The Ubari Lakes are a group of about 20 lakes, set amidst magnificent sand dunes and palm fringed oases in the Fezzan region of southwestern Libya. The lakes were once one big lake but climate change caused the region, a part of Sahara, to gradually dry up between 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. The water is super-saturated with salts and carbonates, as lakes are being continuously evaporated and have no rivers replenishing them.
Slope Point is the southernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand. The area is frequently knocked with strong and chilling winds from Antarctica. Consequently, trees there grow leaning toward the north. The land around Slope Point is used for sheep farming and it remains uninhabited by humans. The distorted mini-forest was planted to serve as a shelter for the sheep.
Salineras de Maras, or Inca salt pans located in the Peruvian Andes.
Since pre-Inca times, salt has been obtained in Maras, Peru, by evaporating salty water from a local subterranean stream. The highly salty water emerges at a spring. The flow is directed into an intricate system of tiny channels constructed so that the water runs gradually down onto the several hundred ancient terraced ponds. Almost all the ponds are less than four meters square in area, and none exceeds thirty centimeters in depth. All are necessarily shaped into polygons with the flow of water carefully controlled and monitored by the workers.
There’s a swing on the edge of a cliff in Ecuador. It has no safety measures and is called the ‘Swing at the End of the World’. It’s a tourist attraction and in order to get there, you have to hike up the path to Bellavista from Banos, until you reach a viewpoint and a seismic monitoring station named La Casa del Árbol (The Tree-house).
Wildlife crossings are structures that allow animals to cross human-made barriers safely. They may include: underpass tunnels, viaducts, and overpasses (mainly for large or herd-type animals), fish ladders and green roofs (for butterflies and birds). Wildlife crossings are a practice in habitat conservation, allowing connections or re-connections between habitats, combating habitat fragmentation. They also assist in avoiding collisions between vehicles and animals, which in addition to killing or injuring wildlife may cause injury to humans and property damage.
Wildlife Overpass, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. (Image source)
MianShan is a fantastic mountain in China noted for its natural scenery, and especially for its cultural and religious relics. Buddhist and Taoist temples are literally built on the cliff face with hundreds of hidden caves, dating back 2500 years. Mian Shan is about 200 km south of TaiYuan, the provincial capital of ShanXi. The most famous of all the Taoist temple is the DaLuo Gong.
In geography, a confluence is the meeting of two or more bodies of water. It refers either to the point where a tributary joins a larger river, called the main stem, or where two streams meet to become the source of a river of a new name. The confluences in the photos below create dramatic visual contrasts.
Continue reading Where two rivers meet
Kofun are megalithic tombs for rulers in Japan, constructed between the early 3rd century and early 7th century. The most common type of kofun has a shape of a keyhole, having one square end and one circular end, when looked down upon from above. The funeral chamber was located beneath the round part and consisted of a group of megaliths.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China, is gifted with a diverse landscape. In Zhangjiajie, there are not only lofty mountains and steep hills but also low valleys and vast plains. The director James Cameron was deeply attracted by the breathtaking natural beauties in Zhangjiajie that some of the images taken in Zhangjiajie were used in the spectacular sci-fi film Avatar to feature the floating “Mt. Hallelujah” in the world of “Pandora”. About 3,000 sandstone monoliths – dagger-point rock spires that rebel against gravity – thrust from 76 percent of the 9,563-square-kilometer wilderness reserve, slicing the partitions of a natural labyrinth replete with hidden caves.
Continue reading China’s Floating Mountains