What We Love This Week, Volume CXXVI

Published June 12, 2015
Sun Rays Field Fog

Sunrise over the small mountain hamlet of Cemoro Lawang, Indonesia. Source: Twisted Sifter

Dazzling Aerial Photography From Around The World

Aerial Elephants Grass

Elephants in Botswana’s Okavango flood plain. Source: Twisted Sifter

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.

Great Barrier Reef Aerial

The Great Barrier Reef near Hamilton Island. Source: Twisted Sifter

Bioluminescence: Nature’s Glow Stick

Bioluminescence Wave Beach Dusk

Enormous numbers of tiny bioluminescent plankton can light up the entire crest of a crashing wave. Source: Smithsonian Magazine

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.

Bioluminescent Squid Blue Green

Firefly squid illuminate Japan’s Toyama Bay each spring. Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Bioluminescent Hatchetfish Glowing

The hatchetfish is one of many creatures whose bioluminescence is rarely seen by humans, given its deep sea habitat. Source: Smithsonian Magazine

The World’s Strangest Homes

House Rock River Serbia

Constructed in 1968 as a “tiny shelter” (according to one of the builders), this house sits perched on a rock in the middle of the Drina River, near Bajina Basta, Serbia. Source: The Atlantic

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.

Portable Room China Homeless

Liu Lingchao carries his portable home–made of bamboo, plastic bags, and bed sheets–near Shapu, China. During one journey to his hometown, he carried the 132-pound structure about 20km each day. Source: The Atlantic

Soccer Ball Home Japan

This soccer ball-shaped, disaster resistant Japanese home floats, withstands earthquakes, and sells for less than $15,000. Source: The Atlantic

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society of history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.