Miami is basically screwed. Half the city’s population lives within four feet of sea level. Depending on who you ask, that level is expected to rise between three and 30 feet by the end of this century. And the projections seem to get worse and worse.

It’s bad news for Floridians, but good news for the future residents of Miami: sea creatures. Scientists already know that marine life is willing and able to colonize man-made structures underwater. Sunken ships, piers, and abandoned offshore drilling platforms evolve into artificial reefs, supporting a variety of organisms by providing shelter where there had been none. Soon, parts of Miami become a modern Atlantis, harboring a diverse colony of underwater life.

It doesn’t take long for algae and other microscopic life to start to grow on undersea structures. These early colonizers pave the way for things like shrimp, snails, and some types of fish. Corals, urchins, sea stars, mussels, and clams will begin to move in, attaching themselves to Miami’s rotting corpse.

As the colony grows, those higher up on the food chain will certainly take notice. Fish will come for food and shelter, and bigger fish will come to eat the smaller ones. Soon the seals, whales, and dolphins will come, too. One recent study found that seals actually cruise offshore wind farms looking for grub, which is pretty decent evidence that a good thing is going on there.

How diverse, productive, and resilient undersea Miami will be as an ecosystem remains to be seen. Ocean acidification, another horrible side effect of humanity’s fossil fuel addiction, treatens the survival of shell-forming sea life, and could destroy food webs dissastrously and irrepairably. Corals, which form the reefs that are the foundation for so much coastal life, are also particularly vulnerable. But for the creatures that can adapt to the oceans of the future, after the natural reefs die off, submerged cityscapes may provide a safe haven.

Photos via Marc Serota/Getty Images

SpaceX is gearing up to send humans into space for the first time. On Monday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed a report that claimed NASA estimates the firm will be ready for people-carrying space adventures as early as April of next year. While a good sign for the company’s Mars mission, a successful human test flight would also enable a new method of sending people to the International Space Station.

In modern society, you can be lazy and not face much consequence. Don’t want to cook? Order Seamless. Don’t want to move? Call a Lyft. But according to a controversial new study, the same could not be said for Homo erectus, an ancient relative of our species. In the study, scientists claim that H. erectus went extinct because it existed in a constant state of meh.

During their 3,000-year dominance over Mesoamerica, the Mayans built elaborate architectural structures and developed a sophisticated, technologically progressive society. But immediately after reaching the peak of its powers over the entire Yucatan Peninsula, the Mayan Empire collapsed, falling apart in just 150 years. The reasons for its sudden demise remain a mystery, but in a new Science study, scientists find clues buried deep in the mud of Lake Chichancanab.

Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is a 63-square-mile spot of land in the Pacific Ocean. In 1995, science writer Jared Diamond popularized the “collapse theory” in Discover magazine story about why the Easter Island population was so small when European explorers arrived in 1772. He later published Collapse, a book hypothesizing that infighting and an overexploiting of resources led to a societal “ecocide.” However, a growing body of evidence contradicts this popular story of a warring, wasteful culture.

When you imagine an Egyptian mummy, you probably picture the embalmed body of a pharaoh, carefully wound in long strips of linen and laid in an ornate sarcophagus. But the mummies of an earlier age weren’t laid to rest in such decadence, suggesting to the scientists who found their bodies in shallow pits that they were preserved by chance, sand, and air. This “natural preservation” theory, however, might be laid to rest by a study published Thursday in the Journal of Archeological Science. Prehistoric Egyptian mummies, the authors say, were also treated with care.