Casa do Penedo – the Stone House

Casa do Penedo  is an architectural monument located between Celorico de Basto and Fafe, in northern Portugal. It received its name because it was built from four large boulders that serve as the foundation, walls and ceiling of the house. Its construction began in 1972 and lasted about two years. The residence was initially used by the owners as a holiday destination. Today, Casa de Penedo is a small museum of relics and photographs from Penedo’s history. Due to its unusual design and integration into the surrounding nature, the building has become a growing tourist attraction/
info source: wikipedia

By Pablo García ChaoOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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The “Bad Lake” that killed 1,700 people and thousands of domestic animals

By United States Geological Survey – United States Geological Survey, Public Domain, Link

Lake Nyos, locally known as the “Bad Lake”, is a crater lake in the Northwest Region of Cameroon. A pocket of magma lies beneath the lake and leaks carbon dioxide into the water, changing it into carbonic acid. In 1986, possibly as the result of a landslide, Lake Nyos suddenly emitted a large cloud of carbon dioxide, which suffocated 1,746 people and 3,500 livestock in nearby towns and villages. Though not completely unprecedented, it was the first known large-scale asphyxiation caused by a natural event. To prevent a recurrence, a degassing tube that siphons water from the bottom layers to the top, allowing the carbon dioxide to leak in safe quantities, was installed in 2001. Two additional tubes were installed in 2011.
Today, the lake also poses a threat because its natural wall is weakening. A geological tremor could cause this natural levée to give way, allowing water to rush into downstream villages all the way into Nigeria and allowing large amounts of carbon dioxide to escape.
info source: wikipedia
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Vulcan Point: An Island Within a Lake on a Volcano Within a Lake on an Island

Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines with 33 historical eruptions. All of these eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Taal Lake. Viewed from the Tagaytay Ridge in Cavite, Taal Volcano and Lake presents one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the Philippines. Moreover, this lake contains Vulcan Point, a small rocky island that projects from the surface of the crater lake, which was the remnant of the old crater floor that is now surrounded by the 2-kilometre wide lake, now referred to as the Main Crater Lake. Therefore, Taal has an island within a lake, that is on an island within a lake, that is on an island within the sea: Vulcan Point Island is within Main Crater Lake, which is on Volcano Island, which is within Taal Lake, which is on the main Philippine Island Luzon, which is within the western Pacific Ocean.
info source: wikimedia

TheCoffee (Mike Gonzalez) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Flowers that look like tiny hummingbirds

Crotalaria cunninghamii, also known as green birdflower or regal birdflower, is a plant native to, and widespread, in inland northern Australia. It has hairy or woolly branches and dull green foliage. The plant’s flowers grow on long spikes at the ends of its branches and greatly resemble tiny hummingbirds attached by its beak to the central stalk of the flowerhead.
Redditor Octopus Prime posted this photo of the unusual looking plant.

By Atlas of Living AustraliaDay 3 – Photo 3: Crotalaria cunninghamii (Green Bird Flower)Uploaded by berichard, CC BY 2.0, Link

 

World’s Most Remote Teahouse

Mount Huashan is located in Huayin, part of the Shaanxi province in China. Huashan has a variety of temples and other religious structures on its slopes and peaks. The teahouse, which was once an ancient Taoist temple, is located on the south side of the mountain, at an altitude of 7,000 feet (2,133 meters) above sea level. The journey to the remote teahouse starts with a 20-minute cable car ride. Next the visitor will have to hang onto a chain bolted into the mountain and slot their feet into holds chiseled into the sheer rock face. And finally the visitor will have to ascend the Heavenly Stairs. Impossible pathways and stairs leading to the mountain’s peaks that have been carved all over the mountain by monks, nuns and pilgrims. Despite the dangers nearly a million people a year visit the Buddhist and Taoist temple and Huashan Teahouse.

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the thrilling mountain #huashan #shaanxi

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“Warm blooded” plants

Thermogenic plants have the ability to raise their temperature above that of the surrounding air. They can generate their own heat and flower earlier in the season than almost any other plant.  Botanists are not completely sure why thermogenic plants generate large amounts of excess heat, but most suspect the flowers may be doing this to attract coldblooded insect pollinators. Thermogenic plants are found in a variety of families, but Araceae in particular contains many such species. Here’s some examples.

Symplocarpus foetidus, commonly known as skunk cabbage, is a low growing plant that grows in wetlands and moist hill slopes of eastern North America. Bruised leaves present a fragrance reminiscent of skunk.

Skunk-cabbage in snow – Photo via Ryan Johnson/Flickr

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Insect hotels

Obscurasky – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

An insect hotel  is a man made structure created to provide shelter for insects. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the specific purpose or specific insect it is catered to. Most consist of several different sections that provide insects with nesting facilities – particularly during winter, offering shelter or refuge for many types of insects. Their purposes include hosting pollinators.
Many insect hotels are used as nest sites by insects including solitary bees and solitary wasps. These insects drag prey to the nest where an egg is deposited. Other insects hotels are specifically designed to allow the insects to hibernate, notable examples include ladybugs and butterflies.
Good materials to build insect hotels with can include using dry stone walls or old tiles. Drilled holes in the hotel materials also encourage insects to leave larvae to gestate.
info wikipedia

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