By Ryan R Zhao – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is an island in Normandy, France. The original site was founded by an Irish hermit. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. Most of the time it is surrounded by vast sandbanks and becomes an island only when the tides are very high. Before the construction of the 3,000-foot causeway that connects the island to land, it was particularly difficult to reach because of quicksand and very fast-rising tides.
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By Flickr user: kntrty https://www.flickr.com/photos/kntrty/ – Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kntrty/3720075234/, CC BY 2.0, Link
Hashima Island , commonly called Gunkanjima (meaning Battleship Island), is an abandoned island lying about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the city of Nagasaki, in southern Japan. The island’s most notable features are its abandoned concrete buildings, undisturbed except by nature, and the surrounding sea wall. The island established in 1887 during the industrialization of Japan and was known for its undersea coal mines. In 1974, with the coal reserves nearing depletion, the mine was closed and all of the residents departed soon after, Interest in the island re-emerged in the 2000s on account of its undisturbed historic ruins, and it gradually became a tourist attraction. Certain collapsed exterior walls have since been restored, and travel to Hashima was re-opened to tourists in 2009. While the island is a symbol of the rapid industrialization of Japan, it is also a reminder of its history as a site of forced labor prior to and during the Second World War.
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By Karen Chan 16 y Miguel.v ( local | logs | global ) (originales), y Jorge Morales Piderit (montaje). – Own work, CC BY 4.0, Link
Torres del Paine National Park encompasses mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in southern Chilean Patagonia. The Torres del Paine are the distinctive three granite peaks of the Paine mountain range. The landscape of the park is dominated by the Paine massif, which is an eastern spur of the Andes located on the east side of the Grey Glacier, rising dramatically above the Patagonian steppe. Small valleys separate the spectacular granite spires and mountains of the massif.
Continue reading Torres del Paine National Park – Towering spires of rock standing over crystalline lakes
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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.
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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
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.
The mines’ owner asked the Italian engineer Cesare Vecelli to devise a solution to improve steamship loading time and cost. Vecelli surveyed the coasts of Masua, ultimately finding the perfect spot in the high cliffs in front of the Pan di Zucchero stack. Here, the sea was deep enough and well-protected from wind and waves to allow a safe mooring, while the ore could be loaded from the cliffs by gravity.
After one year of study, Vecelli devised a detailed plan to build two superimposed tunnels, each 600 metres (2,000 ft) long, that were linked by nine huge vertical reservoirs for the processed ore. In the upper tunnel an electric train was used to bring the load the reservoirs: the ore was unloaded by gravity into hatches on top of the reservoirs. In the lower tunnel a conveyor belt received the ore from the reservoirs and brought it to an extensible 16-metre (52 ft) long conveyor belt capable of fully loading a steamship moored at the base of the cliff in about two days. The ends of the tunnels facing the sea were adorned with concrete towers and decorative nameplates. They were not necessary to the operation, but were asked to be constructed by the owner of the company as a mark of prestige. Vecelli’s daughter, Flavia, was born earlier in 1924 and the engineer obtained from the company to name the harbor after her.
Porto Flavia’s importance decreased in the 1960s after the decline of mining activity in Sulcis-Iglesiente, and it was closed in the 1990s when mineral production in Masua ceased. Today, it is owned by IGEA SpA, a public company charged with the restoration and preservation of the old mining plants.
info source: wikipedia
By Myaataro – Photo by Myaataro, Public Domain, Link
The Hitachi tree, a large monkeypod tree with a distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy, grows in the middle of a grassy area in the middle of Moanalua Gardens in Honolulu, Hawai. The tree is estimated to be around 130 years old and its canopy provides shade over an area 40 meters in diameter. The tree is registered as an exceptional tree by the City and County of Honolulu and cannot be removed or destroyed without city council approval.
Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi, Ltd. has used the tree as a corporate symbol since 1973. An agreement between the Damon Estate and Hitachi gave Hitachi exclusive worldwide rights to use the tree’s image for promotional purposes in exchange for annual payments .
Continue reading The Hitachi Tree – A monkeypod tree with a giant umbrella shaped green canopy