Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Unusual Frost Shadows

Sunny morning when we wake up after a cold night and when melted snow and ice, then comes the Frost Shadows. And then the fog takes on the shape of the shadow. It's like having a shadow in the negatives. Until it melts. Just one of those cool things you get to see every once in a while. For some people who live in warmer areas such as shadow play real phenomenon while the others become irresistible inspiration for photography.

incredible Frost Shadowslink

Unusual Frost Shadowslink

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Unusual Frost Shadowslink

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Amazing Unusual Frost Shadows in Basketballlink

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Most Impressive Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Coral reefs are mostly underwater, which in rare cases grow out of the water, structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs cover less than one per cent of the world’s oceans but support incredible biodiversity. Check out some of the unique structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals.

Coral and Mangrove, Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africa

Coral and Mangrove, Zanzibarlink

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar archipelago possesses rich marine resources that have been poorly exploited compared to neighbouring coastline on the mainland of East Africa. Its marine habitat consisting of coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and sandy beaches harbours a diversity of vertebrate and invertebrate species.

Coral and Mangrove, Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africalink

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Other Zanzibar's marine resources include coral reefs, seagrass beds, and sandy beaches. With more than 200,000 sq. km of coral reefs and plenty of seagrass beds, the undersea marine environment is one of the best in East Africa.

New Caledonia Barrier Reef

New Caledonia Barrier Reef 01link

The New Caledonia Barrier Reef is located in New Caledonia in the South Pacific, and is the second-longest double-barrier coral reef in the world, after Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

The New Caledonia Barrier reef surrounds Grande Terre, New Caledonia's largest island, as well as the Ile des Pins and several smaller islands, reaching a length of 1,500 kilometres (930 mi).

New Caledonia Barrier Reeflink

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Most of the reefs are generally thought to be in good health. Some of the eastern reefs have been damaged by effluent from nickel mining on Grand Terre. Sedimentation from mining, agriculture, and grazing has affected reefs near river mouths, which has been worsened by the destruction of mangrove forests, which help to retain sediment. Some reefs have been buried under several metres of silt. In January 2002, the French government proposed listing New Caledonia's reefs as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia

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Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australialink

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

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great BarrierReef Australialink

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

Tubbataha Reef Marine Park in Philippines

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The Tubbataha Reef (Filipino: Bahurang Tubbataha) is an atoll coral reef and a Natural Marine Park in Sulu Sea, Philippines composing of two huge atoll (the North Atoll and South Atoll) and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef. The park is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) located 150 kilometres (93 mi) southeast of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan according to the reefs' official website but according to United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the reefs are 181 kilometres (112 mi) southeast of Puerto Princesa City.

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The reefs are considered part of the island municipality of Cagayancillo, Palawan, which is located roughly 130 kilometres (81 mi) to the northeast of the reef.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize

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The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belizelink

Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, Belize. The largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere lies 980 feet from shore and stretches for 25 miles within the country’s limits. The site identified by UNESCO is actually part of one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System that extends from Cancun to Honduras.

Diving Belize Barrier Reef link

Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belizelink

One of the most beautiful features of the Balize Barrier Reef system is the “Balize Blue Hole.”
Popular for scuba diving and snorkeling, the Balize Barrier Reef is quite possibly Balize’s top tourist attraction, as well as being vital to the country’s fishing industry.
There are almost 450 cays within the barrier reef, and atolls range from small sand spits to permanent islands. Three of these large atolls, Turneffe Island, Lighthouse Reef, and Glover’s Reef, have been settled by locals.

Coral reef, Federated States of Micronesia

Coral reef, Federated States of Micronesialink

The Federated States of Micronesia Listeni  is an independent sovereign island nation consisting of four states – from west to east, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae – that are spread across the Western Pacific Ocean.

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Together, the states comprise around 607 islands (a combined land area of approximately 702 km2 (271 sq mi)) that cover a longitudinal distance of almost 2,700 km (1,678 mi) just north of the equator. They lie northeast of New Guinea, south of Guam and the Marianas, west of Nauru and the Marshall Islands, east of Palau and the Philippines, about 2,900 km (1,802 mi) north of eastern Australia and some 4,000 km (2,485 mi) southwest of the main islands of Hawaii.

Red Sea Coral Reef

Red Sea Coral Reeflink

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.

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The Red Sea has a surface area of roughly 438,000 km² (169,100 mi²). It is about 2250 km (1398 mi) long and, at its widest point, 355 km (220.6 mi) wide. It has a maximum depth of 2211 m (7254 ft) in the central median trench, and an average depth of 490 m (1,608 ft). However, there are also extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals. The sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, and 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

7 Islands Occupied by Animals

Each island has its own natural ecosystem, which can be quickly disrupted due to the arrival of some new species of animals on the island.It can be fun for tourists but real disaster for ecology. Here are 7 amazing islands that has changed, and their natural balance disrupted.

Rabbits – Okunoshima, Japan

Rabbits – Okunoshima, Japanlink

Ōkunoshima is a small island located in the Inland Sea of Japan in the city of Takehara, Hiroshima Prefecture. It is accessible by ferry from Tadanoumi and Ōmishima. There are campsites, walking trails and places of historical interest on the island. It is often called Usagi Shima (ウサギ島?, "Rabbit Island") because of the numerous wild rabbits that roam the island; they are rather tame and will approach humans.

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Many rabbits live in the island. When the island was developed as a park after World War II, these rabbits were intentionally set loose. Many rabbits were used in the chemical munitions plant to test the effectiveness of the chemical weapons during World War II; however, those rabbits were killed when the factory was demolished. The current rabbits have nothing to do with those that were involved with chemical weapon tests.

Rabbits – Island Okunoshima, Japanlink

The rabbits did what rabbits do best and now the 700-square-meter island is home to more than 300 of their floppy-eared descendants, earning it the nickname Usagi Shima, or Rabbit Island.

Chickens – Kaua’i, Hawaii

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Chickens were first brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the first waves of Polynesian colonists over 2,000 years ago. The chickens were kept and bred mainly for their meat and eggs though roosters were selected for cock-fighting. In the modern era, chickens of American and European ancestry were imported to the island.

Chickens_ Kaua’i, Hawaii

Most people suggest that the feral chicken population can be traced back to when Hurricane Iniki hit Kaua`i in 1992 and destroyed many chicken farms. Another story is that sugar cane plantation workers in the late 1800s and early 1900s brought and raised chickens and many got loose over the years and multiplied. The reason could be a combination of the 2 theories. Probably every visitor to Kaua`i has a photo of the beach, a waterfall, and a chicken or rooster.  Hundreds of souvenir items feature Kaua`i chickens and roosters.

Why does Kaua`i have so many wild chickenslink

Other Hawaiian islands have feral chickens, too, but Kaua`i’s chickens are somewhat protected.  Kaua`i is the only one of the Hawaiian Islands in the chain that lacks the mongoose, the natural enemy of wild chickens. Mongoose were imported to the Hawaiian Islands in the late 1800s to kill rats in the sugar cane fields. Legend has it that a mongoose bit the hand of a Kaua`i dockworker who knocked the entire crate of them into the bay, and no more were imported.

Crabs – Christmas Island

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The Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis, is a species of land crab that is endemic to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. Although restricted to a relatively small area, it has been estimated that 43.7 million adult red crabs lived on Christmas Island alone, but the accidental introduction of the yellow crazy ant is believed to have killed about 10–15 million of these in recent years. Christmas Island red crabs eat mostly fallen leaves and flowers, but will occasionally eat other animals, including other red crabs (see cannibalism) if the opportunity arises.

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Christmas Island Crabslink

Crabs – Christmas Islandlink

Not only do the Red Crabs migrate from their inland rainforest burrows to the sea, their offspring perform the feat in reverse creating difficulties for pedestrians, drivers and trains (until the railway was closed in 1987).

Mice – Gough Island

Mice – Gough Islandlink

Gough Island is roughly rectangular with a length of 13 km (8.1 mi) and a width of 7 kilometres (4.3 mi). It has an area of 91 km2 (35 sq mi) and rises to heights of over 900 m (3,000 ft) above sea level. Isolated as it is, Gough Island has a long history of human visitation going back to the year 1505 and during one of those visits, common house mice escaped from one of the landing ships. The humans didn’t stay but the mice did.

Mice – Gough Island Occupiedlink

The Gough Island mice are three times bigger than their UK relatives, weighing in at around 35 grams. Albatross chicks can weigh up to 10 kilograms and stand 1 metre tall - 250 times larger than their rodent attackers.

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But the mice are undaunted by their hefty prey and gnaw into live chicks, creating gaping wounds that slowly kill the birds after a few days. The RSPB team thinks that there are around 700,000 mice on the island that have learned to dine on chicks in this gruesome fashion. "It is like a tabby cat attacking a hippopotamus," says Hilton.

Spiders – Guam

Invasive brown tree snakes have gobbled up most of Guam's native forest birds. Without these avian predators to keep their numbers in check, the island's spider population has exploded.link

A walk through the jungles of Guam has never been a very pleasant proposition but lately it’s downright horrific. As bird populations plummet worldwide, will Earth become the Planet of the Spiders? Researchers on Guam, a 30-mile-long U.S. island about 3,800 miles west of Hawaii, found that arachnid populations grew as much as 40-fold in the wake of entire species of insect-eating birds eaten into oblivion by invasive brown treesnakes. One biologist suspects spiders are multiplying also in other regions where birds are in decline.

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Spiders – Guamlink

As the years passed, native bird populations plummeted and the spiders normally kept in check by the birds boomed. Removing the snakes would help restore Guam’s ecological balance but that may just create more problems. In the meantime, if you don’t like spiders and snakes, stay the heck away from Guam!

Cats – Tashirojima, Japan

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Tashiro-jima  is a small island in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It lies in the Pacific Ocean off the Oshika Peninsula, to the west of Aji-shima. It is an inhabited island, although the population is quite small (around 100 people, down from around 1000 people in the 1950s). It has become known as "Cat Island" due to the large stray cat population that thrives as a result of the local belief that feeding cats will bring wealth and good fortune. The cat population is now larger than the human population on the island. (A 2009 article in Sankei News says that there are no pet dogs and it is basically prohibited to bring dogs onto the island.)

Cat Island Tashirojimalink

Hundreds of the semi-wild cats roam freely around the isle, and are fed by local fisherman. If you think you can keep your couches looking nice here, forget about it. This is Cat Island.

Cats – Tashirojima, Japanlink

Island Cats Tashirojimalink

Tashirojima suffered severe infrastructural damage from the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake in March of 2011, chiefly from the ensuing tsunami which flooded low-lying areas of the islands. The cats, however, proved their rumored weather forecasting abilities were no folk tale by moving to higher ground before the tsunami struck.

Rats – Montecristo Island, Italy

An Italian forestry worker watches the coast from a hill on the famous Montecristo islandlink

The island was immortalised by the novelist Alexandre Dumas as the location for a stash of buried treasure, but the tiny Italian island of Montecristo is now struggling with a rather less romantic reality – a plague of black rats.The uninhabited island, a protected nature reserve lying between the coast of Tuscany and Corsica, has been invaded by thousands of black rats.

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The rodents are believed to have arrived on the four-square-mile island as stowaways on boats a few years ago but have now multiplied. Authorities are planning to use aircraft to bombard the island with poison pellets in a bid to tackle the infestation. The plan is to drop around 26 tonnes of pellets on the island at the end of this month. Biologists estimate that there is one rat for every square yard of the island and say they pose a grave threat to the ecology of the nature reserve, which is part of a scattered archipelago of islands off Tuscany.

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