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NASA Earth Observatory
NASA Earth Observatory

What Seaweed Farms Look Like From Space

NASA Earth Observatory
NASA Earth Observatory

Our pals at ThisisColossal turned us on to these beautiful satellite pics of South Korean seaweed farms. See the faint green checkerboard pattern in the water? Those are just some of the seaweed farms that dot South Korea’s southern coast. But how do farmers get the seaweed into those pretty lines? Amazingly, much of the cultivation of seaweed is done on ropes. Farmers tether the crops to the lines, and then attach them to buoys so that the strings of seaweed get maximal sunlight without being dragged along the bottom of the ocean in rougher tides.

Clearly, the system works: according to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Flickr page, “the south coast produces about 90% of the country’s seaweed crop.” And because the crops don’t require any fertilizer or fresh water, they have a very low impact on the environment.

In fact, when we talked to Bren Smith, a former fisherman who switched lines to ocean farming in Long Island Sound in New York, he praised the efficiency of the business. According to Smith, "All you need is 22 feet of water, deep or shallow. There's really low overhead, and you can easily scale up if you do some local ecosystem analysis." In fact, Smith can grow 24 tons of kelp in a 300-by-300 foot area in just five months (he's working with chefs to create a market for kelp). And with the size of the global seaweed industry at $7.1 billion and growing, and with most of the farms being based in Asia, he expects more Americans to get in on the action.   

h/t ThisisColossal.

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iStock
China Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Restore the Great Wall
iStock
iStock

The Great Wall of China has been standing proudly for thousands of years—but now, it needs your help. CNN reports that the wall has fallen into disrepair and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for restorations.

Stretching 13,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall was built in stages starting from the third century BCE and reaching completion in the 16th century. To some degree, though, it’s always been under construction. For centuries, individuals and organizations have periodically repaired and rebuilt damaged sections. However, the crowdfunding campaign marks the first time the internet has gotten involved in the preservation of the ancient icon. The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation is trying to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) to restore the wall, and has so far raised $45,000 (or 300,000 yuan).

Fundraising coordinator Dong Yaohui tells the BBC that, although the Chinese government provides some funds for wall repairs, it’s not enough to fix all of the damage: "By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall," he said.

[h/t CNN]

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YouTube // Deep Look
These Glowing Worms Mimic Shining Stars
YouTube // Deep Look
YouTube // Deep Look

The glow worms of New Zealand's Waitomo caves produce light, mimicking the starry night sky. Using sticky goop, they catch moths and other flying creatures unfortunate enough to flutter into the "starry" cavern. Beautiful and icky in equal parts, this Deep Look video takes you inside the cave, and up close with these worms. Enjoy:

There's also a nice write-up with animated GIFs if you're not in the mood for video. Want more glow worms? Check out this beautiful timelapse in a similar cave, or our list of 19 Places You Won't Believe Exist topped by—you guessed it—New Zealand's Glowworm Caves!

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