Heroes

Need a break? Here are 6 videos of nature to watch LIVE right now.

Everyone should spend time outdoors. But for folks who don't happen to live near elephants or puffins, these six live nature webcams provide a fantastic taste of wildlife and beauty from around the world.

Need a break? Here are 6 videos of nature to watch LIVE right now.

Sometimes, all you want to do is get out and appreciate Mother Nature.

Goro the adventurous Corgi on Mount Fuji. Image via Goro@Welsh corgi.


But sometimes (OK, a lot of the time), it just isn't feasible to spend your entire day staring at Niagara Falls or hoping an elephant walks by your window.

So for those of us who need to bring the great outside world into our homes or offices or computer screens or what have you, I present to you …

Six of the best* free live nature cams on the Internet.

*Entirely based on my own opinion and research. Got a better one? Come at me, bro.

And hey, DISCLAIMER: The ones I picked are all pretty reliable (they've worked well for me so far), but they are live streams. Sometimes the video goes out for a bit. Don't despair! Just check back later.

1) Underwater view of Cayman coral reef

Screenshot taken June 19, 2015. Image via Teens4Oceans and explore.org.

How could this one not make the list? It's UNDERWATER! THAT'S THE COOLEST.

This camera is located just off the island of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean Sea. It's kind of like having an aquarium in your room, but score! you don't have to clean it.

Better take a look at this beautiful reef while you can. Globally, 32% of monitored reef formations are at risk of being lost in the next 32 years due to human activities in oceans. Womp womppp.

Maybe catching a glimpse of a real live coral reef every day on this live stream will help us remember how important it is to take care of our oceans.

Watch the Cayman reef cam here.

2) International Space Station looking at Earth

Screenshot from the cam taken June 19, 2015. Image via NASA.

WHAAAAT how cool is this!?

This one's a live view of Earth from the International Space Station (ISS), the low-orbit space station research lab launched in 1988.

According to NASA, the ISS orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes. So if you watch the live stream for a while, you should see a sunrise or sunset about every 45 minutes. I didn't catch one, but the view of Earth steadily moving beneath the camera was still pretty darn amazing.

Watch the ISS cam here.

3) Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge — puffins!

Screenshot from cam taken June 19, 2015. Image via Audubon Project Puffin and explore.org.

Seal Island is a National Wildlife Refuge in Maine that's managed by the National Audubon Society and a division of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The island is home to a few different seabirds, including a restored — you guessed it — puffin population.

In 1984, nearly 1,000 young puffins were transferred to the island from Newfoundland in an attempt to boost the local puffin population. Before that, puffins hadn't nested in the area since the late 1800s — they were pushed out by excessive hunting, egging, and displacement. But by 2012, more than 500 pairs of puffins were nesting again thanks to the restoration efforts.

Go puffins, go!

Watch the puffin cam here.

4) African animal lookout in Kenya

Screenshot of off-air video. Image via Mpala Research Centre and Wildlife Foundation, and explore.org.

Chances are, you're not in Kenya right now. And chances are, you can't see elephants from your window, either.

This is a fun one where you can get a taste of some exotic animals that aren't at a zoo. Toggle between the animal lookout, a watering hole cam, and a couple other options for a variety of exotic animal views (giraffes! hippos!). Bonus: chirping birds pretty much all the time.

When the video is offline (like when it's dark out in Kenya), it will sometimes show recorded highlights of animals like these elephants. At those times, a little "off air" tag shows up in the bottom-right of the video.

Watch the animal lookout cam here.

5) Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Screenshot from cam taken June 9, 2014. Image via National Park Service.

It may not be a live stream (the camera shows a new still image every 15 minutes), but the view from Purchase Knob in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is ridiculous.

After Andrew Jackson forcefully relocated over 16,000 native people from this region in the 1800s (thousands died along the way), logging became the main industry in these beautiful mountains. But as the decades passed, folks started to worry that clear-cutting was destroying the area, and they began a push to protect the land with a national park.

It took many years, but piece by piece, the park was put together. Now it's the most visited national park in the U.S.

You gotta check out the view on this one. 10/10, would refresh page again.

Check out the Purchase Knob view here.

6) Niagara Falls, Canadian side

Screenshot from the cam taken June 17, 2015. Image via niagarafallslive.com.

This camera shows the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, sometimes called the Horseshoe Falls. Don't worry about missing out on the American side (psh!) — most of the water that flows over all the falls actually flows over the Canadian side.

The plus side of this cam is that there's pretty much always something to look at (spoiler alert: that something is water). Also, the live stream is accompanied by the most lovely and soothing sound of a gigantic waterfall. I used to be a fan of using a white noise generator occasionally, but I def will be replacing it with this never-ending video of Niagara Falls.

Watch the Niagara Falls cam here. NOTE: This one uses Adobe Flash Player.

Honorable mentions:

There are so so so so many other amazing nature cams out there, I couldn't possibly include them all.

One great one I left out is the Pennsylvania bald eagle nest cam, where you can actually watch eagles hatch from eggs. Seriously! The prime viewing season for this one is February-March, which is when the eggs develop and hatch.

And if all you need right now is a fix of pure CUTE, check out the cameras from Warrior Canine Connection (via explore.org), an organization that trains therapy service dogs for veterans. Alert: Do not click on this one if you don't have five minutes to squeal about puppies.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

Keep Reading Show less
via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

Keep Reading Show less