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
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 Полоз – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Continue reading Lake Baikal – The world’s oldest and deepest lake
By Bernard Gagnon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link
Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park, located at the west end of Kangaroo Island, Australia, is island’s signature landmarks. These rocks are the remains of an igneous intrusion that has since been weathered down into an array of bizarre boulders, sculpted by wind and rain over the course of many thousands of years. Continuous wind erosion in a relatively dry climate can result in such bizarre shapes.
Continue reading Remarkable rocks in Kangaroo Island, Australia
By Ariel Steiner – Own work, CC BY 2.5, Link
Baishuitai, also known as the White Water Terraces, is located in the foothills of the Haba Snow Mountains, 101 kilometers southeast of the Shangri-la County in China. The spring water runs down along the slope of the mountain, leaving an impression of a large white jade carving among the green mountain. The variegated land form of the tableland is a continual deposition of calcium carbonate that is contained in the spring water. Every year, the surface of the land is covered by the deposition and finally transformed into the terraced structure you see today.
“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.
Kaieteur Falls is a waterfall on the Potaro River in Kaieteur National Park, Guyana. The world’s largest single drop water falls measuring 741 feet. For comparison, Kaieteur is about five times taller than Niagara falls.
Continue reading The Kaieteur Falls
Image: Columbus GV Team
These rare primate-esque flowers are formally known as Dracula simia. They only grow in the cloud forests of southeastern Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1,000-2,000 meters on the side of mountains. In the scientific name, “simia” refers to the monkey face and “Dracula” refers to the two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs.
Continue reading The Monkey Orchid