Brazil's Lencois Maranhenses National Park is the symphony of confusion that occurs when a vast, moisture-hating desert collides with the sea, much like a vocal opponent of LGBTQ rights being confronted by a shirtless Luke Evans. And that's because Lencois Maranhenses isn't technically a desert -- it gets a good five times too much rain each year for that.
During the latter part of each year, strong winds blow sand from the Atlantic coast inland, forming an arid sea of mountainous dunes. Then, during the rainy season -- i.e., the entire first half of each year -- torrential rains sweep in to transform the valleys into crystal clear lagoons, some of which can reach depths of 10 feet. If you've ever dreamt of doing a cannonball in the middle of the desert, Lencois Maranhenses is your dream destination.
"Definitely glad we skipped the Cristo Redentor for this."
The Earth's Bounciest Landscape
This is either a video production diary of the Swamp of Sadness from an upcoming The NeverEnding Story reboot, or someone laid a bunch of sod on top of a pool cover (perhaps both).
The Swamp of Sadness has developed the capacity to booby trap.
Haha, nope! That's the actual ground in actual Russia, because of course it is. Researchers discovered more than 15 three-foot pockets of gas hidden beneath the long-frozen soil of Belyy Island in northern Siberia. Shortly thereafter, said researchers' heads jumped clear off of their bodies and loped away on crab legs.
In all seriousness, there is a perfectly logical explanation: As rising global temperatures thaw the Siberian permafrost, carbon dioxide and methane are released, only to become trapped beneath the sod and create a literal ground bubble. When the grass layer is pierced with the heel of a boot or a largish pin, the bubble pops and the gas rushes out -- hopefully with the hilarious sound of a slowly deflating party balloon, and not with the scuttling of a thousand prehistoric hellbeasts being birthed from the underside of the world.
And while we're on the subject of bubbles...
This Lake Is Full Of Snowballs And Or Larvae
Here, we see the countless aborted Olaf prototypes Elsa manifested before landing on the perfect one to delight her sister, trapped beneath a glass prison of ice, waiting for the blissful release of Armageddon.
They all used to have faces, but faces are the first things to go, in the dark.
What looks like Hugh Jackman's back room in an all-snowman version of The Prestige is actually a frozen Lake Abraham in Alberta, Canada. The "snowballs" you see above aren't snow, either, but rather bubbles of gas trapped within the ice. And they look even cooler at night, as discovered by photographer Rachel Jones Ross (with a slight assist from an auger and a waterproof light):
Rachel Jones Ross via NY Times
We'd like to note that "digging into the ice for science" is how many horror films begin.
Beautiful as the bubbles may be, their source is less so: Dead things beneath the surface of the lake rotting and releasing methane (aka doing what dead things do) create the gas pockets. As said methane rises, it becomes trapped within the ice, patiently waiting for some photographer to come along and capture its good side in a well-lit photo or, alternatively, for a band of heroes with a grill lighter.
University of Alaska Fairbanks via YouTube
And we've just planned our next winter vacation.
Saikat Bhowmik is a kid who has grown a beard to look like a grownup. He has a Serious account at Twitter and an Amuzic Youtube channel.
Also check out 15 Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped and 15 MORE Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped.
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