Adrspach-Teplice Rocks – Massive sandstone rocks that take the shape of pillars, columns and labyrinths

The Adršpach-Teplice Rocks comprise some of the most popular rock formations in the Czech Republic. A sandstone rock town with many bizarre formations up to 300ft high open to the public since the middle of 18th century.
The Adršpach-Teplice Rocks are an unusual set of sandstone formations covering 17 km2 in northeastern Bohemia. The rocks have been protected as a national nature reserve since 1933, and since 1991 the whole adjacent region of Broumovsko has enjoyed the status of protected landscape area. Tourists may visit the rocks via a number of marked trails. The area is a popular destination for rock climbers.

Andrzej Nowak, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Desert Rose — Rose-like formation of crystal clusters

Desert rose is the colloquial name given to rose-like formations of crystal clusters of gypsum or baryte which include sand grains. The ‘petals’ are crystals fanning open in radiating flattened crystal clusters. The rosette crystal habit tends to occur when the crystals form in arid sandy conditions, such as the evaporation of a shallow salt basin. The crystals form a circular array of flat plates, giving the rock a shape similar to a rose blossom.
info: wikipedia

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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King of Wings rock formation

King of Wings, a rock formation in the remote part of the badlands of San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico, seems to defy the laws of physics and gravity.  A piece of sandstone jutting out ten feet into the air that sits atop a column of stone hoodoo is a spectacle to see.

John Fowler/FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)

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Hair Ice – Fungus shapes a strange kind of ice that is found on rotting logs

Hair ice, also known as ice wool or frost beard, is a type of ice that forms on dead wood and takes the shape of fine, silky hair. It is somewhat uncommon, and has been reported mostly at latitudes between 45–55 °N in broad leaf forests. Hair ice forms on moist, rotting wood from broad leaf trees when temperatures are slightly under 0 °C (32 °F) and the air is humid. Each of the smooth, silky hairs has a diameter of about 0.02 mm (0.0008 in) and a length of up to 20 cm (8 in). The hairs are brittle, but take the shape of curls and waves. They can maintain their shape for hours and sometimes days. A piece of wood that produces hair ice once may continue to produce it over several years.
In the year 2015, German and Swiss scientists identified the fungus Exidiopsis effusa as key to the formation of hair ice. The fungus was found on every hair ice sample examined by the researchers, and disabling the fungus with fungicide or hot water prevented hair ice formation.
info: wikipedia

Des Colhoun / A mystery of Nature on Altyre Estate

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Three Whale Rock – Incredible Rock Formation in Thailand’s National Forest

Hin Sam Wan (Three Whale Rock), is a 75 million-year-old rock formation at the top of the mountains in Thailand. It earned its name because from the right perspective, it bears a remarkable resemblance to a family of whales.

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Thimmamma Marrimanu – The Biggest Tree Canopy on the Planet

Thimmamma Marrimanu in India is world’s largest banyan tree. It appears to be an entire forest, with Its canopy covers 19,107 m2 (4.721 acres). In 1989 it was recorded as the largest tree specimen in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records . According to a local myth, the tree is named after Thimmamma, a woman who committed sati (suicide by throwing herself on the funeral pyre of her husband’s dead body). The tree is said to have originated from one of the poles used in the funeral pyre. Thimmamma Marrimanu contains a small temple at its base and is still worshiped to this day by the local community.

Satellite view of Thimmamma Marrimanu MAP DATA © 2017 Google (CREATIVE COMMONS)

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Devil’s Tower

The Tower is an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the prairie surrounding the Black Hills. It is considered sacred by Northern Plains Indians and indigenous people. Hundreds of parallel cracks make it one of the finest crack climbing areas in North America. Devils Tower was the first United State s national monument, established in 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. The name Devil’s Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Colonel Richard Irving Dodge, when his interpreter reportedly misinterpreted a native name to mean “Bad God’s Tower”. Native American names for the monolith include “Bear’s House” and “Bear’s Lodge”.

photo: Lletmotlv (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Banaue Rice Terraces – The “Eighth Wonder of the World”

The Banaue Rice Terraces are terraces that were carved into the mountains of Banaue, Ifugao, in the Philippines, by the ancestors of the indigenous people. The terraces are often called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. The terraces are located approximately 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level. These are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. It is said that if the steps were put end to end, it would encircle half of the globe. The building of the rice terraces entails constructing retaining walls with stones and rammed earth which are designed to draw water from a main irrigation canal above the terrace clusters. The rice terraces have helped to create a landscape of great beauty that expresses the harmony between the people and the environment.
info

Cabajar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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The magnificent “Garden of Lights” in an Indonesian Forest

Orchid Forest Cikole Lembang located in Lembang in West Java, Indonesia, is a lovely park in the middle of a pine forest. The park is beautifully decorated with lots of various orchids as well as other flowers. The latest addition to the many splendors of the forest is the Garden of Lights. Lights of an array of beautiful colors are controlled by sensors  creating a marvelous light show. The most fascinating view in the forest is the suspension bridge made of wood and rope with its warm light color neon illumination.

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Mysterious ‘fairy circles’ built by grasses

Fairy circles are circular patches of land barren of plants, varying between 2 and 15 meter in diameter, often encircled by a ring of stimulated growth of grass. Until 2014, the phenomenon was only known to occur in the arid grasslands of the Namib desert. In that year, ecologists were alerted to similar rings of vegetation outside of Africa, in a part of the Pilbara in Western Australia.
The cause of fairy circles has long been a puzzle and the investigation has proved challenging. One favored theory is that the distinct vegetation patterns are a population-level consequence of competition for scarce water, as the plants “organise” themselves to maximise access to scarce resources. The circular barren patches capture water which then flows to the outer edges of the ring. More water available increases biomass and roots which leads to the soil becoming looser. The less dense soil allows more water to penetrate and feed the vegetation, creating a feedback loop supporting the plants at the edge of the circle.
info: wikipedia

By Stephan Getzin via CC BY 2.5, Link

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