– a virtual travel experience

By: Linda Wasylciw

Niue – invites the boldest of travellers

Searching for the adventure of a lifetime, then look no further. Niue (‘New-ay’) means ‘behold the coconut’, and is the world’s smallest independent nation. This island lies in the middle of the Pacific triangle surrounded by Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands. Immerse yourself in an island of dramatic landscapes, whose culture, and way of life, [ Read More … ]

Purple Earth

The Earth’s signature color is and has been, for millions of years, green. However, if you step back roughly 2.4 billion years, our World may have been just as purple as it is green today. This was due to a purple-tinged molecule called retinal. Prior to the Great Oxygenation Event, as a result of the rise in [ Read More … ]

Trophy hunting

Big Game is the very essence of hunting in Africa. Trophy hunters shoot an estimated 50,000 rare animals a year in Africa, and if you have enough money and are so inclined, you can legally hunt pretty much any African animal, including lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, hippo and kudu. This is a serious business in [ Read More … ]

Peering into the abyss

World domination is not enough for mankind, we also want to go into space. And, at last, nature has conspired to let us see something thought to be invisible. More than 50 million light-years away, in the heart of a giant elliptical galaxy called Messier 87, in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster, is a Black [ Read More … ]

What’s Brewing in Yellowstone?

A supervolcano – aching to errupt.  The Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, is evidence of the simmering volcanic activity. In the event that the supervolcano did decide to blow its top: Vast amounts of ash, causing massive climate disruption would be a global disaster. Such an eruption would have an impact both [ Read More … ]

Seasonal Crack in Earth’s Magnetic Field

It might sound like science fiction but it is not. Earth is surrounded by a magnetic force-field, a bubble in space called “the magnetosphere” which is tens of thousands of miles wide. On March 16-17, 2019, a magnetic crack opened for more than 5 hours, creating a geomagnetic storm that sparked stunning auroras around the Arctic Circle. Although [ Read More … ]

Making it rain in the Sahara Desert

The Sahara has long been subject to periodic bouts of humidity and aridity; fluctuations caused by slight wobbles in the tilt of the Earth’s orbital axis, which in turn changed the angle at which solar radiation penetrated the atmosphere. The now-dessicated northern strip of Africa was once green and alive, pocked with lakes, rivers, grasslands [ Read More … ]

Singing from the heart

  Songbirds have both an esthetic and a scientific impact on humans, adding beauty and vitality to our environment. Birds can sound like sump-pumps, powersaws, outboard motors or crazed squirrels, or be sublime. Vocalizations may be used in song or calls of danger and other communications. HOW THEY SING – heart songs: Humans as well as most animals [ Read More … ]

Earth’s Super Volcanic Eruptions

The largest volcanic eruption recorded by humans occurred in April 1815. The peak of the explosion was Mount Tambora. The eruption ranked 7 (or “super-colossal”) on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), which goes from 1 to 8 and is somewhat akin to the magnitude scale for earthquakes. The explosion is said to have been so [ Read More … ]

The Earth’s supercontinent – Pangaea

The Earth’s continents are thought to have collided to become supercontinents and broken apart again several times in Earth’s 4.5 billion year history. About 300 million years ago, Earth had one massive supercontinent called Pangaea (Pangaeawas), which was surrounded by a single ocean called Panthalassa – not the seven continents that fit together like a tongue [ Read More … ]

Earth is covered in cosmic dust

The solar system contains a significant quantity of cosmic dust,  generated from comets when they orbit close to the sun and evaporate, and from collisions between asteroids in the region between Mars and Jupiter. 60 tons of Cosmic Dust is on an inter-planetary ride and landing on Earth every day. Incredibly small dust, kind of like [ Read More … ]

Earth is 70% oceans

Water is the lifeblood of our Earth.  The salty brines are constantly moving with the currents that churn a kaleidoscope of life. Only 5-10 percent of the planet’s vast seas have been explored – leaving more than 90% of the aquatic world unmapped, unobserved and unexplored – offering endless mysteries to discover. Moving water transports [ Read More … ]

Killer lakes of Africa

Lakes can explode releasing deadly clouds of volcanic gases. After a busy market day, on August 21, 1986, the people of the village of Lower Nyos (Cameroon) went to bed early. In the night there was a strange sound, like a distant explosion. More than 1.700 people died that night. Unharmed corpses of people and [ Read More … ]

Earth’s longest mountain chain

This mid-ocean ridge, formed by tectonic plates, is known as the 70,000 km-long volcano that runs through the dark recesses of all the world’s oceans, girding the globe. It is the planet’s largest magmatic system, with a seafloor terrain more varied and spectacular than almost anything found on dry land, with a collection of volcanic [ Read More … ]

Earth’s 2nd moon

is estimated to have been 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) wide and trailed the existing moon by approximately 60 degrees. It is thought to have orbited the Earth for tens of millions of years before catastrophically slamming into the remaining moon. The two moons coexisted peacefully for about 80 million years, each in its own stable orbit. [ Read More … ]

Earth’s Magnetic Field Is Weakening

It is not clear why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip. Such a flip is not instantaneous, and would take many hundred if not a few thousand years. Data suggests: magnetic north is moving toward Siberia. Earth’s magnetic field acts like an [ Read More … ]

Once in a blue moon

The most literal meaning of blue moon is when the moon appears, to the casual observer, an unusually bluish colour, which is rare . This effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere. In 1950 and 1951 muskeg fires smouldered, for several years, in Alberta, Canada, before suddenly developing into very major – [ Read More … ]

Why the sky is blue

Sunlight appears white to the human eye but is a mixture of all the colors of the rainbow, each distinguished by their different wavelength. When the sun’s light reaches the Earth’s atmosphere it is scattered, or deflected, by tiny molecules of gas in the air. Because these molecules are much smaller than the wavelength of visible [ Read More … ]

Giving in to wanderlust

Since the beginning of time humans have been wanderers. As hunter gatherers they migrated with the seasons, surviving on their finds. The reasons people leave their homes to voyage all over the globe are varied and very personal. Modern-day travel has made the journey luxurious and fast, getting to destinations otherwise unattainable. And rarely is [ Read More … ]

Have extraterrestrials visited Earth?

Have you ever seen a light zip across the night sky and wonder what might have created it? UFOs have fascinated and puzzled people for decades. The first reported UFO abduction case — and to this day the most famous — was that of Barney and Betty Hill, an interracial couple who in 1961 claimed to have [ Read More … ]

Lighthouse of the Pacific – Mt Yasur

the most accessible volcano in the world, is only a 150m walk from the parking area to the crater’s rim where tourists can peer down into the rumbling, exploding lava storm  – a sight not soon forgettable. We arrived as the sun was setting, welcomed by the silhouette of people on the rim as bright [ Read More … ]

Palmerston – an island at the end of the earth

The tiny Pacific island of Palmerston is one of the most isolated island communities in the world, visited by a supply ship twice a year – at most. The only other way to reach Palmerston Island is by sailboat. Sailing vessel Wyntersea, and crew, were there in 2007. It is an island paradise that is [ Read More … ]

Rising seas swallowing neolithic ruins on Orkney Islands

Scotland’s 5,000-year-old structures from the Neolithic Period, have fallen fall victim to rising seas, increasingly powerful storms, coastal erosion as well as other events and won’t be around for too much longer. Stone Age people built their castles near the sea because of itheir need to live off the ocean. Now, due to global warming, [ Read More … ]

Tasmania’s stunning volcanic chain

Hidden below the waves off the east coast of Australian, about 250 miles east of Tasmania, is this newly discovered diverse chain of volcanic seamounts. Mountains rise up from an abyssal plain, looming as tall as 9,800 feet. Some of the peaks are more than six times taller than the Empire State Building – with the tallest [ Read More … ]