Dazzling Aerial Photography From Around The World
The view from on high can be at once elegant and cluttered, clarifying and overwhelming. But, most often, the view from above is absolutely gorgeous. The annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, ending June 30, attracts reams of striking images taken from vantage points you and I will probably never occupy. Perhaps chief among those images–both in terms of beauty and uniqueness–are those taken from the sky. Yes, you and I may never hover above the plains of Africa or the mountains of Indonesia, but the arresting photographs at Twisted Sifter come quite close to bringing us there.
Bioluminescence: Nature’s Glow Stick
Whether it helps in deterring predators, attracting mates or locating food, bioluminescence–the ability of certain animals, plants, and microbes to emit light via chemical reactions–is positively breathtaking. The clams of England and France, the firefly squid of Japan, the hatchetfish of Sicily, and many other exceptional creatures around the world can, quite simply, glow in the dark. Not surprisingly, the sparkling scenes these creatures create draw scores of tourists.
However, most of the show is out of view; scientists estimate that more than 50 percent of the organisms that live in the deep sea (virtually impenetrable to humans) are bioluminescent. Check out the bioluminescent creatures that have been captured by human lenses at Smithsonian Magazine.
The World’s Strangest Homes
Across the world’s many climates, cultures, and classes, there exist manifold notions of what constitutes a home, many of them strange to most people. And then there are these. From the giant toilet in South Korea to the tiny egg in China, these homes play with our assumptions about what the size, shape, and ingredients of a house should be. Some build homes they can literally pick up and take with them; some make their homes firmly in the earth itself; all demonstrate humankind’s endless adaptability. Tour the planet’s most innovative, shocking, and silly abodes at The Atlantic.