Sir David Mathew was a Welsh knight who stood at 6'8 (2.03m). At 60 years old he saved the life of Edward IV at the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on British soil (the battle of Towton 1461). He died at the age of 84 in an 'altercation'. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir…
There was a product sold in the 80's and 90's called the "Electric Worm Getter". It was sold to fishermen for the collection of earthworms for bait. It sent an electric shock through the top layer of soil forcing the worms to surface. It had to be recalled in 1993 after 30 people died using it. cpsc.gov/Recalls/1993/ele…
Domesticated blueberries are only just over 100 years old and were thought to be impossible to domesticate until it was discovered they thrive in acidic soil extension.illinois.edu/bl…
As many as three US Presidents, and also Abraham Lincoln's son, may have died as a result of a contaminated water supply to the White House. Until 1850 there was no sewage system and a field of human excrement called "night soil" flowed freely into the water supply. saturdayeveningpost.com/2…
Lightning strikes on soil can form glass; the energy discharge melts silica and other sediments into deposits called fulgurites en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ful…
Today I learned of the β€œDesert of Maine,” a 40 acre tract of sand dunes caused by soil erosion from poor farming techniques. The area resembles a desert and has become a tourist attraction. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Des…
Sunflowers are capable of cleaning heavy toxins such as arsenic and even uranium from soil. farmersalmanac.com/sunflo…
Today I learned of Onfim Wuz, a medieval Russian boy whose doodles and notes on a birch bark, remained preserved in the clay soil of Novgorod, Russia lithub.com/onfim-wuz-here…
Hummingbirds eat soil and wood ash to supplement their diet of nectar with minerals. blogs.scientificamerican.…
Graveyards for unclaimed remains are called "potter's field" because "potter's fields" were places where clay was harvested, and left with unfilled holes and barren soil. Historically, they were used as a cheap and efficient way to inter unclaimed human remains, on land nobody wanted. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pot…
The poppy has been a symbol of fallen soldiers since the Napoleonic wars, when the war would turn the battlefields into barren muck; the blood-red poppy was one of the few flowers that could grow in the churned soil. bbc.co.uk/remembrance/how…
A local folk remedy in Boho, Ireland was to place soil from the local church under a pillow while you slept to cure infections. In 2018 a microbiologist found the churchyard's soil contains a previously unknown strain of streptomyces which can be used to create antibiotics bbc.com/news/uk-northern-…
For Soviets, landing on Venus was not hardest problem they had to overcome. It was the lens cap. Venera 9-12 had problems with the lens caps not coming off, while Venera 14's lens cap landed right under a sensor, resulting in it testing the properties of the lens cap instead of the soil. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ven…
Worm charming, worm grunting, and worm fiddling are methods of attracting earthworms from the ground, usually for bait or competitive sport. Most methods involve vibrating the soil, which encourages the worms to the surface. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wor…
Snails burrow under the leaves and soil and hibernate. Their heart rate slows to where it hardly beats at all, and the snail's blood contains chemicals that prevent it from freezing, similar to many insects and other invertebrates, and even frogs and other animals. thesnailwrangler.com/educ…
The bellybutton is so dirty scientists are finding new unknown bacteria. One person had bacterium previously found only on Japanese soil, where he had never been. theatlantic.com/health/ar…
Today I learned of "rootstocks", the practice of grafting parts of a plant on roots of another species or variety, usually with stronger roots and more adapted to the soil en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roo…
Iceland was extensively forested before the first humans settled there. But within 500 years of their arrival 95% of woodlands had been cut down, leading to soil erosion, crop failure and the eventual abandonment of many farms. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice…
Today I learned of Pomato, a grafted plant that is part tomato and part potato. The resulting plant have cherry tomatoes on the vine and white potatoes in the soil, resulting in plants with double crops. Grafting can also boost natural resilience and improve biodiversity by supporting different pollinators! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pom…
Every part of the Tulsi plant ('holy basil') is revered and considered sacred to Hindus, even the soil around the plant. Though Tulsi leaves are necessary for worship, there are strict rules for it. A prayer of forgiveness may also be offered to Tulsi before the act. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tul…
Today I learned of "The Father of Soil Science", Edmund Ruffin, who pioneered the study of soil acidity, depletion, and conservation. He was also a passionate pro-slavery activist who killed himself when the Confederacy was defeated. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edm…
Scientists discovered in Brazil a 3,000 year old termite nation as big as the UK. To build it, the termites moved an amount of soil equivalent to building 4,000 Great Pyramids of Giza nola.com/news/environment…
A 2012 study found 1,458 β€œnew to science” bacteria species in our belly buttons. People’s bacterial profiles are unique, like fingerprints, and can be used in the same way. One person had a bacterium only ever found in Japanese soil," where he had never been. journals.plos.org/plosone…
During the last Viking invasion of England King Harold Godwinson offered the Norwegian king Harold Hadrada "Seven feet of English soil, as he taller than other men" as his price for halting the invasion, a taunt which he delivered in person and alone. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat…
In 1971, as part of an experiment to study the causes and effects of landslides, Japanese scientists watered down a hill using fire hoses to simulate the effect of a torrential rainstorm. The soil on the hill gave way and the resulting landslide killed 4 scientists and 11 observers. blogs.agu.org/landslidebl…
In 1985 Long Island was legally found to be "not an island" because New York State's boundaries contained its offshore soil and seabeds en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lon…
Today I learned about Crater of Diamonds state park in Arkansas. The strange greenish soil is from an extinct volcano and a local farmer discovered diamonds laying in the dirt. Although the site was professionally mined for a time, it's now a state park where visitors can hunt for diamonds and other gemstones. arkansasstateparks.com/pa…
Washington is the first state to allow the composting of human remains. The law allows organic reduction using wood chips & straw, or alkaline hydrolysis aka liquid cremation. Tests of donated bodies resulted in rich, odorless soil passing all federal & state safety guidelines. seattletimes.com/seattle-…
The Shepherd's Purse plant is considered a protocarnivore. The seeds of the plant attract and kill worms, which then decay and enrich the surrounding soil. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap…
Technically speaking five nations have military bases on U.S. soil: The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, The U.K. and Singapore. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
Today I learned about a geopolitical oddity that is Point Roberts, Washington. As a small piece of American soil in Canada it's been called "The best gated community in America". To enter by land you need to cross an international border checkpoint. pointrobertsnow.com
Three Honolulu firefighters were killed, and six wounded, during the attack on Pearl Harbor, making them the only fire department on American soil to be attacked by a foreign power. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hon…
There is a fungus in Thailand that spreads into ants and controls their central nervous system making them perform actions to help its spread. It causes ants to climb trees and then fall into the moist soil where the fungus thrives. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/5/110511-zombies- nationalgeographic.com/ne…
The State Microbe of New Jersey is Streptomyces griseus. A strain of this bacteria from New Jersey soil led to the creation of the antibiotic Streptomycin in 1943, the first antibiotic to treat tuberculosis and the most significant one after penicillin. billtrack50.com/BillDetai…
It is estimated that it will take another 300-700 years for the land in northern France to fully recover from the impact of WWI due to the vast amount of unexploded ordnance and poisoned soil. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zon…
Vatican City recognizes the Republic of China (Taiwan), but the ROC embassy is on Italian soil due to Vatican City's small size. The ROC embassy is therefore located in a country that does not recognize it as independent. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emb…
The International Potato Center has successfully grown potatoes in a simulated Mars environment. They grew the plants in a CubeSat which mimicked the Martian air pressure and atmosphere, and used saline desert soils analogous to Martian soils as the growing medium. cipotato.org/blog/indicat…
During WW2, the British Navy sent ships to help defend the U.S. from German U-Boat attacks. The HMT Bedfordshire was sunk off the coast of North Carolina. A special cemetery was created in Ocracoke, NC, and is leased in perpetuity to England so that the men would be buried on British soil. historynet.com/why-a-piec…
Mandrakes are real. In one superstition, people who pull up the root will be condemned to hell. The mandrake root would scream as it was pulled from the ground, killing anyone who heard it. In the past, people tied the roots to animals and then used the animals to pull the roots from the soil. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man…
Lightning fertilizes plants. When lightning strikes, it rips nitrogen bonds in the atmosphere and the rains carry them into soil. indianapublicmedia.org/am…
There was a Nazi Concentration Camp on British soil in the Channel Islands of Alderney en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lag…
Today I learned about US Army Technical Manual 31-210, a manual designed by the US Military for the US Armed Forces to fabricate guns, explosives, ammunition, mortars, rockets, and incendiary devices with locally available/ unassuming materials on enemy soil. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TM_…
NASA is under presidential orders to land humans on Mars by 2033, and NASA-funded engineers are studying a way to build potential human habitats there by producing bricks from pressurized Martian soil. independent.co.uk/news/sc…
Today I learned of Norilsk, the world's northernmost city with over 100,000 habitants, where soil polution is so intense corporations could just start mining it instead of the ore deposits. Temperatures there often reach bellow -25Β°C (-13Β°F). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor…
In 1942, Japan attacked the Aleutians, and was able to occupy two islands, Kiska and Attu, which set off a 13 month campaign on US soil. nationalww2museum.org/war…
The thin skin of soil that covers much of our planet's land stores more amounts of carbon than in all plants and the atmosphere combined blogs.ei.columbia.edu/201…
In the United States, in a single eighteen-month period during 1971 and 1972 the FBI counted an amazing 2,500 bombings on American soil, almost five a day. time.com/4501670/bombings…
Today I learned of the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory, a scientific observatory in the Amazon Rainforest that's taller than the Eiffel Tower (1,066ft and 1,063ft respectively) and studies the Amazonian soil and atmosphere. attoproject.org/about-att…
Robert Craig McNamara, the son of the former United States Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, is an organic walnut farmer, expert in soil and sustainable farming, and president of California's state Board of Food and Agriculture latimes.com/business/la-x…
Today I learned about the growing North American problem of jumping worms brought in from East Asia. They disturb the soil which then erode easily, dries out quickly, and generally makes poor habitat for many plants theatlantic.com/science/a…

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