Along the wild Pacific coast of British Columbia, there lives a population of the sea wolves. “We know from exhaustive DNA studies that these wolves are genetically distinct from their continental kin,” says McAllister. “They are behaviourally distinct, swimming from island to island and preying on sea animals. They are also morphologically distinct — they are smaller in size and physically different from their mainland counterparts,” says Ian McAllister, an award-winning photographer who has been studying these animals for almost two decades.
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McAllister captured the magic of these wolves in breath-taking pictures. As he swam towards them, “the curious canines approached him so closely that he could hear them grunting into his snorkel. He took several frames, then pushed back into deeper water without daring to look up,” writes the bioGraphic.
One could almost call these sea wolves pescatarians – 90 percent of their food comes directly from the ocean, with a fourth of it coming from eating salmon. On top of having distinctive food patterns, sea wolves are also excellent swimmers, with their farthest record being swimming to an archipelago 7.5 miles from the nearest landmass.
Museo Atlantico, Europe’s first underwater contemporary art museum deployed the first phase of sculptures by internationally acclaimed sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor this February. Situated in clear blue waters off the coast of Lanzarote in the Canary Island, Spain, Museo Atlantico is a unique museum featuring a series of sculptural installations constructed 12m beneath the ocean’s surface. Accessible to snorkelers, divers and observers through glass bottom boats, the museum is due to be completed by December 2016 and will consist of ten underwater galleries.
The project, draws on the dialogue between art and nature, is designed on a conservational level to create a large scale artificial reef to aggregate local fish species and increase marine biomass. On the other hand, the work questions the commodification and delineation of the world´s natural resources and land masses raising awareness to current threats facing the world’s oceans. An extraordinary series of underwater artworks; concrete figures representing desperate refugees, selfie-taking tourists and fantastical hybrids of people and plants drawn from the flora and fauna of Lanzarote, over time the work will be transformed as they are slowly colonised by the local marine life.
The central concept of the Museo Atlantico is depicted by means of a monumental gateway and division that includes a series of installations based on the dialogue between past and present and the divisions between society with both political and social commentary. Referencing Lanzarote’s unique status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the works will incorporate a large scale architectural installation and an underwater botanical sculpture garden featuring a variety of Lanzarote’s local species.
The Museum is constructed using environmentally friendly, pH neutral inert materials including a specially developed marine grade cement, stainless steel structures and fibre glass spun rebar. The formations of the sculptures are tailored to suit the endemic marine life, positioned in a bay with modest current marine colonization. The project will create a new habitat area for marine life whilst reaffirming Lanzarote as a modern, dynamic and cultural island celebrating its unique natural resources and will occupy an area of previously barren sand-covered sea bed 50m x 50m.
The museum will be the first underwater museum in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean and is designed to last for hundreds of years but will be an ever changing exhibition as marine life changes and transforms the surfaces of the sculptures. It opens to visitors at the end of February, with new galleries added throughout the year until the museum is completed by the end of 2016.
Referencing ongoing divisions in society the Rubicon consists of a crowd of 35 human figures walking towards an underwater gateway; a boundary between two realities and a portal to the Atlantic Ocean. The sculptures are cast from the local community of the island of Lanzarote.
The photographers intend to initiate a debate on the use of new technologies and voyeurism in today’s society.
This is a cactus-man, a depiction of the Syrian refugee crisis and an underground botanical garden.
Raft of Lampedusa
A harrowing observation of the ongoing humanitarian crisis referencing Gericault’s painting. Representing the abandonment suffered by sailors in his shipwreck, the sculpture aims to draw a parallel from the controversial situation of the current refugee crisis, where many are abandoned by society or a lack of humanity: a reflection on hope and loss.
A 1,400-year-old ginkgo tree in China has recently drawn thousands of people from all over the country. Golden leaves have been falling on the ground since mid-November, turning the temple’s ground into a yellow ocean. The ancient tree grows next to the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains and is a perfect celebration of autumn.
The ginkgo tree, also known as the maidenhair, is sometimes referred to as a “living fossil” because, despite all the drastic climate changes, it has remained unchanged for more than 200 million years. It is a living link to the times when the dinosaurs ruled the earth.
Architect Patrick Dillon built this sustainable house on a forested hilltop in Panama from salvaged materials that had to be brought to the site by boat and horseback (+ slideshow).
The project to design and build the SaLo House, which is named after its location near the tip of Punta de San Lorenzo, began in 1997 when Dillon was working on the construction of a bridge over the San Pablo River in southwestern Panama.
The architect spent his weekends surfing at nearby Santa Catalina and decided it would be the perfect place to build an idyllic off-grid home.
“I was sitting out in the break one summer evening admiring a spectacular sunset and it occurred to me that I should look for some land to build a house on,” Dillon told Dezeen. “The next day I rented a boat and drove up the coast. That was the start of a five-year process of acquiring land and building the house.”
Dillon settled on a hilltop site that had been devastated by slash-and-burn farming and was only accessible by land during the dry season. This prompted him to construct the house from lightweight materials that were transported by boat and then carried up the hillside by hand or with the help of horses.
Most of the materials used in the house were salvaged from the bridge project, including steel channels that were bolted together on site to make beam sections for the arching roof structure. A similarly low-impact house built in an Ecuadorian rainforest uses locally sourced bamboo for its structural framework.
Galvanised metal purlins that span the spaces between the beams support a corrugated steel roof. The roof arcs upwards to the north and south from its lowest point, and is designed to funnel prevailing winds from either direction through the interior to act as natural ventilation.
Other unusual building materials employed in the project include corrugated fibreglass panels used for the sliding walls and surfaces made from galvanised lath covered in plaster. The flooring is mostly recycled pressure-treated pine or Douglas fir that was salvaged from demolished houses in the region.
A key aspect of the project was the revival of the site’s natural ecosystem, which had been ruined by the unregulated agricultural activity. Random planting and the introduction of an open-air cistern filled with captured rainwater were introduced to support the site’s gradual rejuvenation.
“All we had to do to make it more liveable was plant trees and shrubs and let Mother Nature take her course,” Dillon said. “Once we had the cistern built we experienced an explosion of life; trees and plants, birds, frogs, iguanas, monkeys, deer – everything that had been hunted to near extinction came back.”
The rainwater cistern also functions as a swimming pool and the water stored within it and in a series of other tanks is used for kitchen cleaning and bathrooms. Solar panels generate electricity that is stored in batteries and used to power lighting, fans, computers and other electronic equipment.
Almost 20 years on from the project’s initiation, the building and its environs are continually evolving as the architect makes gradual improvements and the natural ecosystem reestablishes itself.
“The place has grown old gracefully, as I believe architecture should,” said Dillon. “The most remarkable change has been wrought by Mama Nature. Whereas the house originally sat on that burned-out knob, it is now buried deep within a fantastic hilltop forest teeming with life.”
Dillon and his family currently only visit the house at weekends, but he plans to initiate a workshop for visiting architecture and science students that would see new structures erected on the 50-hectare site to facilitate research projects.
The intention is to work with architects and scientists to promote sustainable building methods and the study of various aspects of the local environment, such as its geology and marine life, alongside the indigenous population.
“While we have a lot to share with [the local communities], they also have a lot to share with us and we believe that it’s with this sort of collaborative effort that we can actually start to make important changes in the world, starting with our little corner of it,” Dillon added.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an American scientific agency with roots that reach back to 1807. Its mission is to “understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.” Over the years, NOAA has amassed a sizable library of photographs of our natural world, some of which I've selected here. To explore more NOAA photos, be sure to browse their albums on Flickr.
A a hundred-kilometre array of floating boundaries developed by a 20-yr-previous inventor aims to obvious the oceans of squander plastic, and is one of the projects shortlisted for this year’s Types of the 12 months award (+ slideshow).
Dutch engineering student Boyan Slat designed The Ocean Cleanup concept with the purpose of clearing the oceans of their plastic gyres – floating islands produced of tens of millions of parts of squander that accumulate in which currents converge.
There are presently 5 key gyres, containing millions of items of plastic for each square kilometre that are continuously relocating in a rotating formation. The gyres add to the believed 500 million kilos of plastic waste at present floating in the world’s oceans.
Previous proposals for removing this waste have concerned employing nets and standard trawling functions, but have been regarded way too high-priced and perhaps detrimental to wildlife.
Slat’s proposed resolution involves 100 kilometres of floating filters that remain static, relatively than becoming pulled by means of the drinking water, and act as a barrier to acquire waste.
“A cleanup of our oceans has constantly been considered not possible, costing billions of bucks and 1000’s of several years,” explained a statement from Slat’s The Ocean Cleanup organisation.
“[Our] answer is a notion to passively thoroughly clean the oceans of plastic in just a number of years’ time. The notion would utilise the all-natural currents to let the oceans clean on their own, in what would turn out to be the premier cleanup in background.”
Described as “the premier structure ever deployed on the oceans”, the boundaries would be organized in two fifty-kilometre arms linked to a central system, forming a V-condition.
These would only filter the top three metres of drinking water, as Slat’s studies found that this was where the optimum concentration of plastic garbage could be discovered in the world’s oceans. The main currents operate deeper than this, lowering the possible for “bycatch” – fish and other ocean lifestyle that get caught and die.
As plastic is caught in the array, the movement of the h2o would thrust it by natural means towards the system, where the debris can be extracted and sorted.
“The Ocean Cleanup estimates the cost of getting rid of one particular kilogram of plastic at €4.fifty three,” stated the organisation. “This is 33 moments cheaper than conventional ocean cleanup strategies, whilst also currently being an approximated seven,900 instances more rapidly.”
“Almost 50 percent of the plastic inside of the North Pacific Gyre – about 70,000,000 kilograms – can be taken out inside of 10 several years,” it added.
The system would have a 10,000-metre-cubed potential, and would be emptied every one and a 50 % months. Its processing capabilities would be powered by energy collected making use of a rig of 162 photo voltaic panels.
According to Slat, a big amount of the plastic gathered could then be recycled or turned into oil merchandise using a chemical process called pyrolysis.
Slat first came up with the idea in 2011 when he was sixteen, right after a diving holiday getaway in Greece exactly where he noticed a enormous quantity of plastic waste in the h2o. He produced this into a university venture, which was offered an award by Delft’s University of Technologies.
Slat started a diploma in aerospace engineering at Delft University in 2012, but needed to continue operating on The Ocean Cleanup, so set up a foundation to produce the scheme even more. Six months into his diploma, he put his scientific studies on maintain to pursue the project entire-time.
In 2013 a chat that he experienced given at a TED satellite celebration went viral, creating a wave of general public fascination that authorized Slat to raise the funds to launch a research expedition to the North Atlantic Gyre, followed by a massive-scale take a look at of his layout near the Azores Islands previous yr.
His organisation now has over 100 volunteers, such as scientists and engineers, and is supported by fifteen other establishments.
A crowdfunding marketing campaign has now been launched to pay for the up coming stage of the project, which involves a “collection of upscaled assessments, oceanographic discipline research and in-depth engineering to eradicate uncertainties and optimise technological design.”
Slat’s organisation ideas to launch a total-scale pilot of The Ocean Cleanup in the following three several years.
On this working day, ten years back, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck beneath the Indian Ocean near Indonesia, making a substantial tsunami that claimed more than 230,000 lives in fourteen various nations, one particular of the deadliest normal disasters at any time recorded. Nowadays, a lot of of the communities have recovered, although unpleasant reminiscences and some ruined buildings continue being in location. Throughout Asia right now, memorials have been held in remembrance of the hundreds of victims. Amid the commemorations, continued warnings from earthquake specialists that early-warning techniques want even far more improvement and funding in the area. Gathered right here are photographs of the 2004 function, a series of then-and-now comparison photos, and photographs from nowadays's memorials.
On this working day, 10 years back, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake struck beneath the Indian Ocean around Indonesia, producing a huge tsunami that claimed far more than 230,000 lives in fourteen various countries, 1 of the deadliest all-natural disasters ever recorded. Nowadays, several of the communities have recovered, even though unpleasant memories and some ruined structures remain in spot. Throughout Asia nowadays, memorials ended up held in remembrance of the thousands of victims. Amid the commemorations, continued warnings from earthquake experts that early-warning systems require even a lot more growth and funding in the location. Collected right here are photographs of the 2004 occasion, a series of then-and-now comparison photos, and pictures from present day memorials. [34 photos]
Seawater splashes in the air as the the first tsunami waves strike Ao Nang, Krabi Province, Thailand, on December 26, 2004. (David Rydevik)
In Mozambique, there’s a group of islands that is one of the most beautiful destinations on the African continent. Coral reefs surround the area together with the large population of dugongs and Nile crocodiles. You can also see flamingos walking around, eagles soaring high and a variety of other exotic animals while standing on any of the sandy beaches of the Bazaruto Archipelago – the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.
Bazaruto archipelago consists of five idyllic islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue. The area is protected as a conservation area and national park for its coral reefs, home of the over 2000 species of fish, whales and dolphins, which makes it the only official marine reserve in the country. The five types of turtles that swim through the waters of the Indian Ocean are also found here. With all these marine creatures found around the islands, there’s no doubt that this archipelago is a diver’s paradise.
The deserted sandy beaches of Bazaruto archipelago surrounded by turquoise waters is perfect for those who want to relax in peace, without the overwhelming crowds. The group of islands is isolated from the mainland thousands of years ago which helped the archipelago preserve its natural beauty.
Benguerra island is the second largest island in the Bazaruto Archipelago. It is approximately 55 square kilometers and lies 14km offshore. This is the must-visit site for those who like unspoiled white beaches, diving and fishing sites.