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What In The World : January 9, 2022

On This Day In History
On January 9, 1493, Christopher Columbus, on his first journey to the Americas, saw three “mermaids.” In his journal he described them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” What Columbus saw in reality were manatees. Columbus set off from Spain with three ships, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, to cross the Atlantic and find a western trade route to India. Instead he sailed into the Caribbean Sea and discovered some inhabited islands. He was off the coast of the island of Dominica when he saw the “mermaids.”

Six months earlier, Columbus (1451-1506) set off from Spain across the Atlantic Ocean with the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, hoping to find a western trade route to Asia. Instead, his voyage, the first of four he would make, led him to the Americas, or “New World.”

In The World:
Turkmenistan’s leader wants to extinguish the country’s ‘Gates of hell’

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said he wants to extinguish the famous flaming natural gas crater that has burned in the Central Asian country for decades.

The crater “negatively affects both the environment and the health of the people living nearby,” Berdymukhamedov said,

The Darvaza gas crater is a blazing pit in the middle of the Karakum desert. It measures about 200 feet wide and at least 70 feet deep. Some say it was formed in the 1970’s when Soviets had a drilling accident.

In America:
Prehistoric Rock Art ‘Irreparably Damaged’ by Vandals In Texas
Abstract geometric designs – petroglyphs – at Big Bend National Park in Texas were “irreparably damaged” by vandals who scratched names and dates into the prehistoric designs.

Tom Alex, an archaeologist, said that the damaged petroglyphs had been pecked into the rock panel thousands of years ago

There’s wavy lines, curvilinear lines, geometric patterns, squiggles and things that just kind of meander across the rock surface,” Mr. Alex said.

Mr. Alex said it was difficult to determine precisely when these artifaces were made.

January 9, 2022:, Humankind’s strange relation with nature and past generations.
When Columbus set out to find a western trade route to India, what he found instead were land masses, islands on which people were living. That did not deter Columbus and future explorers from claiming the land for their countr‪ies. First hand documents show that European explorers, including Columbus, mistreated indigenous people, making some of them slaves. With the 15th and 16th century explorers to the new world came the introduction of racial superiority to the land.

If legends are accurate, in the 1970’s the Soviets were drilling in the Karakum desert in Turkmenastan. They had an accident that apparently set a cave on fire. The cave has been burning for decades, affecting the environment and people’s health according to Turkmenistan’s president. Despite efforts in the past to extinguish the cave fire, it continues to burn.

The vandals who wrote names and dates on ancient petroglyphs in Big Bend National Park had no more and no less civility than leaders and explorers who came before them..They showed no regard for art or science, and no regard for the people who might enjoy an occasional glimpse of history or prehistory. Basically they had a few seconds of fun, then went home, never to think agan.


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