Peat Bog The Size Of England Discovered In Congo Republic | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Peat Bog The Size Of England Discovered In Congo Republic

A massive peat bog the size England has been found in West Africa's Republic of Congo.

The previously undiscovered bog is thought to reach nearly 23 feet beneath the ground and contain billions of tons of peat –- ancient, partially decayed vegetation. It could cover an area 40,000 to 80,000 square miles, scientists believe in the Congo Republic, also referred to as Congo-Brazzaville.

The BBC says:

"Scientists say investigating the carbon-rich material could shed light on 10,000 years of environmental change in this little-studied region.

"Dr Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds, said: 'It's remarkable that there are parts of the planet that are still uncharted territory.'

"He added: 'Few people venture into these swamps as they are quite difficult places to move around in and work in.'"

The International Peat Society says that it's estimated that about 3 percent of the world's land area is peatland, but much of what exists may not be recognized as such.

"Estimates of the world's peatland area vary considerably because of a lack of accurate data on the extent of peatlands," the society says in a video on its website. "This is due to the different criteria used to define peatlands and the lack of survey data."

In Ireland's famous peat bogs "All kinds of bodies have been found with their skin and organs intact." The remarkable preservation of human remains and artifacts is the result of "Sphagnum mosses, which come with preservatives built into their cell walls," Wired says.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

W Seeking W For Compound Word Dates

For each word starting with "W," think of another word, also starting with "W," that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
NPR

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

The system, a pair of robotic arms, learned to cook by mimicking the motions of a top chef. Even though it can't smell or taste, its maker says the robot should be able to make 2,000 meals by 2017.
NPR

Candidates And Candidates-To-Be Woo New Hampshire's GOP

Republican candidates — those who've already declared and those who have yet to — gathered in New Hampshire this weekend to speak to their party. Whose messages resonated? And whose did not?
NPR

VW Camper Van Gets An Electric Makeover

Talk about a time warp! The iconic VW camper is getting a modern reboot. This time, it's electric.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.