Scientists Discover Forest by Searching Google Earth

Scientists find hundreds of new species in uncharted African forest
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2008 10:44 AM CST
British scientists used the Google Earth software program to remotely search rugged Mozambique from their desk chairs, and discovered an uncharted forest.   (©thomcochrane)
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(Newser) – British scientists have stumbled upon an unexplored forest in northern Mozambique—without taking a step. A conservationist for the Royal Botanic Gardens was scanning for a new project site on Google Earth when he came across the untouched area known as Mount Mabu, and an expedition later discovered hundreds of new species, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The forest had flown under the conventional radar because of its remote location and ongoing civil unrest in Mozambique. Researchers cut trails through the brush and found new types of butterflies, birds, plants, insects, monkeys, and a deadly viper. "Nobody knew about it," a researcher told the Guardian. "The literature I'm aware of doesn't mention the word 'Mabu' anywhere."