Animals Nature

Disappearing sandpipers in murmuration

Behold nature at its finest.

This mesmerizing video of sandpipers flying in unison (bird murmuration) and magically disappearing is not a magic trick.

Rather, it’s the rapid flash of their black backs and white chests in contrast to the backdrop of the blue sky that gives off the fascinating appearance.

The dancing flock looks like a cloud of smoke in the sky.

Mother nature creates the best art installations, never mind that the birds never collide as they dance in coordination. The fluidity of motion mimics that of a boomeranging school of fish.

Magical, no wonder the Romans thought the churned murmurations of starlings were signs from the gods.

You can watch the beautiful spectacle recorded over Ocean Shores, Washington, in the original video below. You can also see more sandpaper murmurations after the jump.


Have you heard about the edible jelly ear fungus?

The jelly ear fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae) resembles, unsurprisingly, the human ear.

Also known as the wood ear, the brown-colored jelly ear mushroom is commonly seen on elder trees in temperate regions worldwide where it flourishes on both dead and live wood.

Edible ears

Soft and robbery, the jelly ears are prized in Asia where they’re used in cooking and medicine to cure soar throats.

Would you eat one?

Photo by Chris Lawrence
Nature Travel

Jimmy Chin joins Masterclass to teach adventure photography

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Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Jimmy Chin is renowned for his work with National Geographic and other outdoor adventures.

His two most recent films Meru and Free Solo are some of’s most favorite adventure documentary films.

Even more, the producer has now turned a teacher.

Together with the education platform Masterclass, the action photographer is now offering a once-in-a-lifetime adventure photography course.

So get ready to pack the bag and camera and hit the outdoors.

Push the limits of photography with Jimmy Chin on Masterclass

If you follow the world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin on Instagram, you’ll know he’s a daredevil climber and mountaineer with a keen eye for landscape shots.

In this course, he’ll teach you all the techniques you need to know for capturing stunning photos.

He also details his approach for more commercial and editorial shoots as well, including the daily gear he uses to work his magic. 

“Things aren’t that interesting to me unless the stakes are very high,” says Chin in the intro class video.

In addition to urging his students to get out there, move, and shoot, Chin shares many of his own creative lessons along the way.

“Sometimes, it’s easy to get trapped into one lens…and I force myself to change the lens, change the perspective, and then to move,” advises Chin. “One scenario can look dramatically different just by moving,” he adds.

If one thing is certain in this course, you’ll learn the entire process of adventure photography from the initial concept of a shoot, to gear selection, to the final edit.

About MasterClass

Jimmy Chin joins other notable creators at MasterClass offering unique online courses. photography, writing, music production, filmmaking, and even cooking.

We would also encourage readers buy the all-access pass ($180) and take astrophysicist Neil deDrasse Tyson’s five-star course on Scientific Thinking and Communication.

Invest in your future and see where your curiosity takes you.

Nature Travel

Would you climb Austria’s “Sky Ladder to Heaven”?

Austria’s 140-foot long “Sky Ladder,” or “Ladder to Heaven” connects a massive gorge on the way to the peak of Donnerkogel on the Gosaukamm mountain range.

Captured by adventure photographer Alexander Ladanivskyy, these insane panorama-ladder stairs (made out of steel cables) lie 2,297 feet above ground and overlook Gosau Lake below.

“[The Sky Ladder] is a challenge for the mind, but from a climbing point of view, it is actually one of the easier parts of the climb,” said the bridge’s designer Heli Putz.

If you’re looking to make the trek yourself, blogger Jess Dales offers a first-hand experience of climbing the Sky Ladder. Word of caution: you’ll need some climbing experience.

The Sky Ladder portion of the route is located approximately 2/3 of the way up the via ferrata. Although the ladder is only rated a “B,” and is not considered difficult relative to other sections of the climb, the exposure is intense and should not be underestimated. In heavy winds, or when others are on the ladder, the movement can be quite unnerving. 

Jess Dales
Image via Alexander Ladanivskyy
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Animals Nature

The crested auklet attracts mates by smelling like tangerines

The crested auklet enjoys a very unique way of attracting mates.

Already looking like a bassist of a punk band (check the nose hair clip), the bird also smells like tangerines.

The seabird’s plumage emits the citrus aroma in its mating process to draw more attention from the crowd.

Crested auklets mainly live in the Northern Pacific and Bering Sea.

via tw
via tw
via tw