Saturday, December 31, 2011

9 Really Unusual Deserts

Kilometers of sand, rocks, sandbanks, and sceneries evoking lunar landscapes are all about a journey in a desert and are certainly, a unique adventure. All the deserts are not the same. Here are the most unusual deserts of the world.

1. A Desert With Lagoons - Lencois Maranhenses, Brasil
photo source
Amazingly stretched in Brazil, it is almost impossible to believe that the desert where water has no word is full of lagoons. Situated in the State of Maranhao on the north shore, this desert is in the Lencois Maranhenses National Park where white dunes and blue lagoons have a contrasting match.

Monday, December 26, 2011

12 Countries Where Penguins Are Native

Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Although all penguin species are native to the southern hemisphere, they are not found only in cold climates, such as Antarctica. In fact, only a few species of penguin live so far south. Several species are found in the temperate zone, and one species, the Galápagos Penguin, lives near the equatorThe territory of Antarctica is not on  the list, because Antarctica is not a country.

1. Ecuador (Galapagos Islands)
Galapagos Penguins  photo source
There are 17 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Ecuador: Humboldt Penguin and Galapagos Penguin.
* The Galapagos Penguin is a penguin endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only penguin that lives north of the equator in the wild; it can survive due to the cool temperatures resulting from the Humboldt Current and cool waters from great depths brought up by the Cromwell Current.

Friday, December 23, 2011

12 Things You Didn't Know About Africa

Africa is a weird and wonderful continent. There are so many facts about Africa which we don’t really know at all. The continent of Africa possesses some unique and marvelous, biological and geological attributes. Also, the African people and the impressive amalgam of African cultures is what makes Africa a truly interesting continent.

1. Home to 55 000 Penguins
photo source
African Penguins are endangered, with around 55 000 remaining in the world.  Roughly 4 million penguins existed at the beginning of the last century. The total population fell to 200 000 in the year 2000; ten years later, in 2010, the number was estimated to be only at 55 000. If this decline is not halted, the African Penguin is expected to be extinct within 15 years.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

9 Odd Towns & Villages

1. The Village With a Population of Just One Person, USA
photo source
Monowi's peak years were in the 1930s, when it had a population of 150. Like many other small communities in the Great Plains, it lost its younger residents to cities that were experiencing growth and offering better jobs. During the 2000 census, the village had a total population of 2; only one married couple, Rudy and Elsie Eiler, lived there. Mr. Eiler died in 2004, leaving his wife as the only remaining resident. In this capacity, she acts as Mayor, granting herself a liquor license and paying taxes to herself. She is required to produce a municipal road plan every year in order to secure state funding for the village's four street lights.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

9 Interesting Ethnic Enclaves From Around the World

Ethnic enclaves are portions of a city or state that are predominately made up of one ethnic group. The residents of these enclaves often seem to live separately from the surrounding community. Yet, they are still a part of the surrounding societies.

1. Largest Japantown in the World - Liberdade, Brasil
photo source
Liberdade is the name of a district in the subprefecture in São Paulo, Brazil. It is home to the largest Japanese community (more than 60.000 peoples) outside of Japan in the world and has been growing since the 1950s. Liberdade is São Paulo's own equivalent of Japantown in the USA. Significant populations of Chinese and Koreans also live in the district of Liberdade.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

8 Smallest National Capitals in the World

The world's smallest national capitals are all either in small island nations or in European microstates. You've probably heard about larger villages than these capital cities... 

8. Valletta, Malta
photo source
Population:  5.666 inhabitants (census 2011)
Valletta, Malta’s capital and a World Heritage site, is nothing short of an open-air museum. It is a living experience of Baroque architecture, a monument donated by the Knights of St John nearly five centuries ago.  This town is located in the central-eastern portion of the island of Malta, and the historical city has a population of 5.666. Valleta is strategically located on a rocky promontory between two deep harbors. Dockyards line the harbors and employ more workers than any other industry. Tourism is also an important industry.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

10 Largest Cities Within the Arctic Circle

There are 10 cities with a population of around 30,000 or more which are north of the Arctic Circle (latitude 66° 33′ 44″N) and therefore have at least one day per year when the sun never rises. All of these cities are in Russia (mostly the northwest) or Norway. In contrast, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle in North America is Barrow, Alaska, with only around 4,000 people. While the cities below are quite cold, most still have a milder climate than anyplace north of the Arctic Circle in North America.

10. Kirovsk, Russia
Kirovsk at night  -  photo source

Friday, December 2, 2011

11 Leaning Towers From Around the World

A leaning tower is a tower which, either intentionally, due to errors in design, construction or to subsequent external influence, does not stand perpendicular to the ground. This list is about these unusual buildings.
As a start, here is an infographic a structural engineer can get behind: leaning towers. The Economist provides this nice visualization of several famous cases. For example, Big Ben is leaning north-west by 0.26 degrees, or 17 inches and Germany’s Leaning Tower of Suurhusen is at an angle of 5.19 degrees. We will enumerate several more cases... Read on to learn more about each leaning tower.
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