Ten years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina swept over the Gulf Coast and shredded communities from Louisiana to Florida. Emergency response to the crisis was badly bungled, and the post-storm recovery has had some unexpected effects on the area. As one of the costliest disasters in American history, Hurricane Katrina revealed quite a lot about our priorities, and how American society does—and doesn’t—work. The decade after the storm, as New Orleans and its surroundings have worked to rebuild, reveals even more.
There is an ancient forest in southern China where thousands of limestone rock formations press upward from the earth. Trees dot the stone landscape, adding bursts of greenery to an otherwise grey…
Surreally Beautiful: National Geographic’s Best Photos Of The Month
As always, National Geographic photography speaks for itself. Well, except when the photographer’s story of getting the shot is almost as interesting as the shot itself. And the stories behind National Geographic’s best photos of the month are no exception. Like when Elliot Ross braved the 100-degree temperatures of New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument, then lost his spot of shade to some tourists who beat him to it, only to find that the tourists’ cars and gear made for the perfect photo. Or when Hideki Mizuta found a hill in Lithuania absolutely covered in thousands of crosses, put there as a show of resistance to foreign oppression, then happened to catch a sole little girl running through his frame. For more of the stories–and, of course, the photos–visit National Geographic.
Wildfires are one of Mother Nature’s most devastating forces. They ravage homes and decimate innumerable plant and animal species, leaving behind torched spatters of what once was. Sadly, this summer’s insane weather phenomena have resulted in more wildfires along the West Coast, especially in California, where extreme drought conditions leave the ground hot and dry. Photographer Stuart Palley captures the ferocity and beauty of wildfire in his long-exposure photography series, Terra Flamma. Prepare to be amazed.
From the pictures, it’s hard to tell whether California has dreamed up some creative ways to conserve water, or is just super intent on creating the world’s largest ball pit. (For the record, the drought-stricken state is doing a little of both.)
This week, municipal workers dumped the final 20,000 shade balls into the Los Angeles Reservoir, transforming the body of water into a sea of floating black spheres. The latest installation brings the total number of shade balls in California to a staggering 96 million, a number that will hopefully offset the state’s catastrophic water shortage.