Wolfe Creek Crater is a well-preserved meteorite impact crater located in the flat plains of the northeastern edge of the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia, some 150 km south of the town of Halls Creek.
The crater is considered the second largest in the world from which meteorite fragments have been collected, after the famous Barringer Crater in Arizona.
Because of its excellent preservation, the crater clearly shows the classic features that result from a large meteorite striking the Earth.
Wolfe Creek Crater measures roughly 880 meters in diameter, and the mostly flat crater floor sits some 55 meters below the crater rim and some 25 meters below the sand plain outside of the crater.
At the crater’s center, the ground rises slightly. Here grows some surprisingly large trees that draw moisture from the crater’s water reserves that remain after summer rains.
I love drinking fountains — especially the fact that they were installed in very old homes and public places before the advent of electricity. We all know modern fountains recirculate water with the aid of electric pumps, but how did these fountains of yesteryear operate?
Take the fountains of Rome, probably the most famous in the world.
In ancient times someone realized there were lots of water sources outside Rome that were at a higher elevation than the city itself. Ergo, if one could convey the water from the sources to the town, one would have water pressure (and if desired, fountains) galore.
One then had the mere technical detail of building ten miles of more or less watertight aqueduct with a constant slope of 1 in 320 using the resources available in 312 BC. Plus ten more aqueducts in later years, the longest extending 56 miles, bringing in a total of 38 million gallons of water per day.
Plus an elaborate municipal plumbing system in which the runoff from one fountain fed others downhill from it and ultimately wound up in the sewers.
Result: 1,200 fountains (and 800 baths) that couldn’t be shut off.
The Roman public’s familiarity with the aqueduct system as an integral piece of the city’s history increases their awareness of their water supply in general.
“Unlike most other cities in the world, Rome really flaunts the fact that it has water. There’s a fountain on every third corner, there are little drinking fountains, and much of it is always flowing because it’s a gravity system so it doesn’t turn off.”
The idea, which comes from ancient Rome, is that that the public always have first dibs on the water. They know where their water comes from, how it gets to them, and where it goes.
Grouped together in Peru’s lush Cuzco region, the ringed Incan ruins known as Moray have long been a mystery, but it is looking more and more likely that the nested stone rings may have been part of a large-scale agricultural experiment.
Unlike a number of the elaborate metropolises and statuary left behind by the Incan people, the rings at Moray are relatively simple but may have actually been an ingenious series of test beds.
Descending in grass-covered, terraced rings, these rings of rings vary in size, with the largest ending in a depth of 30 meters (98 feet) deep and 220 meters (722 feet) wide.
Studies have shown that many of the terraces contain soil that must have been imported from other parts of the region.
The temperature at the top of the pits varies from that at the bottom by as much as 15ºC, creating a series of micro-climates that — not coincidentally — match many of the varied conditions across the Incan empire, leading to the conclusion that the rings were used as a test bed to see what crops could grow where.