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Architecture & Design Nature Science

How the Netherlands use agricultural density through “architecture“ to feed the world

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.

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Animals Nature Science

It’s ‘Raining’ Iguanas in South Florida

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.

via Twitter
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Nature Science Travel

Everything you need to know about Yosemite’s stunning ‘firefall’ phenomenon

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.

via twitter

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.

As travel blogger James Kaiser notes on his blog:

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.

Video via Calia Domenico/tw

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Animals Nature

Punk rock turtle who can breathe for 72 hours underwater

The Mary River Turtle not only has specialized glands that allow it to breathe underwater for 72 hours, it also sports a punk rock algae-infused mohawk.

Named one of the world’s most vulnerable reptiles, the turtle lives in Mary River streams in southeastern Queensland, Australia. It uses the algae growing on its shell to camouflage itself from predators.

“We need to be a little bit more tortoise-y and a little less hare-ish,” Malcolm Gladwell once said. While his message encourages people to slow down in this hyperspeed era, perhaps we need a little more punk in our lives too.

Rock on!

Photos: Chris Van Wyk

Categories
Animals Nature

Watch two Kangaroos fight it all out in the Australia Outback

What looks like it was taken out of a country western film, here are two Kangaroos fighting each other from the outback in Australia.

Kangaroos usually loaf around most of the time — if they’re not eating or jumping around — so to see them duking it out like humans in a good old boxing match is fascinating.

For all the jokes about humans fighting kangaroos, it seems unlikely that humans could defend against the extremely muscular hind legs of the kickboxers that can crush bones.

But in more serious terms, if you want to donate to help fight the rampant Australia fires — of which millions of wild animals have been a victim, including kangaroos — donate here.

Categories
Architecture & Design Nature Science Travel

Photographer captures rare Devil Horns solar eclipse over the Persian Gulf

Avid photographer Elias Chasiotis captured an incredible ‘red devil horns’ sunrise over the Persian Gulf during a rare solar eclipse just before the new year.

The amateur photographer was vacationing in the coastal city of Al Wakrah in Qatar on December 26 when he snapped the rare spectacle of moon blocking the sun.

“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, the stunning images of the red crescent sunrise emerged a few days before the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

Make of that what you will.

See more of Chasiotis’s photos on Facebook.