31 stunning real-world photos that might be your next phone wallpaper.

It's a fact: Every year, we're spending more and more time looking at our phones.

Estimates indicate that on average Americans spend anywhere from three to five hours on their smartphones every day. That's an astoundingly high number — and the perfect excuse for a little perspective.

There's an extraordinary world buzzing all around us, and we miss so much of it staring endlessly at our tiny screens. You say your busy life won't let you escape to some of our planet's most remarkable places? Not to worry. You can bring those places back home to your phone.


Here are 31 marvelous world wonders we think would look perfect as your lock screen.

1. Iceland's northern lights are a stunning sight, in person or online.

Who knew geomagnetic storms could be so stunning? Image by iStock.

2. Find peace in this photo of a storm-swept lighthouse.

Image by iStock.

3. The arch at Palau's Rock Islands is beautiful above water and below.

Image by iStock.

4. Milford Sound on New Zealand's South Island is an Instagram filter-lover's dream.

Image by iStock.

5. A huge statue of the Hindu god Lord Murugan greets visitors to the Batu Caves in Malaysia.

Image by iStock.

6. Watch sunlight break over the peaks in the Himalayas.

Image by iStock.

7. About 45 million gallons of water rush over North America's largest waterfall, Niagara Falls, every minute.

Image by iStock.

8. This ginormous "Christ the Redeemer" statue watches over Rio de Janeiro's six million residents.

Image by iStock.

9. Live vicariously through these thrill-seeking spelunkers.

Image by iStock.

10. Looking at Haystack Rock near Cannon Beach, Oregon, might inspire you to head to your nearest beach.

Image by iStock

11. Soothe your muggle heart with this image of the IRL Hogwarts Express chugging across Scotland.

Image by iStock

12. These towering redwoods are some of the largest trees in North America.

Image by iStock

13. This tiny sandbar in the Pacific didn't think it'd end up a helicopter perch. But sometimes life — and conspicuous wealth — finds a way.

Image by iStock

14. Mossy green wonderlands — like this one near Oregon's Punch Bowl Falls — are unique to the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.

Image by iStock

15. Follow the stepping stones of Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway straight into the North Atlantic.

Image by iStock

16. Decades of pounding surf carved a perfect alcove in the rocks at Lands End in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Image by iStock

17. Mother Nature really shows off her sculpting skills in Utah's Paria Canyon.

Image by iStock

18. The Matterhorn is more than a ride I got stuck on for 45 minutes at Disneyland. It's a breath-catchingly stunning peak in the Alps.

Image by iStock

19. The Grand Canyon is so incredible, it really deserves a better adjective. "Astoundageous" maybe?

Image by iStock

20. The narrow, rocky green peaks of the Wulingyuan scenic area in China's Hunan province are both a Unesco World Heritage site, and the inspiration for Pandora, the world in "Avatar."

Image by iStock

21. Creeping tree roots reclaiming this temple in Angkor, Cambodia, are a reminder that, eventually, no matter how hard we work, nature always wins.

Image by iStock

22. Find your most flattering light in Arizona's Antelope Canyon.

Image by iStock

23. The Colorado River's Horseshoe Bend in Arizona will keep you coming around for more.

Image by iStock

24. This Norwegian waterfall is stunning and proud, naturally.

Image by iStock

25. This icy blue Icelandic cave is guaranteed free of abominable snowmen.

Image by iStock

26. Gold dunes and golden skies are everywhere in Morocco's eastern desert.

Image by iStock

27. This solitary tree in New Zealand's Lake Wanaka isn't content to live on land.

Image by iStock

28. This secluded beach at Knysna Heads in South Africa's Western Cape Province is #goals.

Image by iStock

29. Baobab trees beat the thirst by storing water away in their thick trunks. Just like your phone's text message archive.

Image by iStock

30. Nobody knows for sure where the Sphinx's nose is, but she's a towering beauty nonetheless.

Image by iStock

31. Find peace — however you define it — in the stark cold beauty of the Himalayan mountains.

Image by iStock

Did we miss your favorite spot in our wallpaper roundup? Let us know!

Pexels / Julia M Cameron
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In the last 20 years, the internet has become almost as essential as water or air. Every day, many of us wake up and check it for the news, sports, work, and social media. We log on from our phones, our computers, even our watches. It's a luxury so often taken for granted. With the COVID-19 pandemic, as many now work from home and children are going to school online, home access is a more critical service than ever before.

On the flip side, some 3.6 billion people live without affordable access to the internet. This digital divide — which has only widened over the past 20 years — has worsened wealth inequality within countries, divided developed and developing economies and intensified the global gender gap. It has allowed new billionaires to rise, and contributed to keeping billions of others in poverty.

In the US, lack of internet access at home prevents nearly one in five teens from finishing their homework. One third of households with school-age children and income below $30,000 don't have internet in their homes, with Black and Hispanic households particularly affected.

The United Nations is working to highlight the costs of the digital divide and to rapidly close it. In September 2019, for example, the UN's International Telecommunication Union and UNICEF launched Giga, an initiative aimed at connecting every school and every child to the internet by 2030.

Closing digital inequity gaps also remains a top priority for the UN Secretary-General. His office recently released a new Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The UN Foundation has been supporting both this work, and the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, which made a series of recommendations to ensure all people are connected, respected, and protected in the digital age. Civil society, technologists and communications companies, such as Verizon, played a critical role in informing those consultations. In addition, the UN Foundation houses the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), which advances digital inclusion through streamlining technology, unlocking markets and accelerating digitally enabled services as it works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down...in the most delightful way.

There are certain songs from kids' movies that most of us can sing along to, but we often don't know how they originated. Now we have a timely insight into one such song—"A Spoonful of Sugar" from "Mary Poppins."

It's common for parents to try all kinds of tricks to get kids to take medications they don't want to take, but the inspiration for "A Spoonful of Sugar" was much more specific. Jeffrey Sherman, the son and nephew of the Sherman Brothers—the musical duo responsible not just for "Mary Poppins," but a host of Disney films including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "The Jungle Book," "The Aristocats," as well as the song "It's a Small World After All"—told the story of how "A Spoonful of Sugar" came about on Facebook.

He wrote:

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