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How It Works

How It Works

No. 143

Welcome to How It Works, the magazine that explains everything you never knew you wanted to know about the world we live in. Loaded with fully illustrated guides and expert knowledge, and with sections dedicated to science, technology, transportation, space, history and the environment, no subject is too big or small for How It Works to explain.

Land:
United Kingdom
Taal:
English
Uitgever:
Future Publishing Ltd
Verschijningsfrequentie:
Monthly
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13 Edities

in deze editie

1 min.
welcome

“I videoed myself picking it up and posted it online. I knew it was from a dinosaur”Digging for dinosaurs, page 20 You’re in good company if you’ve ever dreamed of stumbling upon a dinosaur skeleton, or of breaking open a rock to discover an impression of past life, hidden for millions of years. But there are only a handful of locations in the world where that fantasy is a real possibility. In our cover feature on page 20, we’ve explored how ancient animals and plants are fossilised in different ways. We’ve also spoken to a scientist and professional fossil hunter who recently found a new species of dinosaur on a British beach. Discover what you can do to increase your chances of finding fossils, and the best places to go to…

1 min.
meet the team…

Nikole Production Editor Venice, the famous ‘floating city’, is well known for its canals. Explore how its amazing architecture was built on page 28. Scott Staff Writer Each year millions of crop plants are destroyed by insects. Discover the ways farmers can safeguard our food on page 32. Baljeet Research Editor How do magnets work, how can we magnetise metals and where can we find them around our homes? Page 40 has all the info. Duncan Senior Art Editor With climate change a looming threat, electric cars look to be the future of driving. Peek inside the all-electric Honda e on page 54. Ailsa Staff Writer How have past missions enabled us to further explore space? Look at major milestones of spaceflight on page 60.…

1 min.
the door to hell

Found burning in the barren wasteland of the desert of northern Turkmenistan, Central Asia, is a fiery pit called the Darvaza gas crater, commonly known as the ‘Door to Hell’. This hellish 30-metre-deep crater is believed to have been burning since 1971, although how it collapsed and was ignited remains a mystery. What we do know is that the crater remains alight due to a large amount of methane gas that’s being naturally pumped at high pressures from below the desert surface. Turkmenistan sits on the sixth-largest reservoir of natural gas in the world, and some geologists believe that there is enough fuel beneath the crater to allow the fire to rage for another 20 years.…

1 min.
inside a volvox colony

Volvox are free-floating algae that live in freshwater systems. As single cells, volvox are equipped with two long, tail-like filaments called flagellum which allow them to swim. These individual cells group together to create volvox colonies and form a sphere, as shown in this image. Colonies can be made of up to 60,000 cells and move as one using their outward-facing flagellum. Each individual volvox can produce its own food through photosynthesis and uses photosensitive structures called ‘eyespots’ – seen as small green specks – to detect the best places for light. The internal spheres are daughter colonies which are filled with reproducing volvox and will eventually break away as their own colony.…

3 min.
a supernova sparked mass extinction 359 million years ago

A global extinction event that occurred around 359 million years ago may have been triggered by the death blast of a distant star. Towards the end of the Devonian Period, 416 million to 358 million years ago, there was a mass extinction known as the Hangenberg event; it wiped out armoured fish called placoderms and killed off approximately 70 per cent of Earth’s invertebrate species. But scientists have long puzzled over what caused the event. Recently preserved plant spores offered clues about this ancient extinction. Fossil spores spanning thousands of years at the boundary of the Devonian and the Carboniferous periods showed signs of damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) light. This find suggested that a cataclysmic event had caused a long-lasting disruption of Earth’s ozone layer, which shields the planet from…

2 min.
stone forests formation shown with rock candy

The stunning, razor-sharp spires of stone forests can form in deceptively simple conditions, a sugary new experiment has found. Using sticks of candy, researchers discovered that cylindrical shapes can naturally sharpen into points in still water as they dissolve, with no complicated flow required. This phenomenon could explain why sharp stone pinnacles are often found where easily dissolvable limestone rock predominates. “We found the simplest recipe for how to make one of these pinnacles,” said Leif Ristroph, an experimental physicist and mathematician at New York University. The recipe was simple indeed. Ristroph and his team cooked up hard candy, like a lollipop, in the shape of a cylinder with a domed top. They stuck the candy upright in a tank of water and simply let it dissolve. You might imagine that the…