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Saturday, October 11, 2014

20 Most Mysterious Earth Photographs

 
Photograph by Robert Haas

Salt Piles on Shoreline, Senegal

Salt piles line the shoreline of Lake Retba, Senegal. The high salinity content of the lake provides a livelihood for salt collectors.

Travelling to Europe, USA, Asia and other continents is top on most people’s vacation list. However, outside of the natural elegant places to visit, there are a number of mysterious places, fact or legend, which intrigues scientists to this day. This collection is taken from Patterns in Nature.

Biplane Over Monomoy Shoals, Massachusetts

 
Photograph by Michael Melford
A biplane flies above Monomoy Island, Massachusetts.

Sand Dunes, Rub al Khali

 
Photograph by George Steinmetz
The borders of four nations—Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates—blur beneath the shifting sands of the Rub al Khali, or Empty Quarter, desert.

Drying Fronds, Kenya

 
Photograph by Robert Haas
Fronds dry in neat lines around a tree in Kenya.

Cave Dwellings, Turkey

 
Photograph by Klaus Nigge
Cavelike dwellings built into soft rock dot the Cappadocia region of Turkey.

Fairy Circles, Namib Desert

 
Photograph by Michael Fay
Fairy circles, or grassless patches, spot the Namib Desert in Namibia, seen here from an airplane.

Bacteria, New Zealand

 
Photograph by Peter Essick
Photosynthesizing bacteria in a New Zealand thermal pool absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Sunflower Florets

 
Photograph by Jozsef Szentpeteri
Beads of dew cling to the florets that spiral inside a sunflower head.

Lichens

 
Photograph by Stephen Sharnoff
Lichens grow on a granite gravestone in Lake Champlain, New York.

Banksia Flower

 
Photograph by Jonathan Blair
The characteristic spikes of a banksia flower are common across Australia. This one was photographed on a farm in Mount Barker.

Water Reflection, Utah

 
Photograph by Jonathan Blair
Reflecting off water, light paints peacock-feather patterns onto a rock wall in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.

Giant Clam Mantle

 
Photograph by Frans Lanting
Iridescent spots surround the mantle of a giant clam in Palau, Micronesia. The mantle is a fleshy outer layer that secretes the clam’s shell.

Cactus, Manzanillo, Mexico

 
Photograph by Raul Touzon
Bursts of yellow punctuate a cactus in Manzanillo, Mexico.

Curled Millipede

 
Photograph by George Grall
Exhibiting its main defense mechanism, a millipede curls into a tight spiral. In this fashion it protects its legs—on average between 100 and 300, not the thousand its name suggests—inside its body.

Salmon Scales

 
Photograph by Paul Nicklen
The scales of an Atlantic salmon, such as these on a fish in Quebec, Canada, can help biologists determine the fish’s age.

Diatoms

 
Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski
Seen here 400 times their true size, diatoms are a type of algae found in oceans, fresh water, and soil.

Basket Sea Star, Cuba

 
Photograph by Brian J. Skerry
The complexly branched arms of the basket sea star, or starfish, catch plankton for the echinoderm.

Cenote, Mexico

 
Photograph by Stephen Alvarez
Sunlight radiates through the Xpacay cenote in the Mexican Yucatán. Cenotes are freshwater sinkholes usually found on the Yucatán peninsula.

Snapping Turtle Shell

 
Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski
The bony plates of a snapping turtle’s carapace protect it from predators. Snappers are freshwater turtles found in much of North America.

Mammatus Clouds

 
Photograph by Carsten Peter
Mammatus clouds roil in the Nebraska sky, identifiable by their sagging, pouch-like shape. The name comes from the Latin word for “breast.”
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