GOOD

You’re an Animal

Are humans out of place in the modern world?

Sea turtles can have a hard time in the modern world. When hatchlings are born on the beach, they instinctively head toward the brightest part of the horizon. They developed this instinct over millennia because the brightest part of the horizon had always been the ocean, where light reflected off the water. These days, this instinct often leads them astray. In developed areas, they head toward brightly lit beach houses or coastal roads instead.

This is a case of so-called evolutionary mismatch, when traits that evolved in one environment have negative consequences in another. The turtles’ instinct works well in a natural environment, without artificial light. In a man-made environment, it is often fatal.

Keep Reading
Features

Graves That Save

Forget coffins. The future of death is liquid nitrogren, mushrooms, and floating urns.

Natural Burial: The effort to make human death itself more sustainable.

Just past the perimeter of Joshua Tree Memorial Park’s manicured green lawns sit acres and acres of undeveloped desert. Joshua trees, so named by Mormon settlers for their purported resemblance to the biblical Joshua—his hands reaching toward the heavens in prayer—dot the rugged landscape, but a few hundred feet to the east stands a simple rectangular fence, marking off what, from a distance, looks like nothing at all.

Keep Reading
Features