Nature

  • dover-cliffs

    The breathtaking white cliffs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters [40 Pics]

    White Cliffs of Beachy Head and Seven Sisters

    White Cliffs of Beachy Head and Seven Sisters

    Chalk cliffs just East of Birling Gap looking towards the Seven Sisters.

    Photo Credit: Howzey

    Introduction

    Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters are famous for their bright white chalk cliffs. The chalk was formed during the Late Cretaceous period (up to 100 million years ago), a time when the area was submerged by the sea.

    The chalk was gradually pushed up, and rising sea levels cut into the chalk, forming the English Channel and creating a stunning range of undulating cliffs.

    The cliffs continue to be eroded by the waves below. While large movements of the cliff are rare, slabs of chalk frequently fracture and fall away. As the lower cliff material is worn by the waves, the cliffs above are undermined until they eventually collapse.[40 pictures]

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  • lightning

    When Lightning Strikes! Extreme Instability [19 Pics]

    Lightning: Northern South Dakota

    Lightning: Northern South Dakota

    Storm produces frequently lightning in northern South Dakota, June 16, 2010. Several longer exposures stacked. Image Credit (and all rights reserved by): extremeinstability.com

    Introduction

    When mother nature is mad this is what it looks like. I can totally relate to how the old Vikings had a God (Thor) for this incredible phenomenon. Yet again, the photographer Mike Hollingshead (who runs the extremeinstability.com website) provides us with insane photographs.

    From the discharge of atmospheric electricity (lightning), a leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 220,000 km/h (140,000 mph), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (54,000 °F).

    How lightning initially forms is still a matter of debate. Scientists have studied root causes ranging from atmospheric perturbations (wind, humidity, friction, and atmospheric pressure) to the impact of solar wind and accumulation of charged solar particles.

    The irrational fear of lightning (and thunder) is astraphobia. [19 pictures]

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  • burning-man

    The Weird and Wonderful Burning Man 2010 [24 Pics]

    Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. The event starts on the Monday before the American Labor Day holiday, and ends on the holiday itself. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening.

  • atlantis-take-off

    Earth from the ISS, photos by Astronaut Ron Garan [35 pics]

    In March 2011, Astronaut (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) Ronald J. Garan boarded a Soyuz spacecraft and started his incredible 6-month mission to the ISS. Even if we have seen many astronauts go up we still think each and everyone of them are heroes, their sacrifice enormous and the results spectacular.  

  • extreme-weather

    Extreme Instability, Scary weather and incredible shots [37 pics]

    Extreme Instability: Nebraska Sand Hills Monster Supercell Storm

    Extreme Instability: Nebraska Sand Hills Monster Supercell Storm

    Very intense high precipitation supercell storm moves south in the Nebraska Sand Hills south of Valentine, July 13, 2009. Very low, long and fat inflow cloud stretches east of the storm. Winds gusted upwards of 60+ mph into this storm. Tornado warning with the storm mentioned baseball size hail and winds in excess of 100 mph, a rare warning text indeed. As intense of a storm as it was, it only produced one short-lived small tornado. Traffic heading north up highway 83 would be driving right into the storm’s forward flank downdraft, which contained large hail and intense rain.  Image Credit (and all rights reserved by): extremeinstability.com

    Introduction

    These images simply blew us away (pun intended). These photos a incredible and simply breathtaking. The Photographer, Mike Hollingshead who runs the extremeinstability.com website is a storm chaser that got into photography because video captures weren’t doing things justice. He started chasing in 1999, but has always watched storms around town. He usually drives around 20,000 miles a year just chasing storms, from Texas to North Dakota, Colorado to Indiana. Though more and more he’s satisfied with South Dakota to Oklahoma, Colorado to Iowa.

    He always shoots with a Canon Digital Rebel SLRs. He has a 10-22 EF-s, a 50mm 1.8, and a 100-400L and that is it for lenses. He shoots strictly in RAW.

    He states that “Second to a love of storms, is a love of all other things weather. I love witnessing rare weather and sky scenes, such as atmospheric optics, fog displays from above, ice-storms and blizzards.”

    We are very grateful he has allowed us to present some of his favorite pictures.
    [37 pictures]

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  • dune

    Dune de Pyla – A new “Sahara” desert being born – in France! [30 pics]

    Dune de Pyla: People walking up the dune

    Dune de Pyla: People walking up the dune

    Photo credit: histoire-d1reve

    Introduction

    I never knew about this, but to me it looks like Europe has started turning into a new sahara desert. The Great Dune of Pyla is the tallest sand dune in Europe. It is located in the Arcachon Bay area, France, 37 miles (60 km) from Bordeaux.
    The dune has a volume of about 60,000,000 m³, measuring around 1,640 ft (500 m) wide from east to west and 1,9 miles (3 km) in length from north to south. Its height is 350 feet (107 metres) above sea level. The dune moves relentlessly towards the interior of the country and gradually covers buildings and roads.
    [30 pictures]

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  • joshua-tree

    The fascinating Joshua Tree National Park [34 Pics]

    Joshua Tree

    Joshua Tree and shadow

    Joshua Tree is such a surreal place. There’s really nowhere else like it. We had a great time bouldering and exploring during the day, but as the sun started to set, it was time to start playing around with the flash. Photo credit: Adam Brill

    Introduction

    Joshua Tree National Park is a United States National Park that is located in the Southern California’s High Desert. The name Joshua tree was given by a group of Mormon settlers who crossed the Mojave Desert in the mid-19th century. The tree’s unique shape reminded them of a Biblical story in which Joshua reaches his hands up to the sky in prayer.

    The park is a gem and a must see visit if you ever travel to California to experience the multi-faced californian nature. Joshua Tree Park is a very popular camping, hiking and rock climbing spot for thousands each year. Even more breathtaking is the beautiful starry nights. It is hard to imagine a desert being colorful and beautiful however take a closer look while at the park. There are true hidden gems around each boulder. [34 pictures]

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  • wave-rock1

    Wave Rock – Hard Surf in Hyden, Australia [11 Pics]

    Wave Rock

    Wave Rock

    Wave Rock is composed of granite. The total outcrop covers several hectares and is part of the Hyden Rock erosional remnant. The “wave” part of the rock is about 15 m (50 ft) high and around 110 m (350 ft) long.

    Introduction

    Wave Rock is a natural rock formation located east of the small town of Hyden, located 339 km east of Perth, Western Australia. Believed to have formed over 2700 million years ago, Wave Rock is part of the northern face of Hyden Rock. The shape of the wave is formed by gradual erosion of the softer rock beneath the upper edge, over many centuries. 14 metres high, and 110m long, the face of Wave Rock appears ready to crash onto a pre-historic surf, now frozen in time.

    The colors of the Wave are caused by the rain washing chemical deposits (carbonates and iron hydroxide) down the face, forming vertical stripes of grays reds and yellows. If you can stay a little longer, it is also worth seeing the Rock at different times of the day, as the changing sunlight alters its colors and appearance. [11 pictures]

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  • holden-crater-on-mars-artistic-rendering

    Mind-blowing artistic rendering of Mars [29 Pics]

    Planet Mars Art by Veenenbos: Holden Crater

    Holden Crater southern ridge
    Spiky rocks hide the sun which light up the starshape thin clouds. Image Credit: Data: NASA/ Art: Kees Veenenbos, www.space4case.com

    Introduction

    The outstanding digital rendering techniques of the Dutchman Kees Veenenbos have been featured in National Geographic and on NASA pages . The images he rendered are made with a landscape program called Terragen. He has worked with this program already since 1999 in different versions. Most are made with digital elevation models of NASA, from different satellites like the Mars Global Surveyor for example.

    He made a lot of images for National Geographic, Mars images, but also of good old Earth and other planets in the solar system and even extra solar planets.

    We have put together a collection of his fantastic made images of recent and ancient Mars (with water and ice). All artwork are copyright Kees Veenenbos and we have been give special permission to use them for this article. The originals can all be found on his website: www.space4case.com (all data originate from NASA). [29 pictures]

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  • cliffs-of-moher

    The Magnificent Cliffs of Moher – one slip and you’re dead [41 Pics]

    Cliffs of Moher: Mist

    Cliffs of Moher: Mist
    As of July 2009, the Cliffs were named one of 28 global finalists in the “New Seven Wonders of Nature”. The “New Seven Wonders” winners are expected to be announced on 11 November 2011 (11/11/11). Image Credit: Unknown

    Introduction

    On the west coast of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are one of the most outstanding coastal features of Ireland and biggest Tourist Attraction. A visit to these cliffs should not be missed.
    The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.

    The cliffs of Moher are located just south of the Village of Doolin in Co Clare Ireland. Rising slowly from Doolin they ascend to over 700 feet (213 metres) stretching south for nearly five miles (8km) to Hags head. They are Irelands premier tourist attraction and a must see for anyone visiting Ireland. The views from the cliffs attract close to one million visitors per year. [41 pictures]

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