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The 2021 World Nature Photography Award winners were announced and the pictures are stunning

The 2021 World Nature Photography Award winners were announced and the pictures are stunning

The World Nature Photography Awards announced the winners of its 2021 photo contest and Amos Nachoum from the United States won the top cash prize award of $1,000 for his image of a leopard seal about to capture a defenseless gentoo penguin.

Getting the photo was no easy task. Nachoum had to wait for hours on the remote island of Plano, off the Antarctic Peninsula, for the right moment at low tide when the seals entered a lagoon to catch their prey.

Unfortunately, the photo is one of the last moments of the young penguin’s life. “The terrified penguin tried to escape as the game continued. But soon, the end came,” Nachoum said in a statement.

Other winners include a remarkable shot of a humpback whale just outside New York City, a majestic photo of an orangutan in a river and an arctic fox braving the frozen tundra in Iceland.

The photographs are a wonderful example of the dedication and care taken by nature photographers, but they’re also a reminder of our duty to care for the environment.

“The World Nature Photography Awards were founded in the belief that we can all make small efforts to shape the future of our planet in a positive way and that photography can influence people to see the world from a different perspective and change their own habits for the good of the planet. 2021’s competition saw entries come in from 20 countries across 6 continents,” the World Nature Photography Awards said in a press release.

Here are all 13 of the photographers who won gold in the 2021 contest.

World Nature Photographer of the Year and Gold Winner in "Behavior - Mammals" — Amos Nachoum, USA

Amos Nachoum/World Nature Photography Awards

"For hours, I waited for the low tide to arrive along a shallow lagoon on a remote island off the Antarctic Peninsula. Like clockwork, the leopard seal arrived in the lagoon just before low tide. It put its head in the water and looked just like a rock sitting in the receding water. The young Gentoo penguins only dare to enter the water when it is shallow and when they got close enough to the seal, it turned its head at lightning speed, catching one of the penguins by its feet and taking it to deep water. Once the seal reached open water, I followed it and swam parallel to it, observing its actions. To my surprise, it let go of the penguin twice. Each time, the seal chased after the penguin again, as if it was enjoying the game. The terrified penguin tried to escape as the game continued. But soon, the end came."

Gold Winner in "Animal Portraits" — Tom Vierus, Fiji

Tom Vierus/World Nature Photography Awards

"Long-tailed macaques enjoy the warmth of each other during a hot day in Bali, Indonesia. These animals show very similar behaviour to us humans including enjoying each other trusting company. The macaques are used to humans and are commonly found around temples where they tend to feed on food sacrifices by the locals."

Gold Winner in "Behavior - Amphibians and Reptiles" — Shayne Kaye, Canada

Shayne Kaye/World Nature Photography Awards

"This shot came out of a 'nothing' outing to a local park. It was the middle of a sunny summer day with harsh light and little activity. After going out with low expectations, I came across this tiny Pacific Tree Frog on a flower. After waiting for it to move into a more photogenic position on the flower, and trying repeatedly to catch the mottled light through the tree’s leaves above it at exactly the right spot, I got exactly what I was hoping for. It proved to me that there’s really no bad time to head into nature with a camera!"

Gold Winner in "Behavior - Birds" — Ashok Behera, India

via Ashok Behera/World Nature Photography Awards

"A wildebeest’s eyes being gorged by an African vulture, keenly watched by an African fox for an opportunity to scavenge. Taken at Masai Mara, Kenya."

Gold Winner in "Behavior - Invertebrates" — Chin Leong Teo, Singapore

via Chin Leong Teo/World Nature Photography Awards

"The common red ant is ingenious at traversing terrain. When front scout ants encounter a water obstacle, they intuitively form an "ant-bridge" with their bodies, so that their ant-mates at the back of the party can cross."

Gold Winner in "Nature Art" — Federico Testi, Italy

Federico Testi/World Nature Photography Awards

"The natural creativity of San Quirico d'orcia, in Tuscany, Italy. Waves, shapes and tone created by light, in harmony with the universe."

Gold Winner in "People and Nature" — Sabrina Inderbitzi, Switzerland

Sabrina Inderbitzi/World Nature Photography Awards

"I crawled into this ice cave on the totally frozen Lake Baikal in Russia. First I didn't like the fact that the car and the people were in the middle of my picture, but then on a second view I found it just perfect."

Gold Winner in "Plants and Fungi" — Gautam Kamat Bambolkar, India

Gautam Kamat Bambolkar/World Nature Photography Awards

"Entrance to a room inside an abandoned house in Goa, India. It is fascinating how mother nature takes over from where man has left."

Gold Winner in "Urban Wildlife" — Matthijs Noome, USA

Matthijs Noome/World Nature Photography Awards

"Finally got the shot I wanted: a humpback's fluke with the New York City downtown skyline in the distance. As water quality measures and conservation efforts have started to show real results over the last years, humpback whales are becoming a common sight more and more in New York waters."

Gold Winner in "Planet Earth's Landscapes and Environments" — Sam Wilson, Australia

Sam Wilson/World Nature Photography Awards

"Travelling down random dirt roads can be so rewarding when you are greeted with scenes like this. Taken on South Island, New Zealand."

Gold Winner in "Black and White" — Vince Burton, United Kingdom

Vince Burton/World Nature Photography Awards

"A recent trip to Iceland where we were lucky to view and photograph the rare 'blue morph' Arctic fox. The weather conditions were extreme, but that didn't seem to bother the fox."

Gold Winner in "Animals in Their Habitat" — Thomas Vijayan, Canada

Thomas Vijayan/World Nature Photography Awards

"Mature male orangutans have large flappy cheek-pads, known as flanges, a throat sac used to make loud verbalisations called long calls. Once they reach maturity, they spend most of their time alone, about 90%. I was lucky enough to get this fully-grown, matured orangutan giving me the best pose possible."

Gold Winner in "Nature Photojournalism" — Alain Schroeder, Belgium

Alain Schroeder/World Nature Photography Awards

"Sibolangit, SOCP Quarantine Centre, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The whole SOCP team works together to prepare Brenda, an estimated 3-month-old female orangutan (she has no teeth yet), for surgery. A sedative is administered, the arm is shaved, her temperature is taken, while others hold her head or her hand out of compassion for the baby. During the three-hour procedure, Dr. Andreas Messikommer, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon invited from Switzerland, will place a pin and screws to secure the damaged humerus. Brenda was confiscated from a villager in Blang Pidie on the west coast of Aceh who was keeping her as a pet."

Photos from Tay Nakamoto

Facebook is no longer just your mom’s favorite place to share embarassing photos.

The social media platform has grown in popularity for young users and creators who enjoy forming connections with like-minded individuals through groups and events.

Many of these users even take things offline, meeting up in person for activities like book clubs, brunch squads, and Facebook IRL events, like the recent one held in New York City, and sharing how they use Facebook for more than just social networking.

“Got to connect with so many people IRL at an incredible Facebook pop up event this past weekend!” creator @Sistersnacking said of the event. So many cool activities like airbrushing, poster making + vision boarding, a Marketplace photo studio, and more.”

Tay Nakamoto, a designer known for her whimsical, colorful creations, attended the event and brought her stunning designs to the public. On Facebook, she typically shares renter-friendly hacks, backyard DIY projects, and more with her audience of 556K. For the IRL event, she created many of the designs on display, including a photobooth area, using only finds from Facebook Marketplace.

“Decorating out of 100% Facebook Marketplace finds was a new challenge but I had so much fun and got it doneeee. This was all for the Facebook IRL event in NYC and I got to meet such amazing people!!” Nakamoto shared on her page.

Also at the event was Katie Burke, the creator of Facebook Group “Not Wasting My Twenties.” Like many other recent grads at the start of the pandemic, she found herself unemployed and feeling lost. So she started the group as a way to connect with her peers, provide support for one anopther, and document the small, everyday joys of life.

The group hosts career panels, created a sister group for book club, and has meetups in cities around the US.

Another young creator making the most of Facebook is Josh Rincon, whose mission is to teach financial literacy to help break generational poverty. He grew his audience from 0 to over 1 million followers in six months, proving a growing desire for educational content from a younger generation on the platform.

He’s passionate about making finance accessible and engaging for everyone, and uses social media to teach concepts that are entertaining yet educational.

No matter your interests, age, or location, Facebook can be a great place to find your people, share your ideas, and even make new friends IRL.


Researchers dumped tons of coffee waste into a forest. This is what it looks like now.

30 dump truck loads and two years later, the forest looks totally different.

One of the biggest problems with coffee production is that it generates an incredible amount of waste. Once coffee beans are separated from cherries, about 45% of the entire biomass is discarded.

So for every pound of roasted coffee we enjoy, an equivalent amount of coffee pulp is discarded into massive landfills across the globe. That means that approximately 10 million tons of coffee pulp is discarded into the environment every year.

When disposed of improperly, the waste can cause serious damage soil and water sources.

However, a new study published in the British Ecological Society journal Ecological Solutions and Evidence has found that coffee pulp isn't just a nuisance to be discarded. It can have an incredibly positive impact on regrowing deforested areas of the planet.

via British Ecological Society

In 2018, researchers from ETH-Zurich and the University of Hawaii spread 30 dump trucks worth of coffee pulp over a roughly 100' x 130' area of degraded land in Costa Rica. The experiment took place on a former coffee farm that underwent rapid deforestation in the 1950s.

The coffee pulp was spread three-feet thick over the entire area.

Another plot of land near the coffee pulp dump was left alone to act as a control for the experiment.

"The results were dramatic." Dr. Rebecca Cole, lead author of the study, said. "The area treated with a thick layer of coffee pulp turned into a small forest in only two years while the control plot remained dominated by non-native pasture grasses."

In just two years, the area treated with coffee pulp had an 80% canopy cover, compared to just 20% of the control area. So, the coffee-pulp-treated area grew four times more rapidly. Like a jolt of caffeine, it reinvigorated biological activity in the area.

The canopy was also four times taller than that of the control.

Before and after images of the forest

The forest experienced a radical, positive change

via British Ecological Society

The coffee-treated area also eliminated an invasive species of grass that took over the land and prevented forest succession. Its elimination allowed for other native species to take over and recolonize the area.

"This case study suggests that agricultural by-products can be used to speed up forest recovery on degraded tropical lands. In situations where processing these by-products incurs a cost to agricultural industries, using them for restoration to meet global reforestation objectives can represent a 'win-win' scenario," Dr. Cole said.

If the results are repeatable it's a win-win for coffee drinkers and the environment.

Researchers believe that coffee treatments can be a cost-effective way to reforest degraded land. They may also work to reverse the effects of climate change by supporting the growth of forests across the globe.

The 2016 Paris Agreement made reforestation an important part of the fight against climate change. The agreement incentivizes developing countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, promote forest conservation and sustainable management, and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries.

"We hope our study is a jumping off point for other researchers and industries to take a look at how they might make their production more efficient by creating links to the global restoration movement," Dr. Cole said.

This article originally appeared on 03.29.21


This wholesome rap song is the ultimate millennial dad anthem

"To all the dads in our generation who are changing what it means to be a father."


This one goes out to all the millennial dads out there showing up in big ways.

Parenting has evolved, and perhaps we see that most clearly in the way that fatherhood has specifically adapted.

The once “traditional” image of the rigidly stoic father who, when not completely absent, acted as the family disciplinarian, is becoming more and more the relic of a bygone era. And in its place are dads who willingly and happily take equal part in childcare, prioritize emotional connection and essentially are the involved male figure they might have wished for as kids.

And what’s really beautiful about this is not only that future generations have a healthy foundation from which to grow, but that adult men give their own inner child a bit of healing, too. For that, modern dads really do deserve their kudos.

And what better way to do that than through a rap created by a millennial dad himself?

For Father’s Day, actor, rapper and proud girl dad Bret Green (aka “Dad Got Bars” on Instagram) released a delightfully fun but deceptively insightful song titled “Millennial Dad,” commending the next generation of dads who are changing what it means to be a father.

Sharing what inspired the tune, Green told Upworthy, “I realized that our generation was built different when it comes to fatherhood. I had so many friends who were amazing fathers and doing things that our fathers just did not do.”

Green’s lyrics touch on everything from changing diapers to disciplining without physical violence to a newfound enthusiasm for exfoliating, and applauds both the boy dads for “just trying to make a man out of a little boy” and all the girl dads for “showing baby girl what boys to avoid.”

Watch below:

Of course there’s still progress to be made, but it’s no wonder why millennials are being hailed “the best generation of dads.” By and large they’re putting in the work on multiple levels. And that’s cause for celebration, in the form of a rap song or otherwise.

And if you think that’s the only wholesome millennial parent content that Green has to offer in the form of rap songs, guess again. His account is chock full of gems, including an oh-so relatable lament on never ending laundry.

In fact, Green shared with Upworthy that even though he’s technically been rapping since he was 19 years old, inspiration hadn’t really struck until he became a father. Now, the “songs write themselves.” Plus, it’s an opportunity to create “a special memory” with his daughter, whose voice is often featured.

Check out the full version of “Millennial Dad” on Spotify, and give Green a follow on Instagram.


Naming twins is an art. Here are some twin names people say are the best they've ever heard.

With twins, all the regular pressures of having a baby are doubled, including choosing a name.

Are you in favor of rhyming twin names? Or is it too cutesy?

Having twins means double the fun, and double the pressure. It’s a fairly known rule to name twins in a way that honors their unique bond, but that can lead to overly cutesy pairings that feel more appropriate for nursery rhyme characters than actual people. Plus, it’s equally important for the names to acknowledge each twin’s individuality. Again, these are people—not a matching set of dolls. Finding the twin baby name balance is easier said than done, for sure.

Luckily, there are several ways to do this. Names can be linked by style, sound or meaning, according to the baby name website Nameberry. For example, two names that share a classic style would be Elizabeth and Edward, whereas Ione and Lionel share a similar rhythm. And Frederica and Milo seem to share nothing in common, but both mean “peaceful.”

Over on the /NameNerds subreddit, one person asked folks to share their favorite twin name pairings, and the answers did not disappoint.

One person wrote “Honestly, for me it’s hard to beat the Rugrats combo of Phillip and Lillian (Phil and Lil) 💕”

A few parents who gave their twin’s names that didn’t inherently rhyme until nicknames got involved:

"It's the perfect way! Christmas cards can be signed cutely with matching names, but when they act out you can still use their full name without getting tripped up.😂"

"The parents of a good friend of mine did this: her name is Allison and her sister is Callie. Their names don’t match on the surface, but they were Alli and Callie at home."

“Alice and Celia, because they’re anagrams! Sound super different but have a not-so-obvious implicit connection.”

This incited an avalanche of other anagram ideas: Aidan and Nadia, Lucas and Claus, Liam and Mila, Noel and Leon, Ira and Ria, Amy and May, Ira and Ari, Cole and Cleo…even Alice, Celia, and Lacie for triplets.

Others remembered name pairs that managed to sound lovely together without going into cutesy territory.

twin names, twins, babies, baby namesThese matching bunny ears though. Photo credit: Canva

“I know twin toddler boys named Charlie and Archie and they go so well together,” one person commented.

Another wrote, “Tamia and Aziza. I love how they follow the same sound pattern with the syllable endings (-uh, -ee, -uh) without being obnoxiously matchy matchy.”

Still another said, “Lucy and Logan, fraternal girl/boy twins. I think the names sound so nice together, and definitely have the same 'vibe' and even though they have the same first letter they aren't too matchy-matchy.”

Other honorable mentions included: Colton and Calista, Caitlin and Carson, Amaya and Ameera, Alora and Luella, River and Rosie, and Eleanor and Elias.

One person cast a vote for shared style names, saying, “If I had twins, I would honestly just pick two different names that I like separately. I tend to like classic names, so I’d probably pick Daniel and Benjamin for boys. For girls my two favorites right now are Valerie and Tessa. I think Val and Tess would be cute together!”

Overall though, it seems that most folks were fans of names that focused on shared meaning over shared sound. Even better if there’s a literary or movie reference thrown in there.

twin names, twins, babies, baby namesMany adult twins regret that their names are so closely linked together. Photo credit: Canva

“My mom works in insurance, so I asked her. She’s seen a lot of unique ones, but the only twins she remembers are Gwenivere [sic] and Lancelot... bonus points... little brother was Merlin,” one person recalled.

Another shared, “If I had twin girls, I would name them Ada and Hedy for Ada Lovelace and Hedy Lamarr, both very early computer/tech pioneers. Not that I’m that into tech, I just thought it was a brilliant combination.”

Other great ones: Susan and Sharon (think the original “Parent Trap”), Clementine and Cara (types of oranges), Esme and Etienne (French descent), Luna and Stella (moon and stars), Dawn and Eve, plus various plant pairings like Lily and Fern, Heather and Holly, and Juniper and Laurel.

Perhaps the cleverest name pairing goes to “Aubrey and Zoe,” since…wait for it… “they’re A to Z.”

It’s easy to see how naming twins really is a cool opportunity for parents to get creative and intentional with their baby naming. It might be a challenge, sure, but the potential reward is having the most iconic set of twins ever. Totally worth it!

America's Got Talent/Youtube

This kid's going places.

Watching musically gifted children never gets old. Whether you credit it to being born under a lucky star, or a simple case of good genetics, it does at least feel like something of a miracle.

That was certainly the feeling evoked when shy 9-year-old Journeyy Belton stepped onto the stage for “America's Got Talent” on July 23, 2024, and blew audiences away with his powerful original song “Paradise.”

Showing off not just an incredibly soulful voice that belied his age, Journeyy also shared his exceptional songwriting skills as he brought to life an imaginary dream world filled with “purple clouds” and “automatic lullabies.”

Listen below and tell me this kid doesn’t remind you of Sia:

9-Year-Old Journeyy Sings Original Song, "Paradise" | Auditions | AGT 2024www.youtube.com

The incredible performance wowed the judges, the live audience and online viewers alike, many of whom hailed the kid a young “musical genius.”

“I have never felt so unskilled,” one person joked. “This child has so much talent! I can’t wait to see them grow their music.”

Another praised, “His ability to hear and create melodies, the sophisticated lyric writing, the piano skills, and his incredible voice tell me he will 100% be a star selling out stadiums!”

A fun surprise—Simon Cowell revealed moments before Journeyy’s audition that he had heard him perform before on TikTok only a few days ago. His account is full of amazing covers, like Oceans by Hillsong United, which has racked up tons of views and glowing praise.

“Things are gonna happen for you. I can feel it,” Cowell told Journeyy. “You are somebody who has a God-given talent. And it’s rare.”

That certainly seems to be the case, no matter how the competition goes. Whatever happens, Journeyy, you’ve got loyal fans rooting for you!


Real estate broker breaks down why middle class millennials and Gen Z can't afford housing

"It's fine...we just have to stop getting our fancy coffees and we can afford it."

Real estate broker explains why Millennials can't buy houses

There's a housing crisis in America. It's not that there aren't houses available. Thousands of houses and apartments sit empty across the country, but the price for housing has reached levels that seem unsustainable for the middle class and those classified as working poor. Some might argue that middle class is now the working poor, though their yearly salary says they should be able to fair just fine.

Unfortunately, what used to be considered a decent salary for a middle class family to live comfortably is now barely enough to scrape by given the cost of housing. But some people from the boomer generation still struggle to understand why millennials and Gen Z can't afford housing.

Freddie Smith, a real estate broker, took to social media to explain why younger generations are struggling to purchase a home when their parents didn't. The real estate finance lesson was prompted when a baby boomer pointed out, "Don't forget we had 13% interest rates in the 80s."

A 13% interest rate seems like insanity upon first glance, but after Smith breaks it down, it doesn't look so bad. "I wish we had 13% interest rates if we had your home prices," the broker says before breaking things down.

Smith quickly starts speaking in numbers, revealing that in 1980 even with their yearly salary being only $22K with the 13% interest rate, their monthly payment only equaled to 26% of their monthly income. If millennials had the same circumstances, their median yearly salary would be $80k, their median price of a home $170K, and with a 13% interest rate the monthly payment would be $1,790–only 26% of their monthly income.

But that's not the reality that Millennials and Gen Z live in. While the median salary is $80k, the median price of a home is $419K, and while the interest rate in 2024 is 7%, with the housing price so high it would make the monthly payment 42% of their monthly income.

Smith wraps up the video saying, "And here's the kicker. Someone making $80K in most cases can't even qualify for this."

@fmsmith319 1980 vs 2024 home prices and interest rates
♬ original sound - Freddie Smith

That certainly put things in perspective for people. The video was flooded with comments from exhausted and frustrated millennials.

"Oh and the wives got to stay home and care for the kids now we pay another $1600 a month for daycare for us both to work," one person laments.

"Imagine if we had 140K homes with 13% rates. The gaslighting from them is WILD. I’d take 14% rates if the average home was only 140K," another says.

"It’s fine.. we just have to stop getting our fancy coffees and we can afford it," someone writes.

"We’re facing a 5K payment with 10% down on the average home. Same house cost 3K a month in rent. So we’re renting indefinitely at the moment," a commenter shares.

But this isn't just an issue in America. There were people outside of the U.S. sharing their astronomical cost of an average family home.

"Same here in Oslo, Norway. By dad bought his house for $22,500 in 1972. He’s selling it now for $1.75 million. And of course he says just this. 'You just have to spend less and work more.' Lol," someone shares.

"It’s worse in Australia. Average salary $80k average house price $1m," another writes.

While Smith doesn't offer a solution, his breakdown may help older generations understand why their children and grandchildren aren't buying homes. One can only hope housing prices go down or wages significantly increase so the middle class can afford a little more than their basic needs on top of being able to buy a home.