Our planet (20 photos)

Plains, deserts, volcanoes, canyons, tropical forests and other natural wonders.

1. Rock Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock. One of the oldest rocks in the world. It was formed over 500 million years ago, and there, when the sand was going on the ocean floor, which once covered the middle part of Australia. For years, the wind and the rain fell upon the rock. Now the flat summit rises 348 meters above the plains, and the base of the cliff stretches for 8 km. This rock is known that during the day changes its color. Above: At dawn and dusk rock is painted in dark red color. On the color affects the angle of incidence of sunlight. Rays of light coming through the atmosphere, the blue light is distorted, leaving a red, which makes Uluru shine red. Another factor affecting the color change: the area around Ayers Rock is flat, and as soon as the sun dives into the horizon, the area is in the shade, but the sunlight still reaches the rock. This contrast of dark and light stone foundation make Ayers Rock turns red. Bottom: rock, which is usually red in color, is shown in this photo after the rain, which is a rarity here. During the rainy season the rock acquires a silvery-gray color, with stripes of dark algae forming on the path of rain runoff streams. The difference in color on these two photos is amazing. (Steve Strike, AP)

2. Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Grand Prismatic Spring - the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world - after those who are in New Zealand. He is located in the middle basin geysers. Source size of about 75 to 91 m, and depth - 48 meters. Source produces about 2120 liters per minute, water temperature - 71 degrees Celsius. Bright colors source - is the result of life pigmented bacteria present on the edges of source water rich in minerals. In the photo: Tourists go on deck at the Grand Prismatic Spring. (Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. / AP)

3. Lava from Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii flows into the Pacific Ocean at dawn on July 1 in Vulcano. Thousands of visitors to the park come here every day to look at the Kilauea eruption, which lasted for a quarter century. But some people live near the boiling lava every day. (David Jordan, AP)


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