April 20, 2015 | Will

I'd be surprised if scientists showed interest in the stuff I share online. However researchers in Germany have used the YouTube posts of visitors to a popular swimming spot outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to extract environmental data.

Analysing almost 40 videos, they found that some graffiti on the cave walls has been submerged by rapidly changing water levels.

This study is part of a growing trend where researchers sift through social media to uncover valuable scientific information. But does this compromise my online privacy?

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Cave Graffiti

Water initially lost to local irrigation systems is now returning at a rapid rate to submerge graffiti on the cave walls.

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Image: Flickr/darkday

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