Tuesday, 22 March, 2022

Report card time for Barrier Reef; Notre Dame’s secret sarcophagus; David Beckham lends a hand; and meet the 100-year-old baby shark.



Notre Dame’s 700-year-old burial site: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-16/ancient-sarcophagus-found-notre-dame-paris/100915768 

Greenland shark: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cornwall-60792882


Woolworths Fresh Food Kids Discovery Tours: https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/discover/fresh-food-kids/discoverytours

Squiz Kids for Schools: https://www.squizkids.com.au/squiz-kids-for-schools/

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It’s one of the natural wonders of the world … it’s often described as the jewel in the crown of the Australian tourism industry – which is to say we are famous around the world for being home to it.

I’m talking about the Great Barrier Reef – one of the world’s most remarkable marine ecosystems and home to a dizzying number of incredible sea creatures.

And today, a group of international experts will arrive in Australia to see how well we’ve been taking care of it.

Something called a United Nations monitoring mission is expected to arrive in Australia today. It’s basically a group of ecosystem experts from lots of different countries whose job it will be to work out how much damage has been done to the Reef by climate change and other environmental factors, such as run-off – which is when the water becomes polluted by human activity in towns on the coast and the use of pesticides and fertilizers on farms. 

The monitors will spend nine days examining the reef, and the Australian goverment’s plans to look after it. 

Like the class monitor who keeps an eye on things when the teacher’s out – the UN monitors will report back to something called the World Heritage Committee – which is basically a group of people whose job it is to make sure the most precious natural wonders in the world are preserved for future generations to enjoy. 

If they don’t like what they see: there’s a chance Australia could receive a bad report card – and the Great Barrier Reef will be listed as a being in danger. Not an outcome anyone wants. 

The visit comes only a week after reef watchers confirmed another coral bleaching event had occurred on the reef. Coral bleaching occurs when the water temperature becomes too warm causing coral to lose their vibrant colours and turn white. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Paris, France, where archaeologists – those clever people who study human history by digging up old stuff – have found a silver lining to the devastating fire that gutted the Cathedral of Notre Dame almost 3 years ago. 

The saying “every cloud has a silver lining” is used to mean that something good has come out of a bad situation. In this case, construction workers were checking the stability of the ground before starting to fix the 850-year-old cathedral’s roof, when they discovered an extremely well-preserved burial site under the floor. 

Among the finds is a 700-year-old human-shaped lead sarcophagus… a sarcophagus is a kind of coffin. Researchers have already poked a mini camera inside and spotted pieces of fabric, hair, and a pillow of leaves on top of the head – apparently a sign that the dead person was a religious leader. They’ve also found tombs, sculptures, and other items that they say will help them understand how people in the Middle Ages lived and died. I’ve popped some pictures in your episode notes. 




A baby shark that is 100 years old? How can those two concepts be in the same sentence?

Never mind them being in the same sentence, they’re on the same planet that you and I live on .. as a bunch of fishermen in England found out last week.

They discovered on a beach near their fishing village a Greenland shark – a very rare species of shark, which can live for up to 500 years.

Yes, your ears are not tricking you. I said a shark that can live to be up to 500 years old. 


This particular Greenland shark, which scientists believe washed up on the beach, was a young female shark – estimated to be only 100 years old. 

So – you know – practically a baby. 

Another cool thing about Greenland sharks … when fully grown they measure up to 6 and half metres long – which is almost as long as a bus – and weigh 1000 kilograms. That is just nuts! 

Oh – and they are poisonous too. So that’s pretty gnarly.

I reckon the Greenland shark has just risen to the top of my super cool animal league table. 

There’s a link in your episode notes to photos of the baby one they found on an English beach. You’re welcome.




Really talented sports stars are often really famous too. Think of your favourite AFL or NRL player, your favourite basketballer or netball or cricket player. And – as you many of you already know – with fame comes a really large Instagram following. What you decide to do with that audience, and what messages you send them, says a lot about the sort of person you are.

Which is why we’re dedicating this Squiz Kids Salute to international football star, David Beckham. The former Manchester United midfielder and captain of England’s national team gave his Instagram account – and its 71 million followers – over to a Ukranian doctor working in the besieged town of Kharkiv.

Besieged means it is under siege – meaning it is under attack as Ukraine’s neighbouring country Russia continues its invasion.

The doctor was able to use the footy star’s Instagram account to show 71 million people the difficult conditions in which doctors in Kharkiv are doing life saving work. 

Using your fame for good … now that’s something we can salute.




This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. Which natural wonder of the world, off the coast of Queensland, are experts coming to study this week?
  2. Name the English football star who loaned his Instagram account and its 71 million followers – to a Ukranian doctor?
  3. What sort of very rare shark has washed up on an English beach?




It’s March 22 … Today is World Water Day … and it’s also International Day of the Seal … well those two work nicely together …

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… 

Elle from Mortdale, Caine from Wembley and Charlie listening all the way over there in Johor Bahru in Malaysia.

Belated birthday wishes go to…Lachie from Seaholme, Chelsea from Quirindi and Oliver from Exeter Public School. 

Classroom shout outs today go to class 6CG and Miss Guy at Murrumburrah Public School, class 2CC and Prep CU at Ballarat Grammar School and class 4D and Miss Duck at Valentine Public School. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Great Barrier Reef
  2. David Beckham
  3. Greenland shark