of wilderness in the Northwest Territories. In addition to the super gorgeous Nahanni River, the park contains waterfalls, limestone caves, and forests.

3. Dinosaur Provincial Park

Wikimedia Commons

Located in the province of Alberta, Dinosaur Provincial Park is now stark rocky badlands. But back in the Cretaceous period, the area was subtropical and home to around 35 species of dinosaur. Excavation began in the late 19th century, and since then paleontologists have pulled 300-plus dinosaur skeletons from the park.

4. Kluane/Wrangell-St Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek

Wikimedia Commons

This group of parks straddles the border between the Yukon and Alaska and represents the largest non-polar icefield in the world. 

5. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Wikimedia Commons

With easily the best name on the list, this site in Alberta has an amazing number of bison bones below a rocky ridge where wily aboriginal hunters used to chase bison off a precipice for an easy kill.

6. Sgang Gwaay

Wikimedia Commons

This 19th century village, also known as Ninstints, is on an island off the coast of British Columbia north of Vancouver Island. The carved wooden poles on the island were made by the Haida people to remember the dead. The village also includes ruins of cedar long houses.

7. Wood Buffalo National Park

Wikimedia Commons

The grasslands and sedge meadows in this park are home to wood bison and whooping cranes. The park is in the north-central region of Canada.

8. Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks

Wikimedia Commons

This cluster of seven parks includes the national parks of Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho, along with the provincial parks of Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber. The alpine region has dramatic landscape—mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, canyons, and boreal forest. The Burgess Shale marine fossil site is also here.

9. Historic District of Old Quebec

Courtesy of World Heritage

Quebec City dates to the early 17th century, and still retains parts of its old defensive structures, including ramparts, gates, and garrisons. There are also a number of well-preserved 17th and 18th century houses.

10. Gros Morne National Park

Wikimedia Commons

Newfoundland is a geologist's paradise—especially this park on the west coast, which is apparently a good place to observe the effects of continental drift. The area is noted for coastal lowlands, alpine plateaus, and fjords. Fjords!

11. Old Town Lunenburg

Courtesy of Open Travel

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia is a well-preserved British colonial town dating to 1753. Many of the buildings in this fishing town are original brightly-painted wooden structures more than 200 years old.

12. Waterton Glacier International Peace Park

Wikimedia Commons

This park straddling the border between the United States and Canada, and is comprised of the Canadian Waterton Lakes National Park and the American Glacier National Park. The biodiverse region has a number of endangered species, including great horned owls, wolverines, and red deer.

13. Miguasha National Park

Wikimedia Commons

This park in Quebec is a significant site for fish fossils from the Devonian period, dating from 370 million years ago. The park is especially noted for the lobe-finned fish that are considered to be ancestors of the first terrestrial vertebrates.

14. Rideau Canal

Wikimedia Commons

This canal connects the city of Ottawa with Lake Ontario, and was of great strategic importance in the early 19th century when the British and the United States were duking it out for control of Canada.

15. Joggins Fossil Cliffs

Wikimedia Commons

This site in Nova Scotia is famous for its fossils from the Carboniferous period, also known as the "coal age," which spanned from about 359 million to 299 million years ago. There are a lot of fossilized critters in this site, and some fossilized trees are still upright, embedded in the cliffs.

16. Landscape of Grand Pré

Wikimedia Commons

This marshy area of Nova Scotia contains archaeological evidence of 18th-century agricultural methods, including the aboiteau farming system that allowed the Acadian settlers in the area to farm in spite of the boggy conditions.

17. Red Bay Basque Whaling Station

Courtesy of UNESCO

This seasonal European whaling settlement was founded in 1530 by Basque mariners in current-day Labrador. Here, whales were butchered and the fat was rendered into lamp oil. Archaeologists have found equipment and living quarters used by the whalers. Off shore there are sunken vessels and deposits of whale bones.

Sources: UNESCO World Heritage CentreParks Canada

Original image
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Which Rooms In Your Home Have the Most Types of Bugs, According to Entomologists 
Original image
iStock

Insects can make any home their own, so long as it contains cracks, doors, and windows for them to fly, wriggle, or hitchhike their way in. And it turns out that the creepy crawlers prefer your living room over your kitchen, according to a new study that was recently highlighted by The Verge.

Published in the journal Scientific Reports, the study looked at 50 homes in Raleigh, North Carolina, to measure their insect populations. Entomologists from both North Carolina State University and the California Academy of Sciences ultimately discovered more than 10,000 bugs, both alive and dead, and a diverse array of species to boot.

The most commonly observed bugs were harmless, and included ladybugs, silverfish, fruit flies, and book lice. (Luckily for homeowners, pests like bedbugs, termites, and fleas were scarcer.) Not all rooms, though, contained the same distribution of many-legged residents.

Ground-floor living rooms with carpets and windows tended to have the most diverse bug populations, as the critters had easy access inside, lots of space to live in, and a fibrous floor habitat that could be either a cozy homestead or a death trap for bugs, depending on whether they got stuck in it. The higher the floor level, the less diverse the bug population was, a fact that could be attributed to the lack of doors and outside openings.

Types of bugs that were thought to be specific to some types of rooms were actually common across the board. Ants and cockroaches didn’t limit themselves to the kitchen, while cellar spiders were present in all types of rooms. As for moths and drain flies, they were found in both common rooms and bathrooms.

Researchers also found that “resident behavior such as house tidiness, pesticide usage, and pet ownership showed no significant influence on arthropod community composition.”

The study isn’t representative of all households, since entomologists studied only 50 homes within the same geographical area. But one main takeaway could be that cohabiting bugs “are an inevitable part of life on Earth and more reflective of the conditions outside homes than the decisions made inside,” the researchers concluded. In short, it might finally be time to make peace with your itty-bitty housemates.

[h/t The Verge]

Original image
iStock
arrow
technology
Special Viewfinders Allow Colorblind People to Experience Fall Foliage in All Its Glory
Original image
iStock

Each autumn, the foliage of the Great Smoky Mountains erupts into a kaleidoscope of golds, reds, and yellows. Visitors from around the world flock to the area to check out the seasonal show, and this year some guests will have the chance to see the display like they’ve never seen it before. As the Associated Press reports, Tennessee is now home to three special viewfinders at scenic overlooks that allow colorblind users to see the leaves of the forests in all their glory.

The new amenities cost $2000 apiece and have been installed by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development at the Ober Gatlinburg resort, at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area near Oneida, and at the westbound Interstate 26 overlook near Erwin in Unicoi County. The lenses are similar to glasses that allow people with red-green vision disorders to see in full color, but according to state officials this is likely the first time the technology has been implemented in scenic tower viewers.

Color blindness varies from person to person, but those who have it may tend to see mostly green or dull brown when looking at a brilliant autumnal landscape. Before the new features debuted at the beginning of November, tourism officials allowed a group of colorblind individuals to test them out. You can watch their reactions to seeing the true spectrum of fall colors for the first time in the video below.

[h/t AP]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios