Here is a collection of amazing earth photography where pictures of remote landscapes, life in huge metropolises and small towns off the beaten path, 19th century tenements and postmodern 21st century structures.
Chinstrap penguins ride out high surf on blue-ice icebergs near Candle mas Island in the South Sandwich Islands. Safe for the moment from leopard seals, chinstrap penguins are the second most abundant species in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic.
Erosion’s force becomes clear in these limestone cliffs in Port Campbell National Park, Australia. About five million years ago the area was a limestone plateau, but as sea levels rose the effects of surf and rain began to carve out these magnificent cliffs, along with stacks and arches.
Travertine Chimneys, Djibouti
Travertine chimneys near Lake Abbe, Djibouti, were created by hot springs depositing calcium carbonate—the same process that creates stalactites and stalagmites. Some of the formations reach 165 feet (50 meters) near the lake located on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border.
West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone
A thick blanket of snow covers West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. There are more geysers in this park than anywhere else in the world.
Danakil Desert Landscape
Towers of salt and a riverbed colored by crystallized salt create an otherworldly landscape in Ethiopia’s Danakil Desert. Sitting more than 300 feet (90 meters) below sea level, with temperatures reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), local inhabitants prize the Danakil for one thing: its salt deposits.
Gorge at Araden, Crete
A deep gorge drops some 650 feet (198 meters) near the abandoned city of Araden, Crete. Visitors can descend into the gorge and walk a little more than 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) to the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to magnificent scenery, the gorge provides a 2,460-foot (750-meter) descent to the sea.
Columns of Basalt
Towering in close symmetry, these basalt columns near Fingal’s Cave form the base of the Scottish island of Staffa. The columns formed when cooling lava flows met bedrock and the region’s cold weather. The island contains three main caves.
Trees, South Africa
For trees that grow on mountaintops near Cape Town, South Africa, wind can be a magnificent sculptor. Trees that can handle the wind’s effects best will alter their shape to deal with the load of the wind.
Hand of Fatima, Mali
Silhouetted by the sun, the Hand of Fatima rock formations near Hombori village stretch toward the sky in Mali. The tallest tower rises 2,000 feet (610 meters) from the desert floor. Lore has it that the formations’ name stems from the five towers’ resemblance to a hand from the sky.
South Dakota Badlands
A storm passes over Yellow Mounds Overlook in South Dakota’s Badlands, casting light and shadow below. Although the region’s name derives from the Oglala Sioux words mako sica or “land bad,” the Badlands showcase the powerful effects of wind and water and contain fossil beds dating to 35 million years ago.
Basalt Pinnacles, Scotland
On Skye’s Trotternish Peninsula, basalt pinnacles loom over the Sound of Raasay. Rising from the debris of an ancient landslide, they bear witness to the geologic upheavals that shaped these lands.
Licancabur Volcano is located on the border between Chile and Bolivia.
Salt Piles on Shoreline, Senegal
Salt piles line the shoreline of Lake Retba, Senegal. The high salinity content of the lake provides a livelihood for salt collectors.
Sand Dunes, Rub al Khali
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.
Water Reflection, Utah
Reflecting off water, light paints peacock-feather patterns onto a rock wall in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.
Basket Sea Star, Cuba
The complexly branched arms of the basket sea star, or starfish, catch plankton for the echinoderm.
Fairy Circles, Namib Desert
Fairy circles, or grassless patches, spot the Namib Desert in Namibia, seen here from an airplane.
Bacteria, New Zealand
Photosynthesizing bacteria in a New Zealand thermal pool absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
Cactus, Manzanillo, Mexico
Bursts of yellow punctuate a cactus in Manzanillo, Mexico.