Thursday, May 1, 2014

'Planet Earth': glaciospeleologists, cumulonimbus thunderclouds, and the scary-looking Monodon monoceros

You can learn some nifty new big words as well as looking at awe-inspiring, oversized photographs whilst perusing Planet Earth: An Illustrated History. At left is a limestone pinnacle at New Zealand’s Cathedral Cove. Because it is a hard sedimentary rock, limestone is slow to erode, making it a preferred construction material for centuries, as in the Pyramids and the Parthenon. (Wilfried Krecichwost / Image Bank / Getty) Below are more images from the book.
Fly Geyser lies in the geyser-rich region around Black Rock Desert in Nevada, the dry bed of an ancient lake. It spouts in a constant stream, unlike geysers such as Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, whose vented water flows back underground, only to be reheated and released on a steady timetable. The cone-shaped spouts above have formed over the years as emitted minerals solidify. (Scott Sady / America 24-7 / Getty)
The residue of an ice storm glazes a beech tree, pushing its branches to a near-breaking point. (Martin Ruegner / Image Bank / Getty)
A pod of narwhals makes its way through an ice passage in the Arctic. The unicorns of the sea, Monodon monoceros are members of the order Cetacea, along with whales, dolphins and porpoises. Unlike baleen whales, which filter small prey from the water, narwhals are toothed whales that feed on small fish. These creatures are way bigger than they look in this photo: their tusks grow in a clockwise spiral and can reach almost 10 ft. in length, and narwhals themselves are 23 to 26 ft. long. (Paul Nicklen / National Geographic / Getty)
A lightning-generating, anvil-headed cumulonimbus thundercloud. (Ed Darack/Science Faction/Getty)
An ice cavern and glacier spelunker (glaciospeleologist) in Iceland. Cathedral-sized galleries of ice can be carved within glaciers by meltwater in years or even months. (Tyler Stableford / Getty)


  1. I've seen Cathedral Cove in person, it's beautiful! And you can catch the rock pictured above in the second Chronicles of Narnia movie (Prince Caspian I think??).

  2. Mr. Mouth AgapeMay 2, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Wowowow!!! What amazing photos! This book looks extremely interesting and wonderful! I had no idea narwhals were so large! It must be soooo unreal to be a glaciospeleologist!! That ice cavern looks so incredible, I wish I could see it in person. 8-)

  3. The Fly Geyser pic looks like a cover for an Ursula LeGuin novel. Thanks for the tour guide to the near universe!

  4. There's so much more great stuff in the book ... creatures of land, air, & sea. I guess if you have Time Inc's resources, you can buy a lot of awesome photos!!