Tag Archives: nature

What This Woman Photographs Is Stunning, But It Has A Dark Side

Back in 2012, photographer Helene Schmitz was tasked with capturing images of a stunning natural phenomenon that actually wreaks havoc on every inch of ground that it covers. Known as Kudzu, this invasive plant series was brought as a gift to the U.S. by the Japanese at the1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

The rapidly growing plant intrigued people at first, but since it arrived on the scene, Kudzu has taken a serious toll on everything in its wake (naturally occurring or otherwise).

It may look incredible, but the cons of this species’ presence have proven to far outweigh the pros. These photos, which were taken by Schmitz in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina, reveal the immensity of this plant’s power.

Kudzu expands its damaging reign about by about 30 centimeters per day. As you can imagine, that really adds up after a few decades.

“The notion of a plant being ‘invasive’ was intriguing,” the photographer writes, “since it is described with a term normally used to describe actions of war. Bringing war terminology to mankind’s relation to a singular plant and its germination might even describe something about our relation to nature itself.”

The eerie series speaks to the sometimes baffling power of nature, revealing the strange beauty of Kudzu’s devastating reach.

(via Feature Shoot)

While this invasion is of the natural variety, it’s important to note that this species was allowed to cover so much ground because human beings planted mass amounts of Kudzu well into the 1940s in order to prevent erosion near crops and alongside railroad tracks. From there, it erupted into the force of nature that Helene Schmitz captured so hauntingly in this series.

To see more of this photographer’s work, be sure to check out her website today.

These Abstract Photos Will Make You See Natural Beauty in a New and Amazing Way

Photographer Thorsten Scheuermann spends a lot of time hiking through various national parks in the western US, capturing the incredible feats of nature on camera. His photos range from grand, sweeping vistas of deserts, river valleys and forests to classic “portrait” style images of trees, waterfalls and animals.

And sometimes, he goes for something a little different, framing the images in such a way that the less immediately noticeable, but no less beautiful, parts of the scenery get their own time in the spotlight.

Capillaries

CA

Because of the way the photos are set up, the larger context is removed, and the viewer only sees the details, which now look like an abstract pattern of color, shape and texture. In this way, nature is presented in a beautiful new way that’s playful as well as mysterious. This is achieved by careful framing and cropping, and by eliminating any human presence or anything that can reference the scale of what you’re actually looking at. By removing size and location cues, we’re left with just the image, which might cover many square miles or only a few square inches, and we can simply absorb its beauty.

Tendrils

Palo Alto, CA

Born in Fire

Big Island, HI

Clear as Mud

Alvord Desert, OR

Sunset

Kirkland, WA

Clay Palette

Painted Hills, OR

Sequoia Light, Sequoia National Park, CA

Ice Bubbles

Columbia River Gorge, OR

Strawberry Swirls

Painted Hills, OR

(via Thorsten Scheuermann)

“I love hiking in America’s National Parks,” Scheuermann says, “[I] enjoy capturing both grand vistas in beautiful light as well as intimate scenes just waiting to be discovered by visitors with an open mind and open eyes.”

 

You’ll Swear These Colorful Animals are Photoshopped, But They’re All Natural.

We all know what pigeons, lobster, and crickets look like, and they really aren’t much to write home about. Sure, occasionally you might find one with an usual marking or two, but nothing too impressive.

That is, until you see these guys. Along with some other friends from the animal and insect kingdoms, each of these seem to have been tampered with on Photoshop or possibly taken a dip into a Lisa Frank factory. But trust us: they’re 100% real and you can totally find them in nature around the world. We promise. 

1.) Nicobar Pigeon

1.) Nicobar Pigeon Flickr

2.) Pink Orchid Mantis

2.) Pink Orchid Mantis Imgur

3.) Purple Snail

3.) Purple Snail DeviantArt

4.) Regal Ring-neck Snake

4.) Regal Ring-neck Snake Imgur

5.) Pink Katydid

5.) Pink Katydid Bored Panda

6.) Rainbow Cricket

6.) Rainbow Cricket Flickr

7.) Texas Wasp Moth

7.) Texas Wasp Moth Bored Panda

8.) Cobalt Blue Tarantula

8.) Cobalt Blue Tarantula Bored Panda

9.) Ayam Cemani Rooster

9.) Ayam Cemani Rooster Imgur

10.) Pink Robin

10.) Pink Robin Flickr

11.) Lilac Breated Roller

11.) Lilac Breated Roller Bored Panda

12.) Blue Lobster

12.) Blue Lobster Flickr

13.) Halloween Crab

13.) Halloween Crab Wikimedia

14.) Red Velvet Ant

14.) Red Velvet Ant Flickr

15.) Mandarin Fish

15.) Mandarin Fish Bored Panda

16.) Blue Grasshopper

16.) Blue Grasshopper Bored Panda

17.) Indian Bull Frog

17.) Indian Bull Frog Flickr

18.) Rosy Maple Moth

18.) Rosy Maple Moth Bored Panda

19.) Polish Pigeon

19.) Polish Pigeon Bored Panda

20.) Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu

20.) Red Cheeked Cordon Bleu Bored Panda

21.) Red Slug

21.) Red Slug National Geographic

(via Bored Panda.)

Makes all those kids dying their hair crazy colors seem a bit more normal, don’t ya think? At least there’s some things in nature they match!

Dashcam Captures The Really Scary Moment When A Tornado Hits Right Over A Parked Car.

This footage captured last week in the Russian Bashkiria region shows just how scary nature can be at times. The terrifying video was captured by a dashcam still rolling after the owner had abandoned the car. What it recorded? The amazing power of the natural world. Watch as a tornado approaches the abandoned car…

Wow.

(Source: YouTube)

For those of us not living in an area where you might spot a tornado, you often hear about things like this and think to yourself “Yeah, I guess tornadoes can be pretty destructive.” But to actually see what it would be like with your own eyes? It changes things.

Now, try to imagine the sheer terror you’d feel in the middle of a storm like this. The things you hear and the things you see probably don’t even come close to doing justice to the actual experience.

Scary Tornado Tears A Man’s Garage Down Seconds After He Reverses Out Of It.

“I’ll just pull back into the garage…Oh, never mind!” is probably what went through this Russian man’s mind a few seconds after he had reversed out of his garage only to be greeted by a massive tornado. The tornado was so powerful, it tore down his garage in a matter of seconds.

The whole thing was captured on his dashboard camera, and it’s crazy just how terrifying the footage is. Seriously. My pulse quickened just watching the video.

(Source: ViralHog)

Toyota 1 – Tornado 0. Guess what they say is true, nothing can kill a Toyota.

A Bouquet of Any of These Bizarre Flowers Beats Roses Any Day. So Strange.

Everyone loves flowers. They’re pretty, they smell nice, and they brighten up a room. Florist shops and gardens can boast a good variety of flower types, but we doubt that you can find any of these at your grocer’s florist section. And for some of them, you should be glad. Check out these beautiful, but bizarre, flowers from around the world.

Tricyrtis hirta, or Toad lily

Native to Japan, this perennial looks more like a starfish than a flower.

Fritillaria

The name “Fritillaria” comes from the Latin word for “dice box” and refers to this flower’s unusual drooped shape as well as its checked pattern. It’s also known as the chess flower for this reason.

Lady Slippers (Cypripedioideae)

These flowers have a pocket-like petal that resembles a puffy slipper

Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii)

The endangered ghost orchid is native to Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas, and resembles nothing so much as a miniature, bowlegged Cthulhu.

Jade Vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys)

This aqua-colored vine is in the pea family, and is closely related to the runner and kidney beans, and is native to the Philippines.

Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)

There are many types of passion flowers that can be found throughout Asia and the Americas. The same plants produce passionfruit. They’re a favorite of hummingbirds and come in a variety of striking colors and shapes, but we like the psychedelic incarnata.

Datura

Also called angel’s trumpets, the flowers of the datura genus are highly toxic, producing severe states of delirium, sometimes resulting in death. It was a popular drug for both suicide and murder in Europe and Asia.

Zebra Blue (Primula)

Related to the primrose and cowslip, this patterned flower is always stylish.

Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)

Before blooming, the aptly-named balloon flower’s buds appear as bright bubbles. Native to East Asia, its roots have long been used as an anti-inflammatory in China and Korea, and is a popular ingredient in salads.

Beehive Ginger (Zingiber spectabile)

The actual flowers can be seen protruding from the “beehive” structure at the top of this plant’s stems, which can reach 15 feet in height. This member of the ginger family is used in medicine as an anti-infammatory and to treat burns.

Flying Duck Orchid (Caleana)

Guess how this one got its name.

Chinese Lantern (Abutilon × hybridum)

This cultivar group comes in a variety of shapes and colors, but this bright, bowl-shaped flower is certainly eye catching.

Titan Arum (Amorphophallus titanum)

The less-pretty name for this enormous flower is the “corpse flower,” because it smells like rotting meat to attract carrion-eating pollinators. It also produces heat, and when it’s blooming, it’s about the same temperature as a human body. It can reach about 10 feet in height, and takes 7 to 10 years to mature to the point of blooming.

Hookers Lips (Psychotria elata)

No, really, that’s the name. These lip-shaped flowers can be found in Central and South America. The red parts aren’t petals, but bracts, which protect the actual flowers inside. Eventually, the “lips” of this flower open further, revealing the flower.

White Egret Orchid (Pecteilis radiata)

This orchid, native to Central and Eastern Asia, resembles a feathery white bird. It’s the official flower of the Setagaya ward of Tokyo.

Black Bat Flower (Tacca chantrieri)

Named for its black color and its vaguely bat-shaped petals, this flower is native to Southeast Asia. In keeping with their goth color scheme, they prefer to stay out of the sun.

Holy Ghost Orchid (Peristeria elata)

Not to be confused with the ghost orchid, the holy ghost orchid of Central America gets its name from its resemblance to a dove. It might not be that holy, though: it smells like beer. Sadly, these plants are highly endangered due to overharvesting and illegal trafficking, and face extinction.

Sporting Flowers (various species)

Botanists call this phenomenon “sporting,” and it means that one part of a plant spontaneously mutates. The results, seen here, are striking two-color flowers.

Snake Gourd Flower (Trichosanthes cucumerina)

This delicate, lacy flower grows a long, snake-shaped fruit and is native to South Asia, although it’s been naturalized in warm regions across the globe. The fruit and the greens are edible.

Naked Man Orchid (Orchis Italica)

Well, you can see how these orchids got their name. The flowers are so silly-looking that people were convinced they were hoaxes, but these little guys are quite real.

Hoya Wax Flower (Hoya)

These nubby little flowers look like candies.

Pink Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Close up, this otherwise fairly standard-looking orchid looks more like a bird in flight than a moth, but it’s still reallt interesting.

Monkey Orchid (Dracula simia)

This orchid is notable for its resemblance to a sad monkey.

Japanese Camellia (Camellia Japonica)

This flower isn’t weird in shape or color, but rather in its perfect spiraling petals. They grow only at altitude of 1,000 feet or higher, and bloom in the colder weather.

Epiphyllum

These plants flower rarely, and only at night. They are extremely delicate, and picking them can damage the whole plant.

Snapdragons (Antirrhinum)

The flowers of the snapdragon are bright and showy, but things get weird when the flowers fade, leaving beind these ominous-looking, if miniature, seed pods.

From the ethereally lovely to the kind of icky to the downright weird, nature is pretty amazing!

These Bizarre Nature Photos Show How Strange Earth Really Is.

These photos might look like they come from an alien planet, but it turns out our own little Earth is capable of some truly weird stuff. All of these things occur naturally across the globe because of, like, science and stuff. A lot of the reasons why go over my head, but it’s all true. It’s easy to appreciate the wondrous beauty of Earth without knowing exactly how it happens. Some of these are cringe-worthy, but others make me want to buy a plane ticket. And I am definitely going to pay closer attention to sunsets from now on. Take a look at some of the cool things you didn’t realize happen on our home planet.

1. Never-ending Wave: Occurs twice a year in Brazil when the Atlantic ocean meets the mouth of the Amazon River. The resulting waves can travel 500 miles inland before slowing down.

2. Under-water Crop Circles: In Japan, male pufferfish flapping their fins create these alien-esque circles in the sand.

3. Bleeding Glacier: Also known as “Blood Falls” in Antarctica, the outflowing water resembles blood due to iron oxide.

4. Blue Lava: Due to the combustion of sulfuric gases at extremely high temperatures, this volcano in Indonesia produces the blue glowing lava.

5. Calcifying Lake: This creepy lake in Tanzania, Lake Natron, has such high pH levels that it calcifies any animal that goes into the water.

6. Cocooned Trees: During flood season in Pakistan, spiders are forced to flee to the trees where their webs create this effect.

7. Danxia Landforms: Over millions of years, the red sandstone and mineral deposits in certain areas of China have created these rainbow-like landforms.

8. Frost Flowers: In arctic areas, these floral ice formations occur when the temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere differs.

9. Green Flash: This rare occurrence when the conditions are right at the end or beginning of a sunset.

10. Hair Ice: Water escaping plants in freezing weather can have this follicle-effect due to certain bacteria presence.

11. Horsetail Falls: In Yosemite National Park, California, this waterfall looks more like lava with a bright orange glow at certain times of the day in February.

12. Lenticular Clouds: Probably mistaken for UFOs by Fox Mulder, these clouds occur when the moist air overflows a mountain.

13. Living Rocks: Not actually rocks, these sea creatures line the beaches of Chile and are completely immobile.

Swimmers and boaters be ware.  Click next page below to find out why.

Some Gifs To Show You Just How Terrifying Mother Nature Really Is

If there’s a single word to describe Mother Nature, it’s probably “scary.” While of course the world is filled with beautiful wonders, those things often don’t illicit the same kind of reaction that something like a giant snake or deadly shark does. Let’s celebrate the awful, terrifying majesty of nature with these 20 .GIFs of nature at its absolute most gross and weird.

1. Witness this majestic centipede shedding its skin. They also eat their old skin when they’re finished.

2. Just a python barfing up a kangaroo it tried to eat.

3. That crab never stood a chance against this hungry stingray.

4. “Down to the depths you go!” – terrifyingly intelligent octopus.

5. Believe it or not, there are carnivorous species of caterpillar.

http://ox-d.viralnova.com/w/1.0/afr?auid=537251602&cb=56eb96142f71d

6. Clearly this leech enjoys worm spaghetti.

7. I don’t know what this snail is doing…and I don’t want to know.

8. This is a time-lapse of thousands of ants devouring the carcass of a dead lizard.

9. Just keeping his babies safe in his mouth. Make sure you don’t sneeze!

10. This spider is far too smart.

http://ox-d.viralnova.com/w/1.0/afr?auid=537251604&cb=56eb96142f895

11. It looks like a pile of hair, but DON’T TOUCH IT!

12. Just a ribbon worm being gross as hell.

13. Snake vs. bird eggs? Snake wins every time.

14. Just…no. NO.

15. Life as a jellyfish is a constant competition.

16. Damn, that’s brutal.

17. That poor snail. Predatory flatworms are no joke.

18. Molting scorpion, anyone?

19. Meet the bobbit worm…’nuff said.

(via Reddit)

I’ve said it many times before, but it always bears repeating: nature, you are terrifying. Excuse me while I go double check that my windows are still sealed.

These Gorgeous Animals Will Help You Appreciate The Natural Beauty Of Fall.

Autumn is about more than pumpkin spice lattes, scarves, and sweaters. While we get carried away with all of those things it can be easy to forget that the true beauty of the season is in nature, not a mall.

These photographs of animals basking in the fall foliage will fill you with more heartwarming joy than you’ll find in any seasonal beverage can provide.

Taking a peek of all the pretty colors.

This cute cub loves to frolic in the leaves.

This curious fox blends right in.

Elks are even more majestic in the fall.

Shy squirrel quenches his thirst.

Even snails look cuter in this season.

This black cat looks like he spooked himself.

A family of opossum enjoying the cozy leaves.

A happy little hedgehog.

These deer are a-doe-able.

It’s this owl’s time to shine.

Soaking in all the autumn ambiance.

This little guy wants a better view of the beauty.

(via Where Cool Things Happen.)

Now it’s your turn to get outside and embrace the beauty of fall. You won’t be sorry.

These Look Like Normal Illustrations, But There’s Something Unnerving Going On Here

When it comes to confronting mortality, there are few people more willing to do so than artists.

But let me assure you that designer and illustrator Alex Solis has a take on death that’s decidedly unconventional. If you’ve ever watched the Discovery Channel in total dismay as a lion chows down on a baby impala, you’re bound to appreciate (or at least understand the inspiration behind) his Adorable Circle of Life collection.

At first glance, each illustration in the series is painfully cute, but when you take a closer look, you’ll see that they’re actually far more painful than they are precious.

When tasked with capturing the fragility of life, most artists treat the situation with solemnity. Solis, however, is not most artists.

The collection gives viewers a unique opportunity to view the relationship between predator and prey with fresh eyes.

Each piece subverts the savagery that’s typically associated with predatory animals. Subjects sit in stark, amusing contrast against the collection’s morbid backdrop.

var OX_ads = OX_ads || []; OX_ads.push({ slot_id: “537251602_56f4a3c1a25ff”, auid: “537251602” });

His work ultimately forces us to examine the full breadth of nature’s delicate balance, and that’s exactly what makes it great.

While it’s disturbing, the collection is also celebratory in an offbeat way.

var OX_ads = OX_ads || []; OX_ads.push({ slot_id: “537251604_56f4a3c1a277d”, auid: “537251604” });

“Everyone has compassion for the cute bunny or lamb,” he writes, “but what about the predators that are working hard for their meals? Capturing their prey is a matter of life and death.”

It’s easy to direct sympathy toward prey animals. We’ve all done it. While the relationship isn’t exactly symbiotic, it’s something upon which Mother Nature relies.

(via Huffington Post)

The artist’s main goal is to celebrate the circle of life and all of its key players. To learn more about Alex Solis and his amazing work, check out his website. For regular updates, be sure to follow him on Instagram.