When astronauts went into space, something strange happened: They couldn't stop staring back at our planet.

They called it "Earth-gazing."

Even though they were in the midst of one of the biggest feats of our species, they found themselves more connected to their place back home.


Seeing Earth in its entirety somehow didn't make them feel insignificant but gave them a feeling of awe and care.

It was so powerful, a term was coined: the "overview effect."

Astronauts say this experience not only changed their perspective, but the very core of their attitudes as they think of the future of our planet. Some considered it to be even more important than their original mission.

“When we originally went to the moon, our total focus was on the moon. We weren't thinking about looking back at the Earth. But now that we've done it, that may well have been the most important reason we went."— Overview Institute co-founder David Beaver, retelling what one astronaut has said

Listening to these astronauts recount their experiences and how it changed them gave me goosebumps. Come for their thoughts, stay for the spectacular shots of Earth:

Coolest part, though? The overview effect can happen to you.

Concentrate on the following photo and ask yourself: What do you see?

They say that the photograph of our "big blue marble" has had a huge effect on how we think of our relationship to the world around us already. When you look at Earth from the sky, you do not see borders or nations or divisions or conflicts. You see a fragile-yet-strong miracle and a main objective becomes clear: to care for this wonderful, rare thing. And according to the overview effect, that can make a real difference in the world.

But how? Thankfully, they're coming out with a whole feature documentary that explores this further.

Are you ready for a dash of "awe" in your day?

Check out this trailer for the new documentary "Planetary," which talks about how we non-spacemen can tap into this overview effect. It features truly spectacular shots of our globe, both from within and from above. See if you can walk away unchanged.

[vimeo_embed https://player.vimeo.com/video/60234866?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0 expand=1]

Share if you said "wow." (I did.)

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

Keep Reading Show less

Images from Instagram and Wikipedia

It’s true that much of our wildlife is in danger. Like, an alarmingly large amount. In 2021 alone, 22 species were declared extinct in the United States.

And globally, Earth is facing what scientists refer to as its “sixth mass extinction,” primarily thanks to human activity. You know, deforestation, climate change, overconsumption, overpopulation, industrial farming, poaching … the usual suspects.

It sounds like dystopian science fiction, but sadly, it’s the reality we are currently living in.

But today, there is a silver lining. Because the World Wildlife Fund recently reported 224 completely new species.

From a snake who channels David Bowie to a monkey with ivory spectacles, there are a lot of newly discovered creatures here to offer a bit of hope to otherwise bleak statistics.

Keep Reading Show less

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

Keep Reading Show less