Wonder on the Web

Issue 39: Links to amazing stuff.

The Art Beneath Your Feet

While upgrading a sewer system in the ’90s, construction workers in the Israeli city of Lod unearthed part of this massive, 1,700-year-old Roman floor mosaic—now known to span nearly 180 square meters, with excavation still in progress. It’s hard to imagine investing this much money and effort in your living room flooring, but apparently it was worth it for whoever owned what must have been a very luxurious villa 1,700 years ago. A visitor’s center is now under construction at the site, but if you can’t visit the Lod Mosaic in person, here’s the next best thing: zoom in for a virtual tour.

If you’re into biblical archeology, you’ll also want to check out Christianity Today’s list of the top ten discoveries of 2015.

England’s Subterranean Cisterns

There’s some intriguing historical architecture under the streets of London, too. In the Victorian era, these cathedral-like underground reservoirs were built to store rainwater (not sewage). Don’t expect a visitor’s center here anytime soon—they’re not open to the public. But thanks to “urban explorer” Matt Emmett, who found a way into three of them, you can at least see some great images of what’s going on underground. (It reminded us of Kevin Miller’s piece on medieval cathedrals from The Behemoth’s seventh issue.)

National Geographic’s 2015 Photo Contest

There are a lot of truly amazing photos in this gallery of the winners of National Geographic’s 2015 photo contest, including a glowing Portuguese man o’ war, an orangutan with a makeshift umbrella, and what appears to be a near-head-on collision with an eagle-owl. One of Behemoth assistant editor Mariah Franklin’s favorites: Derek Finch’s “Swan Lake,” taken in the village of Grasmere in the English Lake District. The Romantic poet William Wordsworth called Grasmere “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found.” Finch’s photo backs up that description quite well.

Giant Squid Pays Visit to Japanese Harbor

Usually, these legendary creatures hang out 2,000–3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface—deep enough that no one was able to record images of a live one until 2004. But as Marissa Fessenden reports for Smithsonian: “Last week, a giant squid made gentle mockery of decades of efforts to spot them when it swam into a harbor northwest of Tokyo.” We’re glad someone decided he was curious enough to dive in and film this video of the 12-foot-long squid while it was feeling social (or maybe just really, really lost).

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Also in this Issue

Issue 39 / January 7, 2016
  1. Editor's Note from January 05, 2016

    Issue 39: Your brain’s missing links, the scales of justice, and why seeing sin is such a relief. /

  2. Hallelujah, I’m a Miserable Sinner

    It’s only after we meet our Savior that we understand how much we need him. /

  3. Creation by Subtraction

    Be thankful you’ve lost much of your mind since your youth. /

  4. Why God Delights in the Metric System

    Fairness and justice were difficult before we looked to creation for our measurements. /

  5. Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes

    “Shall I devolve into dust bunnies?” /

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