Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Cat Island Japan

An army of cats rules the remote island curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans 6 to 1. Tashirojima is a small island in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, Japan, lies in the Pacific Ocean off the Oshika Peninsula, to the west of Ajishima. This is also known as “Cat Island” has long been thought by the locals to represent luck and good fortune. The island is also known as Manga Island, as Shotaro Ishinomori built manga-related buildings on the island, resembling a cat. If you take care of them and feed well, and treated like kings or as pets will bring wealth and good fortune.  So, it is not an accident that the cats that inhabit have come to be the island's primary residents and most are feral because keeping them as "pets" is generally considered inappropriate; they’re well-fed and cared-for. In 2012, the BBC in the United Kingdom, presented a short television series called Pets “Wild at Heart”, which features the behaviors of pets, including the cats on the island.

Moreover, in the last 60 years or so, the human population of island has significantly decreased from few hundreds to thousands. The cat population is now larger than the human population on the island. The number of inhabitants has shunned the island as it became dominated by felines. The populations which have left have become more protective of the cats. Moreover another interesting that, dogs are not allowed here just to protect cat’s well beings and apparently any dog foolish enough to venture onto an island full of feral cats. Due to cats, the island has become a popular attraction for curious travelers.In 2011, the famous Tohoku tsunami has damage the island, but feline population has become survived and intact and several believe, the island wasn’t destroyed due to cats luck.

In the Period of Edo in Japan, the much of island raised silk worms for their textile needs and they use to kept cats to chase the mice away from their precious silk worms in order to keep the mouse population down because mice are a natural predator of silkworms. Moreover there’s a small shrine known as Neko-jinja in the middle of island. Hence, there are at least 10 cat shrines in Miyagi Prefecture and are also 51 stone monuments in the shape of cats, which is a strangely high number, compared to the other prefectures. Therefore, these shrines and monuments are concentrated in the southern area of the island, overlapping with the regions where silkworms were raised. As a result, the cat lovers come to the island and package tours exactly to "look for Jack" are now available. Thus, Cat photographs contests and exhibitions are now held on the island.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Kerið Crater, A Volcanic Crater Lake in Iceland

Kerið is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grimsnes area in South Iceland. It is also known as Kerith or Kerid, a popular tourist attraction due to scenic route Golden Circle. There’re number of crater lakes in the Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone, which includes Reykjanes Peninsula and The Langjökull Glacier. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland's Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, but it is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact. This is a 55 m deep explosion crater that harbours a small green lake in the Grímsnes region, filled with water; steep circular slopes resemble an ancient Amphitheatre. The crater is nearly 3000 years old, often displaying intense colors. The caldera is well composed of a red and black volcanic rock. The caldera is approximately 180 feet deep, 560 feet wide, and 890 feet across. Kerið’s caldera is one of the three most recognizable volcanic craters. However, the other two surrounding volcanic are Seyðishólar and Kerhóll half the age of this.

While most of the crater is steep-walled with little vegetation, one wall is sloped more gently and blanketed with a deep moss, and can be descended fairly easily. The fairly shallow lake approximately is seven to ten meters deep, but mainly depending upon rainfall and other factors.  However, the other minerals from the soil, is an opaque and strikingly vivid aquamarine. Researchers originally thought that Kerið is formed by a massive volcanic explosion, though no evidence found to proof such an explosion in Kerið. Therefore, currently it is believed that Kerið was a cone volcano which was erupted and emptied its magma reserve. Hence once the magma was depleted, the weight of cone collapsed into empty magma chamber. So, the existing pool of water at the bottom of the crater is at the same level as the water table and is not caused by rainfall. The stunning beauty of Kerid Crater Lake proves that Southern Iceland is not all about ice and fire. This is one of most amazing photograph landscape protected from weathering, the jagged rocks and fissures of the walls stand in sharp contrast to the gentle rolling landscape nearby. The best way to see Kerid crater is to travel along a popular tourist route called the Golden Circle, a 300-kilometer loop that covers the most amazing natural sites in southern Iceland. Moreover, fish probably don’t live there, but there are zooplanktons and you can stand at the top of the crater and look down at the eerie calm of the lake below.

The sides of the crater are really steep but a few daring tourists always decide to climb down to the depths. Well, if you climb down into the crater, then please be careful since it was moderately difficult to navigate way to the bottom. Thus, once you get to the bottom, you can stand by the lake and observe how the sides of the crater create a cocoon for sound. The wind and nearby road are silenced by the natural walls of the crater. The bottom of the crater feels peaceful with the quiet and static water. It was definitely a meditative location.  But the really difficult part is getting back up the 55 meters to the top again. Kerid Crater is a quirky little stop-off and great because it’s not busy like the other attractions on the Golden Circle.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Trona Pinnacles, Most Unusual Geologic Wonders in the California Desert

The most fantastic, eerie and unique geological landscape worldly shapes are the Trona Pinnacles in the California desert. This is also known as Tufa pinnacles, formed a peculiar shapes due to long ago glacial lake underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. More than 500 pinnacles are composed with calcium carbonate with mix of blue green algae thrown in. The city of Trona is ten miles to the north of Argus Range and 18 miles from Death Valley National Park. The elevation of pinnacles is more than 1800 feet above sea level.  

The first question comes into mind how these formations are made? So, during the Pleistocene Ice Ages, huge runoff spilled from the Sierra Nevada into a chain of inland seas and get interconnected lakes stretched from Mono Lake to Death Valley and included Searles Lake. The massive amount of alkaline lake water and calcium-rich groundwater combined to create Tufa formations. If you’re fit enough then you can walk in between 140 feet tall and 40 feet wide pinnacles.  The Trona Pinnacles formed during three ice ages, divided by age and elevation. However, on the northern group side the best known as Tufa towers, and most shapes are tombstones, ridge, and cones. The Trona Pinnacles are favorite film location in more than a dozen hit movies. More than 30 film projects a year are shot among the tufa pinnacles. 

The different peoples historically associated different names to strange forms, like ancient spires were once called “Cathedral City”. Geologically the pinnacles are classified into four general shapes, towers are taller 30 to 40 feet, tombstones are rise 20 to 30 feet, dumpy and mounded cones are 10 feet tall and ridge is 800 feet long and 500 feet wide and 140 feet tall. In 1968, Trona Pinnacles were designated as a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. The large ancient spear points and atlatls pointed, that humans have been lived here somewhere 10,000 years ago. Camel and wooly mammoth bones have been discovered near Searles Lake. Desert life is never easy in any era, to endure the scorching temperatures above 115F and rainfall is just three inches a year. Desert Holly, Salt Bush is main plants creeping along some of the pinnacles. So, Trona Pinnacles will be a life time journey into one of most strange geological wonders in California.

The Trona Pinnacles is an ideal place to explore in the fall, winter, and spring months.  Visiting the site in the early morning and evening is especially dramatic as are nights with a full moon. The dirt roads network wind throughout and offer plentiful vantage points from which to view and photograph the Pinnacles.  For hiking lovers, you should wear sturdy shoes to enjoy the best view of Trona Pinnacles. Camping is also allowed at Trona Pinnacles, and encouraged to use existing campsites and fire rings. 

Red Lake Sinkhole Croatia

Red Lake is a sinkhole containing a karst lake near the city of Imotski, Croatia is third largest sinkholes in the world. Sinkhole cliff faces that soar nearly 800 feet above sea level, and offers humanity a chance to drop into the earth and explore its numerous submerged waterways. The Red lake sinkhole is nearby Blue Lake is a hallowed space for more than just people, too; at this time, Red Lake is one of the last known habitats for a threatened species of river fish. The area is also famous due to various caves and high cliffs reaching more than 241 meters above water level.

The sinkhole depth is approximately 530 meters with a water volume is 25 to 30 million cubic meters. So, water drains out of the basin through underground waterways that descend below the level of the lake floor. This sinkhole is named after the reddish-brown color of the surrounding cliffs, colored by iron oxides. Moreover, it is presumed that the lake emerged when the ceiling of a large cave hall collapsed. The lake is home of fish Delminichthys adspersus, a small sardine looking fish of 9 to 12 cm, often seen here in dry and spring seasons. Furthermore, lakes and rivers hints, underground connection between Red lake and other water bodies.

The formation of sinkholes involves natural processes of erosion, gradual removal of slightly soluble bedrock by percolating water, the collapse of a cave roof, or a lowering of the water table often form through the process of suffosion. The Red Lake is a protected monument of nature and a veritable phenomenon of the karst known throughout the world for its size and specific features. This lake is elliptical in shape actually, 250 to almost 300 metres deep which depends on the season of the year and the water level, however bottom of lake is below the sea level. The lake’s rocks are vertical and red-colored owing to the bauxite ore and also a large water reservoir with drinking and clear water.  On account of its beauty, mystic features and inaccessibility, the Red Lake is the subject of many stories and legends. 

As the Red Lake is a geological monument of high significance to natural environment and its morphology is a proof that such status is well deserved, as a worldwide phenomenon so that it now figures on all lists of the world's deepest speleodiving structures. Moreover the accurate figures will be obtained in the course of future explorations to be undertaken by a special kind of bathyscaph. The Red Lake is the world's largest documented and surveyed ground water storage in karst, and deserves to be appreciated as such.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Namak Lake of Iran

Namak Lake also called Salt Lake is located about 100 km east of the City of Qom in Iran at an elevation of 2,590 feet above sea level. The Namak Lake has a dry surface only water covers out of about 1800 km² area. The lake depth is only between 45 centimeters to 1 meter and major source of water supply is river Qom. The Namak Lake is actually a remainder of the Paratethys Sea, which underway to dry from the Pleistocene epoch, leaving Lake Urmia and the Caspian Sea and other bodies of water. The climate condition is semi-arid and arid, and more moderate in nearby mountains. Therefore, the mean annual temperature is 13.5 ºC, with mean minima averaging -6 ºC and mean maxima averaging 35 ºC.

Moreover Namak Lake holds 240 million metric tons of minerals and it is believed, that Iran’s Namak Lake contains rich lithium deposit, extracting 40 grams of lithium per ton is considered as economically justified worldwide. Moreover, massive volume of sodium sulfate deposit, 144 million tons has discovered in the lake. Therefore, three minerals, namely Magnesia, Halite, and Sylvite have been identified so far in the lake, with estimated reserves of 32 million tons, 200 million tons, and 4.5 million tons, respectively these minerals are used in the agriculture, steel, and aluminum industries.

Namak Lake is accessible by sandy road and bit far from civilization and city. This place is specific for its minimal light smog and it is grotesque to watch stars here and even perspective photographs or skateboarding on silk salty surface is possible. The surrounding area of Lake is semi desert mainly rock with sand. Moreover vegetation cover is sparse, and foothills and wide valleys are characterized by forest steppe. Hence, higher areas well covered with snow in winter along with some permanent ice fields and alpine vegetation. The main fishes comprise of three families Balitoridae, Cyprinidae, and Salmonidae. Thus, native populations of trout (Salmo trutta) occur in the basin and some basins and other water bodies have been stocked with exotics, or exotic species have been acquainting with fortuitously. This ecoregion contains a high degree of endemism in a species-poor endorheic basin.