This glacier repeatedly melts and freezes in a new form. The results are stunning.
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If you follow "Game of Thrones," you know some scenes call for some pretty remote — not to mention freezing — locations.

I know, Jon Snow. I know. GIF via "Game of Thrones."

They look pretty majestic on screen, but one ice-cold location in particular looks even cooler in real life.


This is Vatnajökull, the largest glacier mass in all of Europe.

All images via Mikael Buck, used with permission.

Pretty spectacular, right? I mean, look at this place!

These incredible images were taken by British photographer Mikael Buck, who was the first to capture these stunning caves from the inside using a special sensor technology.

And he had to go through quite the trek just to get there.

"Accessing the best caves requires a two-hour hike each way over the glacier. To do this, you need to rope up to your hiking partners, carry an ice axe and wear crampons," Buck wrote in an email.

A local guide, Einar Rúnar Sigurðsson, made the journey possible and helped Buck go deep into the glacier in order to access the most impressive ice caves.

Because the caves can only be accessed during winter — daylight hours are limited — they had to race time to get the images Buck wanted and get back while it was still light.

But when Buck actually set foot inside the ice caves, it was pure magic.

"Entering the caves for the first time, you step into a dark hole and suddenly you are in an alien landscape. It was unlike anything I've seen before and the colours are just as vivid in real life as in the images," wrote Buck.

"The shapes and textures where the water has slowly eroded parts of the ice are amazing. If we had the time I could have happily spent hours in there staring at all the cracks and crevasses."

The caves presented some unusual challenges though.

"Inside the ice caves themselves, things can get very claustrophobic," Buck added. "At one point I was on my hands and knees crawling under the ice above in order to get to another part of the cave."

"Game of Thrones" filmed in the surrounding areas and not inside the actual caves (maybe because they would look better for an alien movie). But even if they had, the cave they would've shot then is different from the way it looks today.

You see, the appearance of Vatnajökull is constantly changing.

"Each summer, the ice moves and new caves form and old ones collapse and are never seen again," explained Buck. "The caves themselves are formed where water runs off from the surrounding slopes and into the sides of the glacier."

The sheer magnitude and beauty of these ice caves put things into perspective for Buck.

"It was an awe inspiring trip and an experience I won't be forgetting in a hurry," he said.

"As with any trip to somewhere so wild and remote, the concerns of life in the city and the world of work seem pretty trivial on your return."

As beautiful as these morphing formations may be, they may not be around forever.

Glaciologist Oddur Sigurðsson has been very outspoken about the significant shrinking that Icelandic glaciers have undergone in the past 20 years. The culprit? You guessed it: climate change.

"The caves themselves are not formed as a result of climate change, but the glacier itself is rapidly retreating," noted Buck. "Our guide pointed out the distance the glacier had retreated in his lifetime and it was quite staggering."

At the current rate the world is going, these glaciers may be completely wiped out in 200 years.

That means we would lose one of Earth's most amazing natural wonders just like that.

These images are breathtaking, but they also paint a bigger picture.

Fortunately, some necessary steps are being taken to save these marvels for future generations. The Kolviður Fund, for instance, has made it their mission to reduce CO2 emissions in Iceland by improving their forest ecosystems. By planting more trees strategically, they hope to offset the CO2 emissions generated by cars and flights and preserve the glaciers.

And works such as Buck's photo series are able to shine a light on this important cause. By spotlighting just how magnificent these remote locations are, people can better understand their value to the world and just how worth saving they really are.

So yes, winter may be coming. But in this particular case, we hope it's here to stay.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."