Thailand’s Sky Lantern Festival or Yi Peng
A quiet ski in the Alaska Range. The Denali National Park Service
Photo: National Park Service
Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting on escobilla, Oaxaca, Mexico. Photo by Claudio Giovenzana
Self portrait of Tracy Caldwell Dyson in the Cupola module of the International Space Station observing the Earth below during Expedition 24. PhotoTracy Caldwell Dyson/NASA
Dried up lagoons during dry season. Photo by “inthesitymad”
Lencois Maranhenses National Park lagoons are filled by the accumulation of rainwater, but how much depends upon the time of year and if the season was dry.
Photo by CJournal
Cherry Blossoms lining the street in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Photo by Les Taylor
Japan’s cherry blossom stone is a natural wonder
Meet the cherry blossom stone from Japan - one of the most striking natural rock formations in the world.
by Bec Crew
So-called because when you crack them open, their internal cross-sections look like tiny golden-pink flowers, cherry blossom stones (sakura ishi in Japanese) get their beautiful patterns from mica, which is a commonly found silicate mineral known for its shiny, light-reflecting surface.
These flower patterns weren’t always made of mica. They started their existence as a complex matrix of six prism-shaped crystal deposits of a magnesium-iron-aluminium composite called cordierite, radiating out from a single dumbbell-shaped crystal made from a magnesium-aluminium-silicate composite called indialite in the centre.
Hosted inside a fine-grained type of rock called a hornfels - formed underground around 100 million years ago by the intense heat of molten lava - cherry blossom stones underwent a second significant metamorphosis in their geological lifespan when they were exposed to a type of hot water called hydrothermal fluids…
(read more: ScienceAlert! - Australia/NZ)
images: John Rakovan et al.
Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show. 8.2.14.
Harvest mice are Europe’s smallest rodents. It is easily identified with its blunt nose, short, rounded hairy ears and golden-brown fur. It posses a remarkable prehensile tail, which is used as a fifth limb that aids climbing through the tall, dense vegetation of their meadow, hedgerow and crop field homes.