From an expedition to explore a long-lost eighth continent to a NASA job opening that involves protecting earth from ‘alien contamination’, here’s your wrap of adventure news that has people talking this week.
Geologists this week set sail to study the submerged continent of Zealandia, of which New Zealand and New Caledonia are the only visible pieces of land. The expedition is the first of its kind and hopes to shed light on the formation of the 90 per cent submerged, 4.9-million-square-kilometer (3-million-square-mile) continent, which lies off the east coast of Australia. Zealandia was formed some 85 million years ago but it wasn’t until 50 million years ago that what is now known as New Zealand was pushed above the water. The expedition crew will spend two months at sea.
An eight-year-old girl has become the youngest female ever to climb all 19,341 feet of Mount Kilimanjaro. Roxy Getter, from Florida, completed the hike last week with her brother (who is only 10) and her parents. Only an estimated 66 per cent of the 25,000 adventurers who climb the mountain each year make it to the top, and–believe it or not–the trip was the first time either of the Getter kids had ever been camping.
NASA has this week posted a job ad for a Planetary Protection Officer. Responsibilities include protecting earth from “alien contamination’”and helping ensure humans don’t contaminate other planets. It’s paying up to $187,000 for the right candidate, who will have to ensure that any space mission has a less than 1-in-10,000 chance of contaminating a foreign planet. As you can imagine, the required skills and qualifications are out of this world, but you can apply here if you think you have what it takes.
An 800-year-old statue has been discovered in Cambodia at the Angkor Wat temple complex. The new (old) statue–thought to be of a guard–is two meters (6.5 feet) tall and is said to date back to the 12th century. The statue would have once held pride of place over the entrance of an ancient hospital, reports the Independent. Looting of the Angkor complex over the years has made new discoveries rare.
National Geographic has just revealed their 2017 travel photographer of the year. Volcano photographer Sergio Tapiro took out the top spot with his awe-inspiring photo of Mexico’s Mount Colima, taken against the backdrop of a starry sky and caught mid-eruption. “This picture is a gift that nature has given to me,” Tapiro told National Geographic. “When I saw the camera display I was shocked—I didn’t believe it.” Sergio has been photographing volcanoes for 15 years but says his winning photo was a once-in-a-lifetime capture.
Elsewhere, EasyJet passengers waiting to fly from Zante, Greece to Gatwick, London, experienced a two-day delay thanks to efforts to protect a turtle population; the ‘world’s best hotdog stand’–which has held court in the same spot in Reykjavík, Iceland, for 80 years–has been forced to move as a result of overtourism; and a Boeing Dreamliner plane just spent 13 hours drawing an enormous self-portrait over the United States, because of course it has.