- Ice Cave Near The Mutnovsky Volcano, Russia - Ice caves like these form in the glaciers surrounding the Mutnovsky Volcano in Russia. Some of them are formed by vents that release volcanic heat and gases called fumaroles. (photo by Florian Wizorek)
- Glowworms Cave, New Zealand - The Waitomo glowworm caves are home to a unique insect – the glowworm. These insects hang glistening silken strands from the ceiling of the cave and glow to attract unsuspecting prey. (photo by waitomo.com)
- Son Doong Cave, Vietnam - This is the largest currently known cave in the world. It is filled with countless wonders including isolated ecosystems, weather systems and geological formations. (photo by National Geographic)
- Batu Caves, Malaysia - These caves have been used by English and Chinese settlers as well as the indigenous Temuan people. The bat guano in the cave was mined for agricultural purposes, but now the cave is filled with statues and is open to visitors. (photo by Danny Xeero)
- Marble Caves, Patagonia - Theses caves are known for the spectacular reflections that the turquoise water casts on the white marble ceiling of the cave. They are also called the Marble Cathedral because of their beautiful and arching forms. (photo by kellywhite)
- Phraya Nakhon Cave, Thailand - This cave was historically a popular visiting place for local kings because of the illumination provided by the collapsed roofs. The pavilion in the center was built for the visit of King Chulalongkorn in 1890. (photo by Wasitpol Unchanakorrakit)
- Ellison’s Cave, United States - This photograph is of the Fantastic Cave pit, part of Ellison’s Cave in the state of Georgia. It is a popular attraction for pit cavers – those who enjoy rappelling down vertical subterranean drops. (photo by secondglobe.com)
- Vatnajokull Glacier Cave, Iceland - This cave is located in the largest glacier in Europe. Caves like these form due to melting glacial icewater, but they can be dangerous because glaciers are constantly breaking and changing. (photo by Einar Runar Sigurdson)
- Cave in Algarve, Portugal - Due to its location, the cave is prone to various seaside formations because of the rock face’s relative solubility in water. This specific cave near Lagos is accessible only by water. (photo by Bruno Carlos)
- Reed Flute Cave, China - The Reed Flute Cave in Guangxi, China has been visited by tourists for at least 1200 years. The cave is home to a spectacular array of stalagmites and stalactites. It is named for the reeds that grow at its mouth, which can be made into flutes. (photo by Pasquale di Pilato)
During the summer months, water tumbles from the clifftops in Eidfjord, Norway. But come winter, this majestic landscape is transformed as the waters are suspended mid-flow — creating frozen waterfalls, or icefalls. These stunning structures are popular with ice climbers who frequently scale the 500-meter tall structures during daylight hours. But never has their delicate beauty been captured in such a colorful way at night.
In January 2013, a team assembled by Swiss mountaineering apparel and equipment company Mammut traveled to the area, which lies three hours east of the city of Bergen. Climbers led by Swiss mountaineer Dani Arnold prepared the frozen ground by fixing spotlights and flares in the ice before extreme sports photographer Thomas Senf set to work capturing the amazing effects on film. “Photography and filming at night is a big challenge,” Senf said in a statement. “The right lighting determines whether you succeed or fail. The ways to play with the factors of light, time and environment are boundless and fascinating in equal measure.” Arnold and his team used a network of ropes and cables to suspend the lamps on the icefalls. The lights created by Swiss artist David Hediger cast an otherworldly glow over the frozen Nordic landscape. Click here to watch footage of the expedition.
Arnold is one of the world’s most accomplished climbers and holds the speed record for climbing the north face of the Eiger. The 29-year-old completed the climb, in the Swiss Bernese Alps, in a time of two hours 28 minutes in April 2011. The expedition to Norway was his first. “It was a special trip, something really different. I was really impressed by the light,” he said. “We lowered all the material down from the top of the falls and often had to improvise because of the crazy ice formations; it required complete concentration.”
Temperatures during the expedition ranged between -5 to -10 degrees Celsius, says Arnold — who is happy climbing whatever the time of day. “When it gets dark, I just turn on my headlamp and keep going,” he says.
German-born Senf moved to Switzerland in 2002 at the age of 21. His love for photography started when he was training to be a mountain guide. “I had considered for a long time how to work with artificial light, which is normally only possible in a photo studio, in major mountains. The transparency and reflective properties of ice in the sun had often caught my eye. With its virtually unlimited number of icefalls, Norway seemed like the perfect place to put our ideas into practice,” Senf said in a statement. (via CNN)
- Dead Horse Mill, Crystal, Colorado, United States (source)
- Mont Saint, Michel, France (source)
- Fairytale Tree Tunnel, Ireland (source)
- Lake Brienz, Switzerland (source)
- Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona, United States (source)
- Maroon Bells, Colorado, United States (source)
- Forest Bridge, Japan (source)
- Enchanted Forest, Bavaria, Germany (source)
- Bend in the Yangtze River, China (source)
- The Matterhorn towering over the village of Zermatt, Swiss Alps (source - © Brian Jannsen)
Winter can be as beautiful as it is frigid – the snow and ice that covers much of the hemisphere in the winter is a informativeness force like no other. We invite you to cuddle up with a cup of tea and your warmest blanket and enjoy some of the most beautiful winter photos out there.
In reality the change of the seasons from winter to summer is one of the best direct indications of the earth’s cosmic movement that we can personally experience. Winter occurs in the Northern hemisphere when the Earth’s northern axis tilts away from the sun. The minute change in distance from, and angle to the sun, creates the drop in general temperature that we experience in the winter. This angle is also the reason why it’s colder the farther up north you go. As the seasons change, you can imagine our beautiful planet slowly rocking back and forth on its axis.
Although some may hate the cold, don’t forget that the winter is a necessary part of our life cycles – these winter landscapes will soon be full of life. Most plants and animals have adapted to the change of seasons in one way or another, and the cold grip of winter allows plants and animals to hibernate or migrate. Some tree seeds, like acorns, will only germinate after they’ve spent the winter on the cold ground.
(via Bored Panda)
Hidden Heart-Shaped Garden
This heartwarming act of cultivating a heart shaped garden by a farmer in loving memory of his wife is a beautiful sight indeed.
Any act of kindness or remembrance, however small or grand, increases and pays forward one of the most needed commodities on this planet today - the incredible power of love.
Although extremely rare, ice disks, also known as ice circles, do indeed appear naturally from time to time when conditions are perfect. Above are a few examples of people who have been lucky enough to stumble onto one while holding a camera.
Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a force called ‘rotational shear’, which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around. As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice — smoothing into a circle. A relatively uncommon phenomenon, one of the earliest recordings is of a slowly revolving disc was spotted on the Mianus River and reported in a 1895 edition of Scientific American.
The Real Stairway to Heaven
The Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder, is a steep hiking trail in Kaneohe, Hawaii, on the island of Oʻahu. The trail began as a wooden ladder spiked to the cliff on the south side of the Haʻikū Valley.
It was installed in 1942 to enable antenna cables to be strung from one side of the cliffs above Haʻikū Valley to the other. A building to provide a continuous communication link between Wahiawā and the Haʻikū Valley Naval Radio Station was also constructed at the peak (elevation approx. 2,800 feet/850 m). In the mid-1950s, the wooden stairs were replaced by sections of metal steps and ramps; it is estimated that there are nearly 4,000 total steps. In 1987, the station and trail were both closed to the public. [Source]
Although the public is forbidden to trespass, this has not deterred people from reaching and climbing the famous steps. While you can find rough directions online, accessing the stairs has become increasingly difficult as there is now a security guard stationed at the entrance.