Beautiful New Zealand: Earth’s Mythical Islands

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Milford Sound, perhaps New Zealand’s most famous scenic location, was long overlooked by early sailors and explorers, who didn’t realise the narrow entrance concealed an enormous and beautiful interior. It wasn’t discovered by Europeans until 1812. Named the eighth “wonder of the world”, its actually one of the wettest places on Earth, with rainfall creating cascades of waterfalls, some reaching a 1,000m in length. (Photo by Tom Walker/BBC Pictures/The Guardian) Continue reading »

Nothern Silence: Faroe Islands Landscape Photography By Kevin Faingnaert

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If you still have no idea where to spend your next vacation, you should definitely have a look at these stunning photographs of Faroe Islands. On a recent trip to this remote archipelago, Belgium based photographer Kevin Faingnaert has captured dramatic views of snowy mountains, steep cliffs, waterfalls, and remote settlements with its friendly inhabitants. Continue reading »

Carnival Queen Election on Canary Islands


Contestant Guacimara Alfonso performs on stage during the annual carnival queen election gala at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife. (Reuters)

Falkland Islands: A Look at the Disputed Territory

A decades-old dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom has put the remote Falkland Islands, which the Argentines call the Malvinas, back in the news just in time for the 30th anniversary of the Falkland Islands War. Those who follow Argentine politics say it has to do with pre-election opinion poll numbers for President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Perhaps the biggest reason it’s on both nation’s minds is a recent Edison Investment Research study suggesting that Britain could receive billions of dollars from oil recovered around the English-speaking UK Overseas Territory.

Kirchner lodged an official complaint with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week over the UK’s decision to send “nuclear weapons” to the Falkland Islands in defiance of a treaty that seeks to establish a nuclear-free zone in the South Atlantic. Britain argues that its sovereignty over the islands predates the existence of the state of Argentina and it will endure so long as the islanders wish to remain British.

The Falkland Islands remain an agricultural society that is heavily dependent on tourism. Grumblings of further dispute between the two nations are troublesome for the Islands’ welcoming image. The Falkland Islands are situated in the South Atlantic some 400 miles east of the South American mainland and 850 miles north of the Antarctic Circle. East and West Falkland have a landmass comparable to that of Connecticut and are home to fewer than 3,000 islanders.

With nearly 500,000 sheep in the Falklands, there are roughly 163 sheep per person. There are also more than 500,000 breeding pairs of penguins camped out along the rugged coast.


A sign is seen on a side road warning locals to steer clear from land mines which were laid in the Falkland Islands. Most of the 150 minefields were laid around the capital Stanley when Argentine forces landed there in April 1982 to claim the islands taken by the British in 1833. The British armed forces defeated the Argentines 10 weeks later in a brutal war that killed 650 Argentines and 250 British. (REUTERS / Enrique Marcarian) Continue reading »

Mass Whale Slaughter in Faroe Islands Turns Sea Blood Red

The sea of Faroe Islands in north of Europe turned red with the blood of hundreds of whales killed by the inhabitants, as a part of their annual whale hunting culture. Every year the islanders catch and slaughter pilot whales (Globicephala melaena) during the traditional whale hunt known as ‘Grindadrap’. Being an autonomous province of Denmark, where whaling is banned, the Faroe Islands’ laws allow the mass slaughter of pilot whales, beaked whales and dolphins to observe the annual tradition.

“It is unacceptable for the Faroe Islands to preserve separate laws that allow inhabitants to continue the whale slaughter,” PETA mentions in its action alert “Stop the Bloody Whale Slaughter” urging government to stop the massacre.

Inhabitants of Faroe Islands catch and slaughter pilot whales (Globicephala melaena) during the traditional ‘Grindadrap’ (whale hunting in Faroese) near the capital Torshavn, November 22, 2011. (REUTERS/Andrija Ilic) Continue reading »

Volcanic Eruption in Canary Islands Produces Large Sea Stains

The underwater volcanic eruptions that began on Monday are continuing off the coast of the Canary Island of El Hierro. On Tuesday, over 600 people in the southernmost town of La Restinga were evacuated from their homes. They remained out of their homes on Friday as scientists continued to assess the situation.

As the photos below show, two large green stains are now visible on the surface of Las Calmas Sea. In addition to the stains, officials at Spain’s Instituto Geografico Nacional (IGN) report a strong smell of sulfur and the presence of dead fish floating on the surface. Scientists said the fish were likely killed by gas escaping from the subsea volcano.

El Hierro, which means iron in Spanish, was designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in 2000 with 60% of its territory protected. It is currently the most volcanically active of the Canaries and has the largest number of volcanoes, including over 500 open sky cones, another 300 covered by the most recent outflows, and some 70 caves and volcanic galleries.

An aerial view shows a stained area in the sea caused by submarine eruption, on the south coast of the Canary Island of El Hierro October 13, 2011. Officials in the volcanic island of El Hierro ordered the preventive evacuation of the village of La Restinga on Tuesday, after submarine eruptions 5 km (3 miles) from the island. (REUTERS / Gobierno de Canarias) Continue reading »