Three Whale Rock – Incredible Rock Formation in Thailand’s National Forest

Hin Sam Wan (Three Whale Rock), is a 75 million-year-old rock formation at the top of the mountains in Thailand. It earned its name because from the right perspective, it bears a remarkable resemblance to a family of whales.

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Thimmamma Marrimanu – The Biggest Tree Canopy on the Planet

Thimmamma Marrimanu in India is world’s largest banyan tree. It appears to be an entire forest, with Its canopy covers 19,107 m2 (4.721 acres). In 1989 it was recorded as the largest tree specimen in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records . According to a local myth, the tree is named after Thimmamma, a woman who committed sati (suicide by throwing herself on the funeral pyre of her husband’s dead body). The tree is said to have originated from one of the poles used in the funeral pyre. Thimmamma Marrimanu contains a small temple at its base and is still worshiped to this day by the local community.

Satellite view of Thimmamma Marrimanu MAP DATA © 2017 Google (CREATIVE COMMONS)

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Devil’s Tower

The Tower is an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the prairie surrounding the Black Hills. It is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest crack climbing areas in North America. Devils Tower was the first United State s national monument, established in 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. The name Devil’s Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, when his interpreter reportedly misinterpreted a native name to mean “Bad God’s Tower”. Native American names for the monolith include “Bear’s House” and “Bear’s Lodge”.

photo: Lletmotlv (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Banaue Rice Terraces – The “Eighth Wonder of the World”

The Banaue Rice Terraces are terraces that were carved into the mountains of Banaue, Ifugao, in the Philippines, by the ancestors of the indigenous people. The terraces are often called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. The terraces are located approximately 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level. These are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. It is said that if the steps were put end to end, it would encircle half of the globe. The building of the rice terraces entails constructing retaining walls with stones and rammed earth which are designed to draw water from a main irrigation canal above the terrace clusters. The rice terraces have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between the people and the environment.
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Cabajar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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The magnificent “Garden of Lights” in an Indonesian Forest

Orchid Forest Cikole Lembang located in Lembang in West Java, Indonesia, is a lovely park in the middle of a pine forest. The park is beautifully decorated with lots of various orchids as well as other flowers. The latest addition to the many splendors of the forest is the Garden of Lights. Lights of an array of beautiful colors are controlled by sensors  creating a marvelous light show. The most fascinating view in the forest is the suspension bridge made of wood and rope with its warm light color neon illumination.

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Mysterious ‘fairy circles’ built by grasses

Fairy circles are circular patches of land barren of plants, varying between 2 and 15 meter in diameter, often encircled by a ring of stimulated growth of grass. Until 2014, the phenomenon was only known to occur in the arid grasslands of the Namib desert. In that year, ecologists were alerted to similar rings of vegetation outside of Africa, in a part of the Pilbara in Western Australia.
The cause of fairy circles has long been a puzzle and the investigation has proved challenging. One favored theory is that the distinct vegetation patterns are a population-level consequence of competition for scarce water, as the plants “organise” themselves to maximise access to scarce resources. The circular barren patches capture water which then flows to the outer edges of the ring. More water available increases biomass and roots which leads to the soil becoming looser. The less dense soil allows more water to penetrate and feed the vegetation, creating a feedback loop supporting the plants at the edge of the circle.
info: wikipedia

By Stephan Getzin via CC BY 2.5, Link

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Lake Powell – Blue waters and red rock vistas

Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River in Utah and Arizona, United States. The Lake was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon by the Glen Canyon Dam, which also led to the 1972 creation of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, a popular summer destination of public land.  The lake also stretches up the Escalante River and San Juan River where they merge into the main Colorado River. This provides access to many natural geographic points of interest such as the Rainbow Bridge, the Hite Crossing Bridge, Cathedral in the Desert and San Juan goosenecks. The sparkling blue waters of Lake Powell are magnificently framed by towering rock formations and soaring red cliffs which surround the area for as far as the eye can see.
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ALAN SCHMIERER / CC0

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Iconic Wanaka Tree – A crooked willow tree that stands in a lake

“That Wanaka Tree” – a willow growing just inside the lake – is a tourist attraction in its own right, featuring on many tourists’ Instagram feeds. The tree had its lower branches, including one branch that dips into the water, cut by vandals in 2020. The lone tree is at the foothills of Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand, a World Heritage Site and symbolises hope and endurance.

“That Wanaka Tree”, a willow growing off the shores of Lake Wanaka, against a mountainous background. Tom Hall / CC BY

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Striking geology – Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness

Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness is located in northwestern  New Mexico, between Chaco Canyon and the De-Na-Zin Wilderness. The wilderness has multicolored badlands, sandstone hoodoos (fairy chimneys), petrified wood and it’s rich with fossils, hills and occasional instances of pińon-juniper, sagebrush and scrubland vegetation.

By Bob Wick Link

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Onekotan Island

Onekotan is an uninhabited volcanic island located near the northern end of the Kuril Islands along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” Onekotan consists of two stratovolcanos connected by a relatively flat isthmus.
Krenitsyn is the prominent caldera at the southern end of the island. The mountain rises from a depth of from 600 to 900 meters, and contains a deep central caldera lake with a diameter of 7 kilometers, called Tao-Rusyr Caldera. The central peak of this “island within the island” is actually the highest point on Onekotan Island
Nemo is the peak to the north. It has two nested subsidiary calderas, with the cone of Nemo Peak rising in the southwest end of the youngest caldera and a crescent-shaped crater lake, named Lake Chernoye, partially filling the northeast part.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA / Public domain

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