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Mesmerising Natural Wonders of the World You May Not Know

Written by on July 7, 2016 in Environment, Uncategorized, Wildlife with 0 Comments

By Omar Cherif
https://www.borongaja.com/669694-zhangye-danxia-landform-amazing-place.htmlOur planet if full to the brim of magical things waiting to be explored. The following is a list of some enigmatic geographical wonders which are worth knowing about. Enjoy the colours and the info.

 

 

 

1. Puerto Princesa, Philippines


https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/travelnews/2011/11/pictures/111411-new-7-wonders-nature-world/

Puerto Princesa is a city located in the midsection of western provincial Palawan Island, Philippines. It is bound to the east by the Sulu Sea and to the west by the South China Sea. With a spectacular limestone landscape and an exquisitely complex cave systems, it is considered the cleanest, greenest, and one of the most protected areas of the country.

The city contains an 8.2km-long underground river that flows directly into the crystal sea, and egg-shaped rock formations, and a 20 million-year-old Miocene Age serenia fossil in the cave, which further adds to its scientific value. The site is actually a full “mountain-to-sea” ecosystem with Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Folk etymology attributes the name Puerto Princesa to a princess-like maiden who in the early days is said to have roamed around the area on certain nights of the year. Historically, though, it was named after Princess Asunción (b. 1864) who suffered an untimely death which made the Queen change the name to Puerto de la Princesa. Eventually it was shortened to Puerto Princesa.

Today, Puerto Princesa is a popular tourist city with many beach resorts and seafood restaurants. 

 

2. Dallol Volcanic Field, Ethiopia

Dallol, Ethiopia. https://www.flickr.com/photos/52340452@N05/

Dallol is a volcanic explosion crater (maar) at the heart of the Danakil Depression, northeast of the Erta Ale Range in Ethiopia — about 600 km north of Addis Ababa. The depression is a rift valley that parallels the Red Sea between Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Its deepest part is about 125 metres (410 feet) below sea level, which makes it one of the lowest points on Earth. 

The crater was formed by the intrusion of basaltic magma in Miocene salt deposits and subsequent hydrothermal activity. The volcano was born in 1926 as a result of some phreatic eruption. Or in other words, according to Geology.com:

As the brines evaporate in the hot arid climate, extensive salt formations are formed on the floor of the craters. These are coloured white, yellow, brown, orange and green by sulfur, dissolved iron, mud and the life activity of halophile algae.

Dallol features neon glow, acidic hot springs, acid pools, mountains of sulfur, salt, iron oxide among other minerals, and small gas geysers. It also happens to hold the current record for the highest average temperature of any inhabited place on Earth, with an average daily maximum temperature of 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit). This peculiar combination makes it a heck of an odd landscape.

Interestingly, the term ‘Dallol’ was coined by the Afar people, and it means dissolution or disintegration; it describes a landscape made up of green acid ponds (pH-values less than 1), iron oxide, sulfur, and salt desert plains.

Due to its colourful nature, the geysers, and the geothermal activity, Dallol is often compared to the hot springs of Yellowstone Park.

 

3. Table Mountain, South Africa

https://i.imgur.com/z5n2C1B.jpg

Table Mountain is a flat-top mountain overlooking the South African city of Cape Town. As a part of the Table Mountain National Park, it it a favourite touristic attraction. A cableway service is available, which makes it convenient for people who want to get a view of the city without having to go there. Others just enjoy the three-hour hike to the top.

Table Mountain is 1086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level — about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau. The top level plateau is edged by thrilling cliffs and it is about 3 kilometres (2 mi) from side to side.

There are various restaurants around the area, some of which are revolving, making viewing the city in a 360 degree angle even more appealing.

The Table Mountain is so significant to South Africa that it is featured in the Flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia.

 

4. Columnar Basalt

Columnar Basalt

Columnar Basalt are rock formations resulting from the quick cooling of lava flow. When the molten lava cools, contraction forces build up and form joints or fractures in a  process is similar to cracks seen in dried mud after heavy rains. The crystallization is followed by a symmetrical cracking along precise angles of the rocks. This leads to the formation of these mystifying geometrical patterns, which often look like a part of a surreal man-made art display.

Columnar basalt are predominantly hexagonal in cross-section, though polygons with three to twelve or more sides can be observed in nature. Note that the size of the columns depends on the rate of cooling; rapid cooling results in small ( less than 1 cm diameter) columns, while slow cooling is more likely to produce larger columns.

The word ‘basalt’ derives from Late Latin basaltes, a misspelling of Latin basanites “very hard stone”, which was imported from Ancient Greek βασανίτης (basanites), from βάσανος (basanos, ‘touchstone’) which itself perhaps originated from Egyptian bauhun ‘slate’.

Columnar volcanic rocks exist in many places around the globe. The most notable is the Giant's Causeway on the northern coast of Ireland. The second famous is probably Devils Tower in northeastern Wyoming.

 

5. The Amazon Rainforest

https://foundtheworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Amazon-Rainforest-2.jpg

Of course the list of wonders wouldn't be complete without the renowned Amazon Rainforest. Also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, it is spread across five and a half a million square kilometres (1.4 billion acres), covering almost 40 percent of the South American continent. The Amazon is the largest Rainforest on Earth.

The rain makes a gigantic basin in the form of the Amazon River which goes through nine nations: Brazil (the majority of the forest), Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

The Amazon Rainforest houses a staggering 10% of the world’s known species, as well as 20% of the world’s bird species. It is also home to around two and a half million different insect species and over 40000 plant species. One can only wonder how hard and long it took to document such rich biodiversity so we can have these numbers today.

Another main feature of the The Rainforest is that it produces 20 percent of the world's oxygen. Because it recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen it has thus dubbed the “Lungs of our Planet”.

The Amazon once covered 14 percent of our planet's land surface, but now it's merely 5 to 6 percent. It is estimated that if the wood consumption will keep going at the same pace, the remaining lands could last less than another 40 years. Fortunately, over this last decade deforestation rates have been reducing while areas of conserved land have been increasing.

As usual, the etymology and origin of the name holds some interesting info. So ‘amazon’ initially means a member of a legendary race of female warriors, believed by the ancient Greeks to exist in Scythia — near the Black Sea in modern Russia or elsewhere on the edge of the known world; a tall and strong or athletic woman.

The word originates from late Middle English: via Latin from Greek Amazōn, explained by the Greeks as ‘without a breast’ (as if from a- ‘without’ + mazos ‘breast’), referring to the fable that the Amazons cut off the right breast so as not to interfere with the use of a bow, but probably a popular etymology of an unknown foreign word.

Here's an absorbing Nat Geo – BBC wildlife animal documentary about our Lungs…minus the Breast”.

6- Florida Red Tides

Florida Red Tides

The red colour of Florida tides are produced when harmful marine algae (Karenia brevis), a plant-like organism, accumulate in the water column. A certain species of algae, named phytoplankton, contain photosynthetic pigments, which vary in colour from green to brown to red. So when the algae are present in high concentrations the water appears to be reddish. And the term “Florida Red Tide” is a descriptive name for such increase in density and concentrations.

That said, the change in sea colour to the reddish brown hue we get to see is due to the tens of millions of organism cells in the phytoplankton contained in each liter of seawater.

Red Tides often produce toxic chemicals which affect both marine organisms and humans. The Florida Tides in particular produce lethal brevetoxins that attacks the central nervous system of fish and other vertebrates.

 

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About the Author:

Omar Cherif Omar Cherif is a trilingual writer and researcher, photographer and blogger with degrees in journalism, psychology, and philosophy. After working in the corporate world for ten years, he took writing as a vocation and is currently finalising his first book about dreams, the subconscious mind and spirituality among other topics.

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