Friday, 10 July 2015

Jabuka, The Charismatic Island

The island of Jabuka, which means apple in Croatian, is a 97-meters-tall uninhabited volcanic island located in the Adriatic Sea; around 52 kilometers west of the island of Vis. Jabuka, along with Brusnik, are the only two Croatian islands that are entirely of volcanic origin. Together with Palagruza, that is only partly of volcanic origin, the three islands form an area called "Adriatic Volcanic Triangle". Brusnik, Jabuka, as well as some parts of Komiska bay on the island of Vis and some parts of Palagruza originated from an eruption of magma due to the breakup of the Pangea prehistoric continent over 200 million years ago. Jabuka has charismatic properties due to the presence of magnetite, a naturally happening iron oxide, in the rocks that origin the magnetic needles of compasses of passing ships to go awry. The island is both a remarkable and frightening sight during nice weather in summer but in winter, when the winds blow causing large waves, Jabuka turns into a life-threatening adventure.

Though some say that ships actively avoid the island because of its magnetic anomaly, truth is, the island lies far from all sea routes. Therefore, boats can hardly be seen in the vicinity except those who have made the island their destination. But getting to “Jabuka” can be really difficult. Moreover, standing alone in the deep waters, “Jabuka” is exposed to all winds, and since even the fragile winds cause large waves in the open sea, it takes a lot of skilled maneuvering and luck to avoid crashing into this volcanic rock. Furthermore the shoreline is not appropriate for docking, and there’re no bays that could keep your boats safe from the wind. The steep cliffs make it difficult to build shelter and the surrounding waters are 200 meters deep and not appropriate for anchoring. In addition, the rocks are smooth without natural protrusions where the boats could be tied. The sea surrounding Jabuka, though, is tremendous fishing-ground that entices several brave fishermen. A very small number of plant and animal species have also adapted to the rough climate, including two endemic species a plant called knapweed and an animal species of black lizard. Some 50 years ago, the island was home to another endemic type of carnation, but is now extinct. In 1958 the island was declared a geological monument of nature. Moreover, when there were no motorboats, only the valiant, most enduring fishermen dared go to the island in order to make available for their families by catching large fish and trapping valued lobsters.

Mesmerizing Australian Salt Ponds Look like Abstract Paintings

Shimmering Australian ponds pictured in stunning aerial photographs hardly to believe that these spectacular portraits are not watercolor paintings depicting otherworldly patterns. These stunning photographs are actually of crystallizers: shallow ponds in which concentrated brine evaporates leaving a 'crop' of salt crystals. These exclusives crystals were photographed by Simon Butterworth from a light aircraft flying 4,000 to 5,000 feet above the Useless Loop solar salt operation situated in Shark Bay, the westernmost point of mainland Australia.

The height was mainly vital in getting this flattened perspective, which was attained using a long focal length camera. Moreover, time and cloud cover also played a key role with the abstractness of the photographs heightened by a lack of shadow. Because the main reason that these crystals appear blue can in fact be attributed to the reflection of the sky. The tracks left by the salt harvesting machine account for the brushstroke patterns. The series, called “Project Blue Fields”, is part of a bigger project, Aesthetics of the Astonishing, which see the relationships between perception, expectation and reality, and was nominated for a Sony World Photographic Award in the Professional Landscape category.Source: Dailymail

Monday, 6 July 2015

Kumbhalgarh Fort – The Great Wall of India

 The wall that surrounds the ancient fort of “Kumbhalgarh” is one of the best-kept secrets in India, located 84 kilometer north of Udaipur, in the state of Rajasthan, in western India.  The fort which the wall surrounds is built high on a hill and dominates the landscape, being more than 1000 meters above sea level. It is protecting a huge fort that contains over 300 ancient temples, as you may expect this being India. It was hoped, of course, that because of the protection of the wall, violence could be avoided simply because any advancing enemies might not be able to penetrate it. The wall was constructed half a millennium ago in tandem with “Kumbhalgarh Fort” itself, the second most significant citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region. The Kumbhalgarh fort is surrounded by a perimeter wall that is an amazing 36 kilometer long, and varies in width from 15-25 feet. The ancient fort was built during the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha and is one of 32 forts built by the Rajput ruler of the Mewar kingdom. The history claims that 8 horses could ride side by side over it.

Though there’re several massive walls constructed by rulers to defend their kingdoms, building such a large protective boundary around a single fort was unheard of. However, there’s no wonder, the gigantic wall at Kumbhalgarh took almost a century to construct and made the fort impregnable. Although several claim it would be second longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China. Several legends refer it to called “The Great Wall of India”. Therefore, the unassailable Fort boasts of seven gigantic gates and seven ramparts strengthened by rounded bastions and massive watchtowers. Moreover inside the defensive walls there’re more than 360 Jain and Hindu temples and a wonderful palace at its pinnacle aptly named “Badal Mahal” or the Palace of Cloud? Well, from the palace top, it is likely to see several kilometers into the Aravalli Range and the sand dunes of the popular “Thar Desert” can also be seen from here. According to some famous folklore, Maharana Kumbha used to burn huge lamps that consumed 50 kilograms of ghee and 100 kilograms of cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.

So, tourists should beware of this piece of history, though tempting and well-preserved, is not well-trafficked. Although the remoteness and potential to have miles of ruins all to oneself is attractive to plenty of off-the-beaten-path travelers, but the walls are strong and tall, the hard stones, and though various traps and defensive mechanisms along the wall and fort have been deactivated, that does not mean fortunes cannot happen. Throughout the over five hundred years of its history, the fortress fell in to enemy hands only once and this was only because the drinking water ran out within its walls. Yet notwithstanding its size and its history, the Great Wall of India remains somewhat of a mystery to those outside of India.  Actually, travelers are warned that approximately the lesser travelled areas of the wall should not be climbed. Ancient defense mechanisms and traps, though mostly disabled, are still assumed to exist in some of its more distant positions. Therefore, those wishing to explore the miles of ruins on their own are warned that accidents can happen.

“Sua Ocean Trench” The Most Magical Swimming Pool in the World?

The mesmerizing natural swimming pool is almost 100 feet down, on a volcanic Samoan island offers tourists to the ultimate experience in relaxation. The “big hole” hidden in a grotto on a volcanic island actually to Sua Ocean Trench, which literally translates as “big hole”' is located in Lotofaga village, on the south coast of Upolu island in Samoa. When the volcanoes erupted on the island, much of the ground fell away, and this 98-foot deep hole was the result. Tourists can relish crystal-clear waters populated with tropical fish and a sandy bed, and its natural beauty increase further by a steep ladder leads down to the water, with travelers using it to dive into the pool or use as an impromptu diving board providing the water levels are high enough. Moreover, for those who’re not brave enough, a tumble in from a board a matter of inches above the water may be the safer option. The magical green landscape is matched by crystal clear waters, a plenty of tropical fish and a sandy bed. A series of canals leading from the pool to the South Pacific Ocean ensure the hole is never dried out. The majestic natural beauty of Samoan spot has not been lost on most who have visited it already.

In order to protect the serene spot, as well as preserve the safety of the tourist routes into the water, there is a charge you have to pay for swim. It will cost for adults £10 ($15), children £3.85 ($6.00), but is free to those under the age of seven. For those who’ve traveled the spot, had great experience and says; To Sua is one of the most unique, relaxing places that ever have been to. When they went there was no rush and it was very peaceful place. A visitor says this is truly a magical experience, swimming at the bottom of the grotto. However, if you’re an expert swimmer, you can even swim underneath the rock tunnel and out to the ocean. He further added that we visited the trench in May and unquestionably loved it, the spot is so striking and the water is warm and clear. We’re highly recommended a must visiting place to see the paradise on earth.  Therefore tourists to the trench are carefully warned to take care when walking down the ladder, as expectedly, it can become slippery. Well, climb down looks bad but if you take your time and wear sandals it's ok. There is a review on website has scored To Sua Ocean Trench a four-and-a-half rating out of five based on visitors' reviews. Of the 401 people to have commented on the tourist attraction, 319 have rated it as 'excellent.' Furthermore, other spectacular natural swimming pool around the world includes Iceland's famed Blue Lagoon geothermal spa and the travertine pools and terraces in Pamukkale, Turkey. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Murphy's Haystacks, A Group of Ancient Wind-Worn Rocks in South Australia

Murphy’s Haystacks are a picturesque group of ancient, wind-worn rock of pink granite situated between Streaky Bay and Port Kenny on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The Murphy’s Haystacks placed in the middle of a wheat field and surrounded by mallei scrub, they’re one of the most prominent and photographed magnetisms on the Eyre Peninsula. Therefore, Murphy’s Haystacks are what geologists named it “inselberg”, which are well isolated rocky hills or ridges that rise briskly from a gently sloping or particularly level surrounding plain. An inselberg forms when a body of hard rock surrounded by a layer of soft rock becomes uncovered to erosion. The less resistant outer layer is eroded away to form a plain, leaving the extra resistant rock behind as an isolated mountain.
The procedure that formed Murphy's Haystacks initiated somewhere 1,500 million years ago when hot magma filled crevices below the earth’s surface and then ventilated, laying down a granite base. The current formations you see at Murphy’s haystacks were shaped 100,000 years ago and were buried beneath earth until around 34,000 years ago when they were exposed by terrible erosion, which uncovered them in their current state as pillars or boulders. The “haystacks” carry on to be eroded till this date, giving them bizarre shapes. The haystacks are situated on a private property belonging to Dennis Cash, the grandson of “Denis Murphy”, who actually buys this farm in 1889. The inselbergs were famous with friends and family, and could be seen from the void by the passengers of the local mail run stagecoach. However, many legends say that once a protuberant agricultural proficient was passing by the farm when he saw the landmark from the road. Though not realizing that they were rocks, the man remarked “the farmer must have plowed his land to create such an inspiring profusion of hay”. The mail coach driver, being a local man be familiar with they were on the Murphys' property. Although from then on the amused his passengers by referring to the isolated inselbergs as ‘Murphys Haystacks’.Source: Amusing Planet