Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps

Five rare and awe-inspiring mountain and river maps

When it comes to design - the Victorians did it better. Nothing quite matches these 19th Century comparative river and mountain maps for exquisite hand-drawn detail, meticulous scale and luminous beauty. It makes me wonder, how can anyone not love old maps? A New Cartographic Convention One of the forerunners for this kind of map…

Summer in Melbourne Part 1: Mushroom Reef Sanctuary, Flinders.

Secrets of the Mornington Peninsula: Mushroom Reef Sanctuary, Flinders.

Following on from my previous post about Tyabb Packing Centre, here is another little known wonder from the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne where I return to whenever I get the chance.  The Mushroom Reef Sanctuary is home to a gigantic mushroom shaped basalt reef near Flinders in Westernport Bay. Located 86 km from central Melbourne,…

The Most Beautiful Maps on Earth

Map Porn Part 2: The Most Beautiful Geological Maps on Earth

Where Art Meets Science Scientific visualisations often can look just like objects of visual art. A few weeks ago in Part 1, we looked at how topographical surveys are visualised on both our moon and Jupiter's moon. This time, we are focusing on our own Pale Blue Dot. Both as art and scientific visualisation these…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Extinct volcanos in Auckland

Every Picture Tells a Story: Extinct volcanos in Auckland

There are approximately 53 volcanoes in Auckland, which have over thousands of years produced an array of interesting lagoons, tuft rings and lava flows in Auckland city. The biggest, most active and most visible volcano – Rangitoto sits on an island of the same name in Auckland harbour. This has erupted repeatedly over the past…

Every Picture Tells a Story: Extinct volcanos in Auckland

A Brief History of Auckland’s 53 Volatile Volcanoes

There are approximately 53 volcanoes in Auckland, which have over thousands of years produced an array of interesting lagoons, tuft rings and lava flows in Auckland city. The biggest, most active and most visible volcano - Rangitoto sits on an island of the same name in Auckland harbour. This has erupted repeatedly over the past…

Welcome to the rumbling belly of the shaky isles: Orakei Korako https://wp.me/p41CQf-JXQ

Welcome to the rumbling belly of the shaky isles: Orakei Korako

The earth's crust is made up of a patchwork of interlocking slabs (techtonic plates) which move independently like enormous ice flows. Today New Zealand straddles the boundary between the Indian, Australian and Pacific plates. Tremendous natural energy is released which results in many spectacular geologicial occurrences including mountain building, earthquakes and volcanic activity. Over the…

Welcome to the rumbling belly of the shaky isles: Taupo and Rotorua Part Two

Welcome to the rumbling belly of the shaky isles: Waiotapu

Waiotapu means sacred waters in Maori. It's an active geothermal area at the southern end of New Zealand's Taupo Volcanic Zone just outside of Rotorua. It's a place of surreal colour, beauty and otherworldly wonder. It's no exaggeration that you haven't seen anything like this before. The alchemy of mineral deposits mixing over thousands and sometimes millions of…

Sky-level beauty: Hawaii from above

Hawaii’s volcanic spectacle and Pele the Fire Goddess

This sky-level satellite image above shows how most of Puna is covered in a lush green canopy, with some visible lava flows in the District of Puna. Puna is one of the smaller islands in the American states of Hawaii. At around 1,300km2 Puna is slightly smaller than the island of Kaua.  It's subtropical climate and…

The Epic Story of Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland

The Epic Story of Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland

Inside of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a thousand steps seem to guard you from the surface of the world. A thousand false ceilings seem to call out and confuse your senses. So far away are you from the grounding blue of the sky and the sensation of dirt under your feet. Inside of this mine…

Oxidised metal films photographed using a microscope and an Amazon Fire phone by Reddit user Friz Face.

One person’s trash is another’s treasure: oxidised metal film under the microscope

They could be a collection of post-apocalyptic planets viewed from space. However these pieces of enchanting art were not made by humans but by natural phenomena. Science is beautiful. The excellent Reddit page MicroPorn features close up microscopic images of materials. This collection of oxidised metal films were photographed using a microscope and an Amazon Fire…

Geological Marvel, Art or Book? You Be The Judge!

Ancient Mineral, Art or Book?

San Fran based artist Alexis Arnold has managed to reimagine National Geographic magazines with the use of Borax crystals for a strange geological marvel of colourful striations. Glittering crystals are alive and growing on the gradients of colour, turning them from mere functional books to something akin to living art and also uncannily like a…

Free Online Course for Dreamers: Origins – Formation of the Universe, Solar System, Earth and Life

This is quite possibly the most amazing course ever presented on Coursera. It's called Origins - Formation of the Universe, Solar System, Earth and Life. A sweeping epic that begins at the moment of the Big Bang and the creation of matter and careens along at a throttling pace through Deep Time towards the Human…

Inter-Planetary Topography and Splashes of Colour

Map Porn Part 1: Inter-Planetary Topography

Have you ever pondered about the topography of the moon's surface? Well I have. My brain works in weird and wacky ways. So naturally before we expose what the moon's surface actually looks like, you need to see what the moon would look if you were on acid. courtesy of The Mighty Boosh. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4qxQRKAI2o Previously,…

Stunningly Beautiful Meteorite Section Looks Like An Email From Space

This striking and odd meteorite section looks like an email from space or a painting sent to earth by an alien race. For those who are curious (all of you!) these mystical, geometric markings are formed by post-atmospheric cooling. Although these striations and patterns are made by nature, they are reminiscent of a flyer for…

seal Milford Sound

New Zealand: An Ode To Young Volcanic Countries

Do you think that volcanic places make the most beautiful and dramatic destinations? I believe they do. Volcanic places are the crossroads of the earth's crust! Where the techtonic plates of the earth combine and form mountains, volcanic activity, thermal lakes and more. Think of Iceland and New Zealand, two of the most remote and…