Nördlinger – The Medieval Town Built of 72,000 Tons of Diamonds

The Nördlinger Ries is a giant impact crater in Southern Germany. An asteroid hit this region 15 million years ago creating a crater with a diameter of 25km. The town is located in the crater depression. The immense pressure and heat created tons of small diamonds Stone from this area was quarried and used to build the stone buildings. Approximately 72,000 tonnes of diamonds are hidden in Nördlinger’s buddings. They are scientifically valuable but economically not of interest.
Aerial scenes at the end of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory were filmed there.

Wolkenkratzer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hd pano, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

Colorful swirling patterns in Russia’s sylvinite mines

Colorful swirling patterns in Russia’s Uralkali sylvinite mines. Layers of carnallite — a mineral used in fertilizers — band the tunnel walls, producing these vibrant masterpieces. The breathtaking motifs only came to light after photographer Viktor Lyagushkin decided to share his images.
Viktor said: “If you ask me about my strongest impression, my mind was blown with the fact that the miners created this wonderful underground realm and they did not know that.
“Of course, their main task was to win the ore, and it turned out they created the most beautiful place of work and had no idea they did that.”

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Penitentes – Spikey Snow Formations in the Andes resembling to praying folk

Penitentes are snow formations found at high altitudes. They take the form of elongated, thin blades of hardened snow or ice, closely spaced and pointing towards the direction of the sun.
The name comes from the resemblance of a field of penitentes to a crowd of kneeling people doing penance. The formation evokes the tall, pointed habits and hoods worn by brothers of religious orders in the Processions of Penance during Spanish Holy Week. In particular the brothers’ hats are tall, narrow, and white, with a pointed top.
These spires of snow and ice grow over all glaciated and snow-covered areas in the Dry Andes above 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) and range in length from a few centimeters to over 5 meters (16 ft).
info: wikipedia

By ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org) – CC BY 4.0, Link

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Blackchurch Rock – Striking rock with a double arch

The impressive Blackchurch rock  is a large arch stack found at Mouthmill Cove, on the North Devon coast, UK. Has to be seen at low tide to get the full effect.

© Copyright Stuart Fiddes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. (via)

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Punch hole clouds

A fallstreak hole is a large circular gap, that can appear in  clouds. Such  holes are formed when the water temperature in the clouds is below freezing but the water has not frozen yet due to the failure of ice nucleation. When ice crystals do form they will set off a chain reaction causing the water droplets around the ice crystals to evaporate leaving a large usually circular or elliptical hole.

H. Raab (User:Vesta), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Adrspach-Teplice Rocks – Massive sandstone rocks that take the shape of pillars, columns and labyrinths

The Adršpach-Teplice Rocks comprise some of the most popular rock formations in the Czech Republic. A sandstone rock town with many bizarre formations up to 300ft high open to the public since the middle of 18th century.
The Adršpach-Teplice Rocks are an unusual set of sandstone formations covering 17 km2 in northeastern Bohemia. The rocks have been protected as a national nature reserve since 1933, and since 1991 the whole adjacent region of Broumovsko has enjoyed the status of protected landscape area. Tourists may visit the rocks via a number of marked trails. The area is a popular destination for rock climbers.

Andrzej Nowak, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Desert Rose — Rose-like formation of crystal clusters

Desert rose is the colloquial name given to rose-like formations of crystal clusters of gypsum or baryte which include sand grains. The ‘petals’ are crystals fanning open in radiating flattened crystal clusters. The rosette crystal habit tends to occur when the crystals form in arid sandy conditions, such as the evaporation of a shallow salt basin. The crystals form a circular array of flat plates, giving the rock a shape similar to a rose blossom.
info: wikipedia

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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King of Wings rock formation

King of Wings, a rock formation in the remote part of the badlands of San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico, seems to defy the laws of physics and gravity.  A piece of sandstone jutting out ten feet into the air that sits atop a column of stone hoodoo is a spectacle to see.

John Fowler/FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)

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Hair Ice – Fungus shapes a strange kind of ice that is found on rotting logs

Hair ice, also known as ice wool or frost beard, is a type of ice that forms on dead wood and takes the shape of fine, silky hair. It is somewhat uncommon, and has been reported mostly at latitudes between 45–55 °N in broad leaf forests. Hair ice forms on moist, rotting wood from broad leaf trees when temperatures are slightly under 0 °C (32 °F) and the air is humid. Each of the smooth, silky hairs has a diameter of about 0.02 mm (0.0008 in) and a length of up to 20 cm (8 in). The hairs are brittle, but take the shape of curls and waves. They can maintain their shape for hours and sometimes days. A piece of wood that produces hair ice once may continue to produce it over several years.
In the year 2015, German and Swiss scientists identified the fungus Exidiopsis effusa as key to the formation of hair ice. The fungus was found on every hair ice sample examined by the researchers, and disabling the fungus with fungicide or hot water prevented hair ice formation.
info: wikipedia

Des Colhoun / A mystery of Nature on Altyre Estate

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