Getting closer to Patagonia’s cougars

By Ashley Strickland, CNN

When things seem overwhelming, an escape into nature is just the ticket.

That’s what happened to the film crew and scientists who worked on the CNN docuseries “Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World” after the pandemic hit.

“I think it made us dream that we could go there and actually do it,” said Chilean director and producer René Araneda.

For some team members, stepping into the wilderness of Chile and Argentina was the first time they had left home in months. But nothing had changed for the various species that inhabit the ice fields, mountains and forests.

Aware of their role as visitors, the small film crews kept a respectful distance – and that’s when they captured the cinematic magic.

fantastic creatures

If you enjoyed the breathtaking views of CNN’s “Patagonia” series, things were even crazier behind the scenes.

During filming in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, a curious male puma wandered very close as a crew waited for the appearance of a well-known female puma called Supermom. The cougars don’t see humans as prey, but the team stood still until the animal focused on guanacos in the distance.

In the sheltered waters of the Gulf of Corcovado, marine biologist Carla Christie observed elusive Chilean dolphins as they swam past her boat. Rare underwater footage shows affectionate moments between shy dolphins, like a female and her calf.

Learn more during Sunday’s final episode at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The series finale will be available Monday on CNNgo. You can also access CNNgo through our CNN app.

across the universe

One of the brightest stars in our sky is going through a rough patch.

Betelgeuse, a ruby-like red supergiant in the constellation Orion, suddenly began to darken in 2019 – an event that has astronomers baffled.

Now, data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories has revealed the star has experienced a massive flare and lost much of its visible surface. Astronomers have never seen anything like it before.

Betelgeuse is on the slow road to recovery, and while its surface appears to be returning to normal, the star’s interior is “bouncing back” as it struggles to rebuild itself.


A 2,300-year-old text that had puzzled scholars now has one less secret.

The Kao Gong Ji was written around 300 BC and is the oldest known technical encyclopedia. Inside are six chemical formulas for mixing bronze and instructions on how to craft items such as swords, bells, axes, knives, and mirrors.

But researchers couldn’t decipher a linguistic riddle in the text for more than 100 years, namely the identity of two ingredients called “jin” and “xi.”

Thanks to a new chemical analysis of ancient coins, two scientists may have finally solved the mystery of the missing metals.

savage kingdom

Make way for the wolves.

Researchers from across the United States have proposed a dedicated sanctuary space for gray wolves and other animals such as beavers. The protected areas, spread across 11 western states, would include Yellowstone National Park and the Northern and Southern Rockies.

The goal of this project, known as the Western Rewilding Network, is to create protected places for key species essential to ecosystems in the American West.

Gray wolves and beavers were once overhunted. Both animals make incredibly valuable contributions to their environment – which becomes even more evident when they go extinct.

The climate has changed

The climate crisis is heating up at both ends of the globe.

The Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the planet, according to new research. Heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels cause this phenomenon, called arctic amplification.

And a groundbreaking study of Antarctica by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has shown that the world’s largest ice cap is collapsing faster than previously thought.

Meanwhile, a gang of billionaires is on a treasure hunt in Greenland as the ice melts – and their quest may provide a solution. Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, among others, believe that the mineral deposits there are large enough at power hundreds of millions of electric vehicles.


These stories might blow your mind:

— A new image captured by the Gemini North Telescope shows the cosmic dance of the Butterfly galaxies as they coalesce over millions of years.

— Archaeologists have discovered a treasure trove of fertility artifacts and statuettes a short walk from one of Italy’s spa destinations.

— This summer is flying away, and we have the science to prove it. Researchers have recorded the shortest day on Earth since the invention of the atomic clock.

If you took photos of the last supermoon of the year on Thursday, share them on social media with the hashtag #NASAMoonSnap – the phrase NASA uses to track lunar-inspired content leading up to the launch of Artemis I at the end of summer. Let the countdown begin!

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia company. All rights reserved.

Do you like what you read? Oh, but there’s more. Sign up here to receive the next edition of Wonder Theory, brought to your inbox by CNN Space and Science editors Ashley Strickland and Katie Hunt. They marvel at planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from the ancient world.