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.

Heroes

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture