Nature Unveiled Blog

Beauty exists in nature but also in the scientific understanding of nature, yet the science is often mistakenly perceived to be dry, nerdy, boring, the antithesis of beauty. The blog Nature Unveiled revels in the beauty of both as it explores natural phenomena from bioluminescence to carnivorous plants to seal whiskers.

Nature Unveiled is a collaboration of father and son, Edwin Barkdoll and Forest Barkdoll-Weil.

Iridescent cilia on a transparent comb jelly – photo Zoe Weil
Nature Unveiled
Edwin Barkdoll

Transparent Animals – Nature’s Invisibility Cloaks

Long before J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ring of Power enabled its wearer to vanish, animals evolved the superpower of transparency. No mean parlor trick, Tolkien’s Ring also conferred the power to prevail against one’s competitors. Transparent animals profit similarly in their struggle to survive.

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Grand Manan sand at sunset
Nature Unveiled
Edwin Barkdoll

The Life of Sand

Sand is the consummate shapeshifter, marking time as it sifts through an hourglass, forming ephemeral wave patterns on a beach, squeezing between one’s toes or even morphing into the concrete of our buildings. Yet few realize sand’s fascinating story. What is sand, and where does it form?

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Red pencil urchin Heterocentrotus mamillatus in Hawaii
Nature Unveiled
Edwin Barkdoll

An Urchin in Hand

An Urchin in Hand Red pencil urchin (Heterocentrotus mamillatus) in Hawaii Sea urchin skeletons are frequent finds along the Maine coast. With luck, the shell-like skeleton is entire but denuded of the animal’s tube feet and protective spines, revealing orderly but mysterious patterns of tiny knobs and holes. Alive, a sea urchin is equally enigmatic.

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Water boatman frozen in ice
Nature Unveiled
Edwin Barkdoll

Avoiding the Big Freeze – Animals in the Cold

Avoiding the Big Freeze – Animals in the Cold A spider, about 1 centimeter long, traveling on the snow at -2°C (28°F) Imagine a tiny spider no more than a centimeter long. Winter is in full force, and the spider’s body temperature is below freezing as it slowly crawls across the snow. Yet, the spider

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Stream foam and fall leaves
Nature Unveiled
Edwin Barkdoll

FOAM-Oh!

FOAM-Oh! 1 Stream foam collecting around fall leaves Foam isn’t just stuff that comes out of shaving cream cans, keeps your take-out coffee hot, or floats in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.2 It is a ubiquitous natural phenomenon that is fascinating and can affect rainfall; has caused seabird die-offs; and influences global climate. Don’t sell

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