What We Love This Week, Volume CXXVI

Sun Rays Field Fog

Sunrise over the small mountain hamlet of Cemoro Lawang, Indonesia. Source: Twisted Sifter

Dazzling Aerial Photography From Around The World

Aerial Elephants Grass

Elephants in Botswana’s Okavango flood plain. Source: Twisted Sifter

The view from on high can be at once elegant and cluttered, clarifying and overwhelming. But, most often, the view from above is absolutely gorgeous. The annual National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest, ending June 30, attracts reams of striking images taken from vantage points you and I will probably never occupy. Perhaps chief among those images–both in terms of beauty and uniqueness–are those taken from the sky. Yes, you and I may never hover above the plains of Africa or the mountains of Indonesia, but the arresting photographs at Twisted Sifter come quite close to bringing us there.

Great Barrier Reef Aerial

The Great Barrier Reef near Hamilton Island. Source: Twisted Sifter

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19 Things You Should Know About Amelia Earhart

Earhart Famous Pilot

Source: Thing Link

Nearly 80 years ago, Amelia Earhart attempted to circumnavigate the globe with fatal results. Before that, though, she captured the world’s attention by breaking a score of records, expanding popular conceptions of womanhood and writing best-selling books, among a host of other things.

Newly discovered footage of Earhart was recently unearthed, depicting the pilot a few months before her last flight in 1937. The video appears to be shot at Burbank Airport, and features the pilot walking around her Lockheed Electra L-10E. The son of John Bresnik, one of Earhart’s photographers, found the film after going through his deceased father’s belongings. While this discovery will likely prompt another investigation into the exact cause of Earhart’s death, we’re more interested in her life.

Check out these surprisings facts about Amelia Earhart–we guarantee they’ll blow your mind.

Check out the new black-and-white footage of Amelia Earhart just before her final flight:

Many theories seek to explain just what happened to Amelia Earhart on her fateful journey in 1937. Here’s one of those hypotheses:

Meet The Kurdish Women Fighting ISIS

Machine Gun Fighters

Female Peshmergas on their base at the border between Syria and Iraq. These female fighters are motivated by the words of Abdullah Ocalan, head of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), who promotes Marxist thought and empowerment of women. Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

To an ISIS militant, one of the worst things that could happen in combat is not just being killed, but being killed by a woman. If this happens, ISIS members believe that they will go directly to hell. If hell exists, rest assured that they have been sent there by a number of Kurdish women.

In August 2014, ISIS moved to the Sinjar area of Iraq and began to persecute, capture and kill its minority Yazidi population–an ancient, mainly Kurdish people. Female Kurdish soldiers were instrumental in the Kurdish counteroffensive, rescuing thousands of Yazidis trapped by ISIS on Mount Sinjar. The women have since extended their fight against radical militants to Kobani, Syria. See what life for these soldiers is like in the gallery below:

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Saria Zilan

18 year-old Saria Zilan from Amuda, Syria: "I fought with ISIS in Serikani. I captured one of them and wanted to kill him, but my comrades did not let me. He kept staring at the ground and would not look at me, because he said it was forbidden by his religion to look at a woman." Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Female ISIS Fighters Peace

Female soldiers show signs of peace as trucks carrying refugees from Mount Sinjar enter Til Kocer, Syria, safely. Source: Erin Trieb

Torin Khairegi

18-year-old YPJ fighter Torin Khairegi: “We live in a world where women are dominated by men. We are here to take control of our future..I injured an ISIS jihadi in Kobane. When he was wounded, all his friends left him behind and ran away. Later I went there and buried his body. I now feel that I am very powerful and can defend my home, my friends, my country, and myself. Many of us have been matryred and I see no path other than the continuation of their path." Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Female ISIS Fighters Scarf

20-year-old Narlene wraps a scarf around her face near Raabia, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

Female Chief

Instructing soldiers. Source: Jacob Russell

Aijan Denis Fighter

20-year old YPJ fighter Aijan Denis from Amuda, Syria: "Where I am now, men and women are equal and we all have the same thought, which is fighting for our ideology and the rights of women. My three sisters and I are all in YPJ. " Newsha Tavakolian for TIME I joined YPJ in 2011. One day when I was watching TV, they were showing pictures of women who had been killed. I was really impressed by that and decided to join the army myself. Where I am now, men and women are equal and we all have the same thought, which is fighting for our ideology and the rights of women. My three sisters and I are all in YPJ. They all operate RPGs. I wish to become so skilled that I will be allowed to do the same." Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Fighters Lined Up

Women in the Peshmerga undergo drill instruction at the Sulaymaniyah base. Source: Jacob Russell

Fighters In Field

Women at the Sulaymaniyah base. Source: Jacob Russell

Mock Assault

Female Peshmerga train via mock assaults. Source: Jacob Russell

Female ISIS Fighters Packing

Thousands of Kurdish women have taken up arms to defend their people from the Assad regime, ISIS and the al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda branch operating in Syria and Lebanon. Source: Erin Trieb

Smoke In Distance

Female soldiers look to smoke coming from an ISIS car bomb detonation. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Female ISIS Fighters Training

Young recruits take part in near dawn drill in Rojava, a Kurdish area of Syria. Typically, female soldiers rise at 4am after six hours of sleep. Before joining, many of these women had never participated in sports. Source: Erin Trieb

Female ISIS Fighters Running

Women in dawn drills near Derek City, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

Female ISIS Fighters Waiting Drone

Female soldier waits for a drone to return to the PKK base in Sinjar. The drone had gone to check enemy positions near a site previously hit by ISIS car bombs. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Discussing Plan

Female fighter discussing how to gain access to space hit by ISIS car bombs in Sinjar. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Female ISIS Fighters Preparing

Other soldiers prepare to enter ISIS-hit territory. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Taking Notes

A female soldier takes notes at a checkpoint near the Sinjar base. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Female ISIS Fighters Abdullah Ocalan

Woman totes a portrait of Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan at the Sinjar base. Ocalan was one of the founding members of the Kurdish Workers Party, which is listed as a terrorist organization by NATO, the United States and the European Union, among others. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Female ISIS Fighters Adjusting Gun

A female soldier adjusts her machine gun as she prepares to join others near a spot hit by ISIS car bombs. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Watching TV

29-year-old Nuhad Kocer sits at a military base in Til Kocer, Syria. The person in the framed photo is Azadi Ristem, a soldier killed by a sniper from the al-Nusra Front. Source: Erin Trieb

Fighters In Car

Female soldiers sit in an armed vehicle at their base in eastern Syria. Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Shadow Fighter

16 year-old YPJ fighter Barkhodan Kochar from Darbasi, Syria. "The war influenced me a lot. Before joining YPJ, whenever I asked my family about politics, they'd say 'that's not your business, you're just a girl'. But when I saw how the women of YPJ gave their lives for what they believed in, I knew that I wanted to be one of them." Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Female ISIS Fighters Mount Sinjar

A female fighter stands guard at a PKK base on Mount Sinjar, northwest Iraq. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

President Talabani Pin

Female Peshmerga dons a pink featuring Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish. Source: Jacob Russell

Recruiting Fighters

In Kurdish Rovaja, Syria, young people are taught the ideology of the PYD (the Democratic Union Party of Syria), an affiliate of PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Many will be drafted to fight ISIS. Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Female ISIS Fighters Pink Recruit

A young recruit wears pink on the first day of her training in Derek City, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

Female ISIS Fighters Photos

Female fighters pose with visiting fighters from another base. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Fighter Bonding

Female Peshmerga bond in a pickup truck. Source: Jacob Russell

Female ISIS Fighters Dancing

Recruits dance at a base near Derek City, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

Cheering

Recruits embrace a female soldier who they thought had been sent to the front line. Source: Erin Trieb

Female ISIS Fighters Doing Hair

Recruits in Derek City, Syria do each other's hair at 4:30am, before training. Source: Erin Trieb

Combing Hair

Leader Haval Raperin combs her hair at a Sinjar base. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Plucking Eyebrows

22-year-old Asadi Kamishloo has her eyebrows plucked at a base in Til Kocer, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

Female ISIS Fighters Eating

Female fighters eat peppers, tomatoes, cheese and flatbread for breakfast in Til Kocer, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

Near Heater

Female Peshmergas chat around a heater. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Female ISIS Fighters Yazidi

Female Peshmergas pose next to a displaced Yazidi woman (far right) who lives near their base in Sinjar. At least 5,000 Yazidis have been massacred in ISIS' genocidal campaign against them. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Female ISIS Fighters Baby

Female Peshmergas sit with a Yazidi family, one of which is a member of YBS, a Yazidi militant group fighting against ISIS. Source: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters

Embracing With Mother

Female fighter Jin bonds with her mother, Amina, at home in Girke Lege, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

Fighters Eating Meal

Women eat yaprax, a Kurdish favorite. Source: Jacob Russell

Resting In Base

Female soldier Shavin Bachouck rests at an abandoned Iraqi Army post near Raabia, Syria. Source: Erin Trieb

All Women Base

Women gather at the all-women Asayesh Security Base in Derek City, Syria. Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Cicek Tree

17 year-old Cicek Derek, died in Kobani, Syria. Her body was unable to be retrieved. Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Rojin Fighter

Cicek Derek's sister, Rojin, had this to say: "When my mother told Cicek, please stay with your mother', she answered 'I left to fight for all the mothers of the world. I cannot stay here." Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Female Fighter Billboard

Fallen female soldiers appear on a billboard which reads, “With you we live on and life continues.” Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

Carrying Casket

Female soldiers carry the casket of Evrim in Derek City, Syria. Evrim was killed while combatting ISIS members.

Fighter Cemetery

Female fighters killed fighting ISIS are buried together. Source: Newsha Tavakolian/TIME

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One Of War’s Lighter Moments

Syrian Peshmerga Fighter

When one thinks of the Middle East right now, images of softness and tranquility are often the last things to come to mind–if they do at all. And yet, all soldiers must put down their weapons at some point, as seen in this photo of a Syrian peshmerga fighter taking a moment to bond with a rabbit.

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