It’s Earth Day and all around the world people are coming together to celebrate the environment and show support for ways to protect it. We all take the world around us for granted and it’s easy to forget just how amazing it really is. Sometimes you need to take a step back to see why something is worth saving. So here are some incredible aerial shots of nature as a reminder.
1. Churún-Merú – Venezuela
If you’ve ever sobbed over the film Up, you may recognise this waterfall, which was the inspiration of the Paradise Falls setting in the film. With a height of 979 metres (3,212ft), Angel Falls in Venezuela is the highest interrupted waterfall in the world and staring at the fall is enough to give anyone vertigo.
2. El Calafate – Patagonia
The intricate arteries and electric blues of this shot look more like they were painted on, but this is actually the river system of the Santa Cruz river around El Calafate, Patagonia captured from a plane.
3. Lake Natron – Tanzania
A stunning sight, the blood-red Lake Natron is an eerie place. The steaming hot lake can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, is full of red bacteria and contains so much soda and salt that it has been known to calcify animals, preserving them in such a way that they look like they were turned to stone.
4. Copper River Delta – Alaska
The Copper River Delta in Alaska is home to some of the best salmon in the world and giver of life to a huge ecosystem. Draining an area of over 700,000 acres this is Mother Nature at her mightiest and most beautiful.
5. Great Barrier Reef – Australia
At 2,300km long the Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders that can only be fully seen from above. Even in this image it’s hard to capture its size and it’s so vast that it’s the only living structure visible from space.
6. Owyhee River – Idaho
A popular destination for rafting, the Owyhee River in Idaho cuts through the landscape for over 200 miles. The high canyon walls stretch up to 1,000ft in places, which are daunting from below but the sheer scale can only really be captured from above.
7. Kasatochi Island – Alaska
Probably an island you wouldn’t want to find yourself marooned on, Kasatochi Island is actually a volcano and one of the Andrean of Islands in southwestern Alaska. Looking like the set of a prehistoric movie, Kasatochi is still active and last erupted in 2008.
8. Maelifell Green Volcano – Iceland
Often referred to as the Land of Fire and Ice, it’s not hard to see why Iceland has earned this name with this amazing image of the Maelifell Volcano. Located on the edge of the Myrdalsjökull Glacier, Maelifell Volcano is is covered in snow in the winter, until it melts in the summer to reveal a lush green moss surface. The view from the top is said to be incredible but this photo from above is awe-inspiring.
9. Forest – Poland
Some of nature’s best kept secrets are only discovered by air. This clearing in a forest near Gydnia, Poland, was shot by native pilot and photographer Kacper Kowalski and sums up Autumn perfectly.
10. Lake Superior – Canada
Fancy a swim? The crystal water is so clear in Lake Superior near Thunder in Ontario, Canada, that from above you can see deep beneath the water. The world’s largest freshwater lake has over 400 hundred islands, some small like this one and others that stretch up to 207 square miles.
11. Elephant Foot Glacier – Greenland
This stunning aerial shot taken in Greenland, makes the Elephant Foot Glacier look like something out a sci-fi movie as it literally spills out of the mountains. This is one of many of Greenland’s glaciers that account for up to 20% of the rise in sea level created by the region’s melting. One of the many results of climate change, which is something that Earth Day helps to raise awareness of.