In today's Earthy Thursday post, we feature stories of our planet and our connections to it. The mystery of Easter Island may have a new solution; German's most fascinating monolith; huge trees; seed bank diversity; the frontiers of vegan technology.

Surprise! Turns out it was disease (brought by Europeans) not environmental devastation, that caused the destruction of the colony on Easter island.

This unusual German sandstone rock formation is a special monolith: whereas Stonehenge was built by people, Externsteine was built by Nature and then manipulated by people.

Amazing photos highlight some of the largest trees on Earth.

Looking longingly at your seed catalogs? This Greek seed exchange keeps genetic diversity alive.

Whether you are an omnivore or vegan, this story on the cutting edge of meat alternatives offers some insights on sustainable eating. Does a plant-based protein burger that tastes (and chews) just like beef appeal to you?