Google Earth Leads to Geographical Discovery

Google Earth is fantastic, but this might be its most amazing feat yet: A scientist stumbled across an unknown green patch that turned out to be an unexplored forest home to brand new undiscovered species.

Julian Bayliss was looking around Google Earth for a new conservation project when he came across patches of green in Mozambique that appeared to be previously unexplored. Sure enough, those green patches were “7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity” that ad been left untouched by scientists thanks to minor blips like miserable terrain and constant civil war.

An expedition launched in the fall to Mount Mabu discovered three new species of butterflies, a new Gaboon viper that can kill humans in a single bite, along with all kinds of other wildlife, like 200 types of butterflies and tropical plants, all in a matter of weeks.

The expedition leader, Jonathan Timberlake, says that this could just be the beginning – Google Earth might help scientists find other undiscovered pockets of biodiversity in areas like Mozambique and Papua New Guinea that haven’t been fully explored. I’ve got my fingers crossed for hobbits and Big Foot.

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