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Nature Technology Travel

The rise and tragic death of Sweden’s Broccoli Tree

“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes,” said Andy Warhol. That was certainly true for the “broccoli tree” in Sweden.

In March 2018, the once anonymous broccoli-shaped tree on the shoe of Sweden’s Lake Vättern disappeared due to the popularity of its Instagram account of over 30,000 fans.

The tree became a tourist attraction and a host for various photography exhibitions during the time photographer Patrik Svedberg started documenting the broccoli tree.

But according to a heartless individual, the tree overstayed its welcome. Some loveless person sawed off one of the tree’s limbs and the tree suffered a tragic death.

“To share something is to risk losing it,” narrator Seth Radley notes in the tribute video. “You can’t unsaw a tree, but you can’t unsee one either.”

The broccoli tree may be gone, but its fame still lives on through calendars, prints, its nostalgic Instagram feed, and a website dedicated to its name.

What a harsh world for something that seemed so untouchable.

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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 Travel

The incredible “Flying Lake” in the Faroe Islands

The beautiful Traelanipa cliffs on the island of Vagar in the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Europe is also known as the “Flying Lake.” It’s quite literally where the lake meets the ocean.

The raw landscape of the perpendicular rock wall jutting out from Sorvagsvatn Lake to the Atlantic Ocean is the type of scene that will take your breath away.

Traelanipa cliffs translate to “Slave Cliff” as the location used to be where Viking settlers would push enslaved women from Ireland and Scotland 465 feet down into the sea.

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Nature Travel

Aerial views of the tulip fields of Lisse

The small Dutch town of Lisse is home to one of the most beautiful tulip fields in the world, the Keukenhof flower park.

More than 7 million flower bulbs are planted every year as part of the flower’s annual Tulips’ expo.

The spring flower garden features an assortment of vibrant colored tulips from deep shades like purple and maroon to pure white and yellow.

It’s truly a mesmerizing sight of color.

Aerial views of the tulip fields of Lisse
Photo: Twitter/LakesCancerPals
Aerial views of the tulip fields of Lisse
Photo: Twitter/DOverview
Aerial views of the tulip fields of Lisse
Photo: Twitter/Nature_lite
Aerial views of the tulip fields of Lisse
Photo: Twitter/MyBeauDes
Categories
Nature Travel

The beauty of Madagascar’s giant Baobab trees

The Grandidier’s Baobabs (Palmate adansonia) are giant trees indigenous to Africa, predominantly on Madagascar’s beautiful island.

Baobabs can live up to 800 to 1000 years with their unique ability to act as a water storage tank—the tree stores up to 1000 to 120,000 liters of water in their thick trunks. Both the animals and locals tap the trees for H20 during the dry season.

At the heart of many African remedies and folklore, the iconic Baobab is often referred to as the “Tree of Life.”

The beauty of Madagascar’s giant Baobab trees
Photo: Beth Moon

The 80-plus foot trees have a circumference of 108 feet. They also feature on a 250-meter path called the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar’s Menabe region. The tree is famous for producing surreal white, bat-pollinated flowers as well.

“A Caliban of a tree, grizzled, distorted old goblin with the girth of a giant, the hide of a rhinoceros, twiggy fingers clutching at empty air and the disposition of a guardian angel,” once wrote the novelist Ernestine Hill about the Baobab’s immensity.

Unfortunately, the baobab trees are at risk of extinction due to climate change with more than ten thousand disappearing each year.

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Travel

The True Size of Africa

Africa is a massive continent. But for whatever reason, map makers make it appear smaller than its “true true” size. As Polish-American scientist Alfred Korzybski reminds us, “the map is not the territory.” Lines are ultimately arbitrary.

Map design is deceptive. But computer-graphics designer Ka Kraise took it upon himself to ‘fight against rampant immappancy,’ in particular the popular Mercator projection originated by Gerardus Mercator in 1569 which tends to exaggerate the size of continents and countries more than others. Greenland, for instance, is 14 times larger than Africa.

As you can see above, Kraise illustrates the reality of Africa’s size, which is “larger than the USA, China, Japan, and all of Europe, combined!” The Economist revisualized Kraise’s map as well.

Kudos to Kraise for illuminating our ignorance about geographical knowledge, pointing the finger at Western and Asian students who tend to inflate the size of their countries when in actuality Africa makes everyone else look so small.

Read more in The Economist: ‘The true true size of Africa’

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Nature Travel

The Rainbow Mountain in Peru

17,000 feet above sea level in the Andres of Peru lies one of Earth’s geological wonders.

Vinicunca, the rainbow mountain in Peru’s Cusco region, gets its coloration from the intermixing of oxide rust — which causes the red color — and iron sulfide — which produces the orange and yellow hues.

Discovered in 2015, the rainbow mountain emerged from leftover mineral deposits from ice sheets that once filled the area.

Can you imagine climbing this spectacular mountain?

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Culture & Society Health Travel

Iceland invites the world to scream out its lockdown stress

The COVID-19 pandemic got you stressed?

Iceland’s government, in partnership with the country’s tourist agency Promote Island, will allow anyone in the world to scream into an app and broadcast it into the nation’s vast wilderness.

Let it all out on a speaker in Iceland

All one needs to record a loud scream, wail, or shriek — whatever they want to get off their chest — at lookslikeyouneediceland.com and their frustration will play on one of the seven speakers situated around Iceland’s vacant countryside.

Don’t be afraid to let Iceland know how you feel.

Categories
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.

Categories
Nature Travel

Colombia is home to the tallest palm tree in the world, the palma de cera

The tallest palm tree in the world resides in the Colombian Andes in Los Nevados National Park, amid the Cocora Valley.

Colombia’s national tree, the palma de cera or wax palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense), stands up to nearly 200 feet tall.

But seeing it is no easy trek — hikers have to walk through a cloud forest that extends six-miles long.

Hosting some of the planet’s most diverse wildlife and surreal landscapes, it’s no wonder that the Cocora Valley reminds people of a scene out of Jurassic Park.

Reaching up into the sky and nearly touching the clouds, the wax palms create a marvelous paradise.

Colombia is home to the tallest palm tree in the world, the palma de cera
via Twitter
Colombia is home to the tallest palm tree in the world, the palma de cera
Photo: Instagram/zoophotomaker
Colombia is home to the tallest palm tree in the world, the palma de cera
Photo: Alex Treadway