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Examples of Awesome, Unexpected Beauty in Nature


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On 11/22/2020 at 5:36 PM, joigus said:

That's quite common between men my age.

@MigL: I meant 'that's quite common among men my age.' Never a bad choice of preposition was as open to misinterpretation as this once. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

The tepuis (tepuyes in Spanish) from Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana and Colombia. Karst topography is awesome almost beyond words or concepts. But not beyond belief, because it's there.

eb4a1e8c7da64fce9fe4793da71bd8a3.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tepui

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These table-top mountains are the remains of a large sandstone plateau that once covered the granite basement complex between the north border of the Amazon Basin and the Orinoco, between the Atlantic coast and the Rio Negro. This area is part of the remnants of the supercontinent Gondwana.[3] Throughout the course of the history of Earth, the plateau was eroded, and the tepuis were formed from the remaining monadnocks.

Because the first continents had no plant cover to protect them from erosion, for eons upon eons sediments formed over vast regions, which later became exposed to more selective wearing down, sculpting canyons, plateaus, grottos, and seemingly bottomless chasms.

That's what a blind, unconstrained by intention, relentless force can do. No thinking is necessary, if given enough time.

Gigantic pillars carved out of the depositions of a long-lost world, where once big dinosaurs roamed, and tiny mammals scurried around, waiting for their moment to arrive, these monuments are silent, patient witnesses to the existence of Gondwana.

No human-made temple is remotely comparable to this. No religious feeling can echo in our minds what the first people coming from the Bering Strait must have felt when they first saw this more than 15'000 years ago.

Picture from:

https://hananpacha1.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/tepuy/

(In Spanish.)

Edited by joigus
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39 minutes ago, joigus said:

No human-made temple is remotely comparable to this

Similar situation where monks decided to build their monasteries, the meteora in Greece. The natural beauty enhanced by baffling human creativity.

hmerisia-ekdromi-meteora-apo-thessaloniki.jpg.d051d7a0ab0b62d7c5653cbf202cde3e.jpg

 

 

Meteora net lift, 1908 by Frédéric Boissonnas:

1339743940_Meteora_net_lift_Greece_1908_Frdric_Boissonnas.thumb.jpg.f265ba5d7954b28795f4c9bee57361e4.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Boissonnas

 

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16 minutes ago, michel123456 said:

Similar situation where monks decided to build their monasteries, the meteora in Greece. The natural beauty enhanced by baffling human creativity.

Thank you. I'll add some more from Wikipedia, for completion.

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Beside the Pindos Mountains, in the western region of Thessaly, these unique and enormous columns of rock rise precipitously from the ground. But their unusual form is not easy to explain geologically. They are not volcanic plugs of hard igneous rock typical elsewhere, but the rocks are composed of a mixture of sandstone and conglomerate.

The conglomerate was formed of deposits of stone, sand, and mud from streams flowing into a delta at the edge of a lake, over millions of years. About 60 million years ago during the Paleogene period[5] a series of earth movements pushed the seabed upward, creating a high plateau and causing many vertical fault lines in the thick layer of sandstone. The huge rock pillars were then formed by weathering by water, wind, and extremes of temperature on the vertical faults. It is unusual that this conglomerate formation and type of weathering are confined to a relatively localised area within the surrounding mountain formation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteora

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  • 5 weeks later...

Can't Believe I forgot about these. Cave of the Crystals

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The cave was discovered in April 2000 by brothers Juan and Pedro Sanchez while drilling in the mine. As of October 2015, the mine had reflooded and the cavern filled once more with the water rich in minerals required for the crystals to grow.

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IMG_7686.thumb.JPG.49aa865054718a249a61f6a65da8ecb4.JPG

 

 

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Looks like somebody trashed the memory crystals in Superman's Fortress of Solitude.

No seriously … very nice !

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11 hours ago, Curious layman said:

Can't Believe I forgot about these. Cave of the Crystals

Amazing.

Quoted from Wikipedia article:

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The main chamber contains giant selenite crystals (gypsum, CaSO4 • 2H2O), some of the largest natural crystals ever found.[1] The cave's largest crystal found to date is 12 m (39 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 55 tons in weight. When it was accessible, the cave was extremely hot, with air temperatures reaching up to 58 °C (136 °F)[2] with 90 to 99 percent humidity. The cave is relatively unexplored because of these factors.[3] Without proper protection, people can only endure approximately ten minutes of exposure at a time.[4]

 

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Another ridiculously beautiful one is brine pools (underwater lakes). They really look like lakes or rivers of underwater water.

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From Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brine_pool

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Examples[edit]

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From:

http://valorielord.com/index.cfm/blog/underwater-lakes-and-rivers/

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In some areas, the seafloor contains thick layers of salt, some miles long and deep, and when seawater seeps through this dense salt and mixes with it, the resulting seawater is a heavy brine, which is much denser and heavier than regular seawater. This brine separates from the surrounding seawater the same way oil and water will separate when mixed, and the brine settles into holes and depressions in the seafloor, forming lakes, ponds, and yes, even rivers. 

 

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  • 1 month later...
49 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

The cold in the lower US right now is springing up some unexpected ice art:

 

<video>

Beautiful. No need to explain.

I just saw the number of views of this thread and I almost can't believe it.

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Rainbow mountains in China, Iceland, and Peru.

China:

Zhangye-Rainbow-Mountains-China.jpg

Zhangye national geopark: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhangye_National_Geopark

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhangye_National_Geopark

Iceland:

big-6b83f60c1c4d9eb5e20637c8d2f0d687.jpg

Landmannalaugar region. From https://www.kimkim.com/c/iceland-best-hiking-regions

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landmannalaugar

Peru:

rainbow-mountain__header.jpg

Vinicunca mountains: https://bookatrekking.com/en/trekking/peru/rainbow-mountain/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinicunca

In all three cases I've provided links to both tourism-oriented websites, and a Wikipedia articles with more details about geological aspects. Some of the different colours can be attributed to differential oxidation/composition of the strata. In other cases, like the Icelandic one, sulfur from volcanic activity must be involved. The photos may be oversaturated in some cases.

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  • 1 month later...

When I was young I used to see those giant flocks of starlings all the time. I was always mesmerized by them. I still see them occasionally, and while they are much smaller flocks they still do that dance in the sky.

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Yes, wonderful illustration of patterns emerging from collective behaviour. Taken one by one these starlings seem quite "vulgar" as compared to other, more beautiful, birds. But when they team up to do this in the sky, they truly are a wonder of Nature.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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