Snow-covered summit of Villarrica volcano, Chile (39°25’ S, 71°57’ W). Villarrica is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, and the sulphurous gases it gives off are a constant reminder that its crater contains a lake of boiling lava.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone national park, Wyoming, United States (44°27’ N, 110°51’ W). Yellowstone is the oldest national park in the world. It was created in 1872 and is located on a volcanic plateau that sits astride Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
Orange grove on the Embalse de Salto Grande, Salto Department, Eastern Republic of Uruguay (31°08’S, 57°53’W).
Gardens created in the middle of the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan (29°33' N, 35°39' E). This garden of water, made up of interlacing canals and ponds in the middle of the desert is certainly the whim of a very rich man because the kingdom of Jordan is facing a serious water crisis
Elephants in the Meru National Park, Kenya (0°05’ N, 38°12’ E). - Meru National Park, east of Mount Kenya, is one of the country’s largest, covering 870 square kilometers (340 square miles).
Tulip fields near Lisse, Amsterdam Region, Netherlands (52°15’ N, 4°37’ E). In spring each year, the Dutch countryside puts on a multi-coloured coat.
Tsingy of Bemaraha, Morondava region, Madagascar (19°02’ S, 44°47’ E). The unusual Tsingy mineral forest appears suddenly in the West of Madagascar.
Snowdrifts on the Mount Lebanon range, Lebanon (34°09’ N, 35°59’ E). On the western slope of the Mount Lebanon range, whose highest point is 10,109 feet (3,083 m) above sea level, the spring sunshine slowly erases the zebralike stripes formed by these snowdrifts.
A deposit of flying ash near Secunda, Mpumalaga Province, Republic of South Africa (26°31’ S, 29°07’ E). These enormous reservations are built on flying ashes which are the result of coal liquefaction operations carried out by South African oil company Sasol and its industrial plants nearby.
Palm tree plantation, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (3°09’ N, 101°48’ E). Originally from West Africa, oil-producing palm trees were introduced to Malaysia in the 1970s in order to diversify the local agriculture, which relied almost exclusively on the hevea rubber tree crop.
Fishermen in a lagoon of Sainte Marie Island, north of Toamasina, Madagascar (16°50’S, 49°55’E). On the east coast of Madagascar, the island of Sainte Marie is a tropical paradise whose ﬁshing villages pursue a centuries-old way of life. Fishing methods are traditional, using simple equipment and canoes made from hollowed-out tree trunks.
Peul village near Timbuktu, Mali (16°46’ N, 3°00’ W). - These brown cells bordered by hedges serve both as a place for growing crops and as livestock enclosures—and it is the presence of animals that explains the contrast between this dark-colored ground and the arid areas surrounding it. The animals fertilize the soil with their manure, which is spread on the plots while they lie fallow.
Waste from the copper mine at Chuquicamata, Chile (22°17’ S, 68°52’ W). This giant scallop shell is made of earth. A crane deposits the earth in successive, slightly curved lines giving the appearance of sheets of sand lined up side by side. This earth is extracted with the copper, but it is separated from the ore by sieving.
Village near Panducan island, Philippines (6°18’ N, 120°35’ E). - The Panducan region, in the Pangutaran group of islands, is part of the Sulu archipelago. The islands are home to the Tausug, “people of the sea currents,” who number 400,000. Formerly smugglers, the Tausug now live from trade and fishing.
Al-Hajarayn, Wadi Doan, Hadramaut, Yemen (15°04' N, 43°42' E).
Discharge from the gold mine on the shore of Mindanao, Philippines (6°52' N, 126°03' E). The islands of the Philippines are rich in mineral deposits of chrome, copper, nickel, silver, and gold, which is mined here on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
Fishing nets in the port of Agadir, Morocco (30°26' N, 9°35' W). - At Agadir, Morocco’s largest fishing port and the world’s leading sardine port, nets measuring several hundred feet in length are stretched out on the ground for repairs to be made before the next sea outing. The Moroccan waters, with 2,135 miles (3,500 km) of sea coast, are home to nearly 250 species of fish, particularly sardines, which swim along the shore to feed from the upwelling of the nutrient-rich lower waters.
Village near Tahoua, Niger (14°54’ N, 5°16’ E). To the south of Niger, the Sahel gradually gives way to bushes and food crops that are made possible by a short but abundant rainy season.
Mountain between Luperon and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (19°50’N, 70°58’W).
Folgefonna glacier on the high plateaus of SØrfjorden, Norway (60°14’ N, 6°44’ E). The Folgefonna glacier is enclosed by the Hardangerfjorden and the Sørfjorden fords, in southern Norway. Its 212 km2 surface area means it is the third largest of the country's 1 500 glaciers.
Cotton balls, Thonakaha, Korhogo region, Ivory Coast (9°28’ N, 5°36’ W). Gossypium hirsutum from the British West Indies is the most cultivated cotton plant species in the world and was introduced in West Africa in the 19th century.
The eye of the Maldives, North Male Atoll, Maldives (4°14’ N, 73°26’E). - The eye of the Maldives is a faro, a coral formation developed on a rocky support that has collapsed over time and formed a ring-shaped reef around a shallow lagoon. The Maldives archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean culminates at 2.50 m and has 26 big atolls made up of 1 192 islands.
Leona river, Santa Cruz province, Argentina (50°08’ S, 71°59’ W). - In Patagonia, in the eastern part of Los Glaciares National Park, the Leona River starts at the southern end of Lake Viedma and empties into Lake Argentino, the largest in the country (608 square miles, or 1,560 km2), for which it is the main source. The Leona is fed by the melting blocks of ice broken off from glaciers
Mountainous countryside near Maelifellssandur, Myrdalsjökull Region, Iceland (63°51’ N, 19°18’ W). The volcanic country of Iceland is young in geological terms, since its oldest basalt rock is 20 million years old.
Lagoon on the island of Djerba, Governorate of Medenine, Tunisia (33°42’N, 10°59’E). - Low, flat Djerba, its highest point 50 meters (165 feet) above sea level, is none other than the ancient Phoenician, then Roman, island of Meninx: the mythical «Island of the Lotus-eaters» that Ulysses was so reluctant to leave. Despite frequent foreign incursions, the population, consisting of Berbers and heterodox Muslims ( the Kharidjites ) in addition to one of the oldest Jewish communities in North Africa, has managed to maintain a special identity and a balance that are now under threat.
Marshes, Knifis (north of Laayoune), Morocco (27°09'N - 13°12'O). In southern Morocco, after threading its way through the Atlas and Lesser Atlas Mountains along the Saghro Jebel, the Oued Draa (Draa Wadi) eventually reaches the vast, sandy Débaïa Basin.
Agricultural landscape near Quito, Ecuador (0°13’ S, 78°30’ W). - Ecuador was freed from Spanish rule in 1822 but retains a heavy colonial burden, as the place of Indians in agriculture shows.
A shrimp farm in Phang Nga Bay, Thailand (8° 23’N, 98° 34’E). The sectors chosen for shrimp farms are usually mangroves swamps on the coast of Third World countries. Between the Earth and the sea, mangroves protect the coasts and act as nurseries for ocean life.
Los Roques Archipelago, north of Caracas, Miranda region, Venezuela (11°57’N, 66°39’W). The Los Roques Archipelago, 170 kilometers (105 miles) off the coast of Venezuela, still lives up to Christopher Columbus’s description of it as “an earthly paradise.” I
Agricultural landscape between Al Massira Dam and Rabat, Morocco (32°33' N, 6°36' W). Modern Moroccan agriculture, based essentially on intensive production of cereals (such as wheat, barley, and corn), depends on irrigation because of the arid and semi-arid climate that characterizes most of the territory
Meanders in the Tuul river, south of Lün, Mongolia (47°52’ N, 105°15’ E). The river Tuul rises in the Hentii mountains and travels 508 miles (819 km), passing through Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator) before ﬂowing into Lake Baikal, in Russia.
Sebkhet Aridal near Cape Bojador, Western Sahara, Morocco (26°09' N - 13°58' W). As it evaporated, this sebkha's water supply (temporary salt lake) dug lines in the sand which were filled by salt deposits.
Dyer's vats and workshops in Fez, Morocco (34°04' N, 4°58' W). - Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, the city of Fez has had its golden age in the 13th and 14th centuries, when it was Morocco's capital. The buildings and monuments of the Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981, date from this period. The dyers' district of Fez has hardly changed since those days, and the same traditional coloring techniques have been used for centuries. Tanned hides and textiles are submerged in dye vats with ceramic surfaces, known as fullers, and are trodden down by the craftsmen.
Oil river and delta in the desert, Tunisia (34°00’N, 9°00’E). - Black gold normally lies trapped between rock strata and does not form rivers on the surface of our planet—unless, that is, it has leaked from a pipeline, as here in the middle of the Tunisian desert.
The stupa of Boudhanath, Buddhist Temple, Kathmandu, Nepal (27°43’N, 85°22’E). The city of Bodnath is home to one of the holiest temples in Nepal particularly venerated by the thousands of Tibetan exiles who now live in this neighbouring country.
Cotton harvesting around Banfora, Burkina Faso (10°48’ N, 3°56’ W). In the south of Burkina Faso, near the Ivorian border, cotton parcels are next to subsistence crops. Cotton is still picked by hand which means that plants can only be one to two meters high. Once they are harvested, the fibres are gathered to form "balls" to be sold.
Detail of a village near Tahoua, Niger (14°50’ N, 5°16’ E). This village near Tahoua in the southwest of Niger has typical haoussa features with its cubic houses made out of banco (mix of soil and vegetal fibres) and imposing egg-shaped granaries.
The Nazca astronaut, Ica, Peru (14°50’ S, 74°60’ W). - This is one of the mysterious, gigantic ﬁgures drawn on the pampas of San José and on some of the hillsides of the Rio Grande valley, between Palpa and Nazca. More than 386 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) of the rocky desert still bear the signs of Nazca culture, dating from the ﬁrst to the sixth centuries ad. The animal ﬁgures, parallel or intersecting lines, and geometric shapes of these Nazca geoglyphs are formed by the contrast between the land surface, which is brown because it contains iron oxide, and the yellowish, sandy subsoil. They have survived thanks to the dry climate and low rainfall. Together, these drawings make up a calendar that allows the observation of certain astronomical phenomena, such as the solstices, but the meaning of the ﬁgures themselves, taken in isolation, remains a mystery. They certainly have some ritual or ceremonial signiﬁcance. They might be a great prayer, an invocation to the gods made at the time of the severe drought of 550 AD. For this ancient people of astronomers and hydraulic engineers, as for us today, water was more precious than gold.
Pigeon houses at Mit Gahmr (Delta), Egypt (30°42’ N, 31°16’ E).
Agricultural landscape near the town of Cognac, France.
Wet-paint drying carpets in the Indian city of Jaipur.
River on the AuyÁn Tepui, Gran Sabana region, Venezuela (5°55’N, 62°32’W). - The Gran Sabana region in southeast Venezuela is a wide plain covered in savannah and dense forest where one can see imposing tabular relief made up of rocky sandstone, called tepuyes. The Rio Carrao winds on the Auyán Tepui or "devil's mountain" which covers 700 km2 and is 2 950 m high.
Flamingos on Lake Nakuru, Kenya (0°19’ S, 36°06’ E). - Lake Nakuru has a surface area of 44 km2 and covers a third of the national park of the same name created in 1968. It is home to 400 species of birds including Lesser Flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) and American Flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) of which there are 1.4 million on the site.
Mosque in the village near Mopti, Mali (14°42’ N - 04°08’ W).
Carousel irrigation, Wadi Rum, Ma'an, Jordan (29°36' N, 35°34' E). This self-propelled watering carousel restores water drawn through drilling the deep subsoil layers (30 m to 400 m) on 78 ha irrigated surfaces to crops, by using a pivoting ramp with watering nozzles.
Olive groves near Sevilla, Andalusia, Spain (37°22’ N, 6°05’ W).
Rice fields north of Pokhara, Nepal (28°14’ N, 83°59’ E). The Himalayan mountain chain runs north of Nepal, separating it from its neighbor, China.
Ridges of the Gurvan Saikhan National Park, Ömnögovi Province, Mongolia (45°30’ N, 107°00’ E). The Gurvan Saikhan National Park, often called Three Beauties Park, owes that name to three groups of peaks—Beauties of the East, Center, and West—which tower over this mountain chain of partially volcanic origin.
Heart in Voh in 1990, New Caledonia (French Overseas Territory) (20°56’S, 164°39’E). Mangrove swamps which are aquatic and terrestrial forests develop on tropical silt soil exposed to alternating tides.
Le Morne Brabant Mountain (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Island of Mauritius, Republic of Mauritius (20°27’ S, 57°19’ E).
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