Our be-shelled buddy lives in Yasuni National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The park is considered one of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems—and a great place to celebrate World Turtle Day. The observance focuses on protecting turtles and tortoises, and the habitats they call home. About those butterflies: They’re licking salt and other minerals off the yellow-spotted river turtle’s face. And now you know that’s a thing that some butterfly species do.
Roughly 7,700 years ago, give or take 150 years, Mount Mazama erupted and collapsed, creating a massive crater that would become Crater Lake. Fast-forward to this day in 1902, and Crater Lake National Park was established. With a maximum depth of 1,943 feet, equivalent to 3.5 Washington Monuments, Crater Lake is also the deepest lake in the US.
If you saw the profile of a face in this sand dune, you’re not alone. We humans perceive random images as faces (and other familiar objects) all the time—it’s a phenomenon called pareidolia. In this case, maybe it’s just our way of finding something familiar and reassuring in this formidable desert.
Though the coastal Namib Desert begins in the southwest of Angola, and creeps into South Africa, the largest stretch of the Namib makes up the coastline of Namibia. Parts of the Namib rise in steep elevation, while the northern portion is often shrouded in thick fog rolling off the Atlantic. The fog over the region called the Skeleton Coast is responsible for numerous shipwrecks, but the moisture it brings into the harsh desert landscape is crucial to the flora and fauna that thrive here.
The Guggenheim Foundation has opened three major museums around the world—in New York City; in Venice, Italy; and here in Bilbao, Spain. A fourth museum is currently being developed in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is home to a modern art collection and large, site-specific pieces, such as ‘Puppy’ by Jeff Koons, seen here. Koons combined the plants and planting style of 18th-century European gardens with a very 20th-century pop-art aesthetic when he created the giant dog sculpture. Where are we off to next?
It’s the third Saturday in May, and that means we’re celebrating all five branches of the US military on Armed Forces Day. To commemorate our enlisted personnel on this occasion, we bring you this image of paratroopers filling the sky over Fort Bragg in North Carolina, for the annual charity event called Operation Toy Drop. Every December since 1998, Army and Air Force personnel have brought toys to donate to needy children, and in return, earned their foreign jump wings by taking a parachute-aided dive.