Vocablet of the Day: Fleeting

When you see a tree in bloom, what do you think about?  Springtime?  Warm weather?  Or the brief and ephemeral nature of life?

Study ‘fleeting‘ NOW in VocabNetwork’s Timing is Everything studylist.

Youth, beauty, springtime, even life itself — all of them lasting for a very short time in the grand scheme of the world.

Cherry blossoms are celebrated around the world for their incredible beauty during the brief period in spring when they bloom into gorgeous pink flowers.  In Japan, the fact that the blossoms appear for such a fleeting amount of time adds to their beauty and meaning, reminding us that nothing in life is permanent.

Have you ever seen a group of cherry trees in bloom?  What does the fleeting nature of beauty mean to you?

Study ‘fleeting‘!
Add the fleeting-Cherry Trees Vocablet to a studylist of your own, or get started right now with VocabNetwork’s Timing is Everything studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Quantitative

How would you describe the health of the oceans?  Poor?  Worsening?  Not that bad?  73%?  If that last one is confusing, read on….

Study ‘quantitative‘ NOW in VocabNetwork’s Experimentation studylist.

How clean is your coastline?  Rather than rely on vague descriptions, the Ocean Health Index uses a clear-cut system based on a measurement relating to the amount or number of something rather than its quality.

Qualitative descriptions — that is, descriptions that rely on non-numerical characteristics, like color, degree, good vs bad, more vs less — are useful for some things, but they aren’t always enough.  Because numbers are concrete and easily measured, quantitative measures are often better for making direct comparisons.  The Ocean Health Index allows countries to compare their quantitative scores to those of other countries, making it easy to see which countries need improvement in how they treat their coastlines.

Can you think of another example of a quantitative measure?  When would a qualitative measure be better than a quantitative one?

Study ‘quantitative‘!
Add the quantitative-Ocean Health Index Vocablet to a studylist of your own, or get started now with VocabNetwork’s Experimentation studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Anomalous

For over sixty years, this triangular region of the Atlantic Ocean has claimed hundreds of ships in ways that cannot be explained… or has it?

Study ‘anomalous‘ NOW in VocabNetwork’s Is It True? studylist.

Ships can sink and airplanes can go missing at any time, but there’s one place on Earth that draws a suspicious number of disappearances that are strange and difficult to identify or classify: The Bermuda Triangle

The area of the Bermuda Triangle are not exactly defined, but it is generally said to exist between the tip of Florida, the Bermuda Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Most official organizations do not recognize the area, and some people say that many of the stories of anomalous disappearances and occurrences in the area are untrue.

Knowing the stories of the Bermuda Triangle, would you travel within it?  Or would you keep on the safe side, staying away from the whole region and its stories of anomalous, and fatal, incidences?

Study ‘anomalous‘!
Add the anomalous-Bermuda Triangle Vocablet to a studylist of your own, or learn this word while reading more mysterious stories with VocabNetwork’s Is It True? studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Miniaturized

Do you like houseplants?  What about house-trees?  This miniaturized version provides a bit of beauty, as well as encouraging contemplation.

Study ‘miniaturized‘ in VocabNetwork’s FREE studylist, Tiny Things.

If you’ve ever had a dollhouse, built model airplanes, or played with toy cars as a kid, then you know that things made on a smaller or tiny scale can be hours of delicate work and entertainment.

The Japanese art of Bonsai trees involves taking careful care of these delicate, miniaturized trees, cutting them back so they grow into specific shapes.  They require a lot of attention, but the benefits are a calmer mind and a piece of beautiful, living artwork.

Have you ever tried to care for a Bonsai tree?  Are you interested in any other types of miniaturized things, like model trains or ceramic figurines?

Study ‘miniaturized‘!
Add the miniaturized-Bonsai Vocablet to a studylist of your own, or start learning right away with this and other stories in VN’s Tiny Things studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Contingency

When most people think of emergency plans, they think of floods or blizzards or blackouts.  Some people, however, have plans for more spooky contingencies.

Study ‘contingency‘ NOW in VocabNetwork’s Keeping Safe studylist.

Some might say that preparing for a future zombie apocalypse is silly, but others might say that it’s smart to think of every possible event or occurrence or result.

Eeeek! Zombies!

Pop culture’s current interest in zombies has some people thinking about what they would do if the dead came back to life.  But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States are using this interest to promote public preparedness for natural disasters and other, less supernatural, contingencies.

Do you plan for contingencies like hurricanes or earthquakes?  Or do you have a zombie apocalypse plan?

Study ‘contingency‘!
Add the contingency-Zombie Apocalypse Vocablet to a studylist of your own, or start studying right away with VocabNetwork’s Keeping Safe studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Herald

The Earth is always moving, always changing, and people look to the cycle of the seasons to know what’s coming next.

Get to studying ‘herald‘ NOW in VN’s Weird Weather studylist.

The leaves change color and fall off the trees to herald the coming of colder days.

Not every place in the world has distinct seasons.  But for those that do, people look out for the characteristic changes, like shorter days or colder temperatures, that signal the coming of the next season.

It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere, and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees are a sign that winter is coming.  Next year, many will eagerly await the flowers and new growth that herald the beginning of spring.

Even without seasons, there are signals that herald the next stage of the year, like holidays or changing patterns of stars in the sky.  What kinds of signs herald changes where you live?

Study ‘herald‘!
Add the herald-Fall Colors Vocablet to a studylist of your own, or study it right away in VocabNetwork’s Weird Weather studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Teem

Life on Earth can thrive in the most surprising places, including on glaciers.

Study ‘teem‘ now in VocabNetwork’s Active Life studylist.

These huge ice sheets look barren, but they're overflowing with life.

The smooth, white appearance of glaciers can make them seem completely lifeless, but look closer and you’ll find they become filled to overflowing with life.

Even in the harshest conditions on the planet, you can find places that teem with life.  Glaciers, huge sheets of ice near the north and south poles, have tiny ecosystems made of balls of moss that reveal these frozen landscapes to be teeming with life.

The teem-Glacier Mice Vocablet highlights one of the extreme environments on Earth that still manages to support life.

What other places on Earth look lifeless, but actually teem with microbes or other tiny organisms?

Study ‘teem‘!
Add the teem-Glacier Mice Vocablet to a studylist, or study now in VocabNetwork’s Active Life studylist.

Vocablet of the Day: Quantitative

Environmental impact can be hard to measure, but the new Ocean Health Index might make things a bit simpler.

Start studying ‘quantitative‘ right now in VocabNetwork’s The Health of the Ocean studylist.

How clean are the coasts in YOUR country?

There’s a new way for countries to measure how they treat the ocean — not just as “good” or “bad,” but expressible as a value.

The Ocean Health Index’s quantitative measure will give countries a numerical score of how they treat the ocean.  It is hoped that quantitative, comparable scores will encourage — or shame — low-scoring countries into cleaning up their oceanic act.

The quantitative-Ocean Health Index Vocablet highlights the new way that countries can see how well they treat their coasts, and see how much they need to improve.

Do you think that having a quantitative measurement will inspire nations to treat the oceans better?  How well do you think your country would score?  (I live in the United States, and we would probably score pretty low, sadly.)

Start studying ‘quantitative‘!
Add the quantitative-Ocean Health Index Vocablet to a studylist, or get to studying NOW with VocabNetwork’s The Health of the Ocean studylist.

Studylist of the Week: Amazing Sky

The sky has been a source of inspiration and wonder for humans for thousands of years.  We’ve always looked up and wondered what else was out there in a universe of seemingly endless possibilities.

The Amazing Sky studylist highlights some of the wonders that the sky can show us.


A look at the sky on a clear night provides a breathtaking view of the visible universe.

Though the stars may look innumerable (too numerous to be counted), what’s amazing is that there are probably even more planets than stars!


The aurora, an amazing light show in the sky seen from the northern or southern poles, is caused by sunlight reflecting off the Earth’s atmosphere.

The phenomenon (situation that is observed to happen) is truly wondrous, and has been called the “Dance of the Spirits.”


Can you imagine a place where lightning brightens the sky almost constantly?  It exists!

The lightning above the Catatumbo happens so often, sailors know it as the “Maracaibo Beacon (light used to warn and guide vessels)“.


A lunar rainbow is a rare occurrence, requiring just the right environmental factors.

When the clouds in the sky are thin enough to just barely veil (hide or partly hide something) the moon’s light, the lunar rainbow can be seen.


Are you studying the Amazing Sky studylist?  Let us know about your progress in the comments!

Awesome Plants

Plants are amazing!

Great Banyan Tree, Calcutta Botanical Gardens

This is one tree. It is over 210 years old and has a circumference of over 1/2km.  From a distance, it has the semblance of a forest, but what appear to be individual trees are actually aerial (growing above ground) roots — around 2,800 of them!

Many plants are more than meets the eye. The Awesome Plants studylist on  vocabnetwork.com includes flora with special tricks up their sleeves — er, stems.


These glowing mushrooms are like a black light poster come to life.  As darkness falls, a soft green glow emanates from the bioluminescent (naturally producing light) fungi.



Popularly known as a pitcher plant or monkey cup, this one is carnivorous (able to trap and digest small animals). Ants, other insects, spiders, scorpions, and centipedes are at the top of its menu.



The Rafflesia is a parasite with a bloom over 3 feet (1 meter) across! For all its beauty, it reeks (smells bad) like rotting meat to attract insects such as flies for pollination.


Plants are all around, forming the base of the food chain and filling our atmosphere with the oxygen we breathe.  Do we notice them?  Here are a couple that would be hard to miss.

A tribe in India figured out a unique method of building bridges — they grew them!  Part of the incredibly strong root system of the Indian Rubber plant is trained to go across and down. This takes 10-15 years. The bridges flourish (are strong and healthy) and actually get stronger as time goes on.  Some are 500 years old!

 These bizarre trees can only be found on the island of Socotra, located just east of the Horn of Africa.  Being so isolated, fully one-third of its plants are endemic (native and confined to the region).  With such unusual flora decorating the landscape, it’s no wonder Socotra has been called the most alien place on Earth.


Ready to study the above vocabulary in the Awesome Plants studylist?

Want to check out vocab words in more snippets about weird and wonderful plants?
The images below are in our Awesome Plants2 studylist.






Come visit vocabnetwork.com.  Log In, sign up (the whole site is free during our beta), or click the orange “Try out the site now” button.  To see a lot more vocab words as they appear in plants-related articles/media, go to the red Vocab tab on the page header and select Nature then Plants.

What are the plants like where you live?  Post a comment and we’ll make a Vocablet out of the “story” you submit.