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Architecture & Design Nature Science Travel

Photographer captures rare Devil Horns solar eclipse over the Persian Gulf

On December 26, 2019, amateur photographer Elias Chasiotis captured an incredible ‘red devil horns’ sunrise over the Persian Gulf during a rare solar eclipse. 

The Athens-based photographer was vacationing in the coastal city of Al Wakrah in Qatar just before the new year when he snapped the rare spectacle of the moon blocking the sun. The sun appears to rise in two pieces amid the cloudiness. 

“Astronomy has attracted me since I was a kid,” Chasiotis said in an interview with Bored Panda. “I’ve been an amateur astrophotographer for the last 15 years as well. I took these photos in the coastal city of Al Wakrah, Qatar, on the morning of December 26, 2019, when an annular eclipse was in progress.”

“I was worried that nothing would come out of the eclipse. However, when the sun finally began to rise, it looked like two separate pieces, some sort of red horns piercing the sea. It soon took the form of a crescent, with the so-called ‘Etruscan vase’ inferior mirage effect visible. Due to its shape, the phenomenon was nicknamed the ‘evil sunrise.’”

Interestingly, images of the red crescent sunrise emerged a few days before the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Make of that what you will.

See more of Chasiotis’s photos on Facebook.

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Nature Science

UFO, lampshade? An amazing lenticular cloud hovers over Japan’s Mount Fuji

They look like flying saucers or marshmallows.

These UFO-looking lens-shaped clouds called lenticular clouds often develop near the peaks of mountains, as in the case of Mount Fuji in Japan.

Lenticular clouds form when strong winds force air up and over a topographic barrier such as a mountain. Once the rising air hits the obstructive peak, an “eddie”, and then mixes with the upper-wind, the air deflects the mountain wind downward to create the lampshade looking clouds.

Here’s a collection of lenticular clouds forming in different settings — over buildings, volcanoes, and grassy fields. You love to see it!

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Nature Science

Vestrahorn mountain and its ‘horny’ peaks

Vestrahorn mountain in south-east Iceland is one to behold.

Nicknamed “Batman Mountain” for its awe-inspiring beauty, the 1490 foot mountain looks down at the flat black sand of Stokksnes Beach below.

Known for its spiky ‘horny’ peaks that resemble the horns on a bull, Vestrahorn is composed of both gabbro and granophyre rocks.

In order to access the photogenic landscape of the mountain beach, you’ll need to make a small payment to the landowner first. The mountain is situated on private property.

By the looks of it, the experience is worth every penny — especially if you get to see the mountain on a clear night with the Northern Lights.

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Nature Science

The Dragon’s Eye Stone Mine in the UK

What looks like a scene out of Indiana Jones or a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, the Dragon’s eye stone mine was discovered at the Hall of Giants stone mine in Lancashire UK.

The underground adventurers who discovered the mine in Northern England took the picture using a fisheye lens — the surface is actually flat rather than curved.

The dragon’s eye formed as a result of a collapsed mine roof that exposed different color sediments.

We can’t be the only ones just waiting for the stone to blink.

Photo: Twitter/@evrthangel
The Dragon’s Eye Stone Mine in the UK
Photo: YouTube/Underground Explorers C9C
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Nature Science Space

NASA and ESA capture closest images of the sun ever taken

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have snapped the closest pictures ever taken of the sun.

The images, taken nearly 48 million miles away from the sun’s surface by the Solar Orbiter probe (launched February 9), reveal countless tiny flares which scientists have called “campfires.”

Scientists hope that these never-before seen exterior shots will help explain why the sun’s solar corona or atmosphere (over 1 million °C) is 300x hotter than its actual surface.

Earlier this year, the National Solar Observatory (NSO) brought us the sharpest movie of the sun we’ve seen which revealed each plasma cell the size of Texas.

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Nature Science Travel

How Australia’s Lake Hillier gets its pink color

Lake Hillier in the Recherche Archipelago of Western Australia off the coast of Cape Arid National Park is known for its pink color.

The lake’s solid bubble-gum color continues to be debated but scientists indicate that the pink body of water is the result of the intermixing of Halobacteria and a salt-tolerant algae species called Dunaliella Salina.

The Halobacteria is known to produce red pigments which when mixed with salt-tolerant Dunaliella Salina, creates a stunning strawberry milkshake color.

The chemical reactions between the salt and the microorganisms make the lake ten times saltier than the ocean nearby.

Australia's Lake Hillier pink color
via twitter
How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color
via twitter
How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color
via twitter
How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color
via twitter

Unlike other pink lakes that morph into colors, Lake Hillier retains its pink hue all year round. It’s also safe to swim in.

When viewed from above, the contrast between the pink and dark blue ocean is also striking. You can learn more about the bubblegum lake here.

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Health Science

There are different types of tears

Did you know that we shed different types of tears based on our emotions?

Each type of tear is composed of unique chemicals that give them their variable structure.

There are different types of tears

Emotional tears contain a natural painkiller

According to scientist Claire Phillips, tears of grief contain the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin which helps relieve the body in times of stress. In such a way, our tear ducts can act as a natural painkiller.

There’s a scientific reason we feel better after we cry.

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Animals Nature Science

Venice, Italy from space before and after coronavirus lockdown

Once the epicenter of the Coronavirus, Italy has seen its popular cities like Venice deserted.

Check out these before and after photos of Venice from space prior to the lockdown caused by the pandemic.

Venice, Italy from space before and after coronavirus lockdown
via twitter

The people’s pollution?

Human absence is having an environmental impact on the city.

Dolphins are purportedly swimming through the city’s canals and the swans have returned.

One can see also little fish swimming in clear waters, also an unexpected side effect of the pandemic.

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Nature Science

Rare Hominin skull excavated in Ethiopia

Paleontologists have discovered a 3.8 million-year-old skull in Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia that reveals the face of a male Australopithecus anamensis.

Identified mainly by its projecting cheekbones and canine-esque teeth, the newfound hominin cranium provides new information about our earliest human ancestors.

Previously, the 3.2m-year-old iconic hominin bones of Australopithecus Afarensis, best known as before Lucy, served as the missing link in explaining the human evolutionary tree.

Rare Hominin skull excavated in Ethiopia
(© Yohannes Haile-Selassie, Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Natural History)
Rare Hominin skull excavated in Ethiopia
Dale Omori & Liz Russell, Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Rare Hominin skull excavated in Ethiopia
What the individual Australopithecus anamensis could’ve looked like (Artist reconstruction by Matt Crow, Cleveland Museum of Natural History)

The Australopithecus Anamensis and Australopithecus Afarensis lived together for at least 100,000 years.

The leading scientist of the study, Yohannes Haile-Selassie, describes the unearthed skull a “game changer in our understanding of human evolution.”

The precious discovery of the Australopithecine as reported via Nature now represents the face of our oldest direct ancestor.

Rare Hominin skull excavated in Ethiopia
via @IFLScience/Facebook
Categories
Science

Watch a soap bubble freeze

Did you know that you can blow up soap bubbles and instantly freeze them into ice orbs?

If you’re searching for a fun cold-weather activity, this is worth trying out.

Popular Science explains the science behind bubble freeze, in addition to instructions on how to make one.

There’s some interesting science at play here. Every bubble is made up of three individual layers: a thin layer of water molecules squished between two layers of soap. It might look like the entire surface of the bubble is freezing, but what you’re actually seeing is the innermost layer of water—which freezes at warmer temperatures than soapy water—turning to ice within the film.

As the soapy water turns into ice crystals, the inside of the bubble appears to swirl around to create a beautiful effect of a snowglobe — very photographic!

But the ice bubbles don’t last forever, notes bubble photographer Chris Ratzlaff: “Bubbles are such ephemeral things,” he says. “To be able to literally freeze them in time is such a rare experience.”

Enjoy some more bubble freezing videos below:

Watch a soap bubble freeze
via twitter
via Nan Walton/tw