January, 2013 Archives

Incredible Yellowstone National Park Wildlife [60 PICS]

January 30th, 2013 Permalink

Not only is Yellowstone National Park the place to go for geysers, NPS said, “A mountain wildland, home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of bison and elk, the park is the core of one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth’s temperate zone.” There is such huge animal diversity because of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Regarding the mammals in the park, the 2013 Yellowstone Trip Planner (.pdf) states: “Keep your distance. Federal regulation requires you to stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other wild animals, such as bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes.” The Yellowstone National Park Service says of the wildlife, “Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. 67 different mammals live here.” These pictures show the diversity and a wide variety of magnificent animals of Yellowstone. [60 Photos]

Wild black bear of Yellowstone National Park

Wild black bear close-up at Yellowstone National Park. The photographer wrote, “This big bear was grazing in the late evening near the road just east of Floating Island Lake. He grazed towards my car then gave me a quick look, so I was able to take this from about 20 yards away.” Yellowstone Park Service explained, “67 different mammals live here, including grizzly bears and black bears.” Photo #1 by Pat Gaines

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Living Rainbow: Rainbow Eucalyptus, Most Beautiful Tree Bark on Earth [36 PICS]

January 29th, 2013 Permalink

Does a living rainbow exist? Yes! Extremely cool yet natural outdoor coloring can be found under the shade of this living rainbow. The Rainbow Eucalyptus is truly one of the most amazingly stunning trees and it definitely has the most beautiful bark of any tree on Earth. [36 Photos]

Rainbow Eucalyptus

While this may appear to be a cool tree with camouflaged bark, it actually continues to morph in all the colors of a rainbow. If you enjoy the forest, then you probably like trees. This isn’t Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but somewhere under the rainbow, so if you don’t live in a warm, moist climate, then you might not have ever come across the most beautiful bark of any tree on Earth. With bright and uniquely-colored trunk and branches, the Rainbow Eucalyptus is “one of the most amazingly colorful species of tree,” noted the photographer. Photo #1 by Roberto Verzo

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Top 20 Highest Points On Islands Worldwide [41 PICS]

January 26th, 2013 Permalink

When you think of islands, do you picture a tropical scene with beautiful warm beaches? Yet some islands are bitterly cold and covered in ice and snow. Some islands seem to have it all, from wonderful crashing waves to high peaks that are covered in snow. This is a list of high points for the top 20 islands in the world ordered by their highest point. As we did to illustrate the 20 U.S. National Parks by elevation, including the 20 highest points found in that park, here starting at #20 and counting down to #1 we show the immense diversity of islands. We’ve included an image from each island as well as a photo of the mountain or volcano peak that is the highest point of that island. [41 Photos]

Along the road to Hana, Maui, list of top 20 islands by highest point

Starting at #20 and counting down to #1, this is a list of the top 20 ‘highest’ islands in the world, ordered by their highest points. Photo #1 by Paul (dex) Bica

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Wait, You Are Where? 44 Unusual Place Names [69 PICS]

January 18th, 2013 Permalink

If you’ve ever lived in or visited a town with an especially peculiar name, then you’ve experienced another person giggling or snickering before asking, “No really; where are you?” There are thousands of such strangely rude street names, but many times it is a town itself with the odd name. For example, by 1994 the U.S. Geological Survey listed 60 places within the USA with ‘Hell’ in the name. Worldwide there are some extremely bizarre or otherwise unusually named towns, villages, cities, counties and even mountains. Some places are named after swear words or other controversial and offensive terms not usually mentioned in polite company. The names of some other places do not have sexual undertones in their native language, but seem that way due to the “English” pronunciation. Very often, the town experiences a high number of sign thefts. There are probably thousands of such places, but here are 69 photos of 44 unusually named places that are strange, rude, or cause a childishly funny giggle. [69 Photos]

Intercourse, Pennsylvania welcome sign

Intercourse, Pennsylvania welcome sign. On the amusing Wikipedia list of unusual names, it said of Intercourse, “Oh, those crazy Amish…”. Intercourse was founded in 1754 and the current population is about 1,558. Signs in this town are often targeted by thieves. Photo #1 by Derek Ramsey

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Abandoned Hashima City: Island Inspiration for James Bond Movie ‘Skyfall’

January 14th, 2013 Permalink

This abandoned island with crumbling concrete buildings was the inspiration for the evil dude’s hacking headquarters in the latest James Bond movie Skyfall. Yes, hacking, cyberwar and an abandoned island city are all parts of ‘Skyfall. It was too dangerous here to truly film the secret lair of a 007 villain, so it was reproduced to “make everything real.” Hashima Island, also called Gunkanjima meaning Battleship Island, is Japan’s ultimate industrial ruins ghost town. The island was bought by Mitsubishi in 1890 to mine undersea coal. It was the first place that Japan built large concrete buildings up to 9 stories high, and was constructed to withstand the destructive forces of a typhoon. The island at one point had a population of 5,259, but that did not last. 39 years after it was abandoned virtually overnight, time and nature are winning the battle. Considered creepy by some with all the trappings of home but no people, some folks started to call the abandoned island, ‘Ghost Island.’ Folks interested in history or legal urbex are pleased that portions of Hashima reopened to tourists in 2009. This is the first ‘lost city’ in modern times and with the James Bond movie Skyfall, the infamous island has become even more famous. [35 Photos, 3 Videos]

Stairway To Hell, Gunkanjima, James Bond Skyfall villain hacking headquarters

This Stairway To Hell on abandoned Hashima led to a temple. The climb was reportedly “hellishly” steep. Hacking, cyberwar and an abandoned island city are all featured in the James Bond movie Skyfall. There is a hacking hideout for the villain Raoul Silva and that crumbling city in the film was based on abandoned Hashima off the coast of Japan. Photo #1 by Jordy Theiller

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Whistle Away the Winter Blahs at Warm Acapulco: Sensational Sunsets & Cliff Divers

January 11th, 2013 Permalink

Winter Blahs? It’s currently cold and dreary outside in many places in the United States, so let’s heat things up with a virtual visit to warm and sunny Acapulco, Mexico. From romantic sunsets to playing on the beach, kicking back to relax, or going out to mix and mingle, there is something for everyone. Extreme sports fan in Acapulco can watch the La Quebrada Cliff Divers diving 125 feet (35 meters) from the high cliffs of La Quebrada into the sea far below. The music video “Whistle” by Flo Rida was filmed in this big party place, so enjoy your virtual globe hopping trip to play in Acapulco. [40 Photos, 1 Video]

Acapulco Sunset, Silhouettes & Shadows

Acapulco: Sunset, Silhouettes & Shadows. Photo #1 by Esparta Palma

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Extraordinary Icebergs: 55 Reasons Why Majestic Ice Mountains are So Cool

January 9th, 2013 Permalink

Icebergs are born as gorgeous ancient glaciers rumble, crack and calve, so it stands to reason that the “children” would be equally majestic. Icebergs comes in all shapes and sizes, from “tiny” growlers which are about the size of small cars, to bergy bits which are about the size of a small house, to immense icebergs of all sizes. Although icebergs can be striped and come in various colors that are revealed as the iceberg “rolls” over in the sea, the water from bergs is very pure since the ice formed long ago. NOAA said, “The planet’s greatest stores of freshwater lie far away from the arid, heavily populated regions that need it the most. Nearly 70% of all fresh water is locked in the polar ice caps. Just the new icebergs that form every year around Antarctica hold enough water to meet the needs of every person on Earth for several months. Longstanding proposals to tow icebergs to lower latitudes where their valuable water can be harvested have been met with both skepticism and interest. To date, no successful attempts have been made.” About 90% of icebergs are underwater, but here are 55 photographic reasons why icebergs are so incredibly cool . . . from the safety of your computer chair that is. [55 Photos, 8 Videos]

Whale fluke at icebergs at Jacobshavn Isfjord, Greenland

Whale fluke near icebergs at Jacobshavn Isfjord, summer in Greenland. When chunks of glaciers break off, or calve, icebergs are born. Icebergs may also break off from ice shelves or a larger icebergs. Sometimes the violent birth of an iceberg can cause a huge wave. Other times, as an iceberg melts, it might flip completely over where the underside is larger than what previously appeared above the sea. This is but one reason boats are warned not to be too close and allow their curiosity to potentially endanger them. Photo #1 by Julie Skotte via Visit Greenland

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Gorgeous Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve: Birthplace of Icebergs & Wildlife

January 6th, 2013 Permalink

Many of these photos were taken during a cruise to Glacier Bay, others from the air, but Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve offers all kinds of adventures. What starts as a loud crack like a rifle shot is also a sign of icebergs being born at Glacier Bay as glaciers break off or calve. The National Park Service asks, what do you want to do and how much time do you have to do it in? “Covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska’s Inside Passage and part of a 25-million acre World Heritage Site—one of the world’s largest international protected areas. From summit to sea, Glacier Bay offers limitless opportunities for adventure and inspiration.” Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve also has the 3rd highest elevation of all U.S. National Parks. Here are some of the gorgeous ancient glaciers, photos capturing the glaciers calving and the birth of icebergs, wonderful wildlife, and spectacular scenery of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. [44 Photos, 5 Videos]

Waterfall beneath Lamplugh Glacier

Waterfall beneath Lamplugh Glacier, one of the glaciers at Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. While there are many reasons that this park is special, one of them is that there are no roads that lead directly to Glacier Bay. The park is mostly water, so most visitors see it from a cruise ship with thousands of other people. But boats come in all sizes and some adventurers see Glacier Bay from a kayak. Photo #1 by Larry Wilson / NPS

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