Certain Rock Formations Can Lead to In-Home Radon Risks

In 2019, nearly a quarter million Americans learned they had lung cancer, and 143,000 died from the disease. Tobacco use was responsible for most of those deaths, but rocks—particularly those containing naturally occurring uranium, which decays over time to produce radon gas—were also partly to blame. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung […]

Pinwheel Cave rock art in California may depict hallucinogenic ‘trance flower’

Just before going into a hallucinogenic trance, Indigenous Californians who had gathered in a cave likely looked up toward the rocky ceiling, where a pinwheel and big-eyed moth were painted in red.  This mysterious “pinwheel,” is likely a depiction of the delicate, white flower of Datura wrightii, a powerful hallucinogen that the Chumash people took […]

Tradition of petrified birds in the Dome of the Rock

The Birds on the Dome of the Rock. Credit: Elon Harvey. On the southern exterior wall of the Dome of the Rock, a very important Islamic shrine in Jerusalem’s Old City, there are two marble slabs, both carved from the same stone and placed side by side to form a symmetrical pattern, that depicts two […]