Photographer Sam Rowley’s image of two mice fighting over leftover food in the London Underground won People’s Choice Wildlife Photographer of the Year. The snap was selected by the public from more than 48,000 submissions to London’s Natural History Museum.
Entitled “Station Squabble,” the photo depicts how some wildlife have adapted to survive in urban environments.
“I’m so pleased to win this award. It’s been a lifetime dream to succeed in this competition in this way, with such a relatable photo taken in such an everyday environment in my hometown,” says the 25-year-old photographer.
“I hope it shows people the unexpected drama found in the most familiar of urban environments.”
Rowley spent an entire week in the London Underground following the critters around and waiting for the perfect shot. Thankfully, he was rewarded for his patience.
Take a look at this fascinating video of a dragonfly up close, seemingly smiling, dabbing, and posing with human-like expressions in front of the camera.
Is it doing the Macarena, doing the YMCA, or dancing to Madonna’s song ‘Vogue?’
They dance while they’re young
Dragonflies have been around nearly 300 million years and can reach speeds up to 31mph when in flight. But once the dragonfly larvae propel off the water and into the air it only lives for about a month.
If any of the 5,000 species of dragonflies land on your head, the theory goes, count yourself lucky.
While we perceive lightning from cloud to ground or cloud to cloud, the majority of lightning one sees occurs from ground to cloud.
In this video captured by Hayden Milne in Burleigh Heads, Australia, we see ground-to-cloud lightning in its most epic display.
Doesn’t lightning always work upside down?
Mother Nature can be scary at times until you realize that most visible lightning strikes work on the way back up. Electricity disperses out from the clouds in search of a return ground strike to meet.
Lightning is a fascinating optical illusion. PS: Visit lightningmaps.org to view a live map of lightning strikes around the world in real-time.
Today may be Super Bowl Sunday and Groundhog Dog, but it’s also a day that celebrates the rare 8-digit palindrome — 02/02/2020 — the only one this century.
The eight digit palindrome reads the same forward, and backward in both the American and British formats. The last one occurred 909 years ago on 11-11-1111 and the next one won’t happen until 12/02/2121, 101 years from now.
It’s also worth mentioning that it’s also day 33 of this year, with 333 days remaining.
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope has produced the highest resolution observations of the Sun’s surface ever taken. In this movie, taken at a wavelength of 705nm over a period of 10 minutes, we can see features as small as 30km (18 miles) in size for the first time ever. The movie shows the turbulent, “boiling” gas that covers the entire sun.
The cell-like structures – each about the size of Texas – are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from the inside of the sun to its surface. Hot solar material (plasma) rises in the bright centers of “cells,” cools off and then sinks below the surface in dark lanes in a process known as convection. In these dark lanes we can also see the tiny, bright markers of magnetic fields. Never before seen to this clarity, these bright specks are thought to channel energy up into the outer layers of the solar atmosphere called the corona. These bright spots may be at the core of why the solar corona is more than a million degrees!
While Hindus make up a majority of the population of India, there’s a high density of churches in the southwest region of the country.
German photographers Stefanie Zoche and Sabine Haubitz captured these uniquely structured colorful Christian churches during their trips to Kerala, India between 2011 and 2016.
“It seems to me that the Syro-Malabar Church wanted to find a new identity by employing an architectural style that was no longer neo-baroque or classical, as in colonial times,” Zoche told Scroll India.
“Obviously the church asked some architects to design these new churches in a more ‘modernist’ way and to give shape to the Christian iconography in the facades. I think this hybrid architecture can be seen as a new interpretation of Modernism and, in some ways, encouraging more modern ways of interpreting the Christian belief.”
When India gained independence in 1947, the churches wanted to break away from the rigid style of the colonizing west to recreate their own modern interpretation of church architecture with localized touches.
“Some modernist influence can be observed in southern Indian churches, but it is punctuated by local architectural elements,” writes Haubitz and Zoche on their website.
“The buildings often display an effusively sculptural formal language and a use of intense colours. In some churches, Christian symbols are directly transposed into a three-dimensional, monumental construction design. We are interested in highlighting the variety of western influences and their culturally influenced reinterpretation by means of a typological overview of these buildings.”
The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products despite being 237 times smaller in land area than the world’s export leader, the United States.
That’s according to a fascinating article on Netherlands agriculture density through “architecture“ (ie., extensive use of greenhouses) as examined by Arch Daily:
“Dutch agriculture is defined by vast landscapes of greenhouses, some covering 175 acres, which dominate the architectural landscape of South Holland. In total, the country contains 36 square miles of greenhouses, an area 56% larger than the island of Manhattan.”
Photographer Tom Hegen has captured these sprawling greenhouses from above in a mesmerizing series entitled “The Greenhouse Series.”
Researchers in the Netherlands are experimenting with one way to feed more people with using less land, by growing crops indoors. At inside temperatures above 20 degrees, constant humidity of around 80 percent and the use of LED lighting to permit precisely cultivation, in order to produce year-round. The indoor gardens provide growing conditions for plants like tomatoes, peppers or strawberries around the clock and in every kind of weather, which doubles the average yield of an outdoor farm.
How a country so small and very dense — 507 people per square kilometer — can also produce heaps of crop indoors to become a world-leading agricultural exporter is astonishing.
Iguanas in South Florida are falling out of trees due to freezing temperatures.
Weather in South Florida dropped into the 30s on Tuesday night, which immobilized the iguanas and turned their bodies dormant.
“Don’t be surprised if you see iguanas falling from the trees tonight,” the Miami National Weather Service office tweeted.
The good news is that the iguanas woke up when the heat turned back up on Wednesday morning, like this one. While Miami suffered its coldest temperatures in 9 years, it’s expected to be back to 80 on Friday.
In what looks like a scene from a fantasy movie, the ‘firefall’ phenomenon in Yosemite is spewing lava-like water again.
Called Horsetail Fall, the fiery waterfall makes an annual appearance for two weeks around February. The fiery orange glow of the waterfall emerges from the illumination of the setting sun over the 1500 foot flowing water.
The tight window around catching the Firefall natural phenomenon in Yosemite
The Yosemite Firefall phenomenon is a summer tradition that dates back to 1872.
People would gather at the eastern edge of El Capitan Yosemite to watch ember from the bonfires get pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a man-made fiery waterfall.
For decades those words ushered in one of Yosemite National Park’s most famous spectacles: The Yosemite Firefall. Each evening in the summer, a roaring bonfire was built at the edge of Glacier Point , which towers 3,200 feet above Yosemite Valley. By sundown hundreds of spectators had gathered in Curry Village below. At 9pm sharp, a master of ceremonies in Curry Village shouted out, “Let the Fire Fall!” and the bonfire’s glowing embers were pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a glittering “Waterfall of Fire.”
The National Park Service ended the Yosemite Firefall in 1968. But then nature magically took over to recreate the scene.
Today, the scientific miracle of intermixing chemicals including barium, aluminum and strontium mix together with the sunlight at dusk.
Writes Kaiser on the Yosemite Firefall website:
Then in 1973, within months of the 100-year anniversary of the first Yosemite Firefall, photographer Galen Rowell took the first known photo of the “Natural Firefall” at Horsetail Fall. That single photo ushered in an exciting new chapter in the history of the Firefall, and within a few decades the Natural Firefall had become as famous as the Manmade Firefall.
The firefall phenomenon only lasts about 10 minutes so you’ll need to be patient to catch it just as you would a solar eclipse. If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite, check out some of the best lodging sites here.
The Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the 4th busiest port by metric tons of cargo in Europe.
As you can see in the time-lapse of traffic patterns, navigation looks nearly impossible to control on a daily basis. So we did some digging to find out if this sort of nautical chaos was normal.
As one Twitter user noted, this time-lapse was taken during the Sail Amsterdam event which occurs every five years. This would make sense given all the fleet of tall ships and masted sails rolling about.
It’s also worth mentioning that David Bowie recorded a song in the port’s name.
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sings
Of the dreams that he brings from the wide open sea In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sleeps While the river bank weeps to the old willow tree
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who dies Full of beer, full of cries in a drunken town fight In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who’s born On a hot muggy morn by the dawn’s early light
Ever wanted to see Planet Earth from 248 miles away? That’s how high the International Space Station orbits above the earth, which is about the same distance as New York to Washington DC, or London to Durham.
Thanks to these epic views of our planet from the International Space Station in the thermosphere, now you can get a glimpse of the perspective.
Watch the crescent Earth rotate among the solar panels and the sun in various views as the International Space Station orbits Earth at 17,500mph.
Stunning. And be sure to follow the International Space Station on Twitter for more live shots.