Friday, 27 April 2018

Crystal Mountain, Egypt

With the name of Crystal Mountain, one can imagine of seeing a massive mountain rising up out of the desert. However, the Crystal Mountain is a ridge located between Bahariya Oasis and Farafra Oasis northern of the White Desert, Egypt. The unique structure of ridge is made entirely of calcite crystal that combines altogether to create a striking ridge standing up out of the desert. The hill is a subvolcanic vault, which was emerged during the Oligocene age. The crystals themselves are quartz. The actual name is Crystal Formation, although that is not the common name the ridge is known by. The sun rays make the big rock with its arch to spark even more. The crystal mountain stands on the very edge of the of the White Desert , and soon the black iron and basalt pebbles give way to the sand-blown chalk formations which loom on either side of the road.
The Crystals are perhaps Barite, and Calcite with columnar-shaped stalagmites. The coal seam and hydrothermal impregnated reddish to brownish ferruginous layers, strata are broken or brecciated and intensely with each other folded. The ascertained intense heat of coal seam was transformed to anthracite. Actually Crystal Mountain Egypt is an ancient Paleo that has been pushed to the earth’s surface, and is now in the process of being eroded away by the elements. The Crystal Mountain has almost an oblong or square-like shape. The natural crystal arch, has formed in the ridge, that spring up in the desert all around the mountain. According to the geologists, this structure is a cave made from limestone and completed with stalactites and stalagmites. This cave was shook by the earth movements and the roof was destroyed by erosion while the time passed by. The arch is natural and small and is situated in the center of the structure.
The crystals have increased out of climbed hydrovolcanic solutions. The visible layers are White Desert limestone of the Khoman Fm. Moreover the Barite veins are extensively distributed to the south of Gebel El Hafhuf which is composed of a rock sequence with sandstone, shale, limestone, phosphatic limestone and phosphatic calcareous sandstone. You should never try to break off the crystals on the mountain, as these have been taken thousands  of years to form, and breaking them would be ruining a piece of history. Yes, one can collect pieces of crystal that scatter around the landscape and ridge. Crystal Mountain is one of favorite place of the tourists who want to make pictures here. The Crystal Mountain is an important touristic objective, many of the tourists who come to visit the Farafra Oasis or/and the Baharyia Oasis come to see the Crystal Mountain too.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Jigokudani Monkey Park, Where Monkeys Bath in Hot Springs

Jigokudani is a valley surrounded by steep rock walls where steam can be seen rising from natural hot springs. Jigokudani Monkey Park, is famous due to massive population of wild Japanese snow monkeys, using natural spa exclusively by themselves. These are also referred to Japanese macaques “Macaca fuscata”, in Yamanouchi, Shimotakai District, Nagano Prefecture, part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, located in the valley of the Yokoyu-River, in the northern part of the prefecture. The name Jigokudani, meaning (Hell's Valley), famous for steam and boiling water that bubbles out of small crevices in the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and terribly cold and intimidating forests. The heavy snowfalls, covers the area for 4months in a year, an elevation of 850 meters. The main onsen bath was constructed specifically for use by the monkeys.
The Jigokudani Monkey Park is only accessible through a 2KM footpath via forest, mostly uncrowded in spite of being relatively well-known. The monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm waters of hot springs, and return to the security of the forests in the evenings. Though, monkeys are fed by park attendants, they are in the area of the hot springs all the year round, and a visit at any season will enable the tourist to observe hundreds of the macaques. This region receives heavy snowfall usually white from Dec-Mar, with January and February is the best time to visit the monkey park.
During the colder season, when food is very limited available, monkeys congregate in and around the pools for warmth and the daily supply of barley and soybeans. Further, sometimes monkeys are sighted even in the summer as they take occasional baths because they are enticed by food thrown into the pool by park wardens. Moreover, the macaques are medium sized monkeys, have stocky body with both a head and body length of approximately 500mm high. The tail length is less than a quarter of the head and body length, have grayish or brownish fur color, well-developed cheek paunches, ischial callosities and red faces. The biggest male was about 600mm, the biggest female was about 450mm, and infants were about 300mm.
In 1963, a young female monkey clambered into a hot spring to collect soybeans that were floating on the surface of the water. This unusual behavior was followed by others in the troop, and soon it became common for the monkeys to retreat to the hot pools when the harsh winter arrived. Naturally the tourists followed soon after. The wild monkeys keep their own schedules, as there are no fences or cages, and they do whatever they like. That’s the beauty of this whole park, and something that sets it apart from many of Japan’s other animal experiences.
Hence, a visit to the Nagano area would not be complete without seeing the Japan Snow Monkeys. Notwithstanding its relatively remote location, approximately 100,000 visitors trek through the woods of Nagano each year to see wild snow monkeys. Overnight visitors usually base themselves in nearby Kanbayashi Onsen, Shibu Onsen or Yudanaka Onsen. It’s definitely the most scenic, with snow-capped trees backgrounding groups of bathing Japanese macaques. Visitors can observe their natural lifestyle and numerous photos are on display at the park management building.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Balls Pyramid, World’s Tallest Volcanic Sea Stack

Ball's Pyramid is an erosional remnant of a shield volcano and caldera that formed about 6.4 million years ago. Ball’s Pyramid is a sea stack, a great jagged spire rising from the Tasman Sea.  It lies 20 kilometers southeast of Lord Howe Island in the Pacific Ocean. The massive Ball’s Pyramid is one of the surviving above-ground discovered in 1788. It is 562 meters high, while measuring only 1,100 meters in length and 300 meters across, making it the tallest volcanic stack in the world. Ball's Pyramid is part of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park in Australia.

Ball's Pyramid is positioned in the center of a submarine shelf. The barren, rocky spire was believed to be devoid of life until 2001 when a group of researchers discovered what may be the world’s rarest insect. The world’s tallest sea stack of Australia’s is most remarkable diving can be found exploring the caves and waters surrounding the basalt spearhead, divers come face-to-face with a mass of spectacular sea creatures.

Ball’s Pyramid looks like a place where nothing could survive, but isn’t devoid of life. It is home to the rarest insect in the world, the Lord Howe stick insect, famous for being big as a human hand. The researchers found a colony of the huge Lord Howe Island stick insects living under a single bush, a hundred feet up the else entirely infertile rock.  

The Lord Howe Island stick insect “Dryococelus australis” known as “land lobsters” or “walking sausages,” the six-inch long insects were once common on the neighboring Lord Howe Island, but were assumed to have been eaten into extinction by the black rats introduced to the island when a supply ship ran aground on its shores in 1918. In some way a few of the wingless insects escaped and managed–by means still unidentified–to traverse over 14 miles of Open Ocean, land on Ball’s Pyramid, and survive there. Just 27 of the insects have been found on the rocky spire. So, currently they’re being bred in captivity.
From huge schools of Violet Sweep, Rainbow Runners and Amberjack, to Marlin, Dolphin, Turtles and Wahoo, the underwater world will astound. Many rare species, like Spanish Dancers and Galapagos Whalers also make these waters their home. Ball’s Pyramid is a widespread spot for fishing charters and is the only known place where the Ballina Angelfish can be sighted scuba diving. You could be forgiven for thinking it is the infamous headquarters of the Thunderbirds. In 1990, the policy was relaxed to allow some climb. The Ball’s Pyramid is protected as part of the Lord Howe Island World Heritage area and people can no longer climb the mountain without permission.

Flag Lowering Ceremony at Wagha Border Lahore

The lowering of the flag ceremony was held at Wagah Border in Lahore as a daily military practice which was attended by a large number of people including women, children, old and young on Pakistan Day. People raised slogans of Allah u Akbar and Pakistan Zindabad as the Pakistan Rangers personnel in their traditional style lowered the flag. The participants’ excitement grew higher as they witnessed the parade ceremony.

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Mysterious Stone Spheres of Champ Island

The Champ Island is a popular place among tourists who sail on a cruise to the Arctic. The island has strange objects, which is still not clear, even not expected to be solved in the near future. Champ Island is in the center of an area situated hundreds of miles north of Russia’s mainland coast, but they bagsied it forst so they own it, just like America owns the moon. No one knows with absolute certainty how these stones got here, since the island is of course uninhabited. There are no humans, and no human records, to explain what caused the stones to look like they do. Here’s seamlessly round boulders are scattered around the island, apparently growing out of the ground. Melting glaciers expose the surface of the island, washing away the rounded forms. It is one of various islands in the Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land, belongs to the most remote corners of Russia. The island hasn’t studied yet, are having relatively small grounds 375 square kilometers.

A concretion is a hard, compact mass of sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between the sediment grains. This island is very attractive and picturesque, untouched by civilization. The island has mysterious stone balls of impressive size and a perfectly round shape that causes the many conjectures about their appearance on these uninhabited lands. The mysterious various size round stones from greater than human height. Even some stones are very small just like a ping-pong ball; some of them are ideal cannonballs. Due to erosion many stones have lost their round shape due to the impact of strong winds, low temperatures and water, becoming similar to the other boulders. Anyone lucky enough to take a trip to the Arctic may well stop off here to wander around and have deep look into these natural wonders. When the glaciers melt away, sun rising heat, more of these mysterious spheres get revealed. This would be a more common place to research if it wasn’t so territoriality fragmented and distanced from the mainland.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

El Tatio, The Third Largest Geyser Field in the World

El Tatio is a geyser field located within the Andes Mountains of northern Chile along the border between of Bolivia. Before the sun starts to rise, early morning more than 60 geysers, hot springs, mud pools, mud volcanoes and many fumaroles spew hot waters and steam. The largest geyser in the southern hemisphere is 4.320 meters above sea level. El Tatio is also third largest geyser field in the world, (after Yellowstone in the U.S. and the Valley of Geysers on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia) covers an area of 12 square miles seeping steam across its surreal expanse. The El Tatio geyser field is a spectacular sight, a dreamlike high-altitude location surrounded by stratovolcanoes that form part of the local geothermal system. Geothermal power is the energy that comes from the internal heat of the Earth, and where the heat flow from the interior of the globe is sufficiently high can be used both for heating purposes and for the generation of electrical power.
El Tatio has extremophile microorganisms, which is possible of analogous example of life on early Earth and potential past life on Mars. The exclusive environment of El Tatio “provides a better environmental analog for Mars than those of Yellowstone National Park and other well-known geothermal sites on Earth.” Depending on the season, the hot springs yield 0.25–0.5 cubic meters per second of water at temperatures reaching the local boiling point. The Chilean government and private companies are looking the idea of harnessing the geothermal energy, but could not succeed due to El Tatio’s remote location and environmental concerns have stalled any geothermal power projects. In 2010, the site was declared a protected area, however tourism remains the main business at El Tatio. The el Tatio, geyser field is also known as the Copacoya geysers.
The first geothermal prospecting of the field occurred in the 1920s particularly noticeable in cold weather. The field once numbered 67 geysers and more than 300 hot springs, as some geyser fountains reached heights of over 10 meters usually however they do not exceed 1 meter.  The hydrothermal activities are main reason of discoloring the several volcanoes of El Tatio volcanic group. El Tatio is a tourism destination, with substantial amounts of travelers both from Chile and other countries play an integral part of economic resource for the region, as more than 400 daily visitors comes here to see these exclusive geysers.
The water is rich in minerals, especially sodium chloride, rubidium, strontium, bromine, magnesium, cesium, lithium, arsenic, sulfate, boron, potassium, silica and calcium. Hydrothermal alteration at El Tatio, has also yielded large deposits of alteration minerals such as illite, nobleite, smectite, teruggite and ulexite. Moreover, El Tatio and a number of other geothermal fields have been dominated by andesitic volcanism producing lava flows until the late Miocene, large scale ignimbrite activity took place between 10 and 1 million years ago. The toxic minerals like arsenic which pollutes a numbers of waters in this area, causing health issues in the population. The climate is dry falling between December and March, rather windy, which influences the hot springs by enhancing evaporation. This region has extreme temperature variations between day and night. El Tatio lies at high altitude, regularly leading to altitude sickness, and the cold dry climate creates further danger.
Further El Tatio area has exposure to the hot gases and water can result in burn injuries, and both sudden eruptions of geysers and fountains and fragile ground above vents and above boiling water, concealed beneath thin covers of solid ground, increase the risk to unwary travelers. The hot spring waters enter the ground east and south east of El Tatio is controlled by the permeability of the volcanic material. Unlike geothermal fields in wetter parts of the world, given the dry climate of the area local precipitation does have little influence on the hot springs hydrology at El Tatio. The time the water takes to traverse the whole path from precipitation to the springs is about 15 years.
The water travels through a number of aquifers which correspond to permeable rock formations through faults and fractures in the rock. Magmatic brine is mixed into this water and the mixture ultimately becomes the water that emerges at El Tatio. This area dry grassland vegetation are  Tussock grasses like Anatherostipa, Festuca, Stipa while rosette and cushion plants, Azorella, Chaetanthera, Mulinum, Senecio, Lenzia, Pycnophyllum and Valeriana. El Tatio geyser field, one of San Pedro de Atacama’s most popular surrounding attractions, so don’t miss whenever you go Chile. The natural marveling at the geothermal wonders provides breathtaking views for taking pictures.