Le Morne Brabant on the southwest coast of Mauritius has a cool optical illusion offshore: water flowing between two reefs pulls sand out to sea, giving the appearance of an underwater waterfall.
YouTuber RubenMRU says:
So the day after my birthday this year saw one of my dreams come true... Vassen Kauppaymuthoo of Delphinium Ltd took me out on a boat trip to the south west coast of Mauritius and we've captured the now famous Underwater waterfall of Mauritius... Now it's not really a waterfall, it only appears to be one from above - this illusion is caused by the trails of sand on the sea floor, being dragged away by water going between the opening in the reefs
Earthporn has some other lovely images:
Some good ones on Instagram, too:
discovered the underwater "waterfall" is real.. i still can't comprehend how places like this exist
• 2018-06-12 - Mauritius's Underwater Waterfall (YouTube / ReubenMRU) Read the rest
The little pink-edged ferns above are Azolla filiculoides, and they're smaller than a fingernail. Scientists just made it the first fern to get its genome sequenced because of its potential for fertilizing and even cooling the planet. Fifty million years ago, it was so abundant as ocean blooms that it helped cool the earth's atmosphere. Via Quartz:
This great Azolla boom was so successful that it lasted for 800,000 years, and is now known to paleobotanists as the “Azolla event.” Green plants suck up carbon dioxide; Azolla is particularly good at doing so. Over that period, researchers believe it sequestered about 10 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere, or well over 200 times the total amount of carbon dioxide humans currently release into the atmosphere every year.
During the Azolla boom, global temperatures plummeted, suggesting the diminutive fern “played a key role in transitioning Earth from a hot house to the cool place it is today,” Fay-Wei Li, a plant evolutionary biologist at Cornell University, said in a press release. As Yale’s E360 pointed out, scientists have wondered for years if Azolla could be harnessed to cool the planet again.
• This teeny tiny fern may hold a key to lowering global temperatures (Quartz) Read the rest
Echinopsis cactus flowers explode in a riot of colors in this beautiful timelapse work by YouTuber EchinopsisFreak. In the example above, blooms somehow synchronize their brief appearance to maximize the chance of pollination. Read the rest
Sea slugs, aka nudibranchs, are weird and wonderful psychedelic sea creatures. Earth Touch caught a frisky couple kissing beneath the waves. Read the rest
Sometimes a toad or frog just wants a light snack. Read the rest
Penguins huddle in frigid temperatures, but rather than stay in one place, timelapse footage shows that when one occasionally takes a step, others follow suit, creating a low-moving wave and allowing those on outer edges to move in over time. Read the rest
When a river changes course on its flood plain, it can leave an entire bend of the river cut off from the new flow, forming an oxbow lake. Seen in bright blue in this shot of the Songhua River in northeast China, they are usually narrow crescents. Read the rest
Wayne Easton braved the elements to capture an interesting natural phenomenon: the Mahlongwa River in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa breaching its bank and cutting a channel to the Indian Ocean. Part two is below: Read the rest
From Kīlauea, where the eruption continues, now with "lava flowing unabated with standing waves."
You can see them to the left of the photo here, taken by a USGS drone over the flow, and in this video:
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In 2004, Paul Bush released When Darwin Sleeps, 3,000 digital stills of insects in the Walter Linsenmaier in the Lucerne Nature Museum. They flash by so quickly they feel animated, or as if evolution itself is happening on screen. Now he's released a better quality copy than has been previously available online. Read the rest
Swimming pigs, splashing horses, and diving bulls await in this lovely roundup of animals swimming, some of whom are a bit surprising to see taking to water so eagerly. Read the rest
Coquina clams are so attuned to life in the foreshore that they all know exactly when to dig into the sand and exactly when to pop up. Read the rest
YouTuber Retic over at Prehistoric Pets TV has a huge collection of pythons and other ancient creatures. Here he shows how and why a clutch of python eggs can be lifted up in giant sticky clumps. Read the rest
Yeast has brought a lot of joy into the world, but its evolutionary origins were unclear until scientists did a worldwide genomic survey of the humble organism. Based on the genetic diversity of strains found in China, they concluded that its origin is almost certainly in that part of the world. Read the rest
Beautiful beaches. Lush jungles that thrive in volcanic soil. Friendly people and amazing local cuisine. You can keep 'em all. One of the things I enjoyed most about my last trip to Costa Rica were the calls of local howler monkeys. It didn't matter that I knew what was making their horrific calls. Hearing their low, simmering rage-filled grunts and screams never failed to make the lizard bits of my brain insist that my face was about to be eaten and that I would soon be dead.
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Daniel Kordan is a great photographer who travels to distant lands for stunning astrophotographs among other. Some of his stills are below, but his video of a trip to Greenland has his same eye for natural beauty. Read the rest