Category: Photography

This Microscopic View of a Spider Embryo is Strangely Adorable 

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Spider embryo. Molecular characterization and embryonic origin of the eyes in the common house spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Göttingen University.

Taken from recent research into the development of eyes in spiders, this microscopic image shows what a common house spider looks like as it develops inside an egg. For some reason, it’s disturbingly… cute? This little cthulhu-like spider embryo is nearing the final stage before hatching and appears to be stuck in a tiny self hug. You can learn more about the embryonic origin of eyes in common house spider over on BioMed Central. (via Reddit, Göttingen University)

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Winners of the 2016 World Press Photo Contest 

© Warren Richardson - Hope for a New Life. Migrants crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary.

© Warren Richardson – Hope for a New Life. Migrants crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary. World Press Photo of the Year 2015.

The winners of the 2016 World Press Photo contest have just been announced, and the selected images accurately reflect a year of tumult and beauty from across the globe. The winning image titled Hope for a New Life by Australian photographer Warren Richardson depicts a harrowing moment on the Hungarian-Serbian border as a man passes a baby through barbed wire in August of last year. The self-taught photographer camped with a group of 200 people attempting to cross a border for nearly a week while capturing images of their predicament. He shares:

I camped with the refugees for five days on the border. A group of about 200 people arrived, and they moved under the trees along the fence line. They sent women and children, then fathers and elderly men first. I must have been with this crew for about five hours and we played cat and mouse with the police the whole night. I was exhausted by the time I took the picture. It was around three o’clock in the morning and you can’t use a flash while the police are trying to find these people, because I would just give them away. So I had to use the moonlight alone.

Seen here is a selection of our favorite photographs, but you can see an entire gallery of the 59th World Press Photo Contest winners here. The finalists were selected from 82,951 photos made by 5,775 photographers from 128 different countries. All photos courtesy photographers and/or their respective representatives, provided here with permission from the World Press Photo Contest.

© Anuar Patjane Floriuk, Whale Whisperers

© Anuar Patjane Floriuk, Whale Whisperers

© Christian Bobst, The Gris-gris Wrestlers of Senegal

© Christian Bobst, The Gris-gris Wrestlers of Senegal

© Christian Ziegler. Chameleon Under Pressure. Furcifer ambrensis, female foraging for insects with extendable tongue.

© Christian Ziegler. Chameleon Under Pressure. Furcifer ambrensis, female foraging for insects with extendable tongue.

© Daniel Ochoa de Olza, La Maya Tradition. A 'Maya' girl sits in an altar during the traditional celebration of 'Las Mayas' on the streets of the small village of Colmenar Viejo, near Madrid, Spain Saturday, May 2, 2015. The festivity of 'Las Mayas' comes from pagan rites and dates from at least the medieval age, appearing in ancient documents. It takes place every year in the beginning of May and celebrates the arrival of the spring. A girl between 7 and 11years is chosen as 'Maya' and should sit still, serious, and quiet for a couple of hours in an altar on the street decorated with flowers and plants, afterwards they walk to the church with their family where they attend a ceremony. Not more than four, or five girls are chosen as a Maya each year.

© Daniel Ochoa de Olza, La Maya Tradition. A ‘Maya’ girl sits in an altar during the traditional celebration of ‘Las Mayas’ on the streets of the small village of Colmenar Viejo, near Madrid, Spain Saturday, May 2, 2015. The festivity of ‘Las Mayas’ comes from pagan rites and dates from at least the medieval age, appearing in ancient documents. It takes place every year in the beginning of May and celebrates the arrival of the spring. A girl between 7 and 11years is chosen as ‘Maya’ and should sit still, serious, and quiet for a couple of hours in an altar on the street decorated with flowers and plants, afterwards they walk to the church with their family where they attend a ceremony. Not more than four, or five girls are chosen as a Maya each year.

© Francesco Zizola, In the Same Boat. An overcrowded rubber dinghy sailed from the Libyan coast is approached by the M.S.F. (Médecins Sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders) search and rescue ship Bourbon Argos in the Mediterranean Sea, in international waters. The migrants on board the dinghy in distress have issued an emergency call and are waiting to be rescued. On the horizon, an offshore oil platform just off the Libyan coast. 26 August 2015.<br /> In 2015 the ever-increasing number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea on unseaworthy vessels towards Europe led to an unprecedented crisis. Nearly 120 thousand people have reached Italy in the first 8 months of the year. While the European governments struggled to deal with the influx, the death toll in the Mediterranean reached record numbers.<br /> Early in May the international medical relief organization Médecins Sans Frontières (M.S.F.) joined in the search and rescue operations led in the Mediterranean Sea and launched three ships at different stages: the Phoenix (run by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station), the Bourbon Argos and Dignity.

© Francesco Zizola, In the Same Boat. An overcrowded rubber dinghy sailed from the Libyan coast is approached by the M.S.F. (Médecins Sans Frontières – Doctors Without Borders) search and rescue ship Bourbon Argos in the Mediterranean Sea, in international waters. The migrants on board the dinghy in distress have issued an emergency call and are waiting to be rescued. On the horizon, an offshore oil platform just off the Libyan coast. 26 August 2015.

Lamon Reccord, left, scolds a police sergeant during a police violence protest and march at State and Randolph streets Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Chicago. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

© John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune. Lamon Reccord, left, scolds a police sergeant during a police violence protest and march at State and Randolph streets Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Chicago.

© Jonas Lindkvist, Neptun Synchro. Malmö FF- PSG på Malmö stadion

© Jonas Lindkvist, Neptun Synchro. Malmö FF- PSG på Malmö stadion

© Kevin Frayer, Bliss Dharma Assembly on October 30, 2015 in UNSPECIFIED, China.

© Kevin Frayer, Bliss Dharma Assembly on October 30, 2015 in UNSPECIFIED, China.

© Kevin Frayer on December 10, 2015 in UNSPECIFIED, China.

© Kevin Frayer on December 10, 2015 in UNSPECIFIED, China.

© Matic Zorman, Waiting to Register. PRESEVO, SERBIA - OCTOBER 7, 2015: A child refugee is covered with raincoat while she waits in line to get registered in Presevo refugee registration camp. Most of the refugees who crossed Serbia try to continue their route towards Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and other countries of the European Union.

© Matic Zorman, Waiting to Register. PRESEVO, SERBIA – OCTOBER 7, 2015: A child refugee is covered with raincoat while she waits in line to get registered in Presevo refugee registration camp. Most of the refugees who crossed Serbia try to continue their route towards Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and other countries of the European Union.

© Mauricio Lima - Amazon's Munduruku Tribe 1. Tapajós River, Itaituba, Pará State, Brazil, on February 10, 2015. Indigenous children jump into the water as they play around the Tapajós river, in the Munduruku tribal area called Sawré Muybu.

© Mauricio Lima – Amazon’s Munduruku Tribe 1. Tapajós River, Itaituba, Pará State, Brazil, on February 10, 2015.
Indigenous children jump into the water as they play around the Tapajós river, in the Munduruku tribal area called Sawré Muybu.

© Rohan Kelly, Storm Front on Bondi Beach. Sunbather oblivious to the ominous shelf cloud approaching - on Bondi beach. A massive “cloud tsunami” looms over Sydney in a spectacular weather event seen only a few times a year.<br /> The enormous shelf cloud rolled in from the sea, turning the sky almost black and bringing violent thunderstorms in its wake.

© Rohan Kelly, Storm Front on Bondi Beach. Sunbather oblivious to the ominous shelf cloud approaching – on Bondi beach. A massive “cloud tsunami” looms over Sydney in a spectacular weather event seen only a few times a year. The enormous shelf cloud rolled in from the sea, turning the sky almost black and bringing violent thunderstorms in its wake.

Colima Volcano in Mexico shows a powerful night explosion with lightning, ballystics and some incandescent rockfalls. Photo taken on dec. 13 at 22:24 hours, 12.5 km away from the crater near a lagoon named Carrizalillos on Comala municipality in the state of Colima. Colima Volcano had a period of enormous activity on july of 2015, at least 700 inhabitants were evacuated from their settlements. The volcano mantains activity with 3 to 6 explosions by day. Lightning on Colima Volcano explosions became common on last months. This particular lightning is more than 600 meters long, so the big light made clear some details of the south portion of volcano. It's an 8 seconds shot, time enough to catch the explosion and the lightning. Photo: Sergio Velasco

© Sergio Velasco. Colima Volcano in Mexico shows a powerful night explosion with lightning, ballystics and some incandescent rockfalls. Photo taken on dec. 13 at 22:24 hours, 12.5 km away from the crater near a lagoon named Carrizalillos on Comala municipality in the state of Colima.

© Tim Laman, Tough Times for Orangutans

© Tim Laman, Tough Times for Orangutans

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Incredible Long-Exposure Photo of the Milky Way Above Mont Saint-Michel Island 

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Photo by Loïc Lagarde

Last week while visiting Le Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, photographer Loïc Lagarde captured this awesome view of the tidal island at night with the Milky Way spanning the sky above, further highlighting the near fairy-tale nature of the historic landmark. The island has held strategic fortifications since the 8th century and is famous for the dramatic shift in surrounding tides that vary roughly 14 metres (46 ft) between high and low and high water marks. Despite being visited by nearly 3 million people annually the island has a population of just 44 permanent residents. Lagarde says the photo was made without multiple exposures or blending and is a ‘true’ representation of the moment. You can see more of his photos on Instagram.

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Why Dozens of U.S. President Statues Sit Deteriorating in a Rural Virginia Field 

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All photos courtesy Patrick Joust.

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Somewhere in Virginia on the outskirts of private farmland sits the completely bizarre sight of nearly 40 giant U.S. president busts crumbling amongst the weeds. The mammoth heads—each estimated to weigh in excess of 7,000 pounds—were originally commissioned from Houston artist David Adickes as the centerpiece for Presidents Park, a ten-acre open-air museum with presidential sculptures and informational plaques located in Williamsburg, Virginia. First opened in 2004, the museum closed just 6 years later due to lack of attendance and most of the heads were eventually moved to a private farm where they sit today.

Photographer Patrick Joust recently made a trek to the presidential graveyard and shot these amazing photos of the eroding statues. The pieces are already faded and peeling from the elements and display a number of structural scars from repeated moves. The post-apocalyptic scene is reminiscent of the final moments of Planet of the Apes, or a modern take on the giant mysterious heads sprawled across Easter Island. The artist also sculpted a second set of presidential busts which were on display near Deadwood, South Dakota in an outdoor park setting operated by the artist himself. After closing the heads are now scattered—Abraham Lincoln’s bust now rests in front of the the Lincoln RV Park in Williston, North Dakota, and Theodore Roosevelt’s bust sits outside the Roosevelt Inn in Watford.

You can see more of Joust’s photography on Flickr and by following him on Facebook. (via The Virginian-Pilot, Smithsonian)

Update: This post has been updated to include the artist’s name as well as refer to a second set of presidential busts that were originally on display near Deadwood, South Dakota.

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A Trip by Air and Kayak Through Tham Khoun Xe, One of the Largest Active River Caves on Earth 

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All photos © Ryan Deboodt Photography

Beijing-based photographer Ryan Deboodt (previously) recently returned from a trip to Laos where he spent two days exploring Tham Khoun Xe, one of the largest active rivers caves in the world. Stretching nearly 4.5 miles (7km) underground, the cave system is extraordinarily remote and Deboodt was permitted to photograph and film beyond where tourists are normally allowed to visit. The immensity of the subterranean space is staggering, with an average ceiling of almost 200 feet (60m) and width of 250 feet (76m) it’s hardly imaginable a space like this could exist underground.

Deboodt brought an arsenal of camera and video equipment as well as a drone to capture the expansive interiors of Tham Khoun Xe, much of which he edited into a short video included below. You can follow more of his cave photography from around the world on Facebook or Instagram, and read an interview about the endeavor on Smithsonian.

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A Mysterious and Abandoned Fishing Village Outside of Budapest Captured in Perfect Reflection 

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A few years ago photographer Viktor Egyed accidentally stumbled upon the town Szödliget a few miles outside of Budapest, and to his delight found this small abandoned fishing village filled with clusters of A-frame huts. Deciding the weather was not ideal, Egyed came back a few years later when he was able to capture the town in a hazy fog, the perfect condition to highlight the glasslike reflections of the structures in the lake below.

The feeling of the small lakeside town is just as dreamlike as the imagery suggests. “This small abandoned fishing lake has its own very unique atmosphere,” said Egyed to Colossal. “It is an idyllic place for people who want to escape from the rushing of life for a little while.”

You can see more of Egyed’s photographs on his Behance page here.

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