Patterns in Nature: Mysterious Earth

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.

Photo: Biplane above Monomoy Island, Massachusetts

Biplane Over Monomoy Shoals, Massachusetts

A biplane flies above Monomoy Island, Massachusetts.

Photo: Sand dunes in the Rub al Khali desert

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.

Photo: Fronds drying in Kenya

Drying Fronds, Kenya

Fronds dry in neat lines around a tree in Kenya.

Photo: Cavelike homes in rock formations in Turkey

Cave Dwellings, Turkey

Cavelike dwellings built into soft rock dot the Cappadocia region of Turkey.

Photo: Aerial view of grassless patches in the Namib Desert

Fairy Circles, Namib Desert

Fairy circles, or grassless patches, spot the Namib Desert in Namibia, seen here from an airplane.

Photo: Bacteria in a New Zealand thermal pool

Bacteria, New Zealand

Photosynthesizing bacteria in a New Zealand thermal pool absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Photo: Sunflower florets

Sunflower Florets

Beads of dew cling to the florets that spiral inside a sunflower head.

Photo: Lichens on a gravestone in Lake Champlain, New York


Lichens grow on a granite gravestone in Lake Champlain, New York.

Photo: Banskia flower

Banksia Flower

The characteristic spikes of a banksia flower are common across Australia. This one was photographed on a farm in Mount Barker.

Photo: Light reflecting on a rock wall in Utah

Water Reflection, Utah

Reflecting off water, light paints peacock-feather patterns onto a rock wall in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah.

Photo: Close-up of a giant clam mantle

Giant Clam Mantle

Iridescent spots surround the mantle of a giant clam in Palau, Micronesia. The mantle is a fleshy outer layer that secretes the clam’s shell.

Photo: Close-up of a cactus in Manzanillo, Mexico

Cactus, Manzanillo, Mexico

Bursts of yellow punctuate a cactus in Manzanillo, Mexico.

Photo: A millipede curled into a spiral

Curled Millipede

Exhibiting its main defense mechanism, a millipede curls into a tight spiral. In this fashion it protects its legs—on average between 100 and 300, not the thousand its name suggests—inside its body.

Photo: Scales of an Atlantic salmon

Salmon Scales

The scales of an Atlantic salmon, such as these on a fish in Quebec, Canada, can help biologists determine the fish’s age.

Photo: Magnified diatoms


Seen here 400 times their true size, diatoms are a type of algae found in oceans, fresh water, and soil.

Photo: Close-up of a basket sea star

Basket Sea Star, Cuba

The complexly branched arms of the basket sea star, or starfish, catch plankton for the echinoderm.

Photo: Ray of light from a cenote in Mexico

Cenote, Mexico

Sunlight radiates through the Xpacay cenote in the Mexican Yucatán. Cenotes are freshwater sinkholes usually found on the Yucatán peninsula.

Photo: Snapping turtle shell

Snapping Turtle Shell

The bony plates of a snapping turtle’s carapace protect it from predators. Snappers are freshwater turtles found in much of North America.

Photo: Mammatus clouds over Nebraska

Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus clouds roil in the Nebraska sky, identifiable by their sagging, pouch-like shape. The name comes from the Latin word for “breast.”


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About Nlyten

I have always been a tech enthusiast, to the point where i have become an addict. Tech to me is crack; Always trying to get my fix every chance i get ! I have always loved sharing anything that fascinates me which again 90% of the time is about tech related content. I used to share content on Google Reader Shared pages ( but after their not so brilliant idea to shut it down i felt i needed a new platform where i could share and distribute content and thats how came about. So keep reading and get Nlyten ed !

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