The Mediterranean Sea Could Disappear in the Distant Future


The Mediterranean Sea, which takes up approximately 970,000 square miles, might be gone from the face of the Earth 50 million years from now.

The Economist published an explainer on Monday detailing how continental drift (the gradual movement of the Earth's continents) will account for the eventual disappearance of the sea and will generally make our planet look very different in the distant future.

Continental drift happens because the tectonic plates under the Earth's surface are constantly being moved by heat-distributing currents in the planet's mantle. As you read this, Africa and Europe are creeping toward each other across the Mediterranean, headed for a collision that will result in one mega-continent called Eurafrica. When the two continents meet, most geologists agree that the Mediterranean will close up and become mountainous as the landmasses run into each other. Of course, if you're reading this right now, you won't be around to see the new mountain range.

If the creation of a mega-continent makes you think of Pangea, you're right on the money. Scientists theorize that super-continents have formed in cycles throughout Earth's history. Pangea was the most recent one, and it broke up approximately 200 million years ago. Some scientists believe that places us in the middle of a cycle, and a new Pangea, one that will include the mountains formerly known as the Mediterranean Sea, may be in store.

[h/t The Economist]

The 10 Most Stressed-Out States in America

Stress levels are on the rise across the U.S. According to an American Psychiatric Association-sponsored survey, nearly 40 percent of people reported feeling more anxious in 2018 than they did last year. But tensions are running higher in some states than others. To see which states have the most stressed-out residents, check out the list below from Zippia.

To compile the ranking, the job search engine scored each state in America on six criteria: commute times, unemployment rates, work hours, population density, home price to income ratio, and rates of uninsured residents. After sifting through data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey for 2012 through 2016, they came up with the top 10 states where stress levels are highest.

New Jersey nabbed the top spot because of its lengthy commute times, long work hours, and a high housing cost to income ratio. Georgia, with its high unemployment and uninsured rates, came in second place. And despite all the sunshine and beautiful coastlines, Florida and California residents still have plenty to be stressed about, with the states ranking third and fourth, respectively.

1. New Jersey
2. Georgia
3. Florida
4. California
5. New York
6. Louisiana
7. Maryland
8. North Carolina
9. Virginia
10. Mississippi

The most stressed-out states in America tend to fall on the coasts, with Midwestern states like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa enjoying the lowest stress levels, according to a 2017 analysis from WalletHub. To see where your state ranks, you can check out the full map of high-anxiety states on Zippia's website. If you see your home state near the top of the list, consider implementing a few of these relaxation strategies into your daily routine.

See How Metros in the World's Biggest Cities Intersect on Aerial Maps

Dadapp94, Reddit

In cities around the world, subways form massive networks that snake under the urban landscape, creating systems that we're familiar with seeing in the form of colored, intersecting lines on a poster, but basically can never see from above ground.

Luckily, the cartography and transit nerds of the internet have you covered. A number of users on Twitter, Tumblr, and forums like Reddit's r/MapPorn have created image mashups of subway lines overlaid with aerial images of urban environments, showing what cities would look like from above if their massive transit networks were above ground. CityLab recently collected some of the most compelling ones, and they're fascinating to examine. (The one above, of Paris, was created by Reddit user Dadapp94.)

Below are a few of our favorites:

Here's London:

And New York:

Here's one of Amsterdam that was posted to r/MapPorn by Reddit user Conducteur:

An aerial photo of Amsterdam with subway lines represented by colored lines
Amsterdam's railway and subway lines
Conducteur, Reddit

And one of Milan, posted by Reddit user medhelan:

An aerial view of Milan with colored lines representing subway paths
medhelan, Reddit

To see more aerial shots like this, head over to CityLab. And if you love aerial images of infrastructure as much as we do, we also recommend these photos of airports seen from above.