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.

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.

Photo: Instagram/Arni Saeberg
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.

Nature Travel

Rock salt formations in Iran

There are mountains of rainbow rock salt formation in Jashak salt dome, in the Zagros mountains of Iran.

The beautiful rainbow rock formations are a result of rock salt and other evaporites that rose upward through overlying layers of rock millions of years ago in the Persian Gulf.

Thanks to the monstrous salt accumulation that transpired when the ocean turned to mountains, ocean life has flourished.

Photo: Reddit/imtisalshah3
Jashak salt dome
Photo: Flickr/sipos.szandra
Architecture & Design Travel

Jatayu: The world’s largest bird sculpture

Jatayu Nature Park in Kerala, India, holds the largest bird sculpture on Earth.

Opened in 2018 as a tourist destination, the 70-foot tall giant sculpture pays tribute to the famed divine bird, Jatayu, from the Hindu epic Ramayan.

According to the mythology, Jatayu once fell and injured his left wing at the location in an attempt to save Sita from the clutches of evil Ravana.

Photo: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru

The stone cut statue now serves as a symbol for the protection of womankind. View more of the sculpture in the videos and images below.

Nature Travel

The beauty of Slovenia’s Bled Island

Bred Island is a small tear-shaped island floating in the middle of Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia.

On the island sits Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary, a Baroque church established in 1534.

The mountains and forests surrounding the lake add to the picturesque view of the church. During the winter, the frost over the island looks like a scene from a Disney movie. Tourists enjoy hiking around the lake and rowing in its peaceful waters during the summer.

Bred island is the only natural island in Slovenia. It’s also the country’s most popular destination. Straight out of a fairy-tale, we can all see why.

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.


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’

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?

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 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.