Oregon is home to the towering Cascades, a range of mountains and active volcanoes. The Lost Lake likely formed about 3,000 years ago, when lava flowing from a volcanic vent blocked a river channel and created the lake. The lakebed begins to fill in the late fall, when the amount of rain coming in starts exceeding the ability of the lava tubes to drain off the water. But during the dry months, the lake vanishes and turns into meadow. The reason? Two hollow lava tubes at the bottom of the lake are constantly draining the lake dry, much like a bathtub left unplugged. It’s not entirely clear where the water goes, but it possibly seeps into the porous subsurface underground. There have been numerous attempts to plug the leak, those endeavors, however, would only result in the lake flooding.
Image credits: Jim Lynn
The sea slug is also commonly referred to as a sea cucumber, mainly because of the of the sea slug’s shape and the fact that it is normally found on coral or rocks usually being very still, making it look like a type of aquatic vegetable.
Sea slugs are herbivores and feed on plankton and decaying matter on the ocean floor. When they eat algae, they suck out the chloroplasts and incorporate them into their own bodies in a process called kleptoplasty. Some of them use algae to photosynthesize.
There are some surprising phenomena that occur in nature but often times these brilliant phenomena happen so rarely. Colorful formations and startling optical illusions that produce strange weather appearances and catch our attention.
Colorful rock formations
The unusual colours of the rocks are the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down over 24 million years.
A world so small that it fits into a drop of water.
These false-color SEM images reveal microscopic flower structures created by manipulating a chemical gradient to control crystalline self-assembly.
To create the flower structures, Noorduin and his colleagues dissolve barium chloride (a salt) and sodium silicate (also known as water glass) into a beaker of water. Carbon dioxide from air naturally dissolves in the water, setting off a reaction which precipitates barium carbonate crystals. As a byproduct, it also lowers the pH of the solution immediately surrounding the crystals, which then triggers a reaction with the dissolved waterglass. This second reaction adds a layer of silica to the growing structures, uses up the acid from the solution, and allows the formation of barium carbonate crystals to continue.
Images courtesy of Wim L. Noorduin