Plate tectonics illustration.

Before plate tectonics, the Earth may have been covered by one giant shell


New research confronts the idea that plate tectonics started when the Earth was formed.

Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota

The Midcontinent Rift could have split North America apart a billion years ago. Why didn’t it?

Mark Robinson traveled with a team from the Goma Observatory to set up monitoring equipment. He was in the volcano just days before it sprung back to life.

One of Africa’s most active volcanoes is showing new signs of life


Want to find a meteorite? Antarctica might be the best place to look.

A woman carries her belongings as she walks over a collapsed house in Bhaktapur, Nepal, on April 27, 2015.

Nepal’s quake preparations not enough, despite 20 years of warnings

Don Johnson, a former park ranger, on a fossil walk near his home on the Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland. As a kid, he used to climb on these rocks, but he says people here never know the fossils in these rocks were so significant.

A fossil flexes its muscle in Newfoundland, but it can’t keep thieves away


Newfoundlanders hope a major fossil find will bring new tourists to the area. But history suggests that fossil thieves will also make their way north.

A NASA graphic illustrating the interior of the Earth.

How the Earth made its own water — out of rocks


Recent research has strongly suggested the ancient Earth was dry and could not support life until icy comets left behind the water necessary to create life as we know it. Now a new study suggests something very different: Our planet made its own water through geologic processes, and is still doing so all the time.