Located in North Iceland, in the Gulf of Húnaflói, stands a massive rock that looks like a grazing dinosaur called Hvítserkur. The spectacular structure is a natural formation on the landscape that adds an intriguing, mystical touch to the surrounding environment. In fact, legend has it that the colossal boulder was once a giant troll seeking to attack a neighboring abbey, but was petrified into a slab of stone when caught in the rising sun.
Whether one believes in folklore or not, it adds to the story of Hvítserkur, which used to be a volcano. The structure is the remains of a 15-meter-high volcano that has almost completely eroded away. Photographers both in and out of Iceland seek to capture shots of the beautiful, monumental rock.
(via My Modern Met)
Puzzlewood Magical Forest — The Real Middle Earth
Puzzlewood is a unique and enchanting place, located in the beautiful and historic Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. There is more than a mile of meandering pathways through Puzzlewood and over 14 acres of ancient woodland. It has an atmosphere quite unlike any other wood. The magical forest is one of the most stunning in the world and it’s easy to see why it’s been used as a filming location for Merlin and Dr. Who. It is no wonder that JRR Tolkien is reputed to have taken his inspiration for the fabled forests of Middle Earth from Puzzlewood.
In Puzzlewood you will find strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees. The geological features here are known locally as scowles. The scowles originated through the erosion of natural underground cave systems formed in limestone many millions of years ago. Uplift and erosion caused the cave system to become exposed at the surface. This was then exploited by Iron Age settlers through to Roman times for the extraction of iron ore.
Evidence of Roman occupation of the area is supported by the discovery of a hoard of over 3,000 Roman coins from the 3rd Century which were found in the scowles of Puzzlewood. Once the Romans left, nature reclaimed the old workings with moss and trees, to create the unique landscape. The historical use soon became forgotten, and the folklore of “Puzzlewood” began.
In the early 1800s, a local landowner laid down a mile of pathways which meandered through the trees and gulleys to open up this ancient forest originally for the amusement of his friends and children. In the early 1900s, Puzzlewood opened to the public. Since then it is has remained essentially unchanged with the same stunning pathways and bridges as in earlier times, but with the addition of a variety of animals and visitor facilities.
Past Predictions of Future Travel
As we look toward our future, we still see individual flying cars, imagine cities in space and their promise of freedom to quickly travel where we please. Unfortunately, we are still not there yet. Technology is progressing exponentially, as it did in the past, and will into the future, however it is usually appears in forms that our collective imaginations did not predict.
Enjoy this random compilation of retro travel as imagined by our past. It’s interesting to note that they never attempt to re-imagine the future looks of hairstyles or clothes in these illustrations.
Amazing Seaside Hotel on Stilts
Fogo Island in Canada began to multiply amazing and ambitious architectural projects. This time, teams created a stunning sea-side hotel named the ‘Fogo Island Inn’. This amazing feat of architecture has about a third of the hotel balanced on what look like giant stilts. The hotel offers 29 rooms and living areas of outstanding natural beauty. The use of windows in this hotel’s design allow for full view of the supreme beauty of the ocean.
The hotel is located on the stunning Fogo Island, a remote, accessible island located off the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland, Canada – just over halfway between the equator and the North Pole. Its climate features seven seasons. It is the largest of an archipelago of islands at the very eastern edge of the North American continent; Far, far away yet close enough for short getaways.
The Stunning Medieval Hilltop Church in Georgia
Near the village of Gergeti, outside the town of Stepantsminda, Georgia, lies the isolated Gergeti Trinity Church. Also called the Holy Trinity Church, it sits on top of a mountain near Mount Kazbegi, one of the highest and most beautiful peaks of Caucasus, at an elevation of 2,170 meters. The 14th century Georgian orthodox and apostolic church is a popular way point for trekkers in the area, and can be reached by a steep climb for 3 hours, or in half an hour by local taxi up a rough mountain trail.
The Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century and is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province. During the invasion by Tbilisi Persians in the 18th century, precious relics from Mtskheta, including Saint Nino’s Cross were brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet era, all religious services were prohibited, but the church remained a popular tourist destination. The church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.
Cenotes are natural pits or sinkholes resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings. The term derives from a word used by the low-land Yucatec Maya, “Ts’onot” to refer to any location with accessible groundwater. There are an estimated 7,000 cenotes in the Yucatán Peninsula.
Cenote water is often very clear, as the water comes from rain water filtering slowly through the ground, and therefore contains very little suspended particulate matter. The groundwater flow rate within a cenote may be very slow. In many cases, cenotes are areas where sections of cave roof have collapsed revealing an underlying cave system, and the water flow rates may be much faster: up to 6 miles (10 km) per day. Cenotes around the world attract cave divers who have documented extensive flooded cave systems through them, some of which have been explored for lengths of 62 miles (100 km) or more.
The Remarkable Dinosaur Footprint Wall
Located 3 miles (5 km) from Sucre, Bolivia is Cal Orko, an imposing limestone slab 0.9 miles (1.5 km) long and over 328 feet (100 m) high. On this steep face with an inclination of 72 degrees, visitors can look back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth over 68 million years ago.
At Cal Orko you will find 462 distinct dinosaur tracks from at least 8 different species, totaling an incredible 5,055 dinosaur footprints. So how do thousands of dinosaur footprints come to be, on a seemingly vertical rock face hundreds of feet high? The location used to be the shore of a former lake, that attracted large numbers of dinosaurs.
The creatures’ feet sank into the shoreline in damp weather, leaving marks that were solidified by later periods of drought. Wet weather then returned, sealing the prints below mud and sediment. The wet-dry pattern was repeated several times, preserving multiple layers of prints. Tectonic upheaval then pushed the flat ground up to the brilliant viewing angle that it is today.