“Above the Storm.”

Pilot-Flies-Above-The-Thunderstorm-To-Get-A-Perfect-Shot-Of-It-At-37000-Feet-577fab1cf05ed__880by Renata
When you’re a pilot so often up in the air, stuff happening in the sky is no longer a surprise for you.
Just when Ecuador Airlines pilot and photographer Santiago Borja thought he’d seen it all however, he ended up witnessing – and photographing – one of the most amazing thunderstorms ever.
He captured this spectacular view from the cockpit of an airplane 37,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean south of Panama.
Although the picture looks perfectly made, Borja says it’s not that easy to deal with the storms. “Storms are tricky because the lightning is so fast, there is no tripod and there is a lot of reflection from inside lights,” the pilot told The Washington Post.

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“I like this photo so much because you can feel the amazing size of the storm and its power, but at the same time it’s wonderful how peacefully you can fly around it in still air without touching it.”
Take a look at this amazing show by Mother Nature.
More info: santiagoborja.com | Instagram (h/t: washingtonpost)
Source: Pilot Flies Above The Thunderstorm To Get A Perfect Shot Of It At 37,000 Feet | Bored Panda

“Pacific Storm.”

f4b36c83-3b24-4600-be00-e4468e873811-jpg-1072x0_q85_upscalePhoto © Santiago Borja. All rights reserved.
An isolated cumulonimbus (an extremely dense, vertically developed cumulus with a low dark base and fluffy masses that extend to great heights, usually producing heavy rains, thunderstorms, or hailstorms) overshoots the tropopause as we deviate around it at 37000 FT south of Panama City, Panama.
The only light source is the powerful lightning within the storm.
See more images via Pacific Storm | Smithsonian Photo Contest | Smithsonian

“Darwin’s Trip to the Galapagos”.

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While Charles Darwin did not discover the Galapagos Islands, he is the name most associated with their history and recognition.
For it was Charles Darwin, a young naturalist, who came to the Islands, observed the plant, marine, bird and animal life and designed the intellectual premise known as natural selection or survival of the fittest.
His thoughtful interpretation of what he saw and recorded changed human thought and understanding of the world around us forever.
He saw continuity and coherency despite the diversity on each island and was able to merge these observations into a cogent scientific process that explains how life on earth evolved.
Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835.
Of his five-year voyage, he spent only five weeks in the Galapagos Archipelago and only about 19 days ashore, on the islands we now call San Cristobal, Isabela, Floreana and Santiago.
He observed, “the natural history of this archipelago is very remarkable; it seems to be a little world within itself.” Indeed, that statement is equally true 1½ centuries later.
During his explorations, Darwin noticed that while each island often had the same types of bird, animal and plant life, there were subtle differences in each of them.
He saw strange animals, unlike elsewhere in the world, but obvious familial relationships as well.
He wrote, “Several of the islands possess their own species of tortoise, mockingbird, finches and numerous plants, those species having the same general habits, occupying analogous situations, and obviously filling the same place in the natural economy of this archipelago, that strikes me with wonder.”
DarwinsFinch5Photo: Darwin’s Finch by Mike Cornwell.
For example, there were more than 15 separate species of finches at that time and Darwin determined to make sense of that fact.
He concluded that each was closely related to the mainland finch, but had adapted to its new surroundings, undergoing subtle but distinct changes to allow them to survive and procreate in their individual environment.
via Charles Darwin – the Name and Theory Associated with the Galapagos Islands 

“One Clever Kitty”.

42-33051308Gerry Ellis / Minden Pictures / Corbis
The margay is among the many small, spotted cats of Central and South America, but this nocturnal hunter has a clever ability that hasn’t yet been seen in any of its neighbors.
Margays are adept at hunting among the rainforest trees, where they try to nab anything from frogs to squirrels. But the cat is also capable of setting a trap.
A 2009 study reported that a margay mimicked the call of a small monkey called a pied tamarin to lure the primate closer.
The cat’s attempt was foiled that time, but the fact that the margay tried to fool the monkeys shows that it’s a very clever kitty.
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Read more via Ten Amazing Small Wild Cats | Science | Smithsonian.

“The Art of Araujo”.

Artist Michelle Araujo used acrylic on wood to paint these brilliant and detailed pieces.
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3387712507_321396b240_oThe Artist’s Website:
http://goo.gl/AKpGJG

See More Images via Michelle MIA Araujo | EMPTY KINGDOM.

Found: Two Lost Cities.

99Dave Yoder/National Geographic

by Alan Yuhas

Archaeologists have discovered two lost cities in the deep jungle of Honduras, emerging from the forest with evidence of a pyramid, plazas and artifacts that include the effigy of a half-human, half-jaguar spirit.

The team of specialists in archaeology and other fields, escorted by three British bushwhacking guides and a detail of Honduran special forces, explored on foot a remote valley of La Mosquitia where an aerial survey had found signs of ruins in 2012.

Chris Fisher, the lead US archaeologist on the team, told the Guardian that the expedition – co-coordinated by the film-makers Bill Benenson and Steve Elkins, Honduras and National Geographic (which first reported the story on its site) – had by all appearances set foot in a place that had gone untouched by humans for at least 600 years.

1000The dense jungle of Honduras. Photograph: Dave Yoder/National Geographic

“Even the animals acted as if they’ve never seen people,” Fisher said. “Spider monkeys are all over place, and they’d follow us around and throw food at us and hoot and holler and do their thing.”

“To be treated not as a predator but as another primate in their space was for me the most amazing thing about this whole trip,” he said.

Read on via Archaeologists find two lost cities deep in Honduras jungle | World news | The Guardian.