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.
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Cabajar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Photography – Rare Black Panther Roaming In The Jungles Of India

Shaaz Jung ‘s work primarily spans across South India and East Africa. His love for nature is reflected in how he portrays his subjects through his photography and writing in a unique style. His images of a black panther exploring Kabini Forest in Karnataka, India were recently posted on social media.

“Though I enjoy photographing my subjects in their natural environment, I have always been fascinated by depicting my work in a more artistic form. Unlike art, a photograph can be replicated or duplicated and this motivated me to create images that were true to the nature of the subject but with an artistic feel that made it unique. My aim was to evoke a sense of surrealism which symbolized a beautiful world with magical creatures, a world we may soon only dream about.“
– Shaaz Jung

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Photography – Water Lilies Harvest in Vietnam

The water lily season in the Mekong Delta lasts from early September to mid-November. During that time farmers in Vietnam harvest water lilies. Photographer Trung Huy Pham captured spectacular aerial photographs of the scene. Mainly red-purple and white, the water lilies captivate tourists. The white water lilies are called ‘ghost flowers’ because they only bloom at night.

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Silfra – Diving Between Two Continents

Silfra is a rift formed in 1789, due to the movements of the two tectonic plates that frame Þingvellir National Park in Iceland. The North American and Eurasian plates, which run all the way through Iceland, separate at about 2 centimeters per year, and as they do, they tear open fissures in the land between them.
Scuba diving and snorkeling in Silfra is popular because of its clear water and location within the continental rift. There are three main dive sites: Silfra Hall, Silfra Cathedral and Silfra Lagoon. The Cathedral is a 100 metres (330 ft) long fissure with visibility almost from end to end. Shallow at the entry points and at the ends of the fissure, Silfra descends to a maximum depth of 63 metres (207 ft) but diving to this depth is seldom done as it requires technical diving skills. The water temperature is between 2–4 °C (36–39 °F) but can be comfortably dived using a dry suit.
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Diego Delso / CC BY-SA

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Heaven’s Gate – a natural arch in Tianmen mountain

By Kuruman from Tokyo, Japan – IMG_2874.jpg, CC BY 2.0, Link

Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park lies 8 kilometers south of the city of Zhangjiajie in China. The mountain is best reached by cable car. Tourists can walk on kilometers of paths built onto the cliff face at the top of the mountain, including sections with glass floors. The path leading to Heaven’s Gate is 1.600 meters (5,250ft) long . An 11 km road with 99 bends also reaches the top of the mountain and takes visitors to Tianmen cave, a natural hole in the mountain of a height of 131.5 m

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The Impressive Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls  is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European to view Victoria Falls in 1855. Livingstone named his sighting in honour of Queen Victoria of Britain, but the indigenous Lozi language name, Mosi-oa-Tunya—”The Smoke That Thunders” continues in common usage as well. While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls is classified as the largest, based on its combined width of 1,708 meters  and height of 108 meters  resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and well over twice the width of its Horseshoe Falls.  There are two islands on the crest of the falls that are large enough to divide the curtain of water even at full flood: Boaruka Island (or Cataract Island) near the western bank, and Livingstone Island near the middle—the point from which Livingstone first viewed the falls.
imfo: wikipedia

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The Narrows – Zion National Park

By Christopher MichelThe Narrows., CC BY 2.0, Link

The Narrows is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon in Zion National Park, Utah. Situated on the North Fork of the Virgin River and upstream of the main canyon, The Narrows is one of the premier hikes in the park and on the Colorado Plateau. The Narrows refers to both the 3.6-mile (5.8 km) bottom-up hike from the Temple of Sinawava to Big Springs, as well as the 16-mile (26 km) top-down hike from Chamberlain’s Ranch back to the Temple of Sinawava.

info source: wikipedia

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The gems of Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigo is a nature reserve and national park located in the north of Sichuan Province in the southwestern region of China. The Jiuzhaigou valley is part of the Min Mountains on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau and stretches over 72,000 hectares. It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks.

By Charlie fong – 个人, Public Domain, Link

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Picturesque Ramsau in the Bavarian Alps

The Church of St. Sebastian, with the Reiter Alpe in background – By Softeis – work of Softeis, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Ramsau is a German municipality in the Bavarian Alps close to the border with Austria. Notable sights of Ramsau include the third highest mountain in Germany called the Watzmann, Lake Hintersee, Lake Königssee, Wimbachklamm Gorge, the Buchenwald or Enchanted Forest and the village’s church.
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Dramatic tufa towers emerge from the surface of Mono Lake

By sam garza from Los Angeles, USA – mono lake serenity, CC BY 2.0, Link

Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve is located near Yosemite National Park within Mono County, in eastern California. The lack of an outlet to the ocean causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. Many columns of limestone rise above the surface of Mono Lake. These limestone towers consist primarily of calcium carbonate minerals. This type of limestone rock is referred to as tufa, which is a term used for limestone that forms in low to moderate temperatures. The tufa originally formed at the bottom of the lake. It took many decades or even centuries to form the well-recognized tufa towers. When lake levels fell, the tufa towers came to rise above the water surface and stand as the majestic pillars seen today.
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