Cypresses Guard Lake.

95339-ngsversion-1471316907633-adapt-945-1
“Hundreds of old cypresses guard the perimeter of Lake Camécuaro and its turquoise-colored, crystal clear water,” Javier Eduardo Alvarez writes of this photo he made of the small Mexican lake, popular for its picturesque beauty.
“This place is magical.”
This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our storytelling community where members can take part in photo assignments, get expert feedback, be published, and more.
Photograph by Javier Eduardo Alvarez, National Geographic Your Shot
Source: Trees and Lake Image, Mexico | National Geographic Photo of the Day

Volkswagen’s Beetle is rolling off the factory floor for the last time.

Volkswagen is bringing an end to its much-loved Beetle car this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico.
  • Volkswagen’s Beetle was conceived by the Nazis in 1938.
  • Production of the car under Nazi rule never happened, but was restarted with the British.
  • The marque produced over 21 million versions, and was embraced around the world
It’s the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolised many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938.
Initially birthed as a project of Germany’s Third Reich, it then became a symbol of Germany’s post-war economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity.
Today, the Beetle stands as a formidable piece of 20th-century design — about as recognisable as a Coca Cola bottle.
The car’s original design — a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear — can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, the founder and namesake of fellow German marque, Porsche.
He was commissioned by Adolf Hitler to create a “people’s car” that would make motoring widespread among the German people, which was then known as the KdF-Wagen — the acronym of the Nazi labour organisation, Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy).
Preparation for the vehicle even involved creating a purpose-built factory town, which was then known as the City of the KdF car at Fallersleben.
Aspects of the car bore similarities to the Tatra T97, made in Czechoslovakia in 1937, and to sketches by Hungarian engineer Bela Barenyi published in 1934.
But due to World War II, production of the Beetle never happened. Instead, the factory switched to military vehicle production, using forced labour sourced from occupied Europe. Liberated by US troops in April 1945, the factory town was renamed Wolfsburg a month later. By June of that year, control of the factory was turned over to Britain.

In total, over 21 million original Volkswagen Beetles were produced in its lifetime. The Kombi Van was a big seller in the 1960s.
But not all Brits were immediately on the side of the Beetle, with automotive baron Sir William Rootes telling a meeting of the country’s leading car manufacturers the vehicle would be “quite unattractive to the average motorcar buyer”.
By the end of 1949, the Volkswagen factory had produced over 45,000 vehicles, and had transferred ownership over to the West German government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company.
By 1955, the one millionth Beetle, officially called the Type 1, had left the assembly line.
Read on via Source: Volkswagen’s last Beetle is rolling off the factory floor this week – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The ‘Island of the Dolls’.

Strange-Island-Dolls-1

The eyes of decapitated dolls blink lazily from their perches in the trees on Mexico’s Isla de las Munecas – ‘Island of the Dolls.’
There’s something undeniably terrifying about seeing what look like naked infants – sometimes remarkably realistic – clinging to the branches or dangling from their necks.
Legend has it that after a little girl drowned in Teshuilo Lake, and island resident Don Julian Santana began collecting dolls and installing them in the trees.
Eventually, their numbers grew into the hundreds.
Strange-Islands-Dolls-3
Don Julian Santana often sourced the dolls from the trash or traded produce for them, taking them in any condition, no matter how dirty or worn.
While many people viewed the doll-infested island as something out of a nightmare, to him it was a shrine.
Tragically, in 2001, Santana was discovered drowned in the same area of the lake where he believed the little girl had perished.
via Forbidden Islands: 7 Abandoned & Isolated World Wonders | Urbanist.

Solar Portrait in Love.

Solar Portrait in Love. Finalist, People.
Faustina Flores Carranza (66), and her husband, Juan Astudillo Jesus (63), sit in their solar-lit home in San Luis Acatlán, Guerrero, Mexico.
Faustina and Juan have seven children and have been together for 48 years.
Like many members of the Mixteca indigenous community, they have never had access to electricity.
When asked how having solar light has affected their life, Faustina said, “For the first time, we are able to look at each other in the eyes in our moments of intimacy.”
Image Credit: Photograph by Ruben Escudero. All rights reserved.
Source: Finalists From Smithsonian Magazine’s 2018 Photo Contest – The Atlantic

The Xoloitzcuintli, relative of an ancient Aztec dog.

ya003723__800x0_q85_crop

Image Credit: Photograph by Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis.
Mexico’s main national animal is the golden eagle—the bird that legend says played a role in the founding of Mexico City and appears on the country’s flag.
But the country didn’t stop there: it also selected a national mammal (jaguar), a national arthropod (grasshopper), a national marine mammal (vaquita) and a national dog, (xoloitzcuintli).
Commonly called a Mexican hairless, the xoloitzcuintli (pronounced “show-low-itz-quint-lee”) descends from an ancient species native to Central America that was prized by the Aztecs, who believed the canine to have healing abilities.
via Ten Unusual National Animals That Rival the Unicorn | Science | Smithsonian.