Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Biggest beaver dam seen from space

A Canadian-based ecologist says he has located the world's largest beaver dam in northwestern Canada using Google satellite technology. Ecologist Jean Thie located the 2,788-foot dam using Google Earth and NASA technology while researching the rate of melting permafrost in the country's far north. Situated in northern Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles the Alberta-Northwest Territories border, the dam stretches more than eight football fields long. Thie told The Associated Press the detailed satellite program helped him conclude the dam was the work of beavers, which, incidentally, are the country's national symbol. Thie discovered the dam in 2007, but he said it only recently caught media attention after someone at a British paper spotted his findings on a blog and ran a story reiterating Thie's claim that the dam is visible from space. Thie stakes that claim because he used satellite technology to detect the dam.

It's amazing what technology brings us. It helps us map the earth, get directions to places we need to go, and obviously discover incredible things. In the past 100 years we've discovered more than we have in a billion years with satellite technology. Also, understanding the way beavers work can lead us to new ideas on the way we could do things.


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