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Amazing Fairy House

Fairy Houses are small structures for the fairies and nature’s friends to visit. Fairy houses can be short and fat, tall and skinny, simple and cottage-y, ornate and castle-y, rounded and soft, angular and dramatic, and so on.

Fairy Houses can take many forms and can be created in many different places. Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, seaweed, pine cones and nuts are just some of the natural materials used. These whimsical habitats are built by children, families, gardeners and nature lovers reflecting their creativity, joy and pride.

Many fairy houses look so natural that they are almost hidden. A fairy house built in the woods will look different than one built at the beach!

 

fairy house  Amazing Fairy House

Emeralds from Colombia

In the Cordillera, in the province of Boyaca lost villages produced 60 percent of the world’s emeralds. Muzo – the largest of the three villages. These deposits – the largest and oldest in Colombia. Mining here is over 400 years, attracting like a magnet, from across the country who wants to miraculously become rich.
Colombia Emeralds  Emeralds from Colombia

Weird way to keep the tree

The precarious or transitory character that we find in most of the themes photographed by Motta is linked, in a complementary way, to a certain desire for permanence. His work is based on patient research in the field, whether in the city or in smaller, more out-of-the-way towns that he visits. Many of his images are taken on the street or on the road – or more precisely, along the side of the these, during his journeys. Interrupted façades, bricked-up trees, provisory constructions, obstacles, gardens that are blended with constructions.

In some cases, digital editing arises as an expedient, as in Natureza concreta, in which the artist photographs trees that have suffered human intervention on their trunks, receiving concrete and bricks to keep them from falling, allying the absurdity of these situations with others in which the elements alien to the trees are created by computer software.

ornamental trees  Weird way to keep the tree

When pole survive

In a very schematic way, but with little chance for error, we can situate Pedro Motta’s work within this convergence between collecting and traveling; staying and leaving; permanence and transitoriness; place and thing; object and landscape.

The highway itself becomes the photographed subject by way of the documentation of construction works undertaken to alter its path or level, resulting in tall, isolated islands of earth. These monoliths bear the marks of the tools that created them, as well as the remains of their original characteristics, with posts and water tanks that persist on their tops, in an exhibition of the temporary that runs the risk of becoming permanent. More than other photos, these images make us question the manner in which Motta’s images approach the aesthetics of the document, only to deny this relationship. The idea of documentary is inefficient for describing the type of record that Motta makes, which would be closer to the ready-made, with an altered reading of reality. Even though in a quick glimpse these images can be confused with documentary records of the countryside, Motta’s approach to them is quite unlike that of a documentarist, as he actually photographs these fragments of earthen banks as monuments.

pole survive  When pole survive

Weird nature

Power Redondo Beach (Los Angeles) are sounding the alarm. For a day in their area surfaced just unreal the amount of dead fish. In one version of the fish did not have enough oxygen in the water, which led to mass death.

Because of the fish could not see the water, and is only the fish that floated to the surface at the bottom of the well was still a 30-centimeter layer of fish.
Scientists have put forward a version of that in water due to flowering did not have enough oxygen and suffocate fish.
The only one happy about this event, so it’s local pelicans and gulls, for whom everything that happens – a real feast.

dead fish  Weird nature

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Weird white insects

Many insects are considered pests by humans. Insects commonly regarded as pests include those that are parasitic (mosquitoes, lice, bed bugs), transmit diseases (mosquitoes, flies), damage structures (termites), or destroy agricultural goods (locusts, weevils). Many entomologists are involved in various forms of pest control, as in research for companies to produce insecticides, but increasingly relying on methods of biological pest control, or biocontrol.

photo source:  flickr.com

Weird white spider  Weird white insects

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The natural beauty of the planet

The natural environment, encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species.

The natural environment is contrasted with the built environment, which comprises the areas and components that are strongly influenced by humans. A geographical area is regarded as a natural environment, if the human impact on it is kept under a certain limited level.

natural beauty planet  The natural beauty of the planet

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Hitler’S Destroyed Bunker

The Führerbunker was located beneath Hitler’s New Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was in this subterranean bunker that Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun spent the last few weeks of the war and it was here their lives came to an end on April 30, 1945.

The bunker was initially constructed as a temporary air-raid shelter for Hitler, but the increased shelling of the city lead to its expansion as an improvised permanent shelter. The elaborate complex consisted of two separate levels, the Vorbunker (the upper bunker) or “forward bunker” and the newer Führerbunker located one level below. They were connected by a stairway set at right angles (they were not spiral).

HitlerS Destroyed Bunker  HitlerS Destroyed Bunkersource

The complex was protected by approximately four metres of concrete, and about 30 small rooms were distributed over two levels with exits into the main buildings and an emergency exit into the gardens. The complex was built in two distinct phases, one part in 1936 and the other in 1943. The 1943 development was built by the Hochtief company as part of an extensive program of subterranean construction in Berlin begun in 1940. The accommodations for Hitler were in the newer, lower section and by February 1945 had been appointed with high quality furniture taken from the Chancellery along with several framed oil paintings.

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Some of the corridors of the bunker still exist today, although now in disuse and sealed from the public.

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photo source

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Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters

Ivan Dementievsky traveler brings from his travels not only the impressions and souvenirs, but also wonderful pictures. Thanks to him we will be able to go to Nepal, where every year in the spring of locals extract the honey of wild bees Himalayan.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees  Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  The final destination of our journey – this village. The photograph’s main square, which probably 200-250 square meters. Naturally the entire village in the square. Evening, weekend, if not to talk. And then we come!

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 1 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  At night, by candlelight, cook dinner.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 2 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  In the morning the whole village was emptied into the street. Began gathering in the mountains.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 3 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  Are almost all men. Even the military, somehow found themselves in this morning in the village. But the production – it is the prerogative of the elderly. They even joked, saying the young need to plow the old man that the old man, if something happens, then let it be old but not young and strong man …

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 4 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  We are advancing with the first group, which is all that is needed for running over rocks, namely woven ropes and cables, and carved wood staircase. Prior to coming all the participants, ropes zamochut in water and will turn into stairs.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 5 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  Frankly, looking at it was somewhat frightening. Nowadays, high technology, there is different equipment for climbing. And here all handmade. Soaked rope no more than an hour.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 6 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  We got white caps with a grid of bees. We as a sluggish to react to this but when the guide was bitten by a bee on the forehead, we quickly equipped. It turned out that bees respond more and the dark, and here I had not sweet – for me it was a dark jacket. As a result of a finger, I got a bee

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 7 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  In the wet rope Nepalis inserted wooden sticks – a step further steps. Then they were tightly linked. What? Makeshift ropes which were immediately made themselves and from plants.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 8 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  Manufacture of the most ropes.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 9 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  When the ladder is ready, it shall be to a place hives. There have already begun to kindle the fires, whose smoke drives away the bees.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 10 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  About 15 minutes after they started smoking, the bees were flying around in a rage, and to whom it has got. But then they become weak and can already be over – is less secure work and approach. Nepali one or two or more bee stings is not terrible, they have already developed a visible immunity, we have also bee sting will take a lot of trouble. If you look closely, you can at the top on a white background to see a lot of small black dots …

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 11 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  Top, above the place where there are hives, tie a rope and throw down. There it is tied to a ladder, and thus it is stretched in the right place.

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Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 13 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  Then supplied from the bottom with ropes poles with which to work two people. And the basket, too, from the top down will be on the ropes

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Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 15 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  guys basically worked together. First, they unstick already dry cells, and then a basket holding the second place sixth scraped from the stone cell.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 16 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  Honeycomb without honey, they did not throw well, too, take away with them.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 17 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  This is how they harvested honey. As far as guys bitten, I can not even imagine. But when I saw them up close, the faces were swollen very specifically.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 18 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  And a few cards in issue.

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Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 20 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  This virtuoso. When a teammate has left, this Nepalis had to work alone. By the way, they themselves tied with ropes to the ladder. I thought it was just we is not seen, and for us it is a wonder, but not to the place of gathering came a lot of local and they looked with curiosity at all this.

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Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 22 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  This basket full of honey production, which is published throughout all homes.

Honey hunters of wild Himalayan bees 23 Himalayan Wild bees honey hunters  the boys were carrying an empty cell.

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Entire life in one picture

Photographers King Jung Huang and Ma Hong Ji traveled across China, photographing different families with all their possessions handed down from the house and put next to the photographed family members.

Entire life in one picture  Entire life in one picture

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Source

Trees covered with colony of bats

Do you think that is why these trees in the distance dark brown?

These brown spots hundreds of thousands of bats due to flooding in Australia were forced to leave the place where they lived.

There are about 1,100 bat species worldwide, which represent about twenty percent of all classified mammal species. About seventy percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are frugivores, or fruit eaters. A few species such as the Fish-eating Bat feed from animals other than insects, with the vampire bats being the only mammalian parasite species. Bats are present throughout most of the world and perform vital ecological roles such as pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. Many tropical plant species depend entirely on bats for the distribution of their seeds.

trees bats  Trees covered with colony of bats

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Beautiful tree bark by Cedric Pollet

Cédric Pollet a botanical photographer, and landscape architect. In 1999 he entered the Department of Horticulture and Landscape at the University of Reading, England. It was on this occasion that the self-professed lover of English gardens used a film camera for the first time. As luck would have it, the tormented trunk of a venerable centuries-old oak literally opened his eyes to a world that was hitherto completely unknown to him: the world of bark. It was a revelation that changed the course of his life.

Beautiful tree bark  Beautiful tree bark by Cedric Pollet

And so he decided to observe trees from a much different angle and began his research on bark, a topic almost never addressed in the horticultural literature. Bark is an absolutely vital part of a tree, often overlooked and yet so magical, it reveals, to those who know how to look, a surprising and infinite pictorial diversity. In a large number of countries around the world he has, since 1999, tracked down the most fascinating bark from trees of forests, parks and botanical gardens, accumulating more than 20,000 images covering around 500 species.

Beautiful tree bark 1 Beautiful tree bark by Cedric Pollet

Cedric Pollet has visited an incredible 30 countries over 10 years on a mission to capture the beauty of tree bark on camera. In the first study of its kind Cedric’s pictures look almost like fine art and are all close ups showing the brilliant and extreme differences in colour, shape and texture of tree bark around the world.

Beautiful tree bark 2 Beautiful tree bark by Cedric Pollet

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Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

The Architecture of Ancient Rome adopted the external Greek architecture for their own purposes, creating a new architectural style. The Romans absorbed Greek influence, apparent in many aspects closely related to architecture; for example, this can be seen in the introduction and use of the Triclinium in Roman villas as a place and manner of dining. The Romans, similarly, were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics and in the construction of arches.

Colosseum in Rome Italy Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Social elements such as wealth and high population densities in cities forced the ancient Romans to discover new (architectural) solutions of their own. The use of vaults and arches together with a sound knowledge of building materials, for example, enabled them to achieve unprecedented successes in the construction of imposing structures for public use. Examples include the aqueducts of Rome, the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla, the basilicas and Colosseum. They were reproduced at smaller scale in most important towns and cities in the Empire. Some surviving structures are almost complete, such as the town walls of Lugo in Hispania Tarraconensis, or northern Spain.

Pont du Gard Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

The Pont du Gard, an aqueduct bridge in southern France

Political propaganda demanded that these buildings should be made to impress as well as perform a public function. The Romans didn’t feel restricted by Greek aesthetic axioms alone in order to achieve these objectives. The Pantheon is a supreme example of this, particularly in the version rebuilt by Hadrian, which remains perfectly preserved, and which over the centuries has served, particularly in the Western Hemisphere, as the inspiration for countless public buildings. The same emperor left his mark on the landscape of northern Britain when he built a wall to mark the limits of the empire, and after further conquests in Scotland, the Antonine wall was built to replace Hadrian’s Wall.

AcueductoSegovia Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

The Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain

Roman theater in Aspendos Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

Roman theatre of Aspendos,Turkey

Jerash Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

The Forum of Jerash, in Jordan.

Bridge Alcantara Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

The Alcántara Bridge, Spain, a masterpiece of ancient bridge building

Hadrians wall at Greenhead Lough Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

Hadrian's Wall in northern England

Arc Triomphe Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

The Arc de Triomphe, Paris

Arlesarena Amazing architecture of ancient Rome

Roman arena at Arles

Five largest moved monoliths in the world

A monolith is a large stone which has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. In this list at least one colossal stone over ten tons has been moved to create the structure or monument.

In most cases the ancient civilizations had little, if any, advanced technology that would help the moving of these monoliths. The most notable exception is that of the ancient Greeks and Romans who had cranes and treadwheels to help lift colossal stone.

The Thunder Stone 1,250 t

For the pedestal, an enormous boulder known as the Thunder Stone was found at Lakhta, 6 km inland from the Gulf of Finland in 1768. The Thunder stone gained its name from a local legend that thunder split a piece off it. Falconet wanted to work on it in its original location, but Catherine ordered it be moved before being cut. Embedded half its depth in marshy terrain, new methods needed to be developed to move it. A Greek gentleman from the Island of Kefallonia, then part of the Republic of Venice, named Marinos Carburis, lieutenant-colonel in the Russian Army offered to undertake the project.

Thunder Stone Five largest moved monoliths in the world

The Transportation of the Thunder-stone

After waiting for winter, when the ground was frozen, it was then dragged across the countryside. This was done by means of a metallic sledge which slid over bronze spheres about 13.5 cm in diameter, over a track, a process similar to the later invention of ball bearings. Making the feat even more impressive was that the labour was done entirely by humans; no animals or machines were used in bringing it from the original site to the Senate Square. Once a method to move it was devised, it took 400 men nine months to move the stone, during which time master stonecutters continuously shaped the enormous granite monolith. Catherine periodically visited the effort to oversee their progress. The larger capstans took 32 men at once to turn, this just barely moving the rock. Further complicating the issue was the availability of only 100 m of track, which had to be constantly relaid. Nevertheless, the workers made over 150 m of progress a day while on level ground. Upon arrival at the sea an enormous barge was constructed exclusively for the Thunder Stone. The vessel had to be supported on either side by additional two full-size warships. After a short maritime voyage, it arrived at its destination in 1770, nearly two years after efforts to move it began. A commemorative medal was issued for its arrival, with the legend ‘Close to Daring’

Bronze Horseman Five largest moved monoliths in the world

The Bronze Horseman

Ramesseum 1,000 t

The Ramesseum is the memorial temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II. It is located in the Theban necropolis in Upper Egypt, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor. Ramesses II modified, usurped, or constructed many buildings from the ground up, and the most splendid of these, in accordance with New Kingdom Royal burial practices, would have been his memorial temple: a place of worship dedicated to pharaoh, god on earth, where his memory would have been kept alive after his passing from this world. Surviving records indicate that work on the project began shortly after the start of his reign and continued for 20 years.

RamsesII Five largest moved monoliths in the world

Aerial View of Thebes' Ramesseum

The design of Ramesses’s mortuary temple adheres to the standard canons of New Kingdom temple architecture. Oriented northwest and southeast, the temple itself comprised two stone pylons (gateways, some 60 m wide), one after the other, each leading into a courtyard. Beyond the second courtyard, at the centre of the complex, was a covered 48-column hypostyle hall, surrounding the inner sanctuary.

Temple of Ramesses II Five largest moved monoliths in the world

Temple of Ramesses II, Luxor

Only fragments of the base and torso remain of the syenite statue of the enthroned pharaoh, 62 feet (19 metres) high and weighing more than 1000 tons. This was alleged to have been transported 170 miles over land. This is the largest remaining colossal statue (except statues done in situ) in the world. However fragments of 4 granite Colossi of Ramses were found in Tanis (northern Egypt). Estimated height is 69 to 92 feet (21 to 28 meters). Like four of the six colossi of Amenhotep III (Colossi of Memnon) there are no longer complete remains so it is based partly on unconfirmed estimates.

Trilithon  800 t

A trilithon is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones (posts) supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top (lintel). Commonly used in the context of megalithic monuments. The most famous trilithons are those of Stonehenge in England and those found in the Megalithic temples of Malta.

Trilith Stonehenge Five largest moved monoliths in the world

Trilith in Stonehenge

The word trilithon is derived from the Greek “having three stones” (τρι- – tri- “three”, λίθος – lithos’ “stone”) and was first used by William Stukeley. The term also describes the groups of three stones in the Hunebed tombs of the Netherlands and the three massive stones forming part of the wall of the Roman Temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, Lebanon.

Malta Five largest moved monoliths in the world

Trilithon entrance, Mnajdra temple, Malta

A group of three horizontally lying giant stones which form part of the podium of the Roman Jupiter temple of Baalbek, Lebanon, go by the name “trilithon”. Weighing ca. 800 tons each, they are among the largest ancient monoliths and even of the whole of history. The supporting stone layer beneath features a number of stones which are still in the order of 350 t. In the quarry nearby, two Roman building blocks, which were intended for the same podium, even surpass 1,000 t, lying there unused since their extraction in ancient times.

Colossi of Memnon 700 t

The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years (since 1350 BC) they have stood in the Theban necropolis, across the River Nile from the modern city of Luxor. The twin statues depict Amenhotep III (fl. 14th century BC) in a seated position, his hands resting on his knees and his gaze facing eastwards towards the river.

Egypt Colossi Memnon Five largest moved monoliths in the world

The Colossi of Memnon

The statues are made from blocks of quartzite sandstone which was stone quarried at el-Gabal el-Ahmar and transported 675 km (420 miles) overland to Thebes. (They are too heavy to have been transported upstream on the Nile.) The blocks used by later Roman engineers to reconstruct the eastern colossus may have come from Edfu. Including the stone platforms on which they stand (about 4 metres (13 ft) themselves), the colossi reach a towering 18 metres (approx. 60 ft) in height and weigh an estimated 700 tons each. The two figures are about 15 metres apart.

Colossi of Memnon Five largest moved monoliths in the world

Amenhotep III's Sitting Colossi

The original function of the Colossi was to stand guard at the entrance to Amenhotep’s memorial temple (or mortuary temple): a massive cult centre built during the pharaoh’s lifetime, where he was worshipped as a god-on-earth both before and after his departure from this world.

Alexander Column 600 t

The Alexander Column also known as Alexandrian Column, is the focal point of Palace Square in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The monument was erected after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon’s France. Named after Emperor Alexander I, who ruled Russia between 1801 and 1825, the column is an interesting piece of architecture and engineering.

Alexander Column in the Palace Square Five largest moved monoliths in the world

The Alexander Column in the Palace Square

The Alexander Column was designed by the French-born architect Auguste de Montferrand, built between 1830 and 1834, and unveiled on August 30, 1834. The monument — the tallest of its kind in the world — is 47.5 m (155 ft 8 in) tall and is topped with a statue of an angel holding a cross. The statue of the angel was designed by the Russian sculptor Boris Orlovsky. The face of the angel bears great similarity to the face of Emperor Alexander I.

Alexander Column in scaffolds Five largest moved monoliths in the world

The Alexander Column in scaffolds

The column is a single piece of red granite, 25.45 m long and about 3.5 m in diameter. The granite monolith was obtained from Virolahti, Finland and in 1832 transported by sea to Saint Petersburg, on a barge specially designed for this purpose, where it underwent further working. Without the aid of modern cranes and engineering machines, the column, weighing 600 tonnes (661 tons), was erected by 3,000 men under the guidance of William Handyside in less than 2 hours. It is set so neatly that no attachment to the base is needed.

Beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces

The Banaue Rice Terraces are 2000-year old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by ancestors of the indigenous people. The Rice Terraces are commonly referred to by Filipinos as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. The terraces are located approximately 1500 meters (5000 ft) above sea level and cover 10,360 square kilometers (about 4000 square miles) of mountainside. They are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. It is said that if the steps are put end to end it would encircle half the globe.

Banaue Rice Terrace Beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces

Beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces

The Banaue Terraces are part of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, ancient sprawling man-made structures from 2,000 to 6,000 years old. They are found in the provinces of Kalinga, Apayao, Benguet, Mountain Province and Ifugao, and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nature Tours Banaue Rice Terrace1 Beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces

Nature Tours Banaue Rice Terrace

photo source

Locals to this day still plant rice and vegetables on the terraces, although more and more younger Ifugaos do not find farming appealing, often opting for the more lucrative hospitality industry generated by the Rice Terraces. The result is the gradual erosion of the characteristic “steps”, which need constant reconstruction and care. In 2010 a further problem was drought, with the terraces drying up completely in March of that year.

Banaue Rice Terraces  Beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces

photo source

The Banaue Rice Terraces do not have recorded data on how it was conceived in history, and that historical account involving China before the Shang Dynasty is disputable. However, historical studies and evidence have linked the terraces to the Miao tribe that thrived in China. Emperor Yu the great launched a siege to eliminate the Miao tribe who rebelled against him from 2205 to 2106 BC. The survivors of the Miao tribe fled to the south where some of them crossed the South China Sea and it is postulated that a group of these survivors reached the Cordilleras.

Banaue Rice Terraces Province of Ifugao Beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terraces Province of Ifugao

photo source

The Miao tribe who were one of the official group minorities recognized in mainland China, they lived in cold wet mountain regions which would have made the Cordillera Mountains an easy transition from what they were used to in the mountainous southwestern region of China. Chinese features are also clearly seen in the natives of Northern Luzon. Similarly, the rituals and traditions of the Igorots and Ifugaos also show a significant resemblance to Miao culture.

Banaue Rice Terrace  Beautiful Banaue Rice Terraces

Banaue Rice Terrace Close Up

The Miao are also known for cultivating terraced paddy fields and this innovation was brought to the Cordilleras, along with the influence of Tang Dynasty trading were also adapted, carabaos, fruits such as mandarin oranges, vegetables, utensils, pottery and handicraft. The Banaue Rice Terraces became prevalent with the Miao interaction with ethnic cultures of the Cordilleras before the advent and arrival of the Spanish Inquisition. This acculturation of the two cultures took on a new identity in a different environment which links us to the first records in history of the terraces

Amazing rock engravings

Petroglyphs (also called rock engravings) are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as “carving”, “engraving”, or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images. Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are often (but not always) associated with prehistoric peoples. The word comes from the Greek words petros meaning “stone” and glyphein meaning “to carve”, and was originally coined in French as pétroglyphe.

Buddhas at ili Amazing rock engravings

Buddhist carvings

The oldest petroglyphs are dated to approximately the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, if not earlier (Kamyana Mohyla). Around 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, other precursors of writing systems, such as pictographs and ideograms, began to appear. Petroglyphs were still common though, and some cultures continued using them much longer, even until contact with Western culture was made in the 20th century. Petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica with highest concentrations in parts of Africa, Scandinavia, Siberia, southwestern North America and Australia.

Tanbaly Amazing rock engravings

Tamgaly petroglyphs in Kazakstan

There are many theories to explain their purpose, depending on their location, age, and the type of image. Some petroglyphs are thought to be astronomical markers, maps, and other forms of symbolic communication, including a form of “pre-writing”. Petroglyph maps may show trails, symbols communicating time and distances traveled, as well as the local terrain in the form of rivers, landforms and other geographic features. A petroglyph that represents a landform or the surrounding terrain is known as a Geocontourglyph. They might also have been a by-product of other rituals: sites in India, for example, have been identified as musical instruments or “rock gongs”.

Arizona petroglyph Amazing rock engravings

Petroglyphs at Painted Rock near Gila Bend

Some petroglyph images probably had deep cultural and religious significance for the societies that created them; in many cases this significance remains for their descendants. Many petroglyphs are thought to represent some kind of not-yet-fully understood symbolic or ritual language. Later glyphs from the Nordic Bronze Age in Scandinavia seem to refer to some form of territorial boundary between tribes, in addition to possible religious meanings. It also appears that local or regional dialects from similar or neighboring peoples exist. The Siberian inscriptions almost look like some early form of runes, although there is not thought to be any relationship between them. They are not yet well understood.

Rock carving known as Meerkatze Amazing rock engravings

Rock carving known as "Meerkatze" rampant lionesses in Wadi Methkandoush, Mesak Settafet region of Libya.

Some researchers have noticed the resemblance of different styles of petroglyphs across different continents; while it is expected that all people would be inspired by their surroundings, it is harder to explain the common styles. This could be mere coincidence, an indication that certain groups of people migrated widely from some initial common area, or indication of a common origin. In 1853 George Tate read a paper to the Berwick Naturalists’ Club at which a Mr John Collingwood Bruce agreed that the carvings had “… a common origin, and indicate a symbolic meaning, representing some popular thought.” In his cataloguing of Scottish rock art, Ronald Morris summarised 104 different theories on their interpretation.

RochesterPanel Amazing rock engravings

Rochester Rock Art Panel in the San Rafael Swell in Utah

Other, more controversial, explanations are grounded in Jungian psychology and the views of Mircea Eliade. According to these theories it is possible that the similarity of petroglyphs (and other atavistic or archetypal symbols) from different cultures and continents is a result of the genetically inherited structure of the human brain.

Tracks at Barnesville Petroglyph Amazing rock engravings

Animal print carvings outside of Barnesville, Ohio

Other theories suggest that petroglyphs were made by shamans in an altered state of consciousness, perhaps induced by the use of natural hallucinogens. Many of the geometric patterns (known as form constants) which recur in petroglyphs and cave paintings have been shown by David Lewis-Williams to be “hard-wired” into the human brain; they frequently occur in visual disturbances and hallucinations brought on by drugs, migraine and other stimuli.

800px Ute Petroglyphs in Arches National Park Amazing rock engravings

Ute Petroglyphs in Arches National Park

Chipping petroglyph Amazing rock engravings

Chipping petroglyph on the White Tank Mountain Regional Park Waterfall Trail, Arizona

Kyrgyz Petroglyphs Amazing rock engravings

Petroglyphs at Cholpon-Ata in Kyrgyzstan

petroglyph of a caravan of bighorn sheep Amazing rock engravings

A petroglyph of a caravan of bighorn sheep near Moab, Utah, USA

Petroglyphs in the Columbia River Gorge Amazing rock engravings

Columbia River Gorge, Washington

Petroglyphs of Qobustan Amazing rock engravings

Petroglyphs in Gobustan, Azerbaijan dating back to 10,000 BC indicating a thriving culture.

Petroglyphs on a Bishop Tuff tableland  Amazing rock engravings

Petroglyphs on a Bishop Tuff tableland, eastern California

Petroglyphs on Newspaper Rock Amazing rock engravings

Petroglyphs on Newspaper Rock near Canyonlands National Park, south of Moab

Scena di duello R6   Foppe   Nadro Foto Luca Giarelli Amazing rock engravings

Duel in Foppe of Nadro, Val Camonica, Italy

Sweden Brastad Petroglyph Skomakaren Aug Amazing rock engravings

Carving "The Shoemaker", Brastad, Sweden

ParrasPetroglyphs Amazing rock engravings

Outside Parras, Coahuila, Mexico

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