June 15, 2013

    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Lost City Discovered in Cambodia

Believed to be 1,200 years old

A lost city estimated to have existed some 1,200 years ago has been discovered in Cambodia. The city, called Mahendraparvata, is located in Cambodia’s Siem Reap region, near Angkor Wat, the largest Hindi temple in the world.

The French-led expedition that discovered the site used a new form of airborne laser technology called lidar, which mapped the jungle beneath the canopy using billions of laser pulses. Slowly, a map of the city was formed, revealing two dozen previously undiscovered temples and evidence of an extensive road system and waterway.

Researchers are now trying to determine what destroyed the city and how it remained hidden for so long. Damian Evans, of the University of Sydney, believes water systems could have played a major roll. “One theory we are looking at is that the severe environmental impact of deforestation and the dependence on water management led to the demise of the civilization,” he announced. “Perhaps it became too successful to the point of becoming unmanageable.”

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    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

WATCH: Florida Teen Rides Whale Shark

Jumped on the creature and went for a ride

A video posted Wednesday on Youtube shows Florida teen Chris Kreis, 19, jumping on and then riding a 30-foot-long, 50,000-pound whale shark.

The video was taken in the Gulf of Mexico last week, some thirty miles off the Florida coast. In it, Kreis manages to grasp the animal’s fin and ride for 20 seconds. Kreis described his adventure thusly: “When I started holding on, I felt the whale shark. It started moving itself, it felt the drag and it didn't really want me on there so I let go and that's it.”

While riding a whale shark is not prohibited by law, some are understandably upset by Kreis’s display and believe the fish could have been injured. “When people spend a lot of time and pressure on a fish it takes away a slime that covers the fish,” said marine biologist Bruce Neill. “They need that layer to stay healthy.”

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