Dead Vlei – Namibia’s graveyard of tree skeletons

By IkiwanerOwn 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.
info: wikipedia
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The Hitachi Tree – A monkeypod tree with a giant umbrella shaped green canopy

By Myaataro – Photo by Myaataro, Public Domain, Link

The Hitachi tree, a large monkeypod tree with a distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy, grows in the middle of a grassy area in the middle of Moanalua Gardens in Honolulu, Hawai. The tree is estimated to be around 130 years old and its canopy provides shade over an area 40 meters in diameter. The tree  is registered as an exceptional tree by the City and County of Honolulu and cannot be removed or destroyed without city council approval.
Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi, Ltd. has used the tree as a corporate symbol since 1973. An agreement between the Damon Estate and Hitachi gave Hitachi exclusive worldwide rights to use the tree’s image for promotional purposes in exchange for annual payments .
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The Colorful Landscape of Dallol Volcano in Ethiopia

By A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) – Own work, FAL, Link

Dallol is a  cone volcano in the Danakil Depression, northeast of the Erta Ale Range in Ethiopia. It has been formed by the intrusion of basaltic magma into salt deposits and subsequent hydro thermal activity. Eruptions took place in 1926, forming Dallol Volcano. Numerous other eruption craters dot the salt flats nearby. These craters are the lowest known sub aerial volcanic vents in the world, at 45 m (150 ft) or more below sea level. In October 2004 the shallow magma chamber beneath Dallol deflated and fed a magma intrusion southwards beneath the rift. Numerous hot springs are discharging brine and acidic liquid here. Small, widespread, temporary geysers produce cones of salt.

The term Dallol was coined by the Afar people and means dissolution or disintegration, describing a landscape of green acid ponds and iron oxide, sulfur and salt desert plains. The area resembles the hot springs areas of Yellowstone Park but it is much hotter and its waters are much more acidic.
info source: wikipedia

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The Cemetery of Trains in Bolivia

Florian G. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Uyuni primarily serves as a gateway for tourists visiting the world’s largest salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. One of the major tourist attractions of the area is an antique train cemetery. A place cluttered with old, rotting trains, a symbol of past greatness and also decay. It is located 3 km outside Uyuni and is connected to it by the old train tracks. The town served in the past as a distribution hub for the trains carrying minerals on their way to the Pacific Ocean ports. The train lines were built by British engineers who arrived near the end of the 19th century and formed a sizable community in Uyuni.  The rail construction started in 1888 and ended in 1892. It was encouraged by the then Bolivian President Aniceto Arce, who believed Bolivia would flourish with a good transport system, but it was also constantly sabotaged by the local indigenous people who saw it as an intrusion into their lives. The trains were mostly used by the mining companies. In the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed, partly due to the mineral depletion. Many trains were abandoned thereby producing the train cemetery. There are talks to build a museum out of the cemetery.
info source: wikimedia

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Damme Canal: The Canal that Napoleon built in Belgium

Photo credit: Alain Rouiller/Flickr

The Damme Canal (French: Canal de Damme. Dutch: Damse Vaart or Napoleonvaart) is a canal in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The canal links Bruges with the Western Scheldt at Sluis, Netherlands. It was constructed on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte who wished to create a canal network in order to permit the efficient transport of troops without the risk of disruptive interventions from the British navy.

Following the defeat of Napoleon, the original strategic imperative for the canal was removed. The plans in the Napoleonic era had called for a link to the Scheldt at Breskens. Half a century later the canal opened to traffic in 1856, and the link with the sea had moved to Sluis.
After World War II use of the canal resumed, but it was used now by pleasure boats, along with a tourist boat connecting Damme and Bruges.
info source: wikipedia
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The Domes of Fabedougou

Damien Halleux Radermecker [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

These amazing weathered rocks in the village of Fabedougou, near Banfora, in  Burkina Faso, are nearly 2 billion years old sculpted into quirky dome like shapes  by water and erosion. The domes are about fifty meters high and formed  at a time when this area was occupied by an ocean. The site is both an excellent view and climbing spot.

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