When I was training to be a journalist, the best piece of advice I got was KISS– keep it simple, stupid.

The simplest approach is usually the best, whether you’re talking about writing a news story, building an airplane or, in the case of one of this week’s discoveries, turning deserts green.

Bunding, an ancient and low-tech building technique, is having a profound impact on degraded land in two disparate places.

In Tanzania, farmers using bunds – barriers that, at their most basic level, are simply mounds of earth – have taken parched, overgrazed and eroded land and turned it green. The barriers trap water running off the ground and allow it to penetrate the earth.

Similar techniques are restoring peatlands, waterlogged landscapes that hold vast stores of carbon in the soil, in Northern Ireland, potentially improving the quality of drinking water there.

Lost cities can have a powerful pull on the imagination, and archaeologists working in Iraqi Kurdistan believe they may have identified the location of one.

Excavations of a 2,000-year-old fortress in the Zagros Mountains revealed fortifications nearly 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long, two smaller settlements, carved rock reliefs and a religious complex.

The city is known only because of scant details gleaned from rare coins, but the archaeologists carefully pieced together clues found during their digs at the ancient site.

The Patagonian ice dragon is what scientists call an extremophile, or an organism that can live in extreme environments.

It’s a fitting name for an insect that lives on the ice of the Andes Mountains. in South America. The diminutive insect is rare because the glaciers it calls home are rapidly melting due to global warming. Entomologist Isaí Madríz is scrambling to learn everything about the mysterious inner workings of the endangered species, including why it’s highly unlikely you will spot a young ice dragon.

His quest is featured in the new CNN docuseries “Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World,” which explores one of the wildest places on Earth. Catch the latest episode at 9 pm ET / PT Sunday. Every new episode of the six-part series will be available on CNNgo the day after it airs on television. You can also access CNNgo in our CNN app.

Black holes are powerful cosmic phenomena, but they do not emit any light. This means finding one can involve several years of detective work for astronomers.

Located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy, the newly detected space object is at least nine times the mass of our sun. Called VFTS 243, it orbits a hot, blue star weighing 25 times the sun’s mass, making it part of a binary system.

The astronomers said they were confident their discovery was watertight.

The prints in the restaurant courtyard belonged to two sauropods – plant-eating dinosaurs known for a long neck and tail, according to paleontologist Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, who was contacted by the diner.

Rapidly developing China is enjoying a golden age of dinosaur discoveries, but Xing said that paleontologists like him have to be quick off the mark. He tries to verify any potential discoveries spotted by the public within 48 hours for fear they may get destroyed by construction work.

In this case, he got lucky. The restaurant owner has fenced off the site to keep people from stepping on the pits and might build a shed to protect them.

Enjoy these out-of-this-world reads:

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