VSL//Watch a continent come to life

Last month, the world struggled with spelling (and some unlucky newscasters, pronouncing) Eyjafjallajökull, the name of the Icelandic volcano that erupted and spewed ash into the atmosphere. But that’s nothing compared to the headache of stranded travelers, stuck on the ground, amid the largest air traffic shutdown since WWII (the airlines were reportedly estimated to be losing $200 million a day).

In this fascinating video, Airspace Rebooted,
you can now see what the northern European airspace looked like during this time—starting on April 16, when that portion of the map is completely dark, to the 18th, when the first points of light symbolizing flights start to appear, to the 20th, when the entire content is awash in a fireworks-worthy light show. It is an amazing look at the “reboot” of the skies, and a startling reminder of just how much flight activity is going on above our heads, all the time. (Though we still can’t spell Eyjafjallajökull without looking.)

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. VSL//Watch a continent come to life