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Arizona's 10 Coolest Contributions to Science

Arizona has had a lot to offer to the scientific community over the years.

From natural features, to discoveries, to inventions, and more, we bring you Arizona's 10 coolest contributions to the world of science:

10.) Invention of the Jet Ski

Clayton Jacobson II is credited with the invention of the personal water craft, which might be Arizona's most unnecessary contribution to science.

 

9.) Dinosaurs

Several dinosaurs have been dug up in Arizona. That includes the first Dilophosaurus (of Jurassic Park fame), as well as one of the oldest dinosaurs ever discovered, believed to be 225 million years old. Up in Tuba City, you can actually see dinosaur tracks.

 

8.) Invention of the Kool Deck

A Tucson company, Mortex, is credited with the invention of the Kool Deck, a type of concrete used around pools that won't cook human feet like a typical concrete or brick material.

 

7.) Discovery of Meteor Crater

The owners of the Barringer meteor crater site claim this is the best-preserved meteor crater in the world.

 

6.) Discovery of Pluto

Pluto will always be a planet in our hearts. A fellow named Clyde Tombaugh spotted Pluto as a researcher at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

 

5.) Tree-Ring Dating

University of Arizona professor A. E. Douglass is credited with discovering meaning behind tree rings, and the founding of dendrochronology.

 

4.) Biosphere 2

Because one Earth isn't enough.

 

3.) Discovery of Canals

According to the Arizona Museum of Natural History:

The Hohokam were the only culture in North America to rely on irrigation canals to supply water to their crops. In the arid desert environment of the Salt and Gila River Valleys, the homeland of the Hohokam, there was not enough rainfall to grow crops. To meet their needs, the Hohokam engineered the largest and most sophisticated irrigation system in the Americas.

Other canal systems found around Arizona have given clues about civilizations even older than the Hohokam.

 

2.) Kitt Peak Observatory

There are 26 telescopes at the Kitt Peak Observatory. One is the largest solar telescope in the world, and another was the first telescope used to search for comets and asteroids near earth.

 

1.) The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a natural scientist's dream come true. There are more than 373 bird species, 89 mammal species, 47 reptile species, 9 amphibian species, and 17 fish species. There are more than 1,700 known species of plants, along several different ecosystems.

It's "one of the most studied geologic landscapes in the world," according to the National Park Service.

"Its great biological diversity can be attributed to the presence of five of the seven life zones and three of the four desert types in North America," according to the Park Service. "The five life zones represented are the Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian. This is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada."

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