Thursday, 28 September 2017

Moss Covered Lava Fields in Iceland

In Iceland Moss is a common plant, widely grows in the mountainous region. The moss has a special characteristic of Iceland’s lava fields. However, the southern coast of Iceland over Eldraun Lava field is one of the most remarkable moss blankets in Iceland. The recorded history exposed a devastating eruption created the lave fields in Eldraun. In 1783 the Laki fissure and the adjoining Grímsvötn volcano poured out an expected 14 cubic kilometers of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous gases that contaminated the soil, killing half of Iceland's cattle and horses, and more than three-quarter of sheep. Moss can be easily damaged and potentially irreparably. Moss areas are particularly sensitive and damage caused by footprints and tire marks can take a very long time to heal.

However, in that year, nothing grew on the fields and no fish found in the sea. This was resulting in famine killed approximately a quarter of the island’s human population. Therefore, Laki’s eruption had even more widespread effects. In the years following the eruption, the climate across the Northern Hemisphere deteriorated. In the winter of 1784, the North America became the longest and one of the coldest on record. Thus, massive snowstorm hit the South, the Mississippi River froze at New Orleans and there were reports of ice floes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Moreover, huge Haze from the eruption floated east as far away as India weakening monsoon circulations and leading to drought and crop failures. Moreover, in 1784 the famine that hit Egypt, as a result of the eruption, killed approximately 1/6 of its population. Hence, the worst consequences were felt in Europe. The summer of 1783 was the hottest on record and a rare high-pressure zone over Iceland caused the winds to blow to the south-east. The poisonous cloud drifted across Europe, and its inhalation killed tens of thousands. In Great Britain alone, it caused some 23,000 deaths.

As the weather became hot, thunderstorms became more severe and large hailstones rained down from the sky causing injury and death to cattle. The following winter was tremendously cold and result in 8,000 extra deaths in the UK. Even though, in the during the spring thaw, Germany and Central Europe reported faced catastrophic flood damage. A series of crop failures in France and the causing poverty and famine eventually triggered the French Revolution of 1789-1799. Nowadays, the Eldraun Lava Field looks very serene and tranquil. The thick green moss has helped softened the rugged landscape, almost disguising Eldhraun’s violent past.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Shell Beach, Australia

There’s a unique beach located 45 km south east of Denham, covered shells for 60km stretch to a depth of 7 to 10m. Shell Beach is a beach in the Shark Bay region of Western Australia, on the northeastern side of the Taillefer Isthmus along the L'Haridon Bight. Shell beach is one of only two beaches in the world made entirely from shells. The beach name derived because of great abundance of the shells of the cockle species Fragum erugatum. The shells have formed a limestone that is acknowledged as coquina. However, before Shark Bay became a World Heritage Site, the coquina was mined and used for the construction of a number of buildings in Denham. Shark Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unique marine life found in and near its waters including dugongs, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, various whales and whale sharks, and the largest seagrass bank in the world, contributed to the formation of Shell Beach.
The sea-water in the L'Haridon Bight has a high salinity due to both the geomorphology and local weather of the area. The high salinity has allowed the cockle to thrive unchecked, since its natural predators have not adapted well to this environment. The shells were once used to build the office walls of buildings in the area, some of which can still be seen today. This beautiful snow-white beach is made up of millions of tiny shells transforms into a palette of the most intense greens and blues - and the water is very salty (hyper-saline), making it easy to float for those who aren’t solid swimmers. Therefore, L’Haridon Bight has been a veritable cockle paradise for thousands of years, letting the little bivalves to propagate, flourish, die, and have their shells wash up on shore over and over and over and over again, enough times to create a dazzling snow white beach. Nowadays, special licenses are still granted to mine the shells as a source of calcium for mulch and poultry feed. However, hypersalinity of L’Haridon Bight keeps out predators of humans as well as cockles, making Shell Beach a popular place to go for a swim. Also See: Cleft Island, A Granite Island of Wilsons Promontory in Australia

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Chan D Ya Cliff, China

In South Western of Chinese Autonomous Region of Guizhou province, there’s a cliff named “Chan D Ya”, producing the smooth and rounded eggs shaped stones falling to the grounds. This is a 30 years process as per local people have observed for years as the eggs ‘incubate’ in hollow overhangs on the cliff and eventually fall to the ground. The Chan D Ya, meaning “Cliff to Lay Eggs”, formed more than 500 million years ago, contains a certain part of calcareous rocks. It has an uneven surface but every three decades it emits these odd-shaped rocks. The peoples of nearby village Gulu have been scratching their heads over several years as they keep finding impeccably smooth rocks.

The geologists believe the egg-shaped stones are in result of different erosion of each stone, to destroy each type of rock and led to the exclusive formation of stone eggs. However, not sure about smoothness and rounded stones, why the site is composed of limestone. However, the specific section of cliff, which is part of Mount Gandeng, is made of calcareous rock that is common in many regions on Earth.

Such formations are considered good luck premises and those who can get or take the 'eggs' from the stone. Or may collect from the ground, as they fall with a positive frequency over the years and carry to their house, they get an amulet. The “eggs” arise in a time-spaced period; it is about 30 years between the appearances of new oval forms on the cliff. Chan D Ya, cliff is 19 ft high and 65ft long. The local peoples have different superstitions, and collect eggs to take home because they thought; these stones bring good luck and blessing. This is reason, only 70 stones are preserved, however the others may have been sold or stolen.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

In The Wash, a squarish estuary on the East coast of England, where Norfolk meets Lincolnshire, there is a strange island, flawlessly circular, with a dimple in the middle similar to a huge doughnut. This doughnut famously recognized as the “Outer Trial Bank”. This is one of two islands built during the 1970s to study the feasibility of converting the entire estuary into a fresh water reservoir. The other trial bank, built before the Outer Trial Bank, is connected to Norfolk by a causeway on Terrington Marsh.
The island is composed of dredged sand and braced by limestone gabions, or cages filled with rocks, and have a 2.5-acre central reservoir. It’s rarely included on maps even though it stands out as one of the highest points on the otherwise flat, marshy coast of the Wash. It seems various people are inquisitive to what these structures are? What this peculiar structure is out in the Wash - whether a meteor's landed in the Wash or aliens have landed or something! The numerous thoughts come in mind. The concept of constructed Outer Trial Bank was to build a tidal barrage across half of the Wash to capture freshwater from rivers flowing into the estuary. However, the plan was failed hugely because the banks were built using mud dredged from the salt marsh, which was saline anyway. This is salinated the stored fresh water.
Moreover, the plan was shelved but not after £3 million were spent in unsuccessful. There’re no systematized tours or trips to the island, but you can see online videos which will reveal that it can be reached by some experienced kayakers with knowledge of the tidal conditions in The Wash. They're very significant as they're major landforms in the area. They're the only hills in the Wash. Now these artificial islands have gained novel importance as a breeding bird colony, with around more than 3,000 pairs of sea birds using it as their nest. They're declining in a lot of their breeding habitats but here they're doing very well.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Stone Trees of Bolivia

There are so many huge rocks in special shapes in of Sur Lípez Province, Bolivia. The force of water and wind cannot be underestimated, because Mother Nature is a great artist and can shape any surface into his own will. Similarly, Árbol de Piedra also called "stone tree" is an isolated rock formation in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve of Sur Lípez Province. The Siloli Desert, one of the driest places in the world, features a rocky outcropping with one formation in particular getting all the attention. The much photographed, it projects out of the altiplano sand dunes of Siloli in the Potosí Department, about 18km north of Laguna Colorada.
Siloli Desert has been whittled down into the exclusive shape of stone trees over time by sand and 120km/h winds that whip across 4,000m high Bolivian Altiplano in the colder months. Much looking like wind, sand, and water can sculpt out of the earth! This particular Bolivian reserve and arid, stark desert horizon coupled with strange rock formations strike a strong resemblance to the famous surrealist’s work. Moreover, the base of the rock has been weathered away by wind and time, while the top remained intact.
The seemingly incredible structure stands about 23 feet tall and casts its shadow even longer across the flat sandy desert. The "Stone Tree," shaped like a stunted tree about 7 m high, particularly the thin stem, are due to strong winds carrying sand and eroding the soft sandstone. This is Bolivia most famous natural places look like the head of dinosaur in the middle of arid desert which is unbelievable and especially interesting to see how the colors changing during one hour that you’d have been there. The more attraction adjacent to Árbol de Piedra are the salt flats portion, incredible scenery, Red lagoons, green lagoons, white lagoons, volcanoes, beautiful rock formations, hot springs, geothermal geyser fields and colorful, rainbow mountain ranges.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Hoba Meteorite, Namibia

The Hoba meteorite has this name because it is lies on the farm "Hoba West" not far from Grootfontein, in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia. It has been exposed due to its large mass, has never been moved from where it fell. The Hoba meteorite is believed to have fallen more than 80,000 years ago. In 1920 a farmer, Jacobus Hermanus Brits discovered Hoba meteorite, when he encountered object while ploughing one of his fields with an ox when his plow suddenly screeched to a halt. During this chore, he heard a loud metallic scratching sound and the plough came to an abrupt halt. He was curious about what he had run into. The obstruction was excavated, and Brits notified local authorities about the find, it was quickly determined that this was a meteorite. The site was declared a National Monument in 1955, though you couldn't visit it until 1985.

The main mass is assessed at more than 60 tonnes, making it the largest known meteorite "as a single piece. Moreover Hoba meteo is most massive naturally occurring piece of iron known at the Earth's surface. It is inferred that the Earth's atmosphere slowed the object to the point that it fell to the surface at terminal velocity, thereby remaining intact and causing little excavation. Hoba meteorite is a tabloid body of metal, measuring 2.7×2.7×0.9 meters, composed of about 84% iron and 16% nickel and 0.76% cobalt. Due to the presence of a rare radioactive nickel isotope, experts have been able to determine the age of the Hoba meteorite, which is estimated at in-between 190 million and 410 million years.

In 1954 the curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York tried to purchase the Hoba Meteorite. It was only owing to transportation problems owing to its weight that the meteorite remained in Namibia. Immediately following this matter a group of concerned locals brought the 'near calamity' to light and the following year it was proclaimed a National Monument. Thus, almost 5 % of the total numbers of meteorite pieces that fall on Earth are same in their composition to the Hoba one. They are also huge, but not like this one, at least, not for now.

It is amazing that this meteorite is not surrounded by a crater. The objects of this size should punch through the atmosphere at a very high rate of speed and hit earth with ample force to blast a momentous crater, but no crater is present around the site of the meteorite. This could be recommends that it fell to earth at a lower rate of speed than expected. Therefore few scientists’ believed that the flat shape of the thing may be responsible for its low velocity at impact. The site has now been much improved and a decent chance to get close up. Even though anyone can touch it and stand upon. A small tourist center and is visited by thousands of people each year.