New worlds

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Occasionally, we see news stories that are not only compellingly interesting, but also reminders that even in the 21st century there are hidden parts of this planet that, when revealed, manage to amaze and delight us.

That was the case last week when a group of scientists reported on a trip last December to a remote jungle in the Foja Mountains of Papua, a remote province of Indonesia. Even local tribesmen who accompanied the scientists had never seen what is described as 2 million acres of pristine tropical forest. Those forests contain amazing surprises, including animal and plant life that have never been seen before.

The expedition as organized by U.S. and Indonesian conservation and scientific organizations and funded by the National Geographic Society and others.

The innate human urge to explore that resides in all of us is fulfilled in a way by these adventures, even if we have to rely on words and pictures instead of getting to touch and hear things that have never been touched or heard before by other humans.

The question now is how long such an unspoiled corner of our globe can remain unspoiled.

Another question: What other discoveries remain to be made?

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