Stunning Landscape - Cappadocia, Turkey
The mysterious rock formations and underground cities of Cappadocia make this region of Turkey one the most beautiful in the world. The rich history of this site can be told through the villages, subterranean churches and fortresses that have been carved straight into the soft, porous, eerily eroded rock.
Popular activities in the region include visits to the underground cities, viewing the ancient Christian cave art, seeing the “fairy chimney” rock formations, and taking sunrise hot air balloon rides for a view of the breathtaking landscape from above.
Horseshoe Bend, Arizona
Located on the Colorado River, Horseshoe Bend is a geological marvel. Here is where the Colorado River, cutting through rock over the course of millions of years, created a wide sweep around this sandstone escarpment. It created a 270° horseshoe-shaped bend in the canyon. This beautiful spot is only 7 miles north of the Grand Canyon.
Rare Nacreous Clouds
Also called polar stratospheric clouds or mother of pearl clouds, nacreous clouds are mostly visible within two hours after sunset or before dawn. They blaze unbelievably bright with vivid, iridescent colors. These clouds are rare and occur in the polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters. They are so bright because at those heights, they are still sunlit.
Although incredibly beautiful, they have a negative impact on our atmosphere. They create ozone holes by supporting chemical reactions that produce active chlorine which catalyzes ozone destruction.
Blood Falls, a Natural Time Capsule Containing a Unique Ecosystem
This five-story, blood-red “waterfall” pours ever so slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valley. Geologists first discovered the frozen waterfall in 1911, and believed the red color came from algae. Its true nature turned out to be more spectacular.
Roughly two million years ago, a small body of water containing an ancient community of microbes was sealed beneath the surface of the Taylor Glacier. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, the microbes have remained isolated inside a natural time capsule, in a place with no light, oxygen, or heat.
The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the seepage its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the microbial subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.
More photos of Blood Falls can be seen on Atlas Obscura
These sculptures are created with such mathematical precision that the image can only be seen as a reflection. To get this effect the London-based artist, Jonty Hurwitz, first scans a 3D object, then distorts it with a computer using π algorithms. His final pieces, made from steel, resin, perspex, or copper, have to be viewed next to a round reflective cylinder – only then do the objects come into focus.
The fire tornado or fire devil, one of nature’s rarest phenomenon, is caused when a column of superheated, rising air comes into contact with a wildfire. Basically its a tornado composed of fire instead of dust.
Film-maker Chris Tangey of Alice Springs Film and Television was filming a wildfire in Curtin Springs, Australia, when a small twister touched down causing it to build into a spinning flame. Just 300 meters away was a 30 meter high fire swirl which “sounded like a fighter jet” despite there being no wind in the area. The tornado that Tangey caught on camera reportedly lasted for more than 40 minutes.
(Source: Daily Mail)
The Hand of the Desert and Monument to the Drowned
Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal has produced two giant hand sculptures located in strange places. The first hand sculpture, The Hand of the Desert, is located deep in the the Atacama desert in Chile. The hand was constructed at an altitude of 1,100 meters above sea level. The work has a base of iron and cement, and stands 11 meters tall. The second hand, Monument to the Drowned, is a sculpture of five fingers partially submerged in sand, located at Brava Beach in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
The Most Intense Color of Any Living Thing on Earth
Also known as the marble berry, Pollia condensata is a wild plant that grows in the forests of several African countries. The berries are not edible, but they have an extremely rare property. They produce the most intense color of any living thing on Earth. Even after the berries have been picked from the plant, they stay the same shiny, vibrant, metallic blue color for many decades.
The vast majority of colors in the biological world are produced by pigments—compounds produced by a living organism that selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light, so that they appear to be the color of whichever wavelengths they reflect.
However, the marble berry’s skin has no pigment. The berries produce their vibrant blue color through nanoscale-sized cellulose strands that scatter light as they interact with one another. Thus the fruit’s color is even visible at the cellular level as pictured above.