After erupting almost continuously for over three decades — from 1983 to 2018 — Hawaii's Kilauea volcano finally seemed to lose steam, producing no lava for nearly two years. The slumber ended on the night of December 20, 2020, when the active volcano began spewing out dramatic lava fountains and giant puffs of gas and steam from a fissure in the northwest wall of the Halemaʻumaʻu crater.
Canada's WestJet Airlines is famous for its annual "Christmas Miracle" videos. In the past, the heartwarming footage has shown the airline's employees surprising a few, unsuspecting families with extravagant gifts, ranging from iPods to vacations to diamond rings. While the 2020 "Christmas Miracle" did not involve any fancy presents, it is equally uplifting and much more far-reaching.
China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft, tasked with bringing lunar rock samples to Earth, successfully landed on the Moon on December 1st, 2020. The 18,100-pound (8,200 kg) spacecraft, launched from China’s Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on November 23, 2020, entered the satellite's orbit on November 28th, 2020. Soon after, it deployed its lander and ascender modules to the Mons Rümker, an isolated volcanic formation on the Moon's near side.
Mention goldfish, and the image that comes to mind is that of small, colorful creatures swimming in circles in fish bowls or home aquariums. However, the one recently discovered by biologists conducting a fish survey at a South Carolina lake was no ordinary goldfish - it was a 9-pound, 15-inch-long behemoth!
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about finding the best deals on holiday gifts for yourself and family members, Giving Tuesday serves a more altruistic purpose. Observed annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it encourages people to help those in need by making financial donations or doing good in their local community. The “Global Day of Giving” was started in 2012 by New York City nonprofit 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation.
The residents of Florida, which is home to over one million alligators, are no strangers to the apex predators. The massive animals are frequently encountered in swimming pools, ditches, and garages. In 2019, Palm Coast resident Donna Heiss even saw a 7-foot gator peeking through her window! However, the giant reptile recently spotted in Naples, Florida, impressed even the most jaded Floridians.
On October 26, 2020, the US Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the 115th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The 48-year-old, who was nominated for the lifetime appointment by President Trump on September 26, 2020, will fill the vacancy left behind by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died from complications of pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020.
When 22-year-old giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a healthy cub on August 21, 2020, Smithsonian's National Zoo officials were both excited and anxious. That's because giant panda cubs, which weigh about 100 grams — the equivalent of a stick of butter — when born, are challenging to keep alive. Unable to see, hear, or crawl, the helpless infants are completely reliant on their mothers for food and protection. As it turns out, they had little to worry about. The newborn, who celebrated his eight-week birthday on October 16, 2020, is thriving under Mei Xiang's care and showing signs of becoming a feisty toddler.