These Breathtaking Natural Wonders No Longer Exist

Natural and manmade forces continue to reshape Earth’s landscape.

Jeffery Pine, Yosemite National Park
The dead and wind-battered Jeffery pine atop Yosemite’s Sentinel Dome, made famous by Ansel Adams, finally toppled in 2003. Some say the only tree in the scenic vista was one of the world’s most photographed trees, having been the star of glass plate images as early as the 1860s.
Photograph by Harald Sund
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Slim River, Canada
In spring 2017, an entire river in Canada’s Yukon territory vanished seemingly overnight. The culprit was the retreat of the massive Kaskawulsh Glacier whose meltwater diverted from the Slim River to feed a different river. Scientists called it the first case of “river piracy” in modern times. These changes are also shrinking the Yukon’s largest lake. You can see Kluane Lake’s receding shoreline along Alaska Highway 1 and from points within Kluane National Park and Reserve.
Photograph by Alan Majchrowicz
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Elephant Rock, Canada
Some 200 tons of rocks toppled from New Brunswick’s “Elephant Rock” Flowerpot Formation last spring, turning a peephole into a pile of rubble. The scenic spot in Hopewell Rocks Park was one of the most popular stops for travelers taking in the remarkably wide-ranging tides of the Bay of Fundy.
Photograph by Mike Grandmaison
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Twelve Apostles Marine National Park, Australia
There’s a few less apostles in Australia’s Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. In 2005, one of the largest and most intricate of the offshore sea stacks crumpled into dust in front of a watching family. Already the remnants of pummeled cliffs, the heavy surf there means the remaining seven apostles aren’t far behind.
Photograph by David Noton
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Legzira Beach, Morocco
Paragliders, surfers, fishermen, and a handful of in-the-know visitors who frequented Legzira Beach outside the city of Sidi Ifni in Morocco mourned when its twin red sea arch succumbed to the weight of the massive cliff above it in 2016. The rust-colored hideaway was a popular sunset scene; a similar setting can be found in the Jurassic-era red sea stacks of Landram Bay in Devon, England.
Photograph by Zzvet
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Landscapes shape our sense of place, yet Earth is constantly changing. The forces of volcanism, wind, water, sun, and, yes, humans, conspire to transform what has been crafted into familiar terrain over millennia—pummeling cliffs into beaches, eroding vast canyons, forming new land with bubbling lava, and shifting the course of mighty rivers.

more by Meghan Miner Murray
at National Geographic

Earth From Above

Explore our awe-inspiring planet, continent by continent, through incredible images captured from the air by the likes of drones and satellites…

The pearls of Bahrain
Shaped like an ornate necklace, the Durrat Al-Bahrain islands are an artificial archipelago, whose name translates as ‘the most perfect pearl’. To create the 20km2 of new land off the south-east coast of Bahrain, 34 million cubic metres of material was dredged from the seafloor of the Persian Gulf. The islands are like mini towns with luxury homes, shopping malls and schools.
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The land of extremes
The rich red-orange sand dunes of the Namib Desert stretch inland towards the Naukluft Mountains. Most moisture from the Atlantic falls as rain near the coast, yet some rolls across the arid desert as fog, quenching wildlife and oxidising the iron in the sand dunes to create their red colour. Highland water flows down the Kuiseb River greening the land to the north. In the south, as the Tsondab River hits the desert, water evaporates, leaving behind white salt and mineral deposits.
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The great desert
This shot of part of t he Sahara in Western Libya was captured by EarthKAM – a NASA programme where students from all over the world can ask for images to be taken from the International Space Station of specific locations on Earth. The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, with northeasterly winds that can reach hurricane levels, and as little as 2.5cm of rain on average each year.
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Island birth
The world’s youngest island, Nishinoshima, is made up of two sections which formed over 60 years apart. The lower section was created in 1973 when an underwater volcano erupted, while the upper part first broke through the ocean’s surface in November 2013, merging with its neighbour soon after. Every day, the island produces 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of lava.
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At the heart of green energy
Over 4,000 mirrors direct sunlight to a boiler in a central tower at the Khi Solar One power plant in the Northern Cape, South Africa. At full capacity the boiler heats up to a toasty 530ºC. The plant began commercial operation in February 2016, and supplies energy to around 45,000 homes.
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more in:
Earth from Above
Our planet as you’ve never seen it before

Part of the BBC Focus Magazine Collection

Prendre Conscience de la Fragilité de la Terre par Thomas Pesquet

Ce qui a le plus frappé le spationaute français pendant ses six mois dans la Station internationale, c’est la fragilité de la Terre: «l’atmosphère est vraiment une mince bande ridicule qui contient toute la vie. Autour, il n’y a rien, à des milliards d’années-lumière. J’ai vu la déforestation, les bandes rasées qui s’enfoncent dans les forêts en Amérique du Sud, les fleuves qui charrient des pollutions, des boues, le dégazage des bateaux, la pollution atmosphérique – je n’ai jamais pu prendre une photo de Pékin, par exemple. Voir tout cela, non plus seulement l’intellectualiser, ça change quelque chose… L’écologie, c’est bien, c’est important. Mais il est difficile de se représenter les problèmes, leur échelle nous dépasse. Là, j’ai vu, j’ai ressenti avec mes sens. Mince, c’est vrai, c’est là!

Risquer sa vie en allant dans l’espace fait réfléchir à ce qui est réellement important. J’aimerais que tous les décideurs de la planète voient le spectacle de la Terre depuis l’espace. Il n’y a pas de frontières. Il est extrêmement difficile de distinguer un pays d’un autre. La Terre n’est ni plus ni moins qu’un gros vaisseau spatial aux ressources limitées, avec un équipage de 7 milliards de personnes. La seule chose à faire, c’est de voyager en bonne intelligence et d’entretenir le vaisseau, comme nous le faisons avec l’ISS, pour que le voyage continue. Sinon, ça va s’arrêter très vite. Dans quelques centaines d’années, peut-être…»
lemonde.fr

Une Terre Si Fragile
Par Thomas Pesquet
© ESA / NASA

à voir dans Animan N201

Origines, Le Calendrier 2016 d’Olivier Grunewald

Origines, Le Calendrier 2016 d’Olivier Grunewald
OlivierGrunewald10aLes images de ce calendrier sont extraites d’une exposition photographique racontant les étapes de la formation de la Terre, l’apparition de la vie, son extrême diversité, afin de préparer une planète accueillante. ORIGINES est la quête esthétique qu’Olivier Grunewald mène depuis plus de trente ans, une fresque photographique pour rappeler le temps infini qu’il a fallu pour créer et parfaire un monde prodigue.

OlivierGrunewald10b OlivierGrunewald10c OlivierGrunewald10d OlivierGrunewald10e OlivierGrunewald10f OlivierGrunewald10g— – —

Origines | Le Calendrier 2016 d’Olivier Grunewald
via oliviergrunewald