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Meoto Iwa , or the Married Couple Rocks, are two rocky stacks in the sea off Futami, Japan. They are joined by a shimenawa (a heavy rope of rice straw) and are considered sacred by worshippers at the neighboring Futami Okitama Shrine. According to Shinto, the rocks represent the union of the creator of kami, Izanagi and Izanami. The rope, which weighs over a ton, must be replaced several times a year in a special ceremony.
At dawn during the summer, the sun appears to rise between the two rocks. Mount Fuji is visible in the distance. At low tide, the rocks are not separated by water. Numerous frog sculptures can be seen in the vicinity of the Futami Okitama Shrine as they are believed to be a type of charm for bringing people or things back.
Continue reading Meoto Iwa – the wedded rocks
By Sherif Ali Yousef – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
The Guelta d’Archei is probably the most famous guelta – a lower level of height ground between rocks which holds water – in the Sahara. It is a barren place located in the Ennedi Plateau, in north-eastern Chad. The reservoirs of this wetland is supported by groundwater. The guelta is a watering place for camels. and it is also inhabited by a very small number of the Nile crocodile.
Continue reading Guelta d’Archei – an oasis in the Sahara desert
Spectacular drone photography by Ali Olfat captures most iconic landscapes in Southeast Asia.
Continue reading Southeast Asia from Above – Drone Photography by Ali Olfat
Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu.
Eric Tessmer [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Continue reading Unusual Volcanic Craters
By Ikiwaner – Own work, GFDL 1.2, Link
Dead vlei is a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei, inside the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. Dead Vlei has been claimed to be surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, the highest reaching 300–400 meters which rest on a sandstone terrace.
The clay pan was formed after rainfall, when the Tsauchab river flooded, creating temporary shallow pools where the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. When the climate changed, drought hit the area, and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river from the area.
The trees died, as there no longer was enough water to survive. The remaining skeletons of the trees, which are believed to have died 600–700 years ago, are now black because the intense sun has scorched them. Though not petrified, the wood does not decompose because it is so dry.
Continue reading Dead Vlei – Namibia’s graveyard of tree skeletons
By Jonas Satkauskas – Own work – http://www.satkauskas.blogspot.com, Attribution, Link
Lake Kaindy is located in the south of Kazakhstan, within Kolsai Lakes National Park. The lake is about 400 meters long, reaching depths of nearly 30 meters at its deepest point. Altered by limestone deposits, the water maintains a bluish-green color.
The lake is well known for its scenery, particularly its trunks of submerged Picea schrenkiana trees that rise above the surface of the lake. The area is often referred to as a “sunken forest”. The cold water helps preserve the tree trunks, which are overgrown with algae and various other water plants. In recent years, Lake Kaindy has become a popular international tourist destination. It is considered a natural landmark of Kazakhstan. The lake is also known for ice diving and trout fishing in the winter season.
Continue reading The Sunken Forest of Kaindy Lake in Kazakhstan
By noname – http://wikimapia.org/2056393/it/Porto-Flavia#/photo/716205, CC BY 3.0, Link
Porto Flavia is a sea harbor located near Nebida in the Iglesias comune of Italy. Built in 1923–24, it served as the mineral production hub of Masua in the west coast of the Sardinian Iglesiente area. It is named after Flavia Vecelli, the daughter of Cesare Vecelli, who engineered and designed the harbor. The harbor’s characteristics make it unique in the world, and at the time of its construction it was an outstanding engineering feat.
Continue reading Porto Flavia – A port suspended half way up a rock face