Time to get off the couch and make your mark . . . after all, it is Earth Day! Originally celebrated in North America on April 22, 1970, this year's theme is 'The Face of Climate Change' - aptly reflecting the dire situation our planet is going to be in, if something is not done to turn around global warming, soon. In case you are still procrastinating, here is a visual reminder of why we should do all pitch in, to save our beautiful planet.
Crater Lake (Oregon)
Home to some of the world's cleanest water, Crater Lake is the shining star in Oregon's Crater Lake National Park. The Caldera lake that is world famous for its deep blue color was formed about 150 years ago, when the Mount Mazama volcano, collapsed. Measuring 1,943 feet deep, it is also the deepest lake in the United States and among the top ten in the world. However, unlike other fresh water lakes this one is not fed by rivers, but instead, gets its crystal clear water from rain and the melted snow from the surrounding 2,000 feet high cliffs.
The Great Blue Hole (Belize)
A diver's dream but a submarine's nightmare, the Great Blue Hole, which also happens to be the world's largest blue hole, can be an amazing experience for some, or the end of the journey for others. Located off the coast of Belize this almost perfectly circular creation of nature that measures 1,000 ft (305 m) across and 400 ft (123 m) is the result of the collapse of several limestone cave systems that existed in the area during the last ice age, when sea levels were lower. As the ice melted and sea levels rose, it transformed the area into a natural blue hole. Over the years, it has become a haven for deep sea divers seeking to see the natural stalactite formations and the occasional hammerhead shark or black-tip tiger shark that risk venturing in there.
The Wave (Arizona/Utah)
A humongous sandstone painting of orange, red, yellow, white, and purple swirled together to form a masterpiece. The artist? The one and only Mother Nature, that created the unique formation near the Utah and Arizona border. This gigantic sedimentary rock began forming layer by layer, about 190 years ago, was then eroded by water and wind to the fascinating 'Wave' that we see today. However, getting to see this incredible sight is not easy - Not only is it restricted to just 20 people a day, but also, involves a very treacherous hike. But the joy of being able to witness it with one's own eyes is as they say - priceless!
The Champagne Pool (New Zealand)
Located in New Zealand's North Island, the 'Champagne Pool', is actually a scalding lake that sports a 160°F temperature. It gets its name from the champagne like bubbles that dot its steaming surface. Although too hot to swim in, it is sure gorgeous to look at, thanks to the sulfide deposits on the side, that give it a beautiful golden orange border - One that can be seen miles away. Formed 900 years ago by a hydro thermal eruption, the lake is yet another stunning work of art, by Mother Nature.
Ice Hummocks (Siberia)
If you ever happen to visit Siberia's Lake Baikal, you may think you have walked into a field of shimmering gems. However, look closer and you find that the 'diamonds' are giant chunks of ice or hummocks, formed when freezing temperatures and fierce winds cause fresh ice and ice floes to move. Simply stunning!
Ready to keep the 'Earth' happy on this Earth Day? Then take up a challenge - Something as simple as bringing a re-usable water bottle or lunch box to school every day and sticking to the habit for a whole year or maybe, even a lifetime. Remember, everything no matter how small, helps!
Happy Earth Day!