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Posts Tagged "Geology and Society"

History of Geology

Physician Paracelsus and early Medical Geology

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Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), better known as Paracelsus, is considered one of the most important mystics and physicians of all times. Some myths even claim he got his medical knowledge from the devil himself; in fact he studied the subterranean realm of earth to understand its effects on human health – one [...]

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History of Geology

In Search Of… Darwin’s Cryptids

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First bones of this mysterious creature were discovered in 1787 near Rio Lujàn (Argentinia), collected and send to Spain two years later. Zoologist Juan Bautista Bru de Ramon (1740-1799) reconstructed the bones in 1795 as a mounted skeleton for the Real Gabinete de Historia Natural de Madrid, the royal cabinet of curiosities – the first [...]

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History of Geology

Book Review: Island on Fire

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Island on Fire: The extraordinary story of Laki, the volcano that turned eighteenth-century Europe dark By Witze, A. & Kanipe, J. PROFILE-BOOKS 224 pages | Hardcover 1st edition | April 2014 ISBN 978-178125-0044   Volcanoes are no unusual sight on Iceland and yet the eruption that started June 8, 1783 in the southern district of [...]

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History of Geology

Alexander von Humboldt and the Hand-Beast

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The German naturalist F. W. H. Alexander von Humboldt (born September 14, 1769-1859) is remembered as great geographer and explorer (maybe his name is even the most common on topographic maps), but his early education focused on mining engineering (and economy, as wished by his mother) and he made some important contributions to geology, for [...]

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History of Geology

Happy Birthday Plate Tectonics!

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September 7, marks the anniversary of the publication of an important paper, “Magnetic Anomalies Over Oceanic Ridges” (1964) describes the discovery of parallel stripes of magnetized igneous rocks along the ocean floor. These stripes are formed when lava pours out along the Mid-Ocean-Ridges, cools and solidifies and pushes aside older oceanic and continental crust. This [...]

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History of Geology

The real Delving of the Dwarves

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“You fear to go into those mines. The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep“ In European folklore dwarves are often associated with mines and underground treasures, a myth also popularized by author J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973) with his underground city of  Khazad-dûm – the Delving of the Dwarves, a mining complex made by [...]

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History of Geology

Poet and Paleontologist – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The German lawyer, author, poet, politician and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (born August 28, 1749-1832) was also a mining engineer and quite interested in geology and paleontology. In the year 1775, Goethe, already a highly regarded author, was invited to the court of Duke Carl August in the city of Weimar, where he will [...]

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History of Geology

Bat-Pterodactyls

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Italian Cosimo Alessandro Collini (1727-1806), at the time chairman of the Cabinet of Curiosities of the principality of Pfalz (Germany), was the first naturalist to speculate about pterodactyls in 1784. Fig.1. Pterodactylus antiquus (Upper Jurassic, Eichstätt, Bavaria), specimen studied by Cosimo Collini in 1784 and copper engraving of the fossil to illustrate his scientific study [...]

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History of Geology

Geologist’s Nightmares

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Adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews mentions in an article published in 1922 in the “Asia Magazine” and later in his book “On the Trail of Ancient Man” (1926), a strange creature, said to inhabit the Gobi-desert in Mongolia: “Then the Premier asked that, if it were possible, I should capture for the Mongolian government a specimen [...]

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History of Geology

EQLs Vs. UFOs

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“Swamp gas?” Mulder, F.W. in the “X-Files ” (1993) Summer is traditionally Silly Season, when newspapers publish strange stories about aliens and monsters again and again to bridge holiday time – and so will July on “History of Geology” be dedicated to frivolous science stories… Earthquake Lights – or short EQLs – seem to be [...]

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