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Architecture & Design Nature Travel

Daisugi: Ancient Japanese technique for growing trees out of trees

The Japanese forestry technique for growing trees, daisugi, goes as far back to the 14th century.

The 600-year-old technique involves pruning a tree’s branches to construct a stable platform that supports producing perfectly straight lumber on top.

The ancient method, therefore, creates wood without cutting down trees. However, the ingenious forestry technique is no longer in use.

Photo: Twitter/StevenGParker
Photo: Twitter/TaganiPH 
Photo: Twitter/HooaFury 
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Nature Travel

Rock salt formations in Iran

There are mountains of rainbow rock salt formation in Jashak salt dome, in the Zagros mountains of Iran.

The beautiful rainbow rock formations are a result of rock salt and other evaporites that rose upward through overlying layers of rock millions of years ago in the Persian Gulf.

Thanks to the monstrous salt accumulation that transpired when the ocean turned to mountains, ocean life has flourished.

Photo: Reddit/imtisalshah3
Photo: Twitter/PlanetCustodian
Jashak salt dome
Photo: Flickr/sipos.szandra
Categories
Animals Nature

Whose hoo: The Barred Owls of Central Park

The barrel owl isn’t known to travel outside the woods of the southeastern United States. But in 2020, anything seems possible.

Two owls, presumably boyfriend and girlfriend, have been discovered in New York’s Central Park. The star birds like to hide out in the hidden waters of The Loch.

Manhattan welcomes 270 plus bird species each year. But the rare arrival of the barred owl has brought birding fanatics out to photograph it. Check out some of the snaps.

Bonus note: Along with the ability to rotate turning their necks 270 degrees in each direction, these gorgeous raptures can also blend in with their environments.

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Animals Nature

The Harpy eagle looks like a human in a Halloween costume

The Harpy Eagle is one of the largest species of eagles in the world, even bigger than the Bald Eagle.

Named after the Greek mythology monsters, the extremely rare animal is found through Central America and South America rainforests, particularly Brazil, where it’s known as the Royal Hawk. The magical creature even inspired the design of Fawkes the Phoenix in the Harry Potter films.

The bird has a wingspan of over 7 feet and nearly the identical claw size of a grizzly bear. So massive, some people think it looks like a human in a costume.

But this powerful raptor is not your worst nightmare, even if the animal can snatch a monkey or a sloth out of a tree for dinner (see video after the jump).

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Nature Travel

The beauty of Slovenia’s Bled Island

Bred Island is a small tear-shaped island floating in the middle of Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia.

On the island sits Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary, a Baroque church established in 1534.

The mountains and forests surrounding the lake add to the picturesque view of the church. During the winter, the frost over the island looks like a scene from a Disney movie. Tourists enjoy hiking around the lake and rowing in its peaceful waters during the summer.

Bred island is the only natural island in Slovenia. It’s also the country’s most popular destination. Straight out of a fairy-tale, we can all see why.

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Animals Nature

The Picasso bug, where art and nature collide

You can’t beat the brushstrokes of nature. Native to tropical and subtropical Africa, the Picasso bug is truly nature’s work of art.

The Picasso Bug (Sphaerocoris annulus) is a species of shield-backed bugs that possess a vibrant carapace that does more than illustrate its aesthetic beauty. The mosaic design serves as a warning to predators.

Nicknamed “stink bug,” the tiny creepy crawler also emits a putrid smell when disturbed.

As the famous abstract artist, Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” But seeing a bug like this would’ve tempted Picasso to become a naturalist instead.

The Picasso bug, where art and nature collide
Photo: Eu Curto Biologia (via TW/Nature_Is_Lit)
The Picasso bug, where art and nature collide
Photo: Twitter/Rainmaker1973
Photo: Twitter/Kiddopediatv
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Nature

Owlflies: The oddball of an insect

Want to see some strange insects? Look no further than Owlflies.

These flying insects look like a mix of butterflies and dragonflies, possessing strange rainbow-mirrorball eyes and knob-like antennas.

An unusual group of insects part of the Ascalaphidae, a family in the order Neuroptera, these colorful creatures also make deadly aerial predators of other flying insects. Their bipartite compound eyes are UV sensitive, allowing them to hunt prey against the bright sky.

They can also blend in with twigs when at rest.

Photo: Twitter/StrangeAnimals
Photo: Twitter/StrangeAnimals
Photo: Twitter/Myrmecos
Categories
Animals Nature

The fabulous bowl haircut of the Gloster Corona Canary

It looks like someone is having a bad hair day.

The Gloster Corona Crested Canary sports a bowl haircut — often referred to as ‘crests’ — made famous by Ringo and the Three Stooges.

The chubby and cute wig-wearing little bird also dons a dynamic singing voice, much louder to other groups in the canary breed.

As a result of the Gloster Canary’s unique style and charming vocals, the creature has become a popular cage bird. The birds come in both yellow, green, and brown color variations.

Categories
Nature Travel

The Rock: Urup Island, Russia

Here’s the last island you’d ever want to be stranded on. 

This uninhabited volcanic rock formation is part of a 552 square mile Russian island called Urup, which means ‘salmon trout’ in Ainu. 

Urup island sits south of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. 

One can imagine this upstanding volcanic plug off the coast of Urup appearing in a future James Bond film. 

Photo: Twitter/travelfoxcom
The Rock: Urup Island, Russia
Photo: Twitter/travelfoxcom
The Rock: Urup Island, Russia
Photo: Twitter/amitripstravel

According to the Neatline antique map collection website, Urup used to be known as “Company’s Land” as discovered by Maarten Vries of Dutch East India Company in 1643. Vries map (see below) is considered the westernmost region of America, a widely held view in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

The Rock: Urup Island, Russia
Photo: Twitter/Neatlinemaps
Categories
Nature

Hooker’s Lips: The world’s most kissable flower

The tropical plant Psychotria Elata aka ‘Hooker’s Lips’ is Latin America’s most kissable flower.

Native to Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama, the flower’s enchanting red bracts mimic that of a woman’s luscious lips.

The plant has evolved its big red shape to pucker up and attract pollinators like butterflies and hummingbirds. White flowers emerge from the plant’s smoochy center between December and March.

Sadly, deforestation and climate change are wiping the species of the Earth. People in Central America are also known to exchange the plant during Valentine’s Day — go figure!

Photo: Twitter/qikipedia
Photo: Twitter/natureisweird
Photo: Mabelin Santos from Getty Images via Canva Pro
Photo: corridor91 from Getty Images via Canva Pro