When you were a child, did you ever flip over rocks? In the imprint of each stone, a myriad of many-legged creatures retreated from the light, worms wriggled deeper into the soil. Each rock held the mystery of what lay beneath, and once you turned one over, you had to know what was lurking under the next. Curiosity took over. Fingers got muddy.
This fall, The Planet started flipping
This issue is about the process and pursuit of knowledge. We researched emerging theories about salmon navigation and trailed after scat-sniffing dogs, not for answers, but out of curiosity.
The more questions we asked, the more we plunged into the unknowns of science. How do octopuses camouflage seamlessly on the ocean floor if they cannot see color? Can North American bats outlast a deadly fungus? Despite our relentless research, we did not find concrete answers.
Instead, we found science is a progression of theories – a series of shifting paradigms. What we know today may be false tomorrow.
While uncertainty may be unsatisfying, as you read this issue, consider where we would be without the pursuit of mystery. Certainly not high in the forest canopy discovering new species of salamanders or deep in a cave, nose-to-infected- nose with a bat. Consider what might happen if no one investigated rapidly melting Arctic ice to discover an ecosystem on the brink of collapse or stopped to ponder what will happen to the people who live off this changing land.
The future is uncertain, but that does not mean we should stop asking.
Mikey Jane MoranEditor-in-Chief