See 9 dazzling photos of the world's most colorful places, including some close to home.

As far as planets go, Earth is pretty f@#$ing awesome.

We've got flowing freshwater, ice cream, Adele, and a few billion of the coolest people you'll ever meet.


Suck it, Mars. Photo provided by NASA.

Not to mention, this place is pretty darn gorgeous.

From soaring vistas to jagged mountains, rushing waterfalls, and hills that go on forever, you don't have to look far to find jaw-dropping beauty.

Here are nine of the world's most visually stunning places, alive in vibrant, eye-popping hues.

1. The Sunset Lake hot spring in Yellowstone National Park

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

Since a large portion of Yellowstone sits inside the exploded crater of a volcano, the park is home to 500 geysers and over 10,000 thermal features, including Sunset Lake. The colors in this geothermal pool are caused by microbes like bacteria and algae that thrive in the water.

2. A magic carpet of moss phlox flowers in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, Japan

Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images.

Hitsujiyama Park explodes with color as visitors stroll through fields of dazzling moss phlox flowers. The park boasts roughly 400,000 of the candy-colored blooms.

3. This golf course (which helped me understand why people might like golf) in Trou d'Eau Douce, Mauritius

Le Touessrok Golf Course and resort is nestled on the beautiful island on the left. Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images.

Yes, this is an aerial shot of a golf course on the picturesque island of Mauritius. If more golf courses looked like this, it might just make it interesting enough to watch.

4. This lunar-looking Tuscan landscape near Siena, Italy

Photo by Fabio Muzzi/AFP/Getty Images.

The Crete Senesi vistas are some of the most beautiful landscapes in all of Italy. Dotted with farms, stoic trees, and even a medieval castle or two, these rolling hills are sure to take your breath away.

5. Rapeseed fields in bloom in Luoping, China

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Rapeseed plants are used to make cooking oil and livestock feed. They're not to be confused canola plants, which also boast a bright yellow color. The vistas of Luoping are a popular tourist destination.

6. Lesser flamingos chilling on Lake Natron in the Arusha Region of Tanzania

Photo by Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images.

No, lesser flamingos don't have self-esteem problems; that's just the name for the endangered salmon-colored birds who make their home in East Africa's Rift Valley lakes. Lake Natron is one of the primary breeding grounds for lesser flamingoes. Potential spoiler: The Tanzanian government may build a mine nearby, which conservationists fear would disrupt breeding.

7. An evening commute under flowering cherry trees in Bonn, Germany

Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP/Getty Images.

A tunnel of gorgeous cherry trees in Bonn. Much like the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., many flock to this German city to see their enchanted flowering during their two- to three-week bloom every April.

8. So pretty. So salty. The Uyuni salt flats of southwestern Bolivia

Photo by Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images.

Tourists, photographers, and sodium enthusiasts flock to Salar de Uyuni to get a glimpse of the beautiful landscapes. The flats contain an estimated 10 billion tons of salt and are visited by 60,000 tourists each year, many of whom capture some pretty kickass photos.

9. Sunflowers on sunflowers on sunflowers in North Dakota

Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

Fly over at your peril — the Midwest is home to friendly people, innovative hotdish, and sweeping fields that are tailor-made for getting lost in. Save this picture to your desktop to remind yourself that winter is only temporary.

The best part? These beautiful places are only the tip of the iceberg.

Actual iceberg tips, because even those are ridiculously good-looking. Photo by Marcel Mochet/AFP/Getty Images.

This post could be literally millions of photos long. But instead of over-exerting your scrolling finger, I thought it best to let you go and see all of that beauty and wonder for yourself. This planet is oozing with amazing sights, sounds, tastes, smells, people, and places.

Now get out there and explore the f@#$ out of it.

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

Keep Reading Show less