Monthly Archives: December 2009
This episode introduces one of Atayal’s traditional natural resources, the crape myrtle. Taws and the kids observe its environment to understand the tree’s characteristic. Its trunk is solid, its leaves can cure snakebites and heal wounds. Its structure is also very dense, great to be made into tools for farming, construction, and the home. In the past, the crape myrtle is an important source for fabric dyes. Today, the tree plays an important role in soil and water conservation.
Our stay in beautiful Lanyu continues. We check out another Tao artifact: the underground house. As the place faced with the most typhoons in the world, Lanyu is a harsh place for buildings. However, the wise ancestors of the Tao people passed down the secrets of the underground house. Based on the science of air pressure, these houses have saved lives for many generations.
This episode introduces the Atayal’s natural resources, the hot springs of Wulai. The formation of the hot spring is closely related to volcanoes. During volcanic eruptions, a volcano would often emit magma. However, sometimes, some magma would remain close to the surface. These underground magma would slowly release heat into the ground to heat the water above. In some regions without volcanoes, magma remains active and hot springs can still be formed.
By learning about pressure and boiling eggs, the kids realize how pressure can affect the flow of water and turn groundwater into hot springs.
Little Science Hunters revisits Lanyu to understand how the design of the canoes makes it an efficient watercraft. Tao elders say the sharp bow in the water can divide waves and reduce resistance. The canoe’s side panels allow water to flow past the sides and prevent waves from splashing onto the fishermen. The bottom is made of heavy longan wood. The sharp design resembles a tumbler, the canoe would right itself when out at sea, so it couldn’t be overturned. There is also reserved buoyancy, so when the Tao people have a big haul, they could return home safely.