Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Most Beautiful Beaches

Posted in Nature, Travel by admin
“I have always loved the beach. The smell of the salty water, the wind in my face, the gentle roar of the waves all combine to create a sense of peace and calm.”

most beautiful beaches 1 The Most Beautiful BeachesBoraBora Island, Tahiti, French Polynesia

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most beautiful beaches 3 The Most Beautiful BeachesPink Waves

most beautiful beaches 4 The Most Beautiful BeachesBeach, Goa

most beautiful beaches 5 The Most Beautiful BeachesBeach, Goa

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most beautiful beaches 8 The Most Beautiful BeachesWhiteheaven Island, Australia

most beautiful beaches 9 The Most Beautiful BeachesPink Sands beach, Bahamas

most beautiful beaches 10 The Most Beautiful BeachesThe North Shore Coastline, Oahu, Hawaii

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most beautiful beaches 12 The Most Beautiful BeachesAn Ideal place for vacation in Jamaica.

most beautiful beaches 13 The Most Beautiful BeachesBeautiful beach, sky bridge

most beautiful beaches 14 The Most Beautiful BeachesPulau Sibu, a beautiful island at its best

most beautiful beaches 15 The Most Beautiful BeachesBeautiful beach sunset

Natural Wonder from Ancient Volcanic Eruption

Posted in Environment, Nature, Places by admin
Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. It’s area is made up of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns… the steps you see are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Discovered in 1692 and announced to the world, it became a popular tourist attraction ever since the 19th century.

Legend actually has it that an Irish giant built the causeway to fight a Scottish giant:

Long ago, an Irish giant named Finn MacCool roamed the north coast, where he could look across the narrow sea of Moyle to Scotland. A Scottish giant, Benandonner, was Finn’s greatest rival, challenging his strength and reputation.

As the two giants had never met, Finn decided to invite Benandonner to Ireland, to engage in a decisive battle. There was no boat large enough to carry giants, so Finn built a causeway of huge stones across the water so that the Scottish giant could travel on dry land; thus he would have no excuse to avoid the confrontation.

However, as big Ben approached, Finn realised to his horror that his opponent was a larger and more fearsome rival than he anticipated. He fled to his home in the nearby hills, and like any sensible man, asked his wife for advice. Oonagh, a practical woman, disguised Finn as a baby, complete with large nightgown and bonnet. She placed him in a huge, hastily made cradle, telling him to keep quiet and pretend to sleep, as Benandonner’s great shadow darkened the door.

Oonagh brought the Scottish giant in for tea, pleading with him not to waken Finn’s child, Looking at the massive ‘baby’ lying in the cradle, Benandonner took fright, saying that if this was the child, he had no wish to meet the father. He fled back to Scotland, ripping up the Causeway behind him, terrified that the awful Finn might follow him home.

Basalt columns are actually a common volcanic feature and you can see it in many other places like Armenia, New Zealand, Russia and California. I’ve seen a few of them but the Giant’s causeway seems to be most impressive. Here are some pictures of them. Definitely a place to visit in Ireland.

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The beauty of life

Posted in Nature by admin | Tags: ,

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10 Deepest Lakes on Earth

Posted in Environment, Nature, Places, Travel by admin | Tags: ,
Deepest Lakes Earth 1 10 Deepest Lakes on EarthHave you ever swam out in a deep lake and not been able to see the bottom? All you can feel is the freezing cold water beneath your feet, all you see is darkness extending to infinity.

There is nothing wrong with being afraid of deep water even if you’re the best swimmer in the world, but when you add some fantasy to the story and consider the legends and mysteries that lie underneath the murky depths, fear can eat you alive.

As with any lake, depths fluctuate with climate and in particular rainfall. Notwithstanding this, today we’ll explore the top ten deepest lakes in the world and the stories and legends behind them.

10. Lake Matano
Deepest Lakes Earth 2 10 Deepest Lakes on EarthWith a tectonic origin and located in South Sulawesi in Indonesia, Lake Matano is an important freshwater resource in the area and the country’s deepest lake, with a maximum depth of 1936 feet. It drains from Patea River and later flows through a waterfall into Lake Mahalona (the Malili Lakes).

Lake Matana is famous for its extremely clear waters and the many endemic fish species which have arisen from a single ancestor diversified over time.

9. Crater Lake
Deepest Lakes Earth 3 10 Deepest Lakes on EarthWith a violent volcanic past, the caldera lake in the Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, is a place of immeasurable beauty. Surrounding cliffs of up to two thousand feet high, two small islands and spectacular blue water, make this “outdoor laboratory” the perfect place for photographers.

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Crater lake is the deepest lake in the United States with a maximum depth of 1949 feet. It may also have one of the purest water, in North America, (in terms of absence of pollutants) thanks to the generous amounts of winter snow that supplies it with water.

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It was created when Mount Mazama (12,000 feet high) collapsed 7,700 years ago following a large eruption, but the legend has more details. The Klamath Indian tribe talks about a raging war between Llao, the spirit of the Below-World who lived in Mount Mazama, and Skell the spirit of the Above-World.

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Llao felt in love with Loha, daughter of the Klamath Indian chief, but got rejected and decided to punish humans with the curse of fire. Skell came in to help and after a long battle he managed to defeat Llao, whom he imprisoned deep down into the Under-World, collapsing the top of the Mount Mazama over. At last he wanted peace and decided to cover the pit with magnificent blue water.
8. Great Slave Lake

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Also known as the Grand lac des Esclaves after the Slavey North American Indians, it covers 11,000 sq miles in the Northwest Territories of Canada and goes down to 2,015 feet which makes it the deepest lake in North America. Because of the low temperatures in the area, for about eight months of the year, the lake is at least partially frozen, while during winter, the ice is so thick that trailer trucks can pass through.

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There is currently no physical evidence to suggest that an unidentified large creature is living in the Great Slave Lake, but many people traveling to the lake have said otherwise. Some talk about a large hump in the water, usually mistaken for a rock until it submerges, or an alligator-like body, with a head like that of a pike.

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From his house, a Roman Catholic priest even saw a large dragon-headed creature that rose six to eight feet above the water and moved rapidly on the shores of the lake. The creature was subsequently named Ol’Slavey.

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7. Issyk Kul Lake

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In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the northern Tian Shan mountains, Issyk Kul is an endorheic saline water lake that was supposed to be an ancient metropolis, 2,500 years ago. The average water depth is 1,000 feet while the deepest point goes down to 2,192 feet.

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According to the legend, during pre-Islamic times, the king of the Ossounes had donkey’s ears. He managed to hide them however, by killing all his barbers to make sure the secret wouldn’t leak out, yet one day, one of the barbers escaped and yelled the secret into a well and left it uncovered, which caused water to
rise and flood the kingdom.

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It would be interesting to explore the truths behind this story, as archaeological finds indicated the presence of an advanced ancient civilization where the the Issyk Kul lake is currently located.

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6. Lake Malawi

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Also known as Lake Nyasa, Lake Malawi is the most southern lake in the East African Rift valley system, located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. At 2,316 feet deep, it’s the second deepest lake in Africa and thanks to the tropical waters it has more fish species than any other lake on Earth.

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Researchers have studied sediments from core samples of Lake Malawi, which revealed that 100,000 years ago, water levels dropped to about 2,000 feet, turning the land around the lake into semi-desert and arid scrubland habitat. According to some, this may be why early man fled from Africa to colonize other parts of the world.

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5. O’Higgins/San Martín Lake

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Located in Patagonia, between the Aysén Region and the Santa Cruz Province, the lake is called O’Higgins in Chile and San Martin in Argentina. It is the deepest lake in the Americas with a maximum depth of 2,742 feet (measured near the O’Higgins Glacier). The lake is very irregular consisting of eight well-defined arms with milky light-blue water coming from the suspended rock flour.

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The lake is named after South American heroes José de San Martín of Argentina and Bernardo O’Higgins of Chile, who fought together for the liberation of Chile.

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4. Lake Vostok

Deepest Lakes Earth 5 10 Deepest Lakes on EarthOut of the 140 sub-glacial lakes on earth, Vostok is the largest and the deepest, with a maximum depth of 2,950 feet. Beneath Russia’s Vostok Station, 13,000 feet under the surface of the central Antarctic ice sheet, may be the most unspoiled lake on Earth. British and Russian scientists only discovered it in 1996.

The average water temperature is -3 °C and the reason why it is still liquid below freezing is the high pressure from the weight of the ice above it.

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Scientists also discovered that the ice core may be 420,000 years old, meaning that the lake could have been sealed for over 500,000 years and the water beneath could be doubly as old.

So far there isn’t any proof of life in LakeVostok. Notwithstanding this, in case there are species living beneath the murky depths, they are most likely to have evolved special features in order to survive the lake’s oxygen-rich environment

3. Caspian Sea

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Between the southern areas of the Russian Federation and northern Iran, lies the largest enclosed body of water on Earth. It’s an endorheic lake with salty water (salinity of approximately 1.2%) that was landlocked due to continental drift 5.5 million years ago. An ancient remnant of the Tethys Ocean, (just like the Black Sea or the Mediterranean Sea) it is the third deepest lake in the world going down to 3,363 feet.

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Fauna in the Caspian basin is very rich: great numbers of sturgeon (that’s where you get the great caviar), the Caspian seal and some fish endemic to the Caspian Sea like the Kkturn (Caspian white fish), Caspian roach, Caspian bream and an array of rare species of salmon only to be found in that area.

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The Caspian Sea is very rich in energy resources like oil and gas deposits, which have been tapped since the 10th century. These days, the oil in the Caspian basin is supposed to be worth $12 trillion.

2. Tanganyika Lake

Deepest Lakes Earth 8 10 Deepest Lakes on EarthDivided between Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (45%), Tanzania (41%) and
Zambia, Tanganyika is the deepest fresh water lake in Africa and the second in the world with a maximum depth of 4,823 feet. The lake was “mistakenly” discovered in 1858 by two British explorers, Richard Burton and John Speke, in their quest to find the Nile’s source.
Deepest Lakes Earth 9 10 Deepest Lakes on EarthA recent story on National Georgraphic talks about a cold-blooded serial killer on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Called Gustave, it was a 20 feet long crocodile that weighted 2,000 pounds and was responsible for killing hundreds of people.

1. Lake Baikal

Also known as the “blue eye of Siberia”, lake Baikal is located in Southern Siberia near R near the Russo-Mongolian border. Famous for being the deepest lake in the world with a maximum depth of 5,369 feet it holds a volume of water larger than that of all the great lakes combined.

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Lake Baikal is a great eco-system where more than 1,700 species of flora and fauna live; two thirds of them only to be found here. Completely surrounded by steep mountains and dense forests, the lake has an estimated age of 25-30 million years, making it one of the most ancient lakes in geological history.

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However, this enormous water formation may harbor a mystery of immense proportions: a gigantic animal, either of sturgeon-like appearance or a rogue sea serpent; Baikal’s very own Loch Ness Monster. No one can tell for sure if the legend is true or not, but the creature exists in people’s minds and haunts their thoughts.

If you know of any other deep lakes worth exploring, please drop us a line in the comments.

Beautiful Africa

Posted in Nature, Travel by admin

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The 10 Oddest City Names

Posted in Places by admin

10. Peck, USA – Located in Sanilac County, Michigan, Peck is a small village of around 600 people, arguably referred to as peckers. Peck is rather small, having a total surface of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²). As with other towns or villages included in the list, not many facts are known, apart from the number of inhabitants.

9. Phuket Province, Thailand – Located in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is a southern province of Thailand and also the country’s biggest island. The name is derived from the word bukit, which means mountain or hill. Tourists flock to the myriad beaches – save for in tsunami season – while nightlife enthusiasts and shoppers crowd Patong.

8. Climax Springs, USA – Although the name sounds appealing, it only refers to a small village of around 80 people in Camden County, Missouri. Don’t start packing yet because the city doesn’t actually have springs per se. Small and devoid of attractions, you may want to ignore the allure of the place name – as seductive as it is, and visit nearby St. Louis instead.

7. Condom, France – Also known as Condom-en-Armagnac, Condom is located on the Via Podiensis and home to two castles that date back to the 13th century – the Château de Mothes and the Château de Pouypardin. Other than the castles and odd name, the town is known for the production of Armagnac brandy.

6. Dix Hills, USA – Located in Suffolk County, New York, Dix Hills is often described as one of the nicest communities on Long Island. Most of its allure is derived from the fact that it was home to American jazz musician John Coltrane during the last years of his life. Here, Coltrane wrote several pieces, including one of his greatest: “A Life Supreme”.

5. Owanka, USA – Even though the city is not tracked by the American Census bureau, Owanka has been assigned a zip code (oh, the irony). Owanka is an unincorporated community in the Pennington County of South Dakota.

4. Placentia, Canada – Located on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador, the town of Placentia is home to several communities that amount to around 3,900 inhabitants. Sadly, the population is in rapid decline. In fact, only one other town in Canada shrinks at a faster rate that Placentia. Famous Placentians include commentator/journalist Rex Murphy and wrestler Alastair Ralphs.

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3. Shag Point, USA – This is a point on the north coast of South Georgia, between Camp Bay and Sunset Fjord in the Bay of Isles. The name was chosen by the wacky British, with first use on a 1931 chart.

2. Pussy, France – The small French village of Pussy is located in the community of La Léchère. The village’s name comes from the Gallo-Roman name Pusiacum – pusus actually means little boy. It lies on the river Isère offering magnificent views of the Mont Bellachat.

1. Fucking, Austria – The number one puzzling town name is in western Upper Austria. Fucking has been around since 1070, named apparently after a legendary 6th century character “Focko”. Translated, the name of the town simply signifies “(place of) Focko’s people.”

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11 phenomenal images of earth

Posted in Environment by admin | Tags: , ,

below are 11 incredible photos taken from space which illustrate just a few of earth’s fascinating geographical features and nature’s frightening unpredictability.

click on all pictures for humongous versions.

1. sri lankan coast, 26th december 2004

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(above) the ocean rapidly retreats 400 metres on the south-western coast of sri lanka, just 5 minutes prior to the arrival of a devastating tsunami.

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(above) the swirling waters continue to batter the coast just moments after the main wall of water has hit.

2. an alluvial fan, xinjiang province, china

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(above) covering an area 56.6 x 61.3 km and taken on may 2nd, 2002, this photo shows an alluvial fan that formed on the southern border of the taklimakan desert in china. an alluvial fan usually forms as water leaves a canyon, each new stream eventually closing up due to sediment – the result being a triangle of active and inactive channels. the blue ones on the left are currently active.

3. retreating glaciers in the bhutan-himalaya

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(above) a beautiful but clear sign that glaciers are slowly melting due to global warming. easily visible are the ends of most of these glacial valleys’ surfaces turning to water to form lakes, a trend which has been noticed only in the last few decades.

4. hurricane isabel, 2003

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(above) this terrifying photo of hurricane isabel was taken on the international space station in 2003 and illustrates the immense size of the hurricane’s eye. this particular hurricane was the deadliest of 2003 and winds reached 165 mph at its peak.

5. greenland’s eastern coast, august 21st, 2003

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(above) the fractal coastline of greenland and its numerous fjords as seen from space.

‘little spots of white in the water seem to be ice originating from the deeper fjords that reach all the way to the icecap covering most of the island.’ link

6. aurora borealis

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(above) an astounding and spooky photo of the natural phenomenon known as aurora borealis, taken on-board space shuttle atlantis during the sts-117 mission.

7. a total solar eclipse from space, 1999

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(above) the shadow of the moon covers part of earth on august 11th, 1999 in this photo taken from mir space station. this shadow raced across earth at 2000 km/h, all areas under the centre of it plunged into darkness during a total solar eclipse. this was apparently one the final photos taken from mir.

8. egmont national park, new zealand

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(above) mt. egmont volcano last erupted in 1755 and is now situated at the centre of egmont national park. park regulations have ensured the survival of a forest which extends at a 9.5 km radius from the summit of the volcano, the result of which can be seen from space in the form of huge dark green disc. this photo was taken during the sts-110 mission, april 2002.

9. mt. etna eruption, october 2001

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(above) taken from the international space station in 2001, this is a photo of a particularly violent eruption on the island of sicily which produced a cloud of ash that travelled as far as libya. on the humongous version of the photo lighter coloured smoke can be seen near the volcano – this was caused by lava igniting nearby forests.

10. richat structure, mauritania

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(above) the cause of the richat structure in the sahara desert of mauritania has been debated for many years. at first it was thought to be a meteor impact crater due to its circularity but this has since been disproven due to the lack of shock-altered rock in its vicinity. this massive (30 mile diameter) oddity is now believed to have been a rock dome sculpted over time by erosion. this incredible image was taken by the advanced spaceborne thermal emission and reflection radiometer (aster) on october 7th, 2000.

National Geographic Contest

Posted in Animals by admin

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