The Popcorn Beach in Canary Islands

A beach on Fuerteventura,  Canary Islands, where the sand looks like popcorn. The beach is made up of miniature white corals that got washed up on shore. The corals get their irregular shape from the sea and friction. The phenomenon isn’t new, but has recently gotten the attention of social media users after visitors to the Fuertaventura beach have posted their snaps on Instagram.

Continue reading The Popcorn Beach in Canary Islands

Advertisements

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.

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.

Continue reading The mysterious cliff in China that lays egg-shaped stones

Baldwin Street: world’s steepest residential street

Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, New Zealand is the world’s steepest residential street, according to Guinness World Records. This short straight street, a little under 350 meters (1,150 ft) long, rises from 30 m (98 ft) above sea level at its junction with North Road to 100 m (330 ft) above sea level at the top, an average slope of slightly more than 1:5. The street’s steepness was unintentional. As with many other parts of early Dunedin, and indeed New Zealand, streets were laid out in a grid pattern with no consideration for the terrain, usually by planners in London.

Public Domain, Link

Continue reading Baldwin Street: world’s steepest residential street

The Siberian ‘gateway to hell’ that keeps growing larger with no end in sight

Batagayka crater in Siberia, known as the “gateway to hell” by locals, is almost 1 kilometer in length and 86 meters in depth. The structure is named after the near-flowing Batagayka, a right tributary of the river Yana. The land began to sink due to the thawing permafrost in the 1960s after the surrounding forest was cleared. Flooding also contributed to the enlargement of the crater. Archeologists have found ice age fossils buried in the mud around the rim of the crater. The rim is extremely unstable as there are regular landslides into the crater and the permafrost is constantly thawing. The Batagayka crater is making noises too as it consumes large chunks of the area. The crater is currently growing in size and it will likely eat through the entire hill slope before it slows down. Frank Günther of the  Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany, showed that over the past decade crater grew by an average of 10 meters per year.

By NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. – https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=90104&src=eoa-iotd, Public Domain, Link

Illusion of a ‘breathing forest’ in Canada

“The ground looks like it’s breathing in this Quebec forest,” wrote user Daniel Holland on twitter. According to the Forbes report, air is involved in this illusion, as strong wind plays a role in moving the trees and the topsoil. During a storm the ground becomes saturated with water, loosening the soil’s cohesion. As strong winds move the top of the tree, the force is transferred by the stem, acting as a lever, to the roots and the ground begins to move.

The wind caused the trees to sway, roots and all. In fact, the whole floor seems to rise and fall as if the earth itself was breathing. The phenomenon works best with spruce trees with their almost disc-shaped root system growing in the uppermost layers of the soil.

The tunneled sequoia trees

Tuolumne Grove is a sequoia grove located near Crane Flat in Yosemite National Park. The grove contains about twenty-five large giant sequoia specimens. The one-tenth-mile trail includes the “Dead Giant,” the first tree to be tunneled in the park. In 1878, the huge, already dead sequoia, 30 feet in diameter at the base, hollowed out for stagecoaches and later cars to drive through on the old Big Oak Flat Road. In 1993, park officials closed off car traffic due to damage to the grove’s ecosystem.

By Dcrjsr [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Continue reading The tunneled sequoia trees