Wildfires Rage In The West
While wildfire season is far from over, the West Coast and Alaska have already suffered devastating blows. With a record 700 fires to date this year, Alaska has taken the largest hit, losing over 1.8 million acres. Although higher temperatures and lower humidity are to blame, the astounding number of lightning strikes (6,000-10,000 bolts per day) may be the major culprit. Elsewhere, California, Oregon, and Washington have lost thousands of acres. As total acreage lost has surged in the last two decades, many climate change experts warn that things will only get worse. Survey the damage at The Atlantic.
The Ancient, Glowing Caves Of New Zealand
Although New Zealand’s 30 million-year-old limestone formations are surely incredible, they are, for the most part, upstaged by their 1-2 inch inhabitants: the glowworm. Via a checmical reaction, these tiny creatures emit some startlingly incandescent light. If “gnat larva” (which is actually what glowworms are) doesn’t sound wondrous, try adding “bioluminescent” (which is the name for their light emissions) in front of it–or just take a look at these gorgeous photos from Joseph Michael’s Luminosity project at This Is Colossal.
Civil War Battlefields: Haunting, 150 Years Later
“Conversations there always seemed to turn toward the Civil War,” photographer Eliot Dudik said of his adopted home of South Carolina. Indeed, 150 years later, many wounds have not yet closed–and not just for the people, but for the land as well. Although the fields, hills, clearings, and glens where the war’s battles were fought have since seen season after season of death and rebirth, the land remains haunted. View more of Dudik’s Broken Land series at Smithsonian.