Sunday, 22 April 2012



Patterns in Nature: Mysterious Earth
National Geographic, 20 April 2012.

1. Salt Piles on Shoreline, Senegal
Photo: Shoreline of Lake Retba, SenegalPhotograph by Robert Haas.

Salt piles line the shoreline of Lake Retba, Senegal. The high salinity content of the lake
provides a livelihood for salt collectors. Get Wallpaper

2. Biplane Over Monomoy Shoals, Massachusetts, USA
Photo: Biplane above Monomoy Island, MassachusettsPhotograph by Michael Melford.

A biplane flies above Monomoy Island, Massachusetts. Get Wallpaper

3. Sand Dunes, Rub’ al-Khali
Photo: Sand dunes in the Rub al Khali desertPhotograph by George Steinmetz.

The borders of four nations - Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates -
blur beneath the shifting sands of the Rub’ al-Khali, or Empty Quarter, desert.

4. Drying Fronds, Kenya
Photo: Fronds drying in KenyaPhotograph by Robert Haas.

Fronds dry in neat lines around a tree in Kenya. Get Wallpaper

5. Cave Dwellings, Turkey
Photo: Cavelike homes in rock formations in TurkeyPhotograph by Klaus Nigge.

Cave-like dwellings built into soft rock dot the Cappadocia region of Turkey.

6. Fairy Circles, Namib Desert, Namibia
Photo: Aerial view of grassless patches in the Namib DesertPhotograph by Michael Fay.

Fairy circles, or grassless patches, spot the Namib Desert in Namibia, seen here from
an airplane. Get Wallpaper

7. Bacteria, New Zealand
Photo: Bacteria in a New Zealand thermal poolPhotograph by Peter Essick.

Photosynthesizing bacteria in a New Zealand thermal pool absorb carbon dioxide and
release oxygen. Get Wallpaper

8. Sunflower Florets
Photo: Sunflower floretsPhotograph by Jozsef Szentpeteri.

Beads of dew cling to the florets that spiral inside a sunflower head. Get Wallpaper

9. Lichens, New York, USA
Photo: Lichens on a gravestone in Lake Champlain, New YorkPhotograph by Stephen Sharnoff.

Lichens grow on a granite gravestone in Lake Champlain, New York. Get Wallpaper

10. Banksia Flower, Australia
Photo: Banskia flowerPhotograph by Jonathan Blair.

The characteristic spikes of a banksia flower are common across Australia. This one was
photographed on a farm in Mount Barker. Get Wallpaper

11. Water Reflection, Utah, USA
Photo: Light reflecting on a rock wall in UtahPhotograph by Frans Lanting.

Reflecting off water, light paints peacock-feather patterns onto a rock wall in Glen Canyon
National Recreation Area, Utah. Get Wallpaper

12. Giant Clam Mantle, Palau, Micronesia
Photo: Close-up of a giant clam mantlePhotograph by Tim Laman.

Iridescent spots surround the mantle of a giant clam in Palau, Micronesia. The mantle is a
fleshy outer layer that secretes the clam's shell. Get Wallpaper

13. Cactus, Manzanillo, Mexico
Photo: Close-up of a cactus in Manzanillo, MexicoPhotograph by Raul Touzon.

Bursts of yellow punctuate a cactus in Manzanillo, Mexico. Get Wallpaper

14. Curled Millipede
Photo: A millipede curled into a spiralPhotograph by George Grall.

Exhibiting its main defence mechanism, a millipede curls into a tight spiral. In this fashion it
protects its legs - on average between 100 and 300, not the thousand its name suggests -
inside its body. Get Wallpaper

15. Salmon Scales, Quebec, Canada
Photo: Scales of an Atlantic salmonPhotograph by Paul Nicklen

The scales of an Atlantic salmon, such as these on a fish in Quebec, Canada, can help
biologists determine the fish's age. Get Wallpaper

16. Diatoms
Photo: Magnified diatomsPhotograph by Darlyne A. Murawski.

Seen here 400 times their true size, diatoms are a type of algae found in oceans, fresh water,
and soil. Get Wallpaper

17. Basket Sea Star, Cuba
Photo: Close-up of a basket sea starPhotograph by Brian J. Skerry.

The complexly branched arms of the basket sea star, or starfish, catch plankton for the
echinoderm. Get Wallpaper

18. Cenote, Mexico
Photo: Ray of light from a cenote in MexicoPhotograph by Stephen Alvarez.

Sunlight radiates through the Xpacay cenote in the Mexican Yucatán. Cenotes are freshwater
sinkholes usually found on the Yucatán peninsula. Get Wallpaper

19. Snapping Turtle Shell, North America
Photo: Snapping turtle shellPhotograph by Darlyne A. Murawski.

The bony plates of a snapping turtle's carapace protect it from predators. Snappers are
freshwater turtles found in much of North America. Get Wallpaper

20. Mammatus Clouds, Nebraska, USA
Photo: Mammatus clouds over NebraskaPhotograph by Carsten Peter.

Mammatus clouds roil in the Nebraska sky, identifiable by their sagging, pouch-like shape.
The name comes from the Latin word for "breast." Get Wallpaper. [Related post]

[Source: National Geographic. Edited. Some links and top image added.]

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