The Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll in Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 m (1,043 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep. The site was made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world. The Great Blue Hole is a popular spot among recreational scuba divers who are lured by the opportunity to dive in sometimes crystal-clear water and meet several species of fish, including midnight parrotfish, Caribbean reef shark, and other juvenile fish species.

info wikipedia

The TerraMar Project, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Experimental Forestry in Japan results to amazing Tree ‘Crop Circles’ half a century later

Aerial photos reveal groups of Japanese cedar trees swelling toward the sky, creating two forest circles. According to a 1973 document from the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, researchers had embarked on a project designed to examine tree spacing and its effect on growth. According to Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, the height difference between the smallest trees at the center and the tallest trees on the outer ring was over 5 meters. Again, this implies that trees in less dense areas have more access to resources while trees in the center, have to compete for sunlight and water.  The research team is bringing the experiment to an end. The trees will be harvested unless they are preserved as a tourist attraction.

Photograph via Google Earth
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Wheeler Geologic Area known as “The City of Gnomes”

The Wheeler Geologic Area is a highly eroded outcropping of layers of volcanic ash, in the La Garita Mountains of Mineral County, in southern Colorado. The formations are named after Captain George M. Wheeler, who explored and surveyed this area in 1874 for the U.S. Army.

John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Hall of Mosses

The Hall of Mosses is a loop trail through a portion of the Hoh National Rainforest, Washington. A lush, atmospheric forest of moss-covered trees and ferns.

2 Brandon Kuschel, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Neversink Pit

Somewhere between a sinkhole and a cave, Neversink Pit in northern Alabama is a wet, limestone sinkhole formed when acidic water eroded the rock beneath the ground. The 162ft pit is 40 feet wide at the top. Ferns spill off the eerie ledges, and bats roost in the niches. This geological wonder attracts a stream of hikers, cave divers and photographers.

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Stuðlagil Canyon: A basalt column canyon towering over a turquoise glacial river

Stuðlagil  is a ravine in the Eastern Region of Iceland. It is known for its columnar basalt rock formations and the blue-green water that runs through it. It became an unexpected tourist sensation after being shown in a WOW air airline brochure in 2017. The rock formation is 30 meters tall.
The river Jökla runs through the ravine. The water level decreased by 7 to 8 meters due to the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant, which opened in 2009.

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Sail Rock – A monolith on the shore of the Black Sea

Sail Rock is a natural sandstone monolith located on the shore of the Black Sea in Russia. It resembles the outline of a ship’s sail, hence its name. The monolith has a sheer vertical slope confronting the shore of the sea, isolated from the mass of basic rock by geological forces. It is more than three-fourths revealed by the tide and lies perpendicular to the coast. What is most remarkable about this landmark is its proportions. While the cliff is only a little more than one meter thick, its height is about 25 m and its length about 20.
An opening of unclear origin is located in the sail, approximately 2.5 meters above the ground. Many guides state that the formation was a defense against mountain artillery during the Caucasian War. However, this version of the origin of the opening is under some doubt. In 1903, S. Vasyukov, who was investigating the Black Sea coast, wrote after the inspection of the cliff that it was “[..] shot from a battleship by seamen, they released 4 projectiles, but the wall remained firm, although the traces are noticeable, but they nowhere opened the rock […]”.
info:  wikipedia

Sergey S. Dukachev, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Fairy Pools on Isle of Skye

Located at the foot of the Cuillin Mountains, the Fairy Pools are a natural waterfall phenomenon in Glen Brittle on the Isle of Skye. The pools are a vivid aqua blue and are a popular place for wild swimmers who brave the frigid waters.
The habitat of the Fairy Pools hosts a variety of animals and a large number of birds. The physical landscape is predominately rocky, with some boggy areas here and there. The water in the area is typically cold, as the pools are fed by mountain streams. The pools look as though they were pulled from the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Wojtek Szkutnik, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Tour Isabelle – The Largest Double Arch In The Alps

The Tour Isabelle double arch, also named the Tour Percée arch, is a double natural arch, located in Chartreuse Mountains, in the French Alps. Its span is 32 metres (105 ft), which makes it the biggest natural arch in the Alps.
It remained unknown for probably everybody, until its discovery in May 2005, when Pascal Sombardier, who was trekking to write his book Chartreuse inédite : Itinéraires insolites, dealing with lost places of the range, discovered it fortuitously. Its pictures illustrated the front cover of his book, published in 2006 : this double arch became then the symbol of the hidden treasures of the Chartreuse Mountains.
Located in a very remote area, with a difficult and dangerous access, very few guide books, even the most recent ones, mention its existence.
info: wikipedia

David George, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

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Blackchurch Rock – Striking rock with a double arch

The impressive Blackchurch rock  is a large arch stack found at Mouthmill Cove, on the North Devon coast, UK. Has to be seen at low tide to get the full effect.

© Copyright Stuart Fiddes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. (via)

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