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NASA asked the public to choose its all-time best photos of Earth. Here are 17 of them.

NASA asked the public to choose its all-time best photos of Earth. Here are 17 of them.
via Nasa

To honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and he 20th anniversary of NASA's Earth Observatory, the agency asked the public to pick our all-time best image on Earth. After five a five-round tournament and more than 56,000 votes, the readers chose Ocean Sand, Bahamas as their favorite.

We've posted 16 of the other top entrants. You can see the complete tournament results at Earth Observatory.


Ocean Sand, Bahamas (2001)

via NASA

Though the above image may resemble a new age painting straight out of an art gallery in Venice Beach, California, it is in fact a satellite image of the sands and seaweed in the Bahamas.

The image was taken by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) instrument aboard the Landsat 7 satellite. Tides and ocean currents in the Bahamas sculpted the sand and seaweed beds into these multicolored, fluted patterns in much the same way that winds sculpted the vast sand dunes in the Sahara Desert.

Raikoke Erupts (2019)

via NASA

An unexpected series of blasts from a remote volcano in the Kuril Islands sent ash and volcanic gases streaming high over the North Pacific Ocean.

"What a spectacular image. It reminds me of the classic Sarychev Peak astronaut photograph of an eruption in the Kuriles from about ten years ago," said Simon Carn, a volcanologist at Michigan Tech. "The ring of white puffy clouds at the base of the column might be a sign of ambient air being drawn into the column and the condensation of water vapor. Or it could be a rising plume from interaction between magma and seawater because Raikoke is a small island and flows likely entered the water."

Where the Dunes End (2019)

via NASA

Mountains of sand, some as tall as 300 meters (1000 feet), reach from the floor of Africa's Namib Desert toward the sky. Driven by wind, these dunes march across the desert, bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and in other directions by solid, rocky land.

The abrupt transition from sand to land is visible in these images, acquired on November 13, 2019, by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. They show the northern extent of the Namib Sand Sea—a field of sand dunes spanning more than 3 million hectares (more than 10,000 square miles) within the Namib-Naukluft Park, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013. Sand appears red, painted by a layer of iron oxide.

Twin Blue Marbles (2007)

via NASA

This view of Earth from space is a fusion of science and art, drawing on data from multiple satellite missions and the talents of NASA scientists and graphic artists. The twin images are a composite of multiple images taken between 1994 and 2004.

Fire in the Sky and on the Ground (2011)

via NASA

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) used a digital camera to capture several hundred photographs of the aurora australis, or "southern lights," while passing over the Indian Ocean on September 17, 2011.

Retreat of the Columbia Glacier (2014)

via NASA

Scientists have long studied Alaska's fast-moving Columbia Glacier, a tidewater glacier that descends through the Chugach Mountains into Prince William Sound. Yet the river of ice continues to deliver new surprises.

Preliminary results show that both the West Branch and the East Branch (which feeds into the Main Branch) are now moving between 5 and 10 meters (16 and 33 feet) per day. That's slow for Columbia, but fast compared to other glaciers.

View of Earth from Saturn (2006)

via NASA


via NASA

Seen from a billion kilometers away, through the ice and dust particles of Saturn's rings, Earth appears as a tiny, bright dot. The image is a composite (layered image) made from 165 images taken by the wide-angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft over nearly three hours on September 15, 2006.

The Dark Side and the Bright Side (2015)

via NASA

A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has captured a unique view of the Moon as it passed between the spacecraft and Earth. A series of test images shows the fully illuminated "dark side" of the Moon that is not visible from Earth.

The images were taken over the course of five hours on July 16, 2015.

A Voyager Far From Home (1977)

The image of a crescent-shaped Earth and Moon was captured on September 18, 1977, when Voyager was a mere 11.66 million kilometers (7.25 million miles) from Earth and directly above Mount Everest (on the night side of the planet at 25 degrees north latitude).

On September 5, 1977, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a Titan-Centaur rocket. Thirty-five years later, the planetary probe is now an interstellar traveler, having traveled farther from Earth than any manmade object in history.

Roiling Flows on Holuhraun Lava Field (2014)

via NASA

On September 6, 2014, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this view of the ongoing eruption in Iceland.

Ice and the plume of steam and sulfur dioxide appear cyan and bright blue, while liquid water is navy blue. Bare or rocky ground around the Holuhraun lava field appears in shades of green or brown in this band combination. Fresh lava is bright orange and red.

Antarctica Melts Under Its Hottest Days on Record (2020)

via NASA

On February 6, 2020, weather stations recorded the hottest temperature on record for Antarctica. Thermometers at the Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula reached 18.3°C (64.9°F)—around the same temperature as Los Angeles that day. The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers.

The warm temperatures arrived on February 5 and continued until February 13, 2020. The images above show melting on the ice cap of Eagle Island and were acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 on February 4 and February 13, 2020.

Atafu Atoll, Tokelau (2009)

via NASA

At roughly eight kilometers wide, Atafu Atoll is the smallest of three atolls and one island (Nukunonu and Fakaofo Atolls to the southeast and Swains Island to the south are not shown) comprising the Tokelau Islands group located in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Making Waves in the Andaman Sea (2020)

via NASA

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured these images of the Andaman Sea on November 29, 2019. The reflection of the Sun on the ocean—sunglint—helps make the internal waves visible. The colors also have been slightly enhanced. The detailed swirls, fronts, and patterns are all quite real, but certain shades and tones in the data have been separated and filtered to make water features more visible.

Just Another Day on Aerosol Earth (2018)

via NASA

During one day in August, tropical cyclones, dust storms, and fires spread tiny particles throughout the atmosphere.

The Electric Eye of Cyclone Bansi (2015)

Bansi formed in the southwestern Indian Ocean on January 11, 2015. By the time this photo was taken on the following day, Bansi had achieved tropical cyclone strength, with sustained maximum winds over 185 kilometers (115 miles) per hour. The cyclone would reach category 4 strength before becoming a weak extra-tropical system on January 19.

Awesome, Frightening Views of Hurricane Florence (2018)

Satellites and astronauts observed the potent storm as it headed for landfall in the southeastern United States.

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.


The French Bulldog’s popularity has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the #14 most popular breed in 2012, and since then, registrations have gone up 1,000%, bringing them to the top of the breed popularity rankings.

The AKC says that the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd Dog also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.

The French Bulldog was famous among America’s upper class around the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is partly based on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all own French Bulldogs.

The breed earned a lot of attention as show dogs last year when a Frenchie named Winston took second place at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and first in the National Dog Show.

The breed made national news in early 2021 when Gaga’s dog walker was shot in the chest while walking two of her Frenchies in a dog heist. He recovered from his injuries, and the dogs were later returned.

They’ve also become popular because of their unique look and personalities.

“They’re comical, friendly, loving little dogs,” French Bull Dog Club of America spokesperson Patty Sosa told the AP. She said they are city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “they offer a lot in a small package.”

They are also popular with people who live in apartments. According to the AKC, Frenchies don’t bark much and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.

The French Bulldog stands out among other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears that are its trademark feature. However, their popularity isn’t without controversy. “French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr. Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.

american kennel club, french bulldog, most popular dog

An adorable French Bulldog

via Pixabay

French Bulldogs have been bred to have abnormally large heads, which means that large litters usually need to be delivered by C-section, an expensive procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. They are also prone to multiple health problems, including skin, ear, and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerance.

Frenchies are also more prone to spine deformations and nerve pain as they age.

Here are the AKC’s top ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.

1 French Bulldogs

2 Labrador Retrievers

3 Golden Retrievers

4 German Shepherd Dogs

5 Poodles

6 Bulldogs

7 Rottweilers

8 Beagles

9 Dachshunds

10 German Shorthaired Pointers


This article originally appeared on 03.17.23

The Wallace line divides the entire Malay Archipelago.

A fascinating biological phenomenon occurs between two islands in Indonesia. An invisible line divides the entire Malay Archipelago, and on the western side, the animal life is characteristic of Asia, featuring rhinos, elephants, tigers and woodpeckers.

Contrasting this, the eastern side of the islands presents a completely different ecological cast, boasting marsupials, Komodo dragons, cockatoos and honeyeaters, often associated with Australia.

The stark differences in biodiversity on the islands captured the keen eye of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace during his 19th-century travels through the East Indies. Even before the discovery of plate tectonics, Wallace postulated that the western islands must have once been interconnected and linked to the Asian mainland.


So, in 1859, he first sketched a line of demarcation between the zones which came to be known as the Wallace line.

The Invisible Barrier Keeping Two Worlds Apart

According to a video by PBS Eons, Wallace was onto something all those years ago. Researchers would later come to believe that the land masses on other sides of the line were once separate continents brought together by tectonic shifts.

“Today, we know them as the paleo continents of Sunda in the west and Sahul in the east, both of which existed during the ice ages when more water was locked up in ice and sea levels were lower. Wallace didn't know it, but while they’re pretty close now, the two partly-sunken continents used to be much, much further apart,” the video says. “So even though the species of each side are neighbors now, they’d been evolving separately for eons, their two worlds only colliding fairly recently in evolutionary terms.”

Island School Class, circa 1970s.

Parents, do you think your child would be able to survive if they were transported back to the '70s or '80s? Could they live at a time before the digital revolution put a huge chunk of our lives online?

These days, everyone has a phone in their pocket, but before then, if you were in public and needed to call someone, you used a pay phone. Can you remember the last time you stuck 50 cents into one and grabbed the grubby handset?

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, roughly 100,000 pay phones remain in the U.S., down from 2 million in 1999.

Do you think a 10-year-old kid would have any idea how to use a payphone in 2022? Would they be able to use a Thomas Guide map to find out how to get somewhere? If they stepped into a time warp and wound up in 1975, could they throw a Led Zeppelin album on the record player at a party?


Another big difference between now and life in the '70s and '80s has been public attitudes toward smoking cigarettes. In 1965, 42.4% of Americans smoked and now, it’s just 12.5%. This sea change in public opinion about smoking means there are fewer places where smoking is deemed acceptable.

But in the early '80s, you could smoke on a bus, on a plane, in a movie theater, in restaurants, in the classroom and even in hospitals. How would a child of today react if their third grade teacher lit up a heater in the middle of math class?

Dan Wuori, senior director of early learning at the Hunt Institute, tweeted that his high school had a smoking area “for the kids.” He then asked his followers to share “something you experienced as a kid that would blow your children’s minds.”


A lot of folks responded with stories of how ubiquitous smoking was when they were in school. While others explained that life was perilous for a kid, whether it was the school playground equipment or questionable car seats.

Here are a few responses that’ll show today’s kids just how crazy life used to be in the '70s and '80s.

First of all, let’s talk about smoking.

Want to call someone? Need to get picked up from baseball practice? You can’t text mom or dad, you’ll have to grab a quarter and use a pay phone.

People had little regard for their kids’ safety or health.

You could buy a soda in school.

Things were a lot different before the internet.

Remember pen pals?

A lot of people bemoan the fact that the children of today aren’t as tough as they were a few decades back. But that’s probably because the parents of today are better attuned to their kids’ needs so they don't have to cheat death to make it through the day.

But just imagine how easy parenting would be if all you had to do was throw your kids a bag of Doritos and a Coke for lunch and you never worried about strapping them into a car seat?


This article originally appeared on 06.08.22

Representative Image From Canva
Waterpiks can be a great alternative to flossing.

Going to the dentist is not always fun. Even when there aren't any cavities to fill or root canals to be had, something about laying back on the table under a bright light while someone scrapes just below your gum line can be a bit much. Then there's the inevitable reprimand for not flossing enough for those who either have a hard time remembering or were never properly taught.

Unfortunately, not every hygienist is kind about this conversation, which can leave people feeling scolded and dreading their next appointment. In fact, it sometimes seems to be expected that the person laying in the dental chair has been given a class on proper dental hygiene. Oftentimes, that's not the case.

People learn their hygiene habits by the people who raised them, so unless you were raised by a dentist or someone in that field, you've likely picked up some not so great habits. Dental student Madina Malik has made it a personal mission to properly teach good dental hygiene in a kind and nonjudgemental way on social media.


In one of her more recent videos, someone asked her to show proper flossing techniques. People's minds were blown after seeing exactly how far up they're actually supposed to be flossing their teeth and learning the proper technique. It would seem common knowledge but it's not and Malik has no issue helping those who may have picked up a bad habit or two.

In the video posted to her TikTok page, Smiles Pending, Malik not only demonstrates on her own teeth, she explains why flossing is so important in really simple terms.

"I completely understand that a lot of times during dental appointments a dentist or hygienist may not have the time to fully explain exactly how the proper technique looks," she admits.

Malik explains that the thicker floss tends to get more things from between your teeth before moving on to reveal that at all times you'll have a "dirty" finger and a "clean" finger. That's new information for some people, but she explains in another video that spooling the floss around the "dirty" finger keeps you from adding bacteria to the next tooth you floss. Essentially, each tooth needs a new section of floss to rid the teeth of bacteria and gunk that collects between your teeth.

She then talks about the importance of flossing the back teeth due to its hard to reach positioning. Waterpiks and floss sticks do not do the same job as regular floss, because it's not just about removing debris but the cavity and gingivitis causing bacteria, says Malik in a follow up video.

As for why it's important to floss outside of avoiding the scolding in the dental chair at your six month check up? Well, according to the dental student, people should "floss the teeth that you want to keep." Now that's a statement that may need to be on a t-shirt worn by dental hygienists across the globe.

@smilespending Replying to @ashley always open go more oral hygiene questions!! #oralhealth #oralhealtheducation #flossingtechnique #flossing #oralhygiene #oralhygienetips #oralhygieneroutine #oralhealthtips ♬ original sound - Madina | D3 in nyc

People not only asked follow up questions that led to more educational videos, but they thanked her from breaking it down in an easy to understand way.

"Omg, thank you for this video. I thought something was wrong with my gums that I could go that deep. I thought that was bad," one person writes.

"I've been doing this wrong my whole life. The way I've done it...it's like I've never flossed at this point," another says.

"This was super helpful. I've never flossed my teeth cuz I honestly didn't know the proper procedure. Thank you," someone reveals.

"You're right, I have been flossing wrong my whole life. I had no idea you had to go that high into your gums! Thanks for sharing," another shares.

This series is not only helpful for people who regularly go to the dentist, it's also helpful for those who can't afford dental care. Malik's videos are chock full of information including where to get affordable dental care if you're without proper dental insurance. Judging by the comments, people are thankful for her service.

A woman is upset with her husband and wants to leave him.

There are a few big reasons why 70% of divorces in the United States among heterosexual couples are filed by women. Women have more economic opportunities than in decades past and are better positioned to care for themselves and their children without a husband’s income.

Another big reason is that even though the world has become much more egalitarian than in the past, women still bear the brunt of most of the emotional labor in the home. Gilza Fort-Martinez, a Florida, US-based licensed couples’ therapist, told the BBC that men are socialized to have lower emotional intelligence than women, leaving their wives to do most of the emotional labor.

Secondly, studies show that women still do most of the domestic work in the home, so many are pulling double duty for their households.


A TikTokker with two children (@thesoontobeexwife) shared why she decided to leave her husband of two decades and her story recounts a common theme: She did all the work and her husband did little but complain.

The video, entitled “Why women leave,” has received over 2 million views.

@thesoontobeexwife

Y’all I laughed when I realized he truly does treat me better now then when he was trying to be in a marriage with me. How is this better?? How did I ever think before was ok?? #toxicrelationship #divorce #mentalloadofmotherhood #divorcetok #divorceisanoption #chooseyou #mentalhealth #mentalload #fyp #mentalload #emotionallabor

“So for the men out there who watch this, which frankly I kind of hope there aren’t any, you have an idea maybe what not to do,” she starts the video. “Yesterday, I go to work all day, go pick up one kid from school, go grocery shopping, go pick up the other kid from school, come home. Kids need a snack–make the snack. Kids want to play outside – we play outside.”

Her husband then comes home after attending a volunteer program, which she didn’t want him to join, and the self-centeredness begins. “So he gets home, he eats the entire carton of blueberries I just purchased for the children’s lunch and asks me what’s for dinner. I tell him I don’t know because the kids had a late snack and they’re not hungry yet,” she says in the video.

She then explains how the last time he cooked, which was a rare event, he nearly punched a hole in the wall because he forgot an ingredient. Their previous home had multiple holes in the walls. Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist and host of the Power of Different podcast, says that when punch walls it’s a sign that they haven’t “learned to deal with anger in a reasonable way.”

“Anyway, finally one kid is hungry,” the TikTokker continues. “So I offered to make pancakes because they’re quick and easy and it’s late. He sees the pancake batter and sees that there’s wheat flour in it and starts complaining. Says he won’t eat them. Now I am a grown adult making pancakes for my children who I am trying to feed nutritionally balanced meals. So yes, there’s wheat flour in the pancake mix.”

Then her husband says he’s not doing the dishes because he didn’t eat any pancakes. “Friends, the only thing this man does around this house is dishes occasionally. If I cook, he usually does the dishes. I cook most nights. But here’s the thing. That’s all he does. I do everything else. Everything. Everything.”

She then listed all of the household duties she handles.

“I cook, I clean the bathrooms, I make the lunches, I make the breakfasts, I mow the lawn, I do kids’ bedtime. I literally do everything and he does dishes once a day, maybe,” she says.

@thesoontobeexwife

I HAVE OFFICIALLY FILED FOR DIVORCE 🎉 #divorce #divorcetok #toxicrelationship #divorceisanoption #fyp #mentalhealth #chooseyou #iamenough #iwillnotbeafraid #mentalloadofmotherhood #emotionallabor

The video received over 8700 comments and most of them were words of support for the TikTokker who would go on to file for divorce from her husband.

"The amount of women I’ve heard say that their male partners are only teaching how to be completely independent of them, theirs going to be so many lonely men out there," Gwen wrote. "I was married to someone just like this for over 35 years. You will be so happy when you get away from him," BeckyButters wrote.

"The way you will no longer be walking on eggshells in your own home is an amazing feeling. You got this!" Barf Simpson added.


This article originally appeared on 5.21.23