The world is truly an incredible place full of mystery and wonder. Someone could spend their entire life traveling the globe and still wouldn't know a fraction of what it has to offer. Luckily for us, in modern times we have cameras that allow us to capture and share images of moments and places that most people wouldn't be able to see otherwise. Here are some incredible photographs that show how amazing our planet, and the life on it, can be.
Hiking Underneath A Glacier
Glaciers are bodies of dense ice that are constantly moving under their own weight. Due to their mammoth size and weight, millions of years ago, they shaped many of the world's landscapes that we see today.
While many people have walked on glaciers above ground, few can say that they've ever been inside one. Although this may look incredible, it's not necessarily advised considering that glaciers are unpredictable and could collapse at any second.
Pretty Yet Deadly
The Atheris squamigera, or green bush viper, is a venomous viper species that can be found in west and central Africa. The snake grows to an average body length of around 18 to 24 inches, with females typically being larger than the males.
Bites from the reptile have resulted in two deaths, and although there is no specific antivenom for this viper, antivenom for the genus Echis has shown to be effective against the poison.
The Statue Of Liberty Before Oxidation Occurred
Although the majority of people alive today know the Statue of Liberty as being green, that wasn't the original intention. The green color is a result of oxidation since the statue is made of copper, which was its original color.
The statue was a gift from the people of France to the United States and was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, and Gustave Eiffel built its metal framework. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.
While most people have seen small pieces of driftwood on the beach or in the ocean, few people may have ever seen a washed-up giant sequoia on the shore. The giant sequoia is the last living species in the genus Sequoiadendron and they are the largest trees on planet earth.
These trees naturally grow in groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The oldest known giant sequoia is estimated to be between 3,200-3,266 years old.
A New Take On A Classic
Imagine going to a museum and seeing someone recreating a classic painting on an Etch A Sketch, and very well! Here, this person created a rendition of the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
Painted by Georges Seurat between 1884 to 1886, it is considered to be the artist's most famous work and is a leading example of pointillism. Although the artist using the Etch A Sketch may not have been able to use pointillism, that doesn't make their masterpiece any less impressive.
The First Image Of A Black Hole
In 2019, a black hole and its shadow were captured on film for the first time. This was done by an international network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope.
A black hole is a dense object which no light can escape from, and anything that comes within the black hole's "event horizon" will be consumed with no chance of ever re-emerging. Although black holes cannot be seen, the disk of material that encircles it shines bright, making it look like a shadow.
Here is a picture of a line of people attempting to make it to the summit of Mount Everest. The mountain is the Earth's highest above sea level and is located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The mountain was first successfully climbed on May 29, 1953, and today attracts experienced climbers from around the world.
However, the increasing number of climbers has created lines of people on the mountain that puts climbers at risk of altitude sickness, weather, and other hazards. As of 2019, over 300 people have died on the mountain.
Around The Bend
Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped incised curve of the Colorado River that is located near Page, Arizona. It is located around five miles downriver from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell.
The overlook spot to see the landmark is around 4,200 feet above sea level, with the Colorado River being approximately 3,200 feet above sea level. With the rise of social media, it has become a significant tourist destination, with more and more visitors coming each year.
A Unique Body Of Water
Lake Hillier is a saline lake on the edge of Middle Island in Australia that is noted for its pink color. The lake is around 2,000 in length and 820 feet in width and is surrounded by a rim of sand and dense woodland.
The water's pink color is permanent and is assumed to be due to the presence of the organism Dunaliella salina, a type of halophile green micro-algae that is often found in salt fields.
Surrounded By Shell Casings
Here is an image of a soldier surrounded by shell casings after a battle during World War I. Also known as the Great War, World War I was a global conflict that lasted from July 28, 1914, to November 11, 1918.
It involved over 70 million military personnel and is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, resulting in an estimated nine million combatant and 13 million civilian deaths. Referred to as the "war to end all wars," it paved the way for World War II.
Battle Of The Sexes
This is a bilateral gynandromorph butterfly, meaning that it is half male and half female. Although this might seem like something out of a science-fiction movie, this is a condition that occurs in nature, although it's incredibly rare.
The cause of this phenomenon almost always takes place in mitosis during early development. At this time, while an organism contains only a few cells, one of the dividing cells does not split its sex chromosomes typically.
An Ancient Rock Fortress
Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress located in the Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. According to the historical record Culavamsa, the site was selected by King Kashyapa for his new capital between around 477 - 495 AD.
The capital and royal palace built on the top of the rock was abandoned after the king's death, and it was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Gagged In Court
This is a remarkable picture of Christopher Charles Lightsey back in 1995, who had to be gagged in court for constantly interrupting his murder trial. Lightsey was convicted of causing the death of an elderly cancer patient during his 1994 to 1995 trial.
Lightsey is also considered a suspect in the 1990 death of four-year-old Jessica Martinez, although the case has never been submitted to the District Attorney's office due to a lack of evidence. In 2015, it was announced that he would be placed back on death row.
Inside The Hammer
If you couldn't tell, this is an impressive x-ray of a hammerhead shark. The hammerhead can be found worldwide in warmer waters along coastlines and continental shelves. Hammerheads differ from other sharks as they swim in schools during the day and become solitary hunters at night.
The hammer-like shape of the head is expected to have evolved to increase the shark's vision, allowing it to see above and below them at all times. The shape also helps with maneuverability and hunting.
These snow chimneys can be found on Mount Erebus, the second-highest volcano on Antarctica, and the southernmost active volcano on Earth. The volcano has a summit elevation of 12,488 feet and has been active since approximately 1.3 million years ago.
The volcano is also the site of the Air New Zealand flight 901 accident, which took place in November of 1979. Mount Erebus is particularly notable for its ice fumaroles, which are ice towers that form around the gases that escape from vents at the surface.
Rainbow Mountain is a mountain in the Andes of Peru that is located at an altitude of 17,000 feet above sea level. In the mid-2010s, the mountain became a major tourist attraction because of the incredible series of striped colors, with new methods of transportation being developed to take tourists to the site.
The colors are a result of mineralogical composition on the slopes and summits. At one point, the mountain was covered by glacier caps, which have melted recently due to global warming.
Something Out Of A Nightmare
This is the skeleton of a pufferfish, also known as a blowfish, known for its ability to escape. Because they are clumsy swimmers, in order to protect themselves from predators, they can ingest large quantities of water to turn themselves into an inedible ball.
Some species also have spines on their skin to make them even more formidable. Furthermore, almost all pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin that makes them foul-tasting, and to humans they are 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide.
Behind A Frozen Waterfall
In places all over the world, the weather gets so cold that it freezes moving water, even waterfalls. This lucky photographer managed to get behind one of them to capture its beauty.
We're not sure how they managed to get behind the frozen wall of water, but it definitely makes for an impressive picture. These frozen waterfalls aren't uncommon, although many people are unlikely to see them in their lifetime outside of a picture such as this.
The Giant's Causeway is an area on the north coast of Northern Ireland that is made up of around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns as the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.
In 1986, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and later a national nature reserve by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. It is considered to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland and was named the fourth greatest wonder in the UK.
An International Border Inside A Library
The Haskell Free Library and Opera House is a Victorian building that straddles the international border of Rock Island, Quebec and Derby Line, Vermont. The Opera House was opened on June 7, 1904, and was purposefully built on the border between Canada and the United States.
It was declared a heritage building by both countries in the 1970s and 1980s. The building also has two addresses, which are 93 Caswell Avenue, Derby Line, Vermont, and Church Street, Stanstead, Quebec.
The Great Blue Hole Is Breathtaking
The Great Blue Hole is a massive marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It is near the center of Lighthouse Reef and around 43 miles from the mainland of Belize.
The hole is 1,043 feet wide and 407 feet deep with stalactites found inside showing that its formation took place 153,000, 66,000, 60,000, and 15,000 years ago, eventually being flooded by rising ocean levels. It is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and a UNESCO World History Site.
A Quick Snack
This is a photo of a Russian soldier feeding a polar bear from his tank in 1950s. When you're constantly patrolling areas that have polar bears, it wouldn't be unusual to encounter them on occasion.
Clearly, this isn't this soldier's first run-in with polar bears, as he's casually feeding them from his tank. The bear looks not much older than a cub, so the soldier better hope that the mom isn't anywhere around because snack time would be over.
Benjamin The Tasmanian Tiger
This is an image from a black-and-white clip recorded in 1935. It was released by Australia's National Film and Sound Archive and shows Benjamin, the last confirmed living Tasmanian tiger, roaming around his enclosure at the now-closed Beaumaris Zoo. Unfortunately, Benjamin died on September 7, 1936.
The day he died is now commemorated in Australia as National Threatened Species. Tasmanian tigers typically had stripes, a pouch, and a dog-like head with extra powerful jaws.
Beachy Head is a chalk headland located in East Sussex, England. Immediately east of the Seven Sisters, the cliff is the highest chalk seas cliff in Britain and is 541 feet above sea level.
Sitting at the peak, one can see the east coast of Dungeness to the east, to the Isle of Wright in the west, Unfortunately, the cliff's height has made it a common place for people to go and end their lives.
Migration Of Manta Rays
While this may not look like anything special at a glance, it's actually a pretty cool natural phenomenon. Pictured are thousands of manta rays during a migration. Mantas are massive rays with the larger species reaching 23 feet in width and the smaller species 18 feet.
Mantas are typically found in warm, subtropical and tropical waters with both species migrating across open oceans either singly or in groups. At the moment, both species are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Princess Diana on a yacht in Portofino, Italy, 1997
This is one of the last few photos taken of Princess Diana, as she died a few days later in August.
Here you can see the lengths she would go to to avoid paparazzi. Unfortunately, she couldn't escape them even then.
Water In The Dunes
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a national park located in Maranhao state in northeastern Brazil. The park protects 380,000 acres, which also includes 43 miles of coastline and the encompassing rolling sand dunes.
During the rainy season, the valleys at the bottom of the dunes turn into freshwater lagoons that are prevented from draining by the rock underneath. The park is also home to a range of species, including four that are endangered, which makes it an attractive destination for ecotourists.
One Of The World's Highest Pedestrian Bridges
The Zhangjiajie Glass footpath is a skywalk bridge in Zhangjiajie, Hunan, suspended above the Wulingyuan area. The bridge opened to the public on August 20, 2016, and at the time was the longest and tallest glass-bottomed bridge in the world.
It's 1,410 feet in length, 20 feet wide, and elevated 980 feet above the ground. The bridge is set between two mountain cliffs in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and was designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan.
Edge Of The Earth
The Bunda cliffs are a part of a large cliff of the Eucla Basin that spans from the western part of South Australia across to the southeastern corner of Western Australia. They form part of the longest uninterrupted stretch of sea cliffs in the world.
Bunda is an aboriginal word that has been used in South Australia for the name of the Nullarbor coastal cliffs, with the Bunda cliffs extending around 62 miles of the Great Australian Bight.
The Ancient Remains Of Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century citadel located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru on a 7,970 mountain cliff. Archaeologists believe that the establishment was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti.
After abandoning it during the Spanish conquest, it remained hidden from the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham presented it to the world in 1911. It was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
April 28th, 1988, The roof of an Aloha Airlines jet ripped off in mid-air at 24,000 feet
Miraculously, the plane still managed to land safely! Television programs in 1988 were calling it the "miracle landing".
It's truly a feat of engineering that the plane was able to land safely.
Flying In The Clouds
Wingsuit flying is a sport in which an individual flies through the air using a special suit that adds surface area to the human body and allows the user to increase their lift. The suits were first developed in the late 1990s and have also been labeled "birdman suits," "squirrel suits," and "bat suits."
The flight is typically ended by the deployment of a parachute, which means the flier can operate a wingsuit by jumping out of a skydiving airplane or leaping from a high surface.