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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Phenomenal Wonders of the natural World.....


WebEcoist and environmental oddities

When a thick lava flow cools, it contracts vertically
but cracks perpendicular to its directional flow with remarkable geometric regularity
- in most cases forming a regular grid of remarkable hexagonal extrusions
that almost appear to be made by man.

One of the most famous such examples is
the Giant's Causeway on the coast of Ireland (shown above),
though the largest and most widely recognized
would be Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

Basalt also forms different but equally fascinating ways
when eruptions are exposed to air or water.

Red tides are also known as algal blooms
- sudden influxes of massive amounts of colored single-cell algae
that can convert entire areas of an ocean or beach into a blood red color.

While some of these can be relatively harmless,
others can be harbingers of deadly toxins
that cause the deaths of fish, birds and marine mammals.

In some cases, even humans have been harmed by red tides
though no human exposure are known to have been fatal.

While they can be fatal,
the constituent phytoplankton in ride tides are not harmful in small numbers.

1 comment:

Saras said...

Exquisite collection of pictures! Interesting read Sir!