With the advent of modern digital technology and advanced photographic editing software, it’s increasingly harder to distinguish fake from real. There’s something potent that stirs the human psyche when
10. Dean Potter
Potter was an American free climber and base jumper. Free climbing is the impressive method of climbing through the use of one’s own strength and skill. In Potter’s case, he added danger to his methods by rarely using a climbing harness or safety line. Base jumping is the sport of jumping off stationary land based structures such as mountains or buildings. Once off the structure the sense of free fall can be intoxicating yet exhilarating, until reality sets back in and the jumper’s parachute deploys. Despite Potter’s impressive climbs and death-defying feats, fate eventually caught up with him. In May 2015, Potter and a friend died while base jumping from Taft Point above Yosemite Valley in California. It was a horrible accident in a jump that he’s completed on several occasions before.
9. Mount Fuji, Japan
At 12,388 ft. Mt. Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan. Every so often nature puts on a spectacular display. Lenticular clouds at the peak of the mountain will form. Lenticular clouds, so named for their signature lens-shape, form in the troposphere with their orientation set according to the wind direction. In many documented examples throughout history, they have been mistaken for UFOs. It’s not hard to see why. They can form quickly, sometimes in a matter of minutes. As winds travel along the surface of the earth and encounters large obstructions, such as a mountain, conditions may be just right to pull off a beautiful display in the sky.
8. Menorca, Spain
Paradise is in the Mediterranean Sea. There simply is no better way to describe living in Menorca of the Balearic Islands. This Spanish island has the perfect tropical climate all year round, with daytime highs averaging in January of 57°F to 85°F in August. The waters surrounding the island are as blue and clear as possibly can be. The sailboats anchored peacefully appear to float and glide majestically over the calm waters. This tiny little island is rich in culture and history. Artifacts and monuments provide evidence of the activity of prehistoric man. Throughout the ages, Menorca has seen many battles and conquerors on its shores. This gem of an island can surely provide many shocking images that were not photoshopped. It’s simply hard to believe such a paradise exists.
7. Nail Island, Thailand
Ko Tapu, or Nail Island, is a 66 ft. tall self-supporting rock tower in the middle of Phang Nga Bay in Thailand. This little islet appears ready to topple over at the slightest touch. Its top heavy body it supported at its base by a much narrower section. Unfortunately with all the notoriety and fame, the island has become increasingly unstable. This has forced the local government to take precautions to protect it from further erosion and possible collapse into the surrounding sea.
6. Cave of Crystals, Mexico
Nestled away in a remote part of the Mexican state of Chihuahua is the largest known deposit of naturally formed mega-sized crystals in the world. These would make even Superman jealous. Located in this cave are beautiful crystals weighing upwards of 55 tons. This almost alien world was discovered simply by chance, in the year 2000, during drilling operations at the nearby lead and silver mine. It’s actually quite a sensible find to a geologist though. The same processes that occurs in a naturally creating lead and silver provide the raw materials that readily produce crystals. Although not uncommon to find caverns of crystals, this was the first time such an impressively large find was discovered. One question still puzzles scientists to this day; just how did they get to be so large?
5. Algal Bloom
Also known as Red Tide, the algal bloom consists of microscopic algae that naturally occur in the waters of the world. These blooms can often sprout in high concentrations. When that occurs there is a tendency for massive temporary discoloration of the water, sometimes turning large areas blood red. Some varieties can be harmless to wildlife and humans while others are quite toxic and can cause serious health implications under certain conditions. Next time you see that the water is red as blood, it’s probably best to stay on the beach and work on your tan instead.
4. Seal Survivor
In this amazing escape, a seal that was supposed to be lunch for a massive Great White Shark managed to get away. The shark miscalculated his attack ever so slightly. This gave the little seal just enough time to react and jump up onto the nose of this king of the sea. From there he was able to dive back into the water and away from harm. This image was captured by a professional photographer near Seal Island off the coast of South Africa. Seal Island is home to roughly 64,000 seals, which likely explains why the Great White in town searching for an easy meal. Not today Jaws.
3. The Iceman
Born in 1959 in the Netherlands, Wim Hof is not a superhero, although in some ways he possesses superhero qualities. He was nicknamed Iceman after his impressive ability to withstand extreme cold became known to the world. He claims that his ability stems from his own talent in being able to “turn his own thermostat up” using only his mind. He spent several years proving his uncanny ability. In 2009, Hof climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in two days only wearing shorts. In 2007, he climbed Mount Everest similarly. Also, in 2009, he completed a full marathon (26.2 miles) north of the Arctic Circle in Finland. Temperatures dipped to -4°F, while the entire time Hof was barefoot and only wearing shorts. In 2011, Hof published a book about his amazing life titled Becoming the Iceman.
2. Giant George
Guinness World Records formally declared Giant George to be the world’s tallest living dog and the tallest dog ever although not the strongest dog in the world. This Great Dane, owned by David Nasser of Arizona, stands at a whopping 43 inches tall. George was born in 2005 and raised by his owner from the time he was a puppy to his record-breaking adult stature. Due to his height, George liked to sit on the couch similar to a regular human and slept in a queen sized bed. He also loved to ride around the neighborhood with his owner in their golf cart. Sadly, though, George passed away in 2013.
1. Hurricane Katrina
The year 2005 saw an immense tragedy occur in American history. Hurricane Katrina struck the United States. It is ranked as the 3rd most powerful storm to make landfall in U.S. history. This category 5 major hurricanes packed ravaging 175 mph winds that lead to more than 1,500 deaths and $108 billion in damage. Much of southeastern United States could not escape its wrath.