Lake Magadi

If you ever need to salt your potato, a trip to Lake Magadi may be worth your while.

  • Lake Magadi is a lake found in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, Africa, that has a notably high salt content; and ‘magadi’ means ‘soda’ in the native Swahili language.
  • Lake Magadi covers an area greater than 100 square kilometres (39 square miles), and it is roughly 32 kilometres (20 miles) in length and 3.2 kilometres (2 miles) in width, at its furthermost points.
  •  The salt density of Lake Magadi is quite high, with some salt deposits in the lake reaching 40 metres (131 feet) in thickness.
  • Lake Magadi is mostly fed by water sources of a high salt content, including various hot springs on the edge of the lake, and some streams, particularly during the wet season; and the lake has no outlet, as the water mostly evaporates.
  • Due to Lake Magadi’s large quantities of salt, one of the only fauna species found in the lake is a cichlid fish, with the scientific name Alcolapia grahami, which is endemic to the edges of the lake where the water temperature is tolerable.
Lake Magadi, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Pink, Kenya, Africa, Salt, Water
Lake Magadi
Image courtesy of Ninara/Flickr
  • A type of mineral – trona – can be found abundant in Lake Magadi, from which sodium carbonate, or soda ash is extracted; a chemical that is commonly used in dyeing fabric, and creating glass and paper.
  • Lake Magadi is among the largest sources of trona in the world; and the lake is surrounded by igneous rocks, and sits at at the lowest part of the valley it is found in, at approximately 600 m (1968.5 feet) above sea level.
  • When Lake Magadi contains water, typically up to a metre deep (3.2 feet), it is a bright pink colour, as a result of the salt content.
  • Lake Magadi is a popular wading and breeding site for flocks of flamingos, and other birds also gather in the area, making it a favoured bird watching location.
  • Lake Magadi is under threat from pollution from nearby areas, partly from environmentally hazardous farming methods, and as a result the quality of soda ash mined from the lake has decreased in recent years.
Bibliography:
Kairu P, Lake Magadi Slowly Choking, 2015, Daily Nation,http://www.nation.co.ke/lifestyle/DN2/Lake-Magadi-slowly-choking–/-/957860/2798804/-/g28hplz/-/index.html
Lake Magadi, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Magadi
Lake Magadi, 2016, Encyclopaedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/place/Lake-Magadi
Lake Magadi and Around, 2016, Rough Guides, http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/africa/kenya/nairobi-around/southern-rift-valley/lake-magadi-around/

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The Mustang Caves

Is it worth climbing the treacherous heights of the Mustang Caves just to bury the dead?

  • The Mustang Caves is a network of manmade caves found in a remote area of Nepal, in the Himalaya mountain region, in Asia.
  • The ‘Mustang Caves’ are also known as the ‘Caves of Mustang’ and ‘Sky Caves of Nepal’.
  • Some of the Mustang Caves reach an elevation of 47 metres (155 feet) from the valley floor.
  • Around 10,000 caves are thought to be associated with the Mustang Caves network, many of which were homes, contain murals, or are sites of burials.
  • Originally the Mustang Caves were not accessible to foreigners as a result of political unrest in nearby Tibet, and since 1992, it has been open to visitors who obtain a permit.
Mustang Cave, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Rock, Face, Himalayas, Nepal, Place
Mustang Caves
Image courtesy of Elaphurus/Flickr
  • At least 8000 documents have been discovered in the Mustang Caves, most thought to originate from around the 1400s AD, and many are works of a spiritual nature.
  • Climbing up the Mustang Caves can be dangerous task, as rocks ahead are prone to loosening or crumbling, while the stability of the ledges are unpredictable.
  • It is thought that the Mustang Caves were originally used as gravesites, and were later adapted as shelters and homes, and by the 1400s, they were mostly abandoned and used for religious purposes.
  • Approximately two thirds to three quarters of the human bones found occupying the Mustang Caves have cuts on them, possibly as a result of the civilisation’s burial procedure of slicing the flesh off the bones and allowing vultures to consume it.
  • In the Mustang Caves area there are a few small towns and villages, and as the area once belonged to Tibet and was closed to outsiders for a long time, it has kept much of its historical language and culture, most of which reflects Tibetan customs.
Bibliography:
The Ancient Mysteries of Mustang’s Caves, 2013, BBC Travel, http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20130501-the-ancient-mysteries-of-mustangs-caves
Bond A, Mystery of the ancient kingdom discovered in Nepal where thousands of caves are carved 155ft off the ground, 2013, Daily Mail Australia, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2403094/Mystery-ancient-caves-Nepal.html
Cave People of the Himalaya, 2012, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/program/cave-people-himalaya/
The Mysterious Caves of Mustang, Nepal, 2016, Amusing Planet, http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/03/the-mysterious-caves-of-mustang-nepal.html
Finkel M, Sky Caves of Nepal, 2016, National Geographic, http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/mustang-caves/finkel-text

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Boiling River of Mayatuyacu

Don’t try your luck taking a dip in the Boiling River of Mayantuyacu.

  • The Boiling River of Mayantuyacu is a river that winds through the Amazon rainforest in central Peru, in South America.
  • The Boiling River of Mayantuyacu is also known as ‘Shanay-timpishka’, named by the local natives, translated to mean something like “boiled with the heat of the sun”.
  • The length of the heated part of the Boiling River of Mayantuyacu is about 6.4 kilometres (4 miles), with a depth of up to 5 metres (16 feet) and a width of up to 24 metres (80 feet).
  • The temperature of the Boiling River of Mayantuyacu ranges from 50°C to 100°C (122°F – 212°F), and it can quickly cause a third degree burn – burning all skin layers.
  • The Boiling River of Mayantuyacu is a peculiar phenomenon, as no active volcano is located near the river – the closest is approximately 700 kilometres (430 miles) away, as the source of other boiling rivers is typically volcano activity, though it is likely fed by a number of hot springs.
Mayantuyacu Boiling River, Hot, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Healer, steam, Amazon
Part of the Boiling River of Mayatuyacu
Image courtesy of Sofia Ruzo/The Boiling River Project
  • The Boiling River of Mayantuyacu is considered sacred, and is believed to be a place with spiritual and healing powers by the natives, who have long known of its existence.
  • The Boiling River of Mayantuyacu is the final resting place of animals unfortunate enough to wander into the water, as the temperatures cook the animals alive.
  • Robert Moran, an American geologist discovered the Boiling River of Mayantuyacu’s in the 193os, though it wasn’t until 2011 that scientific documentation began, by American geoscientist Andrés Ruzo, who rediscovered the river, led there by his aunt, after hearing tales of it twenty years earlier.
  • The local legend explains that the hot waters of the Boiling River of Mayantuyacu were released by a giant mythical serpent named ‘Yacumama’.
  • Due to its isolated location, the trek to the Boiling River of Mayantuyacu is potentially dangerous, and it is about an hour from the nearest health centre and three hours from the nearest hospital.
Bibliography:
The Boiling River of Mayantuyacu, Peru, 2016, Amusing Planet, http://www.amusingplanet.com/2016/02/the-boiling-river-of-mayantuyacu-peru.html
Breyer M, Mysterious 4-Mile Long River in Peru is so Hot is Actually Boils, 2016, Treehugger, http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/mysterious-4-mile-long-river-peru-so-hot-it-actually-boils.html
History of Site, 2016, The Boiling River, http://www.boilingriver.org/history-of-site/
Kim S, Peru‘s Mysterious ‘Boiling River’ that Burns Animals to Death, 2016, The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/south-america/peru/articles/peru-mysterious-boiling-river-that-can-burn-you-to-death/

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Ilulissat Icefjord

Ilulissat Icefjord makes even white a stunning site.

  • Ilulissat Icefjord is a glacier-carved channel of water found in the coastal area of west Greenland, near the town of Ilulissat.
  • ‘Ilulissat Icefjord’ is also known as ‘Ilulissat Isfjord’ in Danish and ‘Illulissat Kangia’ in native Greenlandic.
  • Ilulissat Icefjord is typically littered with icebergs as a result of ice breaking from the Jakobshavn glacier, or ‘Sermeq Kujalleq’ as it is called in Greenlandic, that feeds into the fjord, and large icebergs typically bank up at the mouth of the fjord as the water there is not deep enough for the icebergs to pass through.
  • In 2004, the UNESCO World Heritage Convention designated Ilulissat Icefjord as a World Heritage Site, and fjord has an area of approximately 40,240 hectares (99,435 acres).
  • The glacier of Ilulissat Icefjord, the Jakobshavn glacier, disperses 10% of all the ice released from Greenland’s glaciers, which equates to 46 cubic kilometres (11 cubic miles) per year, a figure greater than any other glacier in the world apart from those in Antarctica, and as of 2015, it moves approximately 40 metres (131 feet) a day, making it the fastest on earth, and it is gathering speed each year.
Ilulissat Icefjord, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Place, Greenland, Glacier, Sunset, Beautiful, Stunning
Part of the Ilulissat Icefjord
Image courtesy of Greenland Travel/Flickr
  • Due to the unique nature of Ilulissat Icefjord and its significant ice formations, the area is a site of extensive research that has been undertaken for centuries, and as a result is said to facilitate insight into climate change.
  • Ilulissat Icefjord begins at the Jakobshavn glacier, that forms from the Greenlandic ice sheet which covers most of the country, and exits into Disko Bay.
  • As a protected area, and for safety reasons, Ilulissat Icefjord has restrictions on various transport methods in the area, and visitors to the area may make use of scenic helicopter flights; dog sledding; or hiking on foot; and while there is generally an opportunity to sail around the mouth of the fjord, boating is restricted in the fjord.
  • Icebergs that travel from Ilulissat Icefjord, move into Disko Bay and out into Baffin Bay, and eventually into the North Atlantic Ocean.
  • Among the best times of year to visit Ilulissat Icefjord is during the summer when the sun never sleeps, causing the sky to silhouette in bright oranges behind the ice.
Bibliography:
Destubatuib Avannaavisit the Ilulissat Icefjord, n.d, Ilulissat Kangia, http://kangia.gl/Besoeg%20isfjorden.aspx?sc_lang=en
Ilulissat Icefjord, 2016, UNESCO World Heritage Convention, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1149
Ilulissat Icefjord, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilulissat_Icefjord
Woodall S, Ilulissat Icefjord, n.d, Greenland, http://www.greenland.com/en/things-to-do/nature-experiences/ilulissat-icefjord/

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Maungawhau

Maungawhau cannot stop the grass from growing green.

  • Maungawhau is a dormant volcano found in the city of Auckland, New Zealand and it is a cinder cone with a deep crater.
  • ‘Maungawhau’ is officially called ‘Maungawhau-Mt Eden’, and it is also known as ‘Mt Eden Crater’, ‘Mount Eden’, ‘Mount Eden Volcano’, and ‘Eden Crater’.
  • Maungawhau is easily accessible from the centre of Auckland and the summit gives 360 degree views across the city, and as such, approximately 1.2 million people visit the site annually.
  • Maungawhau reaches an elevation of 196 metres (643 feet) above sea level, making it the tallest volcano in Auckland; and from the car park, it usually takes five to ten minutes to walk to the summit.
  • ‘Maungawhau’ is a word from the native Maori language meaning ‘mountain or hill of of the whau tree’.
Maungawhau, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Lush, Green, Volcano, Dormant, Maori, Auckland, New Zealand
Maungawhau
Image courtesy of brewbooks/Flickr
  • It is believed that in ancient times, Maungawhau was created by a group of three cones, with the most southern of the three erupting last and filling up the other two.
  • As a historical and recreational reserve, Maungawhau is a protected area, and despite being surrounded by a city environment, the area is lush and contains a variety of native vegetation.
  • The Maungawhau crater is roughly circular with a diameter of 180 metres (591 feet)  and a depth of 50 metres (164 feet).
  • To protect the area, from 2011 heavy vehicles, including tourist buses, were prohibited from using the road to the summit of Maungawhau, while no automobiles were permitted to use the road from the beginning of 2016, except for service vehicles, and small vehicles carrying people who would have difficulty walking to the top.
  • Maungawhau has more than 300 known archaeological features, as it is the site of a historic fortified village that housed native people from the area, that was built to gain a strategic advantage over surrounding tribes.
Bibliography:
Maungawhau, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maungawhau
Maungawhau-Mt Eden Management Plan, 2007, Auckland City Council, https://web.archive.org/web/20081016101249/http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/documents/managementplans/mteden/docs/final.pdf
Mount Eden Volcano, n.d, Eden Park, http://bedandbreakfastnz.com/mt-eden-volcano/
Mt Eden, 2016, Auckland Council, http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/parksfacilities/premierparks/Pages/mteden.aspx
Mt Eden Reserve (Maungawhau), 2016, Eventfinda, http://www.eventfinda.co.nz/venue/mt-eden-park-maungawhau-auckland-city-mt-eden

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Prskalo Waterfall

Prskalo Waterfall is one powerful sprinkler.

  • Prskalo Waterfall is a unique waterfall located in the Kučaj Mountains in the eastern area of Serbia, Europe, in the Nekudovo River Valley.
  • The name ‘Prskalo’ in reference to the Prskalo Waterfall, can be translated as ‘splashed’ in the native language.
  • Prskalo Waterfall is known for its towering tapered cliff-like shape, that drops water through a small channel.
  • Prskalo Waterfall is quite isolated, accessible only by venturing through a rough deserted forest road.
  • A small spring located upstream provides the water for Prskalo Waterfall, and despite the waterfall’s small size, the water that drops has a quite powerful force.

Prskalo Waterfall, Site, Serbia, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Place, landform

Prskalo Waterfall
Disclaimer: image found online and assumed public domain
  • The appearance of Prskalo Waterfall cliff is often compared to a large man-made artistic structure, due to its unusual narrow cliff form, with the waterfall situated centrally at the end.
  • Prskalo Waterfall is located at an elevation of approximately 760 metres (2493 feet) and is approximately 17 kilometres (10.6 miles) from the closest sealed road.
  • Layers of limestone rock, known as ‘tufa’, forms the majority of the natural structure that is Prskalo Waterfall.
  • The height of the Prskalo Waterfall is between 12 and 15 metres (39 to 49 feet).
  • In winter, Prskalo Waterfall freezes over, while in early spring and after rain there is much more water flowing in the fall, and in summer it generally has less water.
Bibliography:
Prskalo Waterfall, 2016, This is Serbia, http://serbia.vavok.net/page/waterfall-prskalo/
Prskalo Waterfall – Unique Natural Wonder of Serbia, 2015, Slavs, http://meettheslavs.com/prskalo-waterfall-unique-natural-wonder-of-serbia/
These places really are in Serbia # 4, n.d, Cicimici, http://cicimici.rs/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=153&Itemid=148&lang=en
Top Jeeper’s Camping Spots of Eastern Serbia, 2013, Serbian Outdoor 4×4, http://4×4.serbianoutdoor.com/2013/08/top-camping-spots/
Waterfall Prskalo 2, 2015, Summit Post, http://www.summitpost.org/waterfall-prskalo-2/263205

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