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What We Love This Week, Volume CXLI

Google Street View Baobab

A baobab tree stands near a trail just outside the small fishing village of Andavadoaka, Madagascar. Image Source: The Atlantic

Incredible Photos Taken With Google Street View

Desert Camel Shadow Google

A Google Maps Street View camera strapped to a camel in the dunes of the Liwa Oasis in the United Arab Emirates. Image Source: The Atlantic

Sure, Google Street View is great for the proverbial well-trodden path. But did you know they’ve taken those little camera cars–or camels, or snow rovers, as the case may be–to the ends of the earth, far from pavement and people? From the deserts of Mongolia to the hills of Colombia to the lakes of Greenland, Google’s cameras have captured it all. But perhaps the most striking thing is how beautifully they’ve done so. You don’t exactly expect National Geographic quality photography from a little camera attached to a car. Tour the globe at The Atlantic.

Google Street View Snow

A Google Maps Street View camera on a snow machine atop Crystal Mountain North in Washington State’s Cascade Range. Image Source: The Atlantic

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Photo Of The Day: Volcano Lights Up The Night Sky


Image Source: Time

The rich, rust-colored hues of this photo obscure the subject’s potentially fatal reality. The Villarrica volcano featured in the photograph above shoots 9,000 feet up from the soil of southern Chile, and is one of the South American country’s most active volcanoes. In March, Villarrica erupted, causing thousands of people to evacuate the nearby town of Pucon. This incredible image was captured in May, and presents us with a view of the volcano as seen from the city.

Photo Of The Day: An Emaciated Polar Bear Reveals Its Species’ Grim Future

Starved Polar Bear

Image Source: The Dodo

This devastating photo of an emaciated polar bear presents us with yet another ugly view of a climate-changed future. Just this August, wildlife photographer Kerstin Langenberger captured this heartbreaking image off the shores of Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

The islands that compose the archipelago are home to one of the world’s largest populations of polar bears. But as rising temperatures melt sea ice, polar bears’ natural environment for seal hunting also diminishes, leaving the bears to hunt for less abundant food sources on land such as snow geese and caribou. Such a shift in diet disrupts the entire Arctic food chain — and can leave the bears quite hungry, as seen above.

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A Sandstorm Strikes The Middle East—And Hard

Lebanon Sandstorm Indoors

Protective coverings are a must when travelling outdoors in the storm. Source: Guardian

Deadly. Unprecedented. These are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the massive sandstorm that has been sweeping across Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and other parts of the Middle East since Monday of this week. The first-hand accounts of darkened skies and harsh air are haunting enough—and the photos will blow your mind:

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Lebanon Camel

The Mount of Olives usually offers a beautiful view of Jerusalem’s Old City, but not this week. Source: International Business Times

Lebanon Sandstorm Beirut

Despite the extreme conditions, these people are still up for swimming in Beirut. Source: FT Photo Diary

Lebanon Sandstorm Nasa

NASA captured this aerial photo, showing that the sandstorm is visible even from space. Source: NBC

Aerial Storm

With skies this dark and sandy, it’s no wonder a number of flights were grounded in the Middle East. Source: Yahoo

Syrian Refugees

In this photo, Syrian children trudge through the unfriendly landscape. Source: Ya Libnan

Lebanon Sandstorm Destruction

The one benefit of the sandstorm is that it has slowed air strikes. Source: Reuters

Mideast Military Glasses

Glasses and facemasks make living with the storm bearable. Source: NBC

Dystopian Sand Storms

Images of the sandstorm resemble a dystopian setting, not a modern city. Source: Alalam

Lebanese Martyrs Statue

The Lebanese Martyrs statue in Beirut is barely visible in the sandstorm. Source: The National

Lebanon Storm

Lebanon has been hit hardest by the sandstorm. Source: Aljazeera

Sandstorm Heat

The sandstorm comes at a time when high temperatures are already torturing residents. Source: Reuters

Israeli Man Fish

An Israeli man’s fish is framed by a sandy backdrop. Source: Aljazeera

Jerusalem in Sand Storm

A man bikes through the clouded streets of Jerusalem. Source: Sub

Lebanon Kids Playing

Armed with face masks, these kids brave the sandy skies to play a game of table football. Source: Vav News

Lebanon Sandstorm Middle East

Despite warnings, some people are conducting business as usual---with some added accessories (like this makeshift mask), of course. Source: International Business Times

Lebanon Sandstorm Refugee

A Syrian refugee in Baalbek, Lebanon shields her child from the storm. Source: The National

Sand Storm Skies

As many as 2,000 people have been sent to Lebanese hospitals due to breathing problems. Source: Kiro TV

Lebanon Sandstorm Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees in Lebanon have been particularly affected by the unseasonal storm. Source: The National

Visibility in Lebanon

Schools were forced to be shut down or cut their days short due to the storm. Source: Colin Carman

Sand Storm West Bank

Sana, Syria's state news agency, says that poor visibility may last until the end of the week. Source: Xihuanet

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