Araucaria columnaris, known as Cook pine, is a tree endemic to New Caledonia in the Melanesia region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Cook pines have been known to grow at peculiar angles and scientists have discovered why – it is because they always tilt towards the equator. The further the trees are from the equator the more they tilt. Many plants are able to lean towards a source of light when it is not directly above – a characteristic known as phototropism. On average Cook pines tilt by 8.55 degrees, which is twice as much as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Waw an Namus, Oasis of Mosquitoes, is a volcanic field, cone and caldera in southern Libya, deep in the Sahara Desert. The inside of the caldera houses an oasis of rich foliage and three small salt lakes of variable color which are the reason for the volcano’s name. A volcanic field of dark basaltic tephra flow extends 10–20 kilometres (6.2–12.4 mi) around the caldera. The dark field’s vast size allows it to be easily seen from space. Due to the fresh water at the volcano, Waw An-Namus was always an important watering point for the caravans.
By NASA’s Earth Observatory – The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86054), CC BY 2.0, Link
Filled with mystery and intrigue, the ancient pyramids have been admired by humans throughout the ages. In modern times the iconic structure of the pyramid has inspired many architectural projects all around the world. The modern day behemoths, mostly built from glass and steel, are employed as architectural statement pieces.
The Louvre Pyramid in Paris
Spotted Lake is a saline alkali lake located northwest of Osoyoos in the eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada. The lake is richly concentrated with various minerals. Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, revealing colorful mineral deposits. Large “spots” on the lake appear and are colored according to the mineral composition and seasonal amount of precipitation. Magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer, is a major contributor to spot color. In the summer, remaining minerals in the lake harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots.
The Crystal Mill, Colorado, USA
The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located in Arizona, United States, near its northern border with Utah. The formation is well–known among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms and the difficult hike required to reach it. Due to the fragile nature of the formation and the large number of people wishing to visit it, a daily lottery system is used to dispense only ten next–day permits.
The Eternal Flame Falls is a small waterfall located in the Shale Creek Preserve, a section of Chestnut Ridge Park in Western New York. A small grotto at the waterfall’s base emits natural gas, which can be lit to produce a small flame. This flame is visible nearly year round, although it can be extinguished and must occasionally be re-lit.