Aristotle accepted the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds around 330 BC, and knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on. In modern times, belief in a flat Earth has been expressed by isolated individuals and groups; this new featured picture is a flat-Earth map drawn by Orlando Ferguson, not much more than a century ago. One of only two copies, it is held in the Library of Congress.
This week's "Featured content" covers Sunday 24 – Saturday 30 July
From the new featured article on Joppenbergh Mountain: cement mines in the mountain a decade before a cave-in in 1899 destroyed the shafts.
From the new featured article: the Kennet and Avon Canal is a waterway in southern England with an overall length of 140 kilometres (87 mi)
Featured picture: a Pale-yellow Robin (Tregellasia capito), Julatten, Queensland, Australia.
Featured picture: White-lipped Tree Frog, which changes from green to brown according to background and temperature.
Featured picture of Kiril Lazarov, the Macedonian handball player, playing for the Slovenian team, RK ZagrebFive
Featured picture: Dusky Honeyeater, which often hovers to take insects or nectar from flowers.
Joppenbergh Mountain (nom) in Ulster County, New York, a topographical feature with an interesting past; nominator Gyrobo says Joppenbergh "was blasted apart in the 19th century, skied on in the 20th, and could very well become public property in the 21st." picture at right
Kennet and Avon Canal (nom), a historic British industrial waterway that fell into disuse and has now been restored. The article covers not just the history and engineering of the canal but social and environmental factors. (Rodw) picture at right
James B. McCreary (nom) (1838–1918), 37th governor of Kentucky, who campaigned on a platform of progressive reforms and convinced the legislature to make women eligible to vote in school board elections, to mandate direct primary elections, and to create a state public utilities commission (Nominated by Acdixon)
Valston Hancock (nom) (1907–98), another of the remarkable series of men who headed the Royal Australian Air Force in the mid-20th century, whose common attribute was their status as former cadets of the Royal Military College, Duntroon—that is, they studied as Army officers before joining the Air Force. (Ian Rose)
Radjah Shelduck (nom; related article), Both the male and female of the species are mostly white, with dark wing-tips and a distinctive "collar" of dark feathers. Seen from above in flight the birds have green bands on the tops of their wings. The female has a harsh rattle and the male has a breathy, sore-throat whistle. (created by User:JJ Harrison). picture at right
Straw-necked Ibis (nom; related article), taken at Centenary Lakes, Cairns, Queensland, Australia. These large birds are around 60–75 centimetres (24–30 in) long, with dark wings that show an iridescent, multicoloured sheen in sunlight. They have a long, black, downcurved bill, and their legs are usually red near the top and dark grey toward the feet. Straw-like feathers on the neck of adults give the bird its common name. (created by User:JJ Harrison).
Bush Stone-curlew (nom; related article), a large, ground-dwelling bird endemic to Australia—a terrestrial predator filling a similar ecological niche to that of the roadrunners of North America. The bird is officially listed as endangered. (created by User:JJ Harrison).
North walls of Ani (nom; related article), a panorama of the north walls of Ani, the medieval Armenian "City of 1001 Churches". Ani stood on trade routes and its many religious buildings, palaces, and fortifications were among the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world (created by User:Ggia). picture below
A new featured picture taken by User:Ggia in April 2011, this panorama shows the north walls of the ruined and uninhabited medieval Armenian city-site of Ani in a visually dramatic and naturally defensive landscape. At its height, Ani had a population of 100,000–200,000 people and was the rival of Constantinople, Baghdad and Cairo. To view the image, please use the horizontal scroller or the interactive large-image-viewer (non-Flash).