10 Lesser Known Natural Wonders (I)

The age of the Earth is approximately 4.54 billion years. For all these years, our planet has been a work in progress: water, wind, air pressure, minerals, heat, and even extraterrestrial forces like meteors and comets mold and shape our environment, and created all manner of strange formations. Some of them are really beautiful: we call them “Natural wonders”. Some natural wonders are really famous, for example, the Grand Canyon or Victoria Falls. Some of them are lesser known, yet still stunning. Here are the 10 lesser known natural wonders of the World.

Here is the second post of the series: 10 Lesser Known Natural Wonders (II).

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NASA needs your help to identify cities in the night images

Since the “space age” has started in the early 1960s, astronauts have taken more than 1.8 million photographs of the Earth from orbit, and about one-third of them (approximately 600,000) have been taken at night. But they don’t always know what they are looking at. You can help, announced NASA.

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Krakatoa, from space

On August 26-27, 1883, a small island in the Indian Ocean obliterated itself in one the most notorious volcanic eruptions in history. Krakatau (often spelled Krakatoa) erupted with such violence that two-thirds of the island, about 23 square kilometers, sank into the Sunda Strait. The explosions heard in the 1883 eruption remain the loudest noise on human record. The sound was heard across the Indian Ocean, as far away as Rodriguez Island, 4,653 kilometers (2,891 miles) to the west, and Australia, 3,450 kilometers (2,144 miles) to the east. The massive eruption also generated a series of tsunamis, which produced waves as high as 30 meters (98 feet) tall.

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Will We Ever Visit Other Stars?

The Earth is our one and only home. As Carl Sagan said (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space), “On Earth, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”.

But will we ever leave our home and visit other stars in the future?

Our galaxy, “The Milky Way” is a barred spiral galaxy (a spiral galaxy with a central bar-shaped structure composed of stars) some 100,000-120,000 light-years in diameter, which contains 100-400 billion stars. It may contain at least as many planets as well. Our Sun (the Solar System) is located within the disk, about 27,000 light-years away from the Galactic Center, on the inner edge of one of the spiral-shaped concentrations of gas and dust called the Orion Arm.

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Sleeping cat and dog

I took these photos last week in Bodrum, Turkey. A stray cat and stray dog sleeping together in the same place, very closely. Beautiful.

The traditional belief that cats and dogs are natural enemies is not true. If appropriately socialized, cats and dogs may have relationships that are not antagonistic, and dogs raised with cats may prefer the presence of cats to other dogs. But unsocialized cats and dogs usually don’t like each other.

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Giant Weta – The Heaviest Insect on Earth

In the small islands of New Zealand, the world’s heaviest insect lives – The Giant weta. There are 70 types of species of weta in the genus Deinacrida of the family Anostostomatidae. Giant weta is endemic to New Zealand and is an example of island gigantism: which is a biological phenomenon leading to a larger size than their mainland relatives because of their isolation and lack of large predators. A female giant weta filled with eggs can reach up to 70 grams or more!

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