Toau atoll, about 250 miles northwest of Tahiti.GREGORY BOISSY/AFP/Getty Images
Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier, part of the second largest non-polar ice field on Earth. Alex Berger/Flickr
Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni salt flat, the largest on Earth. Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.John Moore/Getty Images
The Dolomites mountain range, Italy.Steve Bernacki/Flickr
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images
Turret Arch and North Window, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah.Diana Robinson/Flickr
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), Norway.
The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.Ingvild Wollstad/Flickr
The cliff of Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie National Park, China.VCG/VCG via Getty Images
Monument Valley, Arizona.Moyan Brenn/Flickr
Vietnam's Hang Sơn Đoòng, the largest cave in the world.Nguyen Tan Tin/Flickr
Wadi Rum, Jordan.Jorge Láscar/Flickr
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.Andrea Dunlap/Flickr
Ijen Crater in Banyuwangi, Indonesia.Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
Zhangjiajie National Park, China.Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
Milford Sound, New Zealand.Ben Wiseley/Flickr
The aurora borealis as seen from the beach at Unstad on Lofoten Island in the Arctic Circle.OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images
Nepal's Kali Gandaki Gorge, by some measures the largest gorge in the world.Jean-Marie Hullot/Flickr
The skywalk over the Grand Canyon, Arizona.David McNew/Getty Images
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina.DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images
Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni salt flat, the largest in the world.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images
Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland.Simon/Flickr
Ijen volcanoes, Indonesia.
Rennsteig hiking trail near Masserberg, Germany.MARTIN SCHUTT/AFP/Getty Images
Skeleton Point, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona.Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Milford Sound, New Zealand.Becca McLachlan/Flickr
Isla Incahuasi, Bolivia.FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Paine small mountain group, Chile.MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images
Kali Gandaki Gorge, Nepal.Jean-Marie Hullot/Flickr
Iguazu Falls, Brazil.Urca HUMAITA/AFP/Getty Images
Vlassof Cay in the Great Barrier Reef -- the largest in the world -- off the coast of Cairns, Australia.Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
In Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot appears the following passage about the minuscule speck that is planet Earth as seen from the depths of space:
"Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it 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 the mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
It's just as true as it is glib to say that perspective is everything. Earth can indeed be nothing more than a mote of dust. It all depends on your vantage point.
When that vantage point is, say, your desk at work, it can be hard to see much beyond that horizon. Or when you're in the middle of an argument, for example, the massive amounts of life that exist outside of it may disappear.
Still, concerns that seem earth-shaking in the heat of the moment dissipate into nothingness sooner than you'd think. And what helps them dissipate is perspective, remembering that there are horizons far, far beyond your own.
And what better way to remember those horizons than to see humans dwarfed by the most gorgeously vast expanses on Earth, itself just a mote of dust?
Next, for some stunning -- and stunningly empty -- expanses featuring no humans at all, check out the world's most incredible abandoned structures and creepiest abandoned cities. Then, have a look at the world's most astounding aerial photography.