‘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

London’s Apocalyptic Sky.

Amazing photo of London’s apocalyptic sky.
More apocalyptic images emerged in October 2017, when Hurricane Ophelia left a strange haziness in parts of the UK.
Looking “more like a cinematic special effect than an actual atmospheric phenomenon”, the skies above Britain were filled with Saharan dust swept up by the storm.
Grovier said that “silhouetted against a sepia sunset, worldly objects suddenly darkened into something smoky and strange, surreal as solid shadows”.
He compared it to The Scream by Edvard Munch, a painting that also relied for its eeriness on an atmospheric event: in that case, the eruption of Krakatoa in August 1883. 
Image Credit: Photograph by Peter Macdiarmid/LNP
See more Images via BBC – Culture – The most striking images of 2017

The Trees That Refuse To Die.

A Place of Enchantment
Trees have been around for about 370 million years, and as you can from these incredible pictures, there’s a good reason why they’ve survived for so long.
Whether they’re growing in the middle of gale-force winds, on the tops of rocky platforms, inside concrete tunnels, or even growing out of each other, trees know how to survive in places that few living organisms can, which explains why the planet is host to around 3 trillion adult trees that cover an estimated 30% of the earth’s land.

Considering that plants produce the vast majority of the oxygen that we breathe, we should all think ourselves very fortunate that trees are as resilient as they are.
We wouldn’t even be here if they weren’t. Thanks guys! (h/t: twistedsifter)
See more Images via 10+ Badass Trees That Refuse To Die No Matter What | Bored Panda

‘Once Upon a Time’…

IMAGE By WALTER CRANE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, 1875. 
We take the phrase “once upon a time” for granted, but if you think about it, it’s quite oddball English.
Upon a time—? That’s just a strange construction. It would be pleasant to know its history: When, more or less, does it get up on its legs? Around when does it become standard procedure? My researches into this question, however, have yielded nothing conclusive.
Forget “upon a time.” Look at the “once.” That part really is standard from the beginning, and not only in English. Just this past weekend, I paged through fifteen volumes of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library, and I’m here to tell you:
The word once is in the first sentence of almost every single folktale every recorded, from China to Peru. There is some law of physics involved.
Folktales get right down to business, no fooling around. Once there was an old king who had two sons. Once there was a poor lace merchant who decided to make a trip. And if it doesn’t say “once,” it will say “a long time ago.” A long time ago, the fox and the hen were good friends. A long time ago, there was a man who had a shaving brush for a nose and who had two daughters, et cetera.
Why should it always be a long time ago. That’s easy. If you said, “When I was a girl, there was an old man in this village … ” you’d be opening yourself up for interruptions. Where is that old man now? Where are his two sons? But if the story took place a long, long time ago, or simply in undefined and undefinable history (“once”), interruptions will be … fewer.
I want to mention that not one story in Grimms’ Fairytales actually begins “once upon a time.” German doesn’t have that expression. They just say “once.” 
Read on via Source: “Once Upon a Time” and Other Formulaic Folktale Flourishes

The Illustrations of Pranckevicius.

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Gediminas Pranckevicius was born in Lithuania.
Basic artistic knowledge gained at the academy of fine arts, fresco specialty.
Today working as freelance illustrator, concept artist.
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Illustrations by Gediminas Pranckevicius
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Illustrations by Gediminas Pranckevicius
via Illustrations by Gediminas Pranckevicius » Design You Trust.