From the archives of Amusing Planet.
Tristan da Cunha is a volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean lying 2,816 kilometers from the nearest land, South Africa, and 3,360 kilometers from South America. ‘Edinburgh of the Seven Seas’, the main settlement of the island, is regarded as the most remote permanent settlement in the world, being over 2,400 kilometers from the nearest human settlement, on Saint Helena.
Sometimes during very cold weather, vertical columns of light beaming directly upwards are visible. These are called light pillars and are created by the reflection of light from ice crystals with near horizontal parallel planar surfaces. The light can come from the Sun (usually at or low to the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a sun pillar or solar pillar. It can also come from the Moon or from terrestrial sources such as streetlights. Light pillars are typically seen in polar regions.
Google's Street View camera cars can sometimes capture unbelievable landscapes and moments, as Pittsburgh-born photographer Aaron Hobson discovered when scouting for locations around Los Angles using Google Street View for a new project. After getting addicted to Google Street View, Hobson began exploring other places around the globe for amusement. Soon he had amassed a collection of Street View shots of the loneliest and most isolated places on earth.
Lanzarote is a Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean located some 125 km off the coast of Africa and 1,000 km from the Iberian Peninsula. The island was formed by volcanic eruptions more than 15 million years ago. The entire island is composed of volcanic rock and sand. There are no lush green fields, only solidified lava streams and vast plains of grim, black soil. The weather is hot and dry throughout the year, and rain is rare. On an average there are no more than 16 days of rainfall annually. It’s surprising that anything grows here at all. But Lanzarote has extensive vineyards and grapes are grown in abundance for wine cultivation. How?
Located in the small French farming village of Allouville-Bellefosse France is an ancient oak tree, whose hollowed out trunk is home to two small chapels, reached by a spiral staircase surrounding the truck. Nobody knows how old the tree is but is speculated to be around 800 and 1,200 years old, making it one of the oldest tree in the world.
Using layers of translucent duct tapes – those used for packaging - on Plexiglas panels, Max Zorn creates stunning portraits of romantic and strong characters: masculine boxers, tender moments between lovers, and the classic “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Dutch artist Jan Vermeer but with a modern twist. Max Zorn is a street artist, so he installs the Plexiglas panels on street lamps on public places. Once the lights are turned on, it creates a very graphic picture that seems to be self-glowing.
El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range located south of the city of Antequera, in Spain. It is known for its unusual limestone formations and magnificent geology formed over millions of years. Many of these shapes resemble, and have been named after, everyday objects such as the Sphinx, the Jug, the Camel, the Screw, etc.
Giuliano Mauri's "Cattedrale Vegetale" is arguably the most impressive piece of ‘natural architecture’ on Earth. Located at the foot of Mount Arera on the outskirts of Bergamo in the North of Italy, this living sculpture consists of a cage made from wooden poles, assembled to represent the columns of a church nave. Inside this cage, Mauri planted eighty hornbeam saplings. The artist claims that, in fifteen years time, the supporting structure will have gradually decayed and the hornbeams will have grown to form a completely organic "cathedral".
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