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This Ancient Chinese Stone Forest Will Take You By Surprise

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 scene. Located about 50 miles from Kunming, the provincial capital of the Yunnan Province, China’s Stone Forest remains one of the country’s most visited locations–and it’s not hard to see why.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXXVI

Sailboat Sand Water Ripples

“Between Land and Sea” by Abrar Mohsin, taken in Dubai. Image Source: National Geographic

Surreally Beautiful: National Geographic’s Best Photos Of The Month

Dolphins Swimming Turquoise Purple

“Poster Dolphins” by Erika Hart, taken off Makua Beach, Hawaii. Image Source: National Geographic

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.

White Sand Car Sky

“White Hot” by Elliot Ross, taken at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. Image Source: National Geographic

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Terra Flamma Captures Wildfires Like Never Before

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.

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California Throws Shade (Balls) To Help Solve Its Drought

Shade Balls Pouring

Source: LA Times

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.

LA Reservoir

Source: DailyMail

Up Close Reservoir

Source: Wired

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