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

Christmas Bells Are Ringing, And Cable Holiday Movies Are Unrelenting

Christmas cable movies are a genre unto themselves. We take a look at some of the Hallmark (and other) romances that are surprisingly big business this time of year.
NPR

Coca-Cola Wades Into Milk Business With 'Fairlife'

The milk is now for sale in a limited number of stores — including the Coborn's in Belle Plaine, Minn. Ari Shairo talks with Coborn's dairy manager, Steven Thueringer.
NPR

Judge Rules Fewer Political Groups Can Keep Their Donors Secret

The ruling targets the funders of campaign issue ads that encourage viewers to choose a specific candidate. The FEC now must decide whether it will appeal the ruling or require more disclosure.
NPR

In Darren Wilson's Testimony, Familiar Themes About Black Men

Wilson's descriptions of Michael Brown reminded some people of negative depictions of African-Americans in history. Recent studies suggest these perceptions have deeper psychological roots.

Leave a Comment

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