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Nature Science Travel

The Wave in Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona

The Wave is a sandstone rock located in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument on the Arizona and Utah borders.

The swirling formation combines water and wind eroded sandstone dunes calcified vertically and horizontally and fossilized over 190 million years.

Only 20 people are permitted to visit the natural wonder daily, which can only be reached by foot.

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Nature Travel

The edge of the Earth: Australia’s Nullarbor Cliffs

What looks like the end of the Earth is really just the end of Australia.

The Bunda Cliffs of Nullarbor Plain, Southern Australia, form part of the longest uninterrupted line of coastal cliffs (62 miles long) in the world.

These limestone sea cliffs, which are 200 feet to 400 feet high, drop off into the Great Australian Bight, one of the most pristine ocean environments on Earth.

The cliffs also head 7 centimeters north every year, thanks to continental drift.

PS: The Bunda Cliffs are not to be used as evidence for flat Earth believers.

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Nature Travel

Split Apple Rock, New Zealand

Split Apple Rock Tokangawhā is a rock formation located in Tasman Bay at the top of the South Island of New Zealand.

Shaped like an apple that’s been sliced in half or a giant Pacman (if you prefer), this geological wonder emerged as granite from the Cretaceous period 120 million years ago. It sits atop fellow rocks.

According to the Maori legend, the boulder split due to two feuding Maori gods fighting to own the rock.

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Architecture & Design Travel

Impossible heights: Lighthouse of Thridrangar, Iceland

Want to get away? There’s a lighthouse off the coast of South Iceland that sits 120 feet upward on the highest of three steep rocks. It is possibly the most isolated lighthouse in the world.

Built in 1939, the Thridrangar (Þrídrangar) Lighthouse is undoubtedly one of the most challenging lighthouses ever built. Given the swirling winds and crashing waves, climbing the precarious pillar must have been one Herculean task.

Today, Thridrangar lighthouse is only accessible by helicopter.

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Nature Travel

Brides Waterfall, Peru

There’s a natural waterfall in Peru that forms the shape of a bride in her wedding dress.

Known as Cascada La Novia (Bride Waterfall), the miracle of nature takes its name from settlers who believed that the waterfall formed to commemorate the tragic loss of a woman’s husband.

Below is the story according to the legend.

“In times of yore, a couple of lovers who loved each other deeply despite the rivalry of their families, decided to get married, but on the big day so special for both, the father of the bride took a rifle and shoots the groom propitiating him the death instantaneously, this act caused the bride wrapped in tears and with a huge grief to run out with her beautiful dress towards the mountains, and being there when she could not bear the sadness of losing her beloved, she made a pact with the Apu and the Pachamama, which turned it into a beautiful waterfall, so that everyone could appreciate its beauty for all eternity.”

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Animals Travel

Why Western Australia’s Quokka is always smiling

The quokka is a marsupial from the smaller islands (e.g., Bald Island) off the coast of Western Australia.

The animal looks like a baby kangaroo and appears to be smiling at all times — it possesses a natural and cheerful grin.

There’s even a book dedicated to the so-called “world’s happiest animal” called The Quokka’s Guide to Happiness by wildlife photographer Alex Cearns.

Just take a look at these cuties.

Categories
Culture & Society Nature Travel

Born to dive: The Bajau sea nomads

The Bajau sea nomads are people from the Malay Archipelago (Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia).

Among the world’s best divers, the sea nomads act like the real mermaids — aquatic life is literally in their DNA.

According to a study from the journal Cell:

They are renowned for their extraordinary abilities, diving to depths of over 70 m with nothing more than a set of weights and a pair of wooden goggles (Schagatay, 2014) and spending 60% of their daily working time underwater (Schagatay et al., 2011).

They’ve evolved to harbor extreme breath-holding capabilities with up to 13 minutes underwater. Even without weights, the Bajau can stay negatively buoyant enough to walk across the sea bottom as one does on terra firma. 

For thousands of years, the Bajau people have developed expanded spleens due to their dependency on diving underwater for food.

No one knows what originally compelled the Bajau to dive other than their need to survive and feed entire families.

Without experimentation, evolution does not exist. It is through struggle and adaptation we evolve.

Learn more in the video below.

Featured photo by James Morgan.

Categories
Architecture & Design Space Travel

Mysterious metal monolith found in remote Utah desert

As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, the Utah Department of Public Safety stumbled upon a mysterious shiny monolith among red rocks in the remote Utah desert. 

The crew spotted the “unusual object” during a routine flyover to survey the area for bighorn sheep. 

In a public statement issued on Tuesday, Utah officials announced that they’re keeping the exact location of the 12-foot-tall silver monolith a secret. 

“The exact location of the installation is not being disclosed since it is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue. We are encouraging anyone who knows the location of the monolith to not attempt to visit it due to road conditions.”

Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety
Mysterious metal monolith found in remote Utah desert
Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety
Mysterious metal monolith found in remote Utah desert
Photo: Utah Department of Public Safety

Note, however, that the object purportedly existed on Google Earth for more than five years. It is firmly planted in the ground with “human-made rivets,” after all. 

While the artist behind the sculpture remains unknown, the David Zwirner Gallery claims its the work of the late minimalist sculptor John McCracken.

Though McCracken never mentioned anything about the avant-garde piece to his family, friends, or business partners, he was an avid science-fiction fan. It’s no surprise that internet sleuths have already proclaimed the installation alien and compared the monolith to the scene depicted in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey

Categories
Animals Architecture & Design Travel

Topiary sculpture of a sleeping baby bird

Here’s a bird you’ll never get tired of looking at.

Children’s author and illustrator Claude Ponti’s gigantic topiary named Poussin Endormi or Sleepy Chick resides in Jardin des Plantes’ botanical garden in Nantes, France.

The outdoor installation relaxes nearby Ponti’s zany other works, the sleeping koala. Who wouldn’t want these in their front yard?

Check out some of Ponti’s surrealistic books below. What a wild imagination!

Categories
Culture & Society Science Travel

Two ash-covered bodies from Vesuvius eruption uncovered at Pompeii

Archaeologists uncovered the body of a wealthy 40-year old man and his young slave in Pompeii, 2,000 years after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 

Excavations at the suburban villa Civita Giuliana, a suburb outside Pompeii, discovered the bodies covered in a bed of 6.5-foot ash.  

Researchers believe that the two men survived the initial eruption from Mount Vesuvius, only to succumb to a massive and more destructive cloud of scorching ash while seeking shelter in a cryptoporticus

The skeletal remains follow last year’s discovery of another Ancient Roman man crushed by a flying rock during Mount Vesuvius’s eruption in 79 A.D. 

Photo: Luigi Spina/Parco Archeologico, via AP
Photo: Luigi Spina/Parco Archeologico, via AP