A sunken Portuguese ship called the Born Jesus was discovered by miners in 2008 off the coast of Namibia. The 16th-century shipwreck carried ample amounts of gold and silver coins, as well as other valuable cargo, including over 100 tusks of African elephants. Biologists and archeologists began researching the ivory cargo to learn more about their history.
Studying the Ivory Haul of the Born Jesus
The sunken trading ship was on its way to India in 1533 when it went missing. Upon its discovery nearly 500 years later, archeologists and biologists alike were amazed to find that the ivory haul the ship was carrying was preserved in excellent condition. Genetic and chemical analyses were conducted to trace the tusks to seventeen herds that used to roam West Africa. Two of those herds still exist.
What Was Learned About 16th-Century African Elephants
By researching the carbon and nitrogen isotopes present in the tusks, researchers could closely determine the type of vegetation and water these animals consumed throughout their lifetimes. The isotopes found in these tusks suggest that the elephants they belonged to used to roam the forests and savannas of West Africa. This surprised the researchers because it was believed that the African forest elephant didn’t go into the grasslands until the 20th century.
The Historical Significance of the Discovery
The fact that the tusks found on the Born Jesus trading ship originated from several different herds suggests that numerous communities in West Africa took part in supplying the ivory. This paints a clearer picture of how widespread ivory trading in the continent was during the 16th century.
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, over 60% of African forest elephants have been poached in the last decade and the remaining population remains in but a quarter of their historical territory. Learning more about the habitats these animals historically preferred could help preserve the species today!
40 Cool iPhone Features Apple Doesn’t Talk About
Most iPhone owners are still unaware of how powerful and detailed their devices can be. Read the following sections to find some cool iPhone features that even Apple doesn’t talk about.
Speeding Up Your iPhone
Apple added an interesting feature to help you clear up the phone’s Random Access Memory and speed up the device. To do so, you need to press and hold the wake/sleep button until the message for “slide to power off” shows up.
Release the button and press the “Home button”. Hold it for a couple of seconds. The screen will flicker and then return to the home screen.
Most of us have developed the habit of listening to music, a talk show, or a podcast before going to sleep. This has a main drawback – how many times did your phone’s battery get drained entirely before the morning? Fortunately, your iPhone settings have an answer for this.
You can fall asleep without worries by accessing the Clock app on the device. Then, set the timer for how long you want the phone to play, access “When Timer Ends,” and choose the “Stop Playing” button. After the time set, your phone will turn off the music by itself.
When you receive a new text message, your iPhone pulses. Fortunately, you can customize this vibration to your liking using custom-made patterns. Go to the “Settings” option and choose “Sounds.” Then, access the “Sounds and Vibrations” section and tap on “Vibration.”
There, you can create a new vibration pattern by starting recording. You can tap the center of the screen, choosing the sequence. The good part is that you can assign a custom vibration for each of your contacts.
Some of us get carried away when texting, ending up with very long messages. If you want to see how long each text is, you can simply turn on the character count function. This will show you how many characters your message has before sending the text. To do so, you need to access “Settings” and then “Messages.”
In this section, locate the “Character Count” option and turn it on. When you start typing a new message, you will automatically see how many characters you have.
Did you know that you can record videos when your phone is still locked? This might be useful if you don’t want other people to notice that you take pictures or record a video. Lock your phone and tap on the “Shutter” button. Then, slide the camera icon at the bottom right until you get halfway up, but don’t release.
Slide the camera mode to reach the video option. Then, double-press the “Home” button three times and keep your finger on the slider until the screen is off. This way, your phone is already recording a video. You can stop this by unlocking your phone.
Sometimes, we want to dial an extension. Our iPhones allow us to do so easily with only a few taps and selections – what could be better!
All you need to do is type in the main phone number you want to call and then press and hold down the star button (*) until you see a comma appearing. Then, add the extension number after this new comma and call the number.
The Ad-Blocking Feature
We all know how annoying ads are, especially when we play a game or use another app. If you have considered paying for software to block the apps, you should know that there is an easier, free-of-charge method to get rid of them. You can block or disable the ads with only a few taps.
All you need to do is switch on the “Airplane Mode” of your iPhone. Then you can play your game without being bothered by apps. However, this might not work if your game requires an internet connection.
Taking beautiful photos has never been more popular. Your iPhone might have excellent quality, but it is also important to know that we can customize all of our photos. For instance, this quick trick allows you to change the direction of the Panorama mode before you take the photo.
All you need to do is tap the arrow located in the middle of the screen and then shoot the photo. What an interesting method to diversify your pictures!
Digital calculators have replaced traditional ones in all aspects. Whether we want to sort out our budget, calculate the shopping list, or anything else, our phone’s calculators are the easy answer to all of our problems.
Fortunately, this trick helps you correct immediately any mistakes you might have made without having to delete the entire number. All you need to do is locate the wrong digit you added and swipe to clear it up.
Our iPhones have a very useful section: Medical ID. This is located in the left bottom corner when you want to dial a phone number. Adding the relevant information in this section can save your life in an emergency.
It lets you store all the vital information that can be accessed with one tap afterward. You might at least want to add any allergies you may have and the blood type.
Closing Tabs by Mistake
It happens quite often to close a tab by mistake on PCs, let alone the mobile phone. Fortunately, there is a very simple method of retrieving these. However, keep in mind that this method works only with Safari, and different browsers might have other functions.
If you closed the tab by mistake, all you need to do is press on the “+” sign and hold it, then choose the tab you are interested in. This also works if you wish to retrieve a webpage you recently accessed.
Did you know that your device has support for wired or Bluetooth-enabled devices? This will help you control your device with ease or even play games. To enable mouse support, access “Settings” and “Accessibility.”
Then, go to the “Touch” section. Connect the mouse and then customize its buttons. Some examples include, for instance, to add a side button for Siri.
Offline Google Maps
When we travel, we sometimes do not have an internet connection due to poor signal, or our data is limited. In this case, it’s best to stay on the safe side and make sure you do not get lost by having an offline version of Google Maps.
Most iPhone users do not know how easy this can be done. Open Google Maps and type in “ok maps” into the search box. Then, the app will download the maps so you can use them without an internet connection.
All iPhone gadgets have some secret information that you can easily access if you know the right codes. Some of this information, for instance, will display data related to signal strength, SIM card, network operation, and many more.
You can type in, for instance, *3001#12345#* and all of this information will show up on your screen. What could be easier?!
Boosting Wi-Fi Speed
Did you know that you can easily troubleshoot and improve the speed of your Wi-Fi connection? All iPhones come with the Wi-Fi assist function. If you set this one up, you enable your phone to automatically switch to mobile data when your usual network has a weak signal.
This way, you will never experience disruptions again! You can locate this in the settings section, “mobile data”, and then turn on the “Wi-Fi assist”.
Ultra Dark Mode
If you are one of the users who prefer to stay on their phones late at night, this trick might be more useful than ever. Sometimes, even the minimum brightness level can hurt our eyes in the dark, so this setting will help place a filter to reduce the brightness even more. For this, go to “Settings,” followed by “General” and “Accessibility.” There, locate “Zoom,” scroll down the list and turn on the “Show Controller” option.
Return to the previous menu, scroll down to “Accessibility Shortcut,” and turn on the Zoom function. Tap three times on the “Home” button and then on the circular controller. Set the slider to the desired (minimum value), then go to “Choose Filter.” Select “low light” and then hide this controller.
Unnecessary Apple Music Tabs
Apple Music is one of the best features of the iPhone, especially if you are a music lover. Unfortunately, the app can be quite challenging to navigate due to the additional tabs that appear when you open the app.
Fortunately, you can solve this issue by accessing Settings, then “Music.” There, turn off the “Show Apple Music” function. Access Settings, General, and Restrictions. Type in your password and then turn off Apple Music.
At least once, it happened to all of us when our device refused to be responsive, got frozen, or simply doesn’t do anything anymore. There is a way to help you restart your iPhone and clearing up the processes that made it stop working in the first place.
To do so, press and hold the On/Off switch on the device and Home button at the same time. Hold these buttons pressed until the phone turns off, which can take up to 10 seconds. After this, your device reboots, and you can see the Apple logo. Make sure you don’t use this extreme measure too often.
The Dark Mode
The Dark Mode has been a topic of discussion for many years as our devices did not feature an official one. This is not only better for battery life, but it can be quite useful when using our phones in the evening or at night.
This also works for iPads, fortunately. The dark background can be easily accessed by tapping on the “Settings” section, then “display and brightness.” Locate the “Dark” option and activate it.
When someone emails us documents we need to sign, it can be quite a pain to do so without wasting much of our time. Fortunately, this simple trick allows you to sign the document using your mobile phone, and it only takes a few seconds.
The hidden feature can be accessed by downloading the PDF you need to sign and click on the pen icon located in the right corner. Then, simply sign the dotted line and tap on “Done.” Your iPhone will then give you the option to reply to the email with the newly signed document.
It is quite often to be busy or to be in a noisy environment, so we cannot hear our phones. This setting allows you to receive flash notifications, so you can see when your phone receives any.
To do so, you need to access Settings and then tap on “Accessibility”. From here, open the “Audio/Visual” section and turn on the LED Flash for alerts.
Another aspect when we receive emails is when we need to point out something specific. This can be done either on a PDF document or a photo, such as a jpeg. You can easily place a red circle around the point of interest or add text overlay, digital signature, a magnification window, and more.
All you need to do is open the attachment, press on the pencil icon in the top right corner and choose the action you need. These options are under the “+” button in the bottom right corner.
If you often find yourself having to type long messages and you are not a big fan of it, iPhones let you have an easy time using text replacements. While autocorrect often bothers us and turns our texts into funny replacements, the mobile phone allows you to control it and make it more convenient to text.
To do so, access Settings and then “General.” From the “keyboard” section, tap on “Text replacement” and tap on the “+” sign in the top right corner. You can add here abbreviations for words you commonly use.
If you want to do quick currency conversions or quick math equations, this iPhone feature will be very useful. All you need to do is swipe right on your mobile phone.
This will make a search bar appear, and you can type in what you need. For instance, you can add in “20 USD to euros,” and the result will be right on top of your screen.
Some iPhone features can be quite tricky to do, especially when you need to push many buttons simultaneously. You can simplify these by setting shortcuts that appear on your screen. Go to Settings, General, and Accessibility section. Then, choose the “Assistive Touch” option.
Turn it on, and you will see a white circle on your screen. To customize it, select “Customize Top Level Menu,” which allows you to pick which features you want on the Assistive Touch Menu, such as mute, screenshot, lock screen, and more.
Sometimes, we want to capture beautiful photos, but the action might happen too quickly for us to get the best shots. If you are worried that you will miss the moment, you can use Burst Mode.
This will allow you to take countless photos until you release the button, so you can then sort through them and choose the best ones.
Scanning Without a Printer
Did you know you can scan documents with your mobile phone? Instead of taking a blurry, clumsy photo, you can use the scan mode to get the same results without a printer. Then, you can store this document and use it like any other file.
Open the Notes app and tap to create a new one. Then, tap on the “+” button at the bottom of the screen and choose “Scan Document.” Point the phone at the document, snap the picture, and then crop the outer edges and change the dimensions as you wish.
Some websites are not so functional when it comes to mobile access. If you want full functionality, it might be best to access the Desktop version. Fortunately, you can request the desktop site on your mobile phone. All you need to do is open the website.
Then, press on the fresh icon from the URL bar. This will trigger two options: request desktop site and cancel. This will redirect you to the usual version of the website.
Whether you want to read the terms and conditions in a contract, or you can barely see the menu in a barely lit restaurant, your phone can save the day. This option allows you to turn your phone into a real magnifier. Go to “Settings” and then tap on “Control Center.”
Then, press on “Customize Control” and tap on the “+” sign next to the magnifier option. Swipe up on your screen from the bottom and open the control center. Then, tap on the magnifier button, and now your screen can zoom in on anything you want. You can also turn on the flashlight at the same time for more light.
Finding the Owner
Sometimes, it happens that people misplace or forget their phones. If you ever find one, this trick will surely be useful. iPhones allow us to locate their owner, so we can return the device.
All you need to do is press the Home button and ask Siri whose phone it is. Siri will then let you know the owner’s name, so you can contact them and return the phone.
Texting While Watching Videos
Let’s assume that you are watching a video on your phone and someone texts you. The long version would be to stop your video and reply to their text. Fortunately, iPhones allow you to do both tasks at the same time!
When you receive your text notification, put your finger on it, and swipe down. The video keeps going in the background while you can quickly reply to the text.
We all give our phones to friends and family when we want to show them some videos and photos. This can quickly turn into an embarrassing action if they swipe too much. Fortunately, iPhones have a quick trick that will allow you to hide photos.
Go to the Photos directory, select one or more images you want to hide, then tap on the “Share” button. From the menu, choose “Hide.” You will receive a notification saying that your photos are now hidden from all locations in the library, but you will still find them in the “Hidden” album.
Siri can make our life easier, and she also knows a trick or two. If you want a quick call, telling her the name is the most straightforward method. You can teach Siri to use nicknames, such as “mom” or “sister,” by adding these to your contact list. To input, these nicknames, access any contact card, tap on “edit,” and then “Add field.” Choose “Nickname” and add them.
Siri can also remember relationships, such as boss or mom, and she will ask which contact that relationship belongs to and whether she should remember it for the future. To assign this relationship, access Edit and then “add related name.”
Sometimes, we want to take a screenshot of a website or other document that is longer than what our screen displays. Fortunately, there is no need to use any third-party software anymore.
You can easily do so by taking a screenshot in Mail or Safari as you usually do, then tap immediately on the thumbnail. At the top of the screen, you will have a “Full Page” option. Tap on it and then crop, edit, or write on the screenshot as usual.
Undo Typing or Moving an Email
Usually, we need to shake the device to undo typing or moving an email when we make a mistake. This can be quite uncomfortable to do.
Fortunately, all you need to do is double-tap with three fingers on the screen to undo your activities. You can also have a three-finger swipe to the left to undo and to the right to redo.
Highly useful for parents, the ScreenTime feature limits the amount of talking during the day or when the downtime is active. You can locate and customize this feature to your liking by accessing Settings, then “ScreenTime,” and then tap on “Communication Limits.”
This is great either for limiting kids’ time on the phone or for any of us with little self-control who need to cut down our usage.
Changing Video Speed
iPhones have a neat trick for making your videos unwind quicker or slower. Unfortunately, not many people know about this feature. There are three areas of the video: the green area is ultra-slow speed, the red area makes the video go half speed, and the yellow area is used for fast unwinding. All you need to do is move the slider according to your needs.
No Unknown Caller IDs
Robocalls and spams will soon be eradicated from our lives. Your iPhone device can be programmed to silent all the incoming calls from any unknown numbers.
This also works for messages and mail. It will send the message straight to the voice. To activate this, access “Settings,” “Phone,” and then “Silence unknown callers.”
The Exact Time of a Message
When we access a conversation, you do not see the timestamp for each individual message. Instead, it only shows the day and the time of the first message. If you need to check the exact time of a message, you need to open your Messages app.
Then, go to the conversation you want to see the actual timestamps and slide your finger from right to left. This will make the time for each message show up next to them.
Check the Level of a Surface
Did you know that your phone has leveling abilities? You can use these by opening Measure and then access “Level” from the right side. Then, place your phone flat or on its side while you are in landscape or portrait mode.
You can also measure and compare two surfaces by tapping the screen to reset the angle to zero, then move the phone across the surfaces. Your phone will tell you the angle difference between the two.