Dry Tortugas

Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas. The clear waters in shallow areas surrounding the fort, seen easily in the photo, are popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. (By U.S. National Park Service – U.S. National Park Service [1]; English Wikipedia, original upload 2 March 2005 by Brian0918, Public Domain, Link)

The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys, United States,  known for its famous marine life, its legends of pirates and sunken gold, and its military past. The first Europeans to discover the islands were the Spanish in 1513, led by explorer Juan Ponce de León. The archipelago’s name derives from the lack of fresh water springs, and the presence of turtles. Turtles provided a food source to the pirates who roamed the waters around the islands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and used adult turtle meat as currency for trade.

Fort Jefferson located on Garden Key in the lower Florida Keys within the Dry Tortugas National Park, is a massive but unfinished coastal fortress. In the middle of construction, the Civil War broke out, and building materials were increasingly hard to come by. This bastion remained in Union hands throughout the Civil War. It later was used as a prison until abandoned in 1874.
info: Wikipedia
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World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps

Gemeinde Randa [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge is the longest hanging bridge for pedestrian use in the world. It is located in Randa, Switzerland ,and replaced  a previous bridge that had been damaged by rock falls.  The bridge spans 494 meters (1621 feet), and upon its inauguration in July 2017 became the longest suspension bridge built for pedestrian travel.  It employs 8 tonnes  of cables, and has a system that prevents it from swinging. It’s highest point is 85m and it’s only 65cm wide. It takes almost 10 minutes to cross it and in the middle, swaying walkers are at the highest point: 85 m.

Trona Pinnacles recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies.

By Bureau of Land ManagementBLM Winter Bucket List #7: Trona Pinnacles, California, for Out of This World Rock Formations, Public Domain, Link

The Trona Pinnacles are an unusual geological feature in the California Desert National Conservation Area. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 porous rock formed as a deposit when springs interact with other bodies of water, rising from the bed of the Searles Lake dry basin. Known as tufa pinnacles, these strange shapes formed underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. The pinnacles vary in size and shape from short and squat to tall and thin, They now sit isolated and slowly crumbling away near the south end of the valley, surrounded by many square miles of flat, dried mud and with stark mountain ranges at either side. The Pinnacles are recognizable in more than a dozen hit movies. Over thirty film projects a year are shot among the tufa pinnacles, including backdrops for car commercials and sci-fi movies and television series such as Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Disney’s Dinosaur, The Gate II, Lost in Space, and Planet of the Apes.
info source: wikipedia
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Incredible ice shards pile up along Lake Michigan shorelines

During the winter, 56% of the Lake Michigan was frozen as temperatures reached negative 23 degrees Fahrenheit. As the frozen lake started melting, water underneath the ice pushed broken pieces of ice against one another and  up to the surface transforming the region into a magical wonderland.

Lake Baikal – The world’s oldest and deepest lake

Lake Baikal, meaning, in Mongolian, “the Nature Lake”, is a rift lake located in southern Siberia, Russia. It’s at least 20 million years old, and roughly a mile deep at its lowest point. The Siberian lake is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world and is considered the world’s oldest lake. The lake is completely surrounded by mountains and is fed by as many as 330 inflowing rivers. During ice season, that starts usually in mid-January and lasts till mid-April., ice depth increases up to 140 centimeters, that allows quite safe vehicle driving on ice cover. The ice itself is very picturesque because of transparency of 1 meter depth, having different patterns of crevasses and bubbles, performing astonishing sounds.

By Артём ПолозOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
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The mysterious cliff in China that lays egg-shaped stones

photo: AsiaWire

Chan Dan Ya – meaning in Mandarin ‘egg-producing cliff’ – is a 20 metres (65 feet) long and six meters (19 feet) high cliff.  People of the area have observed for years as the eggs ‘incubate’ in hollow overhangs on the cliff and eventually fall to the ground. Each hollow produces one stone egg every 30 years. Local residents collect the spheres because they believe that the “eggs” would bring them good luck.
The rock formed 500 million years ago during the Cambrian period and  the specific section of cliff – part of Mount Gandeng – is made of calcareous rock. Experts say the difference in time it takes for each type of rock to erode has led to the appearance of the “eggs” , which comprise heavy sediment deposits. The “eggs”  are what geologists call concretions. If those concretions are harder than the rock around them (as they often are), they’ll eventually wear down the surrounding rock and break free.

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Strokkur | Iceland’s Mighty Geyser

By Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Strokkur is a fountain geyser located in a geothermal area beside the Hvítá River in southwest Iceland. It is one of Iceland’s most famous geysers, erupting once every 6–10 minutes. Its usual height is 15–20 meters (49–66 ft), although it can sometimes erupt up to 40 metres (130 ft) high.
Strokkur was first mentioned in 1789, after an earthquake helped to unblock the conduit of the geyser. Its activity fluctuated throughout the 19th century. In 1815 its height was estimated to have been as much as 60 meters (200 ft). It continued to erupt until the turn of the 20th century, until another earthquake blocked the conduit again. In 1963, upon the advice of the Geysir Committee, locals cleaned out the blocked conduit through the bottom of the basin, and the geyser has been regularly erupting ever since.
info: wikipedia
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