Otherworldly photo – of an Arctic city.

People in Norilsk, Russia go ice swimming even on days when the air feels like -40C – warming up in spots heated with steam from the power plant.
Norilsk is located above the Arctic Circle, east of the Yenisei River and south of the western Taymyr Peninsula. It has a permanent population of 175,000. With temporary inhabitants included, its population reaches 220,000. It is the world’s northernmost city and the second-largest city (after Murmansk) inside the Arctic Circle. Norilsk and Yakutsk are the only large cities in the continuous permafrost zone.
Norilsk was largely built by the forced labor of the Soviet-era Gulag system. The nickel deposits of Norilsk-Talnakh are the largest-known nickel-copperpalladium deposits in the world. The smelting of the nickel ore is directly responsible for severe pollution, which generally comes in the form of acid rain and smog.
Image Credit: Photograph by Elena Chernyshova
Source: BBC – Culture – Norilsk: Otherworldly photos of an Arctic city

‘Earth Pyramids of Platten’ by Marco Grassi.

Mars. Third place, Nature.
“These natural sand towers, capped with large stones, are known as the Earth Pyramids of Platten.
They are situated in northern Italy’s South Tyrol region. Formed centuries ago after several storms and landslides, these land formations look like a landscape from outer space and continuously change over the years and, more accurately, over seasons.
This natural phenomenon is the result of a continuous alternation between periods of torrential rain and drought, which have caused the erosion of the terrain and the formation of these pinnacles.
As the seasons change, the temperatures move between extremes and storms affect the area, pyramids disappear over time, while new pinnacles form as well.”
Image Credit: Photograph © Marco Grassi / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Source: Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest – The Atlantic