Author: Morgan Riley

10 Beautiful Pink Lakes Around the World

10 Beautiful Pink Lakes Around the World

We usually think of lakes as being a beautiful blue color. However, there are lakes around the world that are a stunning pink hue instead. Let’s explore some of these magnificent lakes and find out what gives them their colorful water.

Sandwich Harbour, Namibia

Sandwich Harbour is a surreal landscape with a vibrant pink lake and abundant flamingos. The lake is in a region of vast salt deposits and the lake has a high salt content. The lake contains microorganisms that release a reddish substance known as beta-carotene. Even the sky has a pinkish tint. If pink is your favorite color you will love this place.

Dusty Rose Lake, Canada

Dusty Rose Lake has a beautiful purplish pink coloration. Its color develops due to environmental factors. During the melting of nearby glaciers, the water flushes lavender colored particles into the lake, creating an unusual purplish-pink tone. There is no life in this remote lake because the water does not contain any oxygen.

La Salinas De Torrevieja, Spain

This beautiful pink lake was created in the 1200s when a canal was built to harvest salt. The micro-algae, Dunaliella Salina turns the water pink. Lavender and orchids grow on the shore adding to the beautiful coloration of the environment.

Lake Lemuria, Ukraine

According to legend, Lake Lemuria was formed by efforts to retrieve a crashed aircraft. The crater was flooded with groundwater rich in micro-algae that turned the water vibrant pink. The lake is a popular spot for birds due to its salt content. People also enjoy the lake and believe the water has healing properties due to its high mineral content.

Lake Hillier, Western Australia

Lake Hillier is a beautiful pink lake surrounded by lush vegetation and a beach. It is a perfect vacation spot except it can only be viewed from the air. The island is a closed research site and not accessible to the public.

Great Salt Lake, Utah

This lake is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere. The lake is separated by a railway line. One side of the lake has beautiful deep pink water while the other side is a deep blue. The color difference is caused by the salinity levels in the water. The difference creates a surreal visual effect.

Hutt Lagoon, Australia

The lagoon is fed by seawater and rainwater. During the hot months, the water evaporates and the lake turns into a dry salt flat covered with salt and minerals. The pretty pink color of the lake is caused by algae that produces carotene. Hutt Lagoon is a popular tourist attraction.

Las Coloradas, Mexico

Las Coloradas means “blush” and describes the beautiful pink color of the lake. The lake gets its color from red algae, plankton and brine shrimp that live in the water. The pink color of the lake is strongest on very sunny days or at noon time when the sun is directly overhead.

Pink Sea, Columbia

The high salt content of the Pink Sea is the perfect environment for micro-algae to grow, which gives the water its pink color. However, rainfall and salt harvesting can temporarily diminish the pink coloration, making it pale or almost non-existent at times.

Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

Laguna Colorada is a shallow lake close to the border of Chile. It is a spectacular landscape especially with the magnificent Andes mountains in the background. The color of the lake is due to mineral sediments and algae growing in the lake. The color of the lake varies between pink, red and orange. The area also has a variety of wildlife including foxes, pumas, llamas and alpacas. Every year, hundreds of endangered puna flamingos flock to the lake to feed on plankton.


If you thought all lakes were blue, you’ve got to see one of these amazing pink lakes. The world is a palette of rich hues than includes much more than browns, blues and greens. Choose a pink lake for your next travel destination and see what you’ve been missing.

Best Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

Best Things to Do in Yellowstone National Park

If you’re heading to Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park is a definite must on the list of what to do. With varied attractions to suit all ages, there’s no shortage of activities to add to your list. Let’s look at some of the very best.

Watch Geysers

With over 500 geysers, Yellowstone always has an opportunity to watch one of these fascinating natural phenomena. These are a kind of hot spring in a tube-like hole that, under pressure, sends jets of steam and water high into the air.

The most famous geyser at Yellowstone is Old Faithful, named in 1870 by the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition. This amazing geyser is named well, erupting at fairly regular intervals of 90 minutes or so. Once you arrive at the Upper Geyser Basin, check when the next eruption is due and plan your visit accordingly. While you are waiting, walk around the Basin – 25% of the world’s geysers are here, so there’s plenty to look at.

See the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon in Yellowstone National Park is another star attraction. Over 24 miles long and at times over 1,200 feet deep, the scale of this feature cannot be overstated. There are plenty of lookout points that you can get to quite quickly, meaning you only need to spend around an hour here if you have limited time.

However, if you can spend a little longer, it is very much recommended! With plenty of hikes around both sides of the canyon, you can enjoy the views while keeping fit. A longer walk is a good way to dodge the crowds too.

Go Boating

To get a whole new perspective on the park, head out on one of the lakes in a boat. There are services if you want to go out on a guided boat tour, or you can join an activity to go canoeing or kayaking if you fancy something a bit more exciting!

If you have boating experience, you can get a permit for some areas of the water and strike out on your own. However, there are strict rules to keep you safe if you go out on any of these, so do your research first. For example, you must follow the boating season, have a clean boat, and pay attention to which areas allow different types of boat. Be aware that there are only a few areas safe to swim in.

See Wildlife

As an extensive park, Yellowstone naturally has a huge variety of wildlife to see, including bison, elk, and bears! Check the different sites if there’s any particular animal you want to see, but Hayden Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs and Lamar Valley are all great places to start. Remember to keep your distance from the animals – notices tell you how far you should allow for different species.

It’s not just mammals, however. Depending on the season, different birds flock to Yellowstone, from amazing peregrine falcons to osprey. Check the area and you can also see a variety of reptiles and amphibians, as well as fish in the numerous lakes. Again, pay attention to any safety instructions posted, as well as those for the protection of the animals.

Ride a Horse

To be sure you see at least one animal, why not go horse riding? There are plenty of guided tours organised if you want to go for a casual ride and enjoy the views – just take a look for one that suits you. However, if you have your own horse, you can buy permits for riding through the park, as long as your horse has the necessary health certification.

Go for the Winter Experience

Yellowstone in winter is beautiful in a whole new way – snow blankets the peaks and valleys of this stunning area. Face the cold and hike through to take in the views at your own pace, or strike out on a snowmobile if you want to move a bit faster!


No matter what type of activity you’re interested in, Yellowstone National Park has loads to offer. From quiet activities such as watching wildlife and touring the springs, to more adventurous ones like kayaking on the lakes and hiking through snow, you can be sure of a great time no matter when you go!

Ten Reasons to Take Your Kids Camping 

Ten Reasons to Take Your Kids Camping 

When planning family vacations, do you look for something luxurious at an overseas location to get as far away from home as possible? If so, perhaps you have been too hasty to dismiss the concept of camping trips a little closer to home. Here are some excellent reasons to take your kids on a family camping trip at least once:

Less Expensive

Opting for a camping trip nearer to your home will save you a lot of expense. If you do not have them already, you will have to pay for a tent, camping supplies, gasoline, and a place at a campsite.

You will not have to pay for airfare. Nor will you need to book costly accommodation or spend more than you can afford in overpriced restaurants.

Choosing a camping adventure rather than a trip abroad could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Almost Any Time of Year

Beach vacations overseas usually happen at a time of year when the weather is warm or hot at your destination. There are no such constraints with camping trips in the woods. Unless the weather is extremely hot or cold, it is always the perfect time for camping.

It Is Fun

The experience of camping is out of the ordinary compared with everyday life. When something is unusual, it is often fun and memorable, too.

Going on a camping trip with your children can help you create hilarious and precious memories that still make you laugh years later. Your children will remember their camping trips with you forever.

Ten Reasons to Take Your Kids Camping 

A Break from Devices

Many children and adults spend more time than they should be using devices such as smartphones, gaming consoles, computers, and tablets. When you go camping somewhere in a remote rural area that does not have Wi-Fi access, you all get a break from devices and a reminder that there can be more to life than technology. The break from device use will boost your collective physical and mental health.

More Self-Sufficient

When you take the family camping, every member acts as part of a team. You work together to complete essential chores. For instance, you must put up and take down your tent, prepare food, wash dishes, clean your clothes, etc. You will not have all the modern conveniences you enjoy at home to help with these tasks.

Camping can encourage your children to be more self-reliant. Thus, a camping trip is a brilliant idea if, for instance, you have self-entitled teens.

A Closer Bond

When a family works together as part of a team, they have to communicate with each other. More verbal communication between family members and less screen time helps you to develop a closer, more authentic bond.

When family members share close bonds, they trust each other more. You are more likely to turn to someone you trust during times of trouble.

Connecting With Nature

When camping in wooded areas, you cannot help but develop a closer bond with nature because it surrounds you. Trees, birds, mammals, and insects are everywhere. Connecting with nature will help you feel positive emotions such as joy and peace.

Some people experience creative inspiration when they connect with nature. The late novelist Beatrix Potter wrote Peter Rabbit while connecting with nature near Windermere, England. Windermere is one of the scenic lakes in the Lake District region.

Ten Reasons to Take Your Kids Camping 

Respect For the Planet

When you connect with nature, it reminds you of the beauty and frailty of the planet. Everything in nature has a delicate balance. It is easy to disrupt that equilibrium. When a camping trip reminds you of the delicate balance, you remember to treat the planet respectfully. For example, seeing a dried-out stream in June might remind you to conserve water once you get back home.

Better Imaginations

On camping trips, you cannot entertain yourself in typical ways. Instead, you read books, tell stories, play family games, and look for other forms of entertainment. Finding creative ways to avoid boredom means using your imagination. Whenever you use your imagination and creativity, you improve them.

More Confident

If you go on a camping trip with your family, perhaps you will notice that everyone becomes more confident. Family camping trips have many positive aspects, such as teamwork, connection, and self-reliance. Remembering that you all have some essential skills you need to survive in the natural world positively impacts your overall self-esteem.

Why Wait?

Camping trips are relatively easy to organize. Even if you don’t yet have a tent, you can easily order everything you need to go camping via the internet. You can also book a place at a campsite via the internet. Then it’s just a matter of packing your vehicle with things you need for your trip, filling the tank with gasoline, and heading to your destination.

If this article inspired you to go camping with your family, why wait until tomorrow to make plans? Start planning your trip today. It will give you all something exciting to anticipate.

This Hidden Beach In Mexico Is Absolutely Beautiful

Off the Pacific coast of Central Mexico in the Bay of Banderas, two islands evade the eyes of most tourists. The Islas Marietas hold a jaw-dropping secret. Tucked a little way inland at the bottom of a crater, one of the islands hides a secluded beach, Playa Del Amor, that is the perfect setting for any dream getaway vacation. What makes the beach even more interesting is its history, taking it beyond being a tourist attraction and turning it into a place of pure wonderment and adventure.

An Explosive Past

Thousands of years ago, the Marietas Islands were formed when lava bubbled up from the Earth’s mantle and solidified on the ocean floor. The pair of volcanic islands is full of caves and pockets created as the lava cooled, giving visitors many places to explore. However, their formation seems pretty tame when compared to how our secret beach was born. Playa Del Amor is located in a crater on the eastern island. The hole is the result of a bomb blast from the early 1900s when Mexico used the uninhabited islands as testing grounds for their military weapons. The many explosives created craters and caverns within the islands, one of which now houses Playa Del Amor.

In the 1960s, scientist Jacques Cousteau began a call to action for the protection of the islands. The resulting public outcry was enough to convince the Mexican government to designate the Islas Marietas as national park land. Since that protection was put in place, any activities that might disrupt the local flora and fauna have been banned, including fishing. As of May 9, 2016, all human interaction with the islands has been prohibited by the Mexican government, to protect the local ecosystem from further damage, so you’ll have to wait for the islands to reopen before you can visit yourself.

Human Footprints

The preservation efforts of the Mexican government made the Marietas Islands the perfect tourist destination. The reefs surrounding the landmasses, protected from fishing, boasted a wide diversity of aquatic life. Humpback whales migrated to the warm waters in the springtime to mate, which brought plenty of people out to whale watch. In addition to the humpbacks, sea turtles, dolphins, octopi, and rays were also commonly reported to have been sighted in the area. On land, the islands are home to a few thousand birds, making it a prime attraction.

According to experts, the beach itself can hold up to 116 people, and the entire island preserve maxes out at around 625 people per day. Any more than that and the islands begin to suffer from the traffic, facing issues with erosion, pollution, and disruption of wildlife. The 2016 ban on tourism in the nature preserve was the result of numbers well beyond the calculated maxima, with over 27,000 people visiting the islands in 2012 and nearly 130,000 visiting in 2015.

Restoring The Natural Beauty

Plans are currently underway to restore the island sanctuary to its original health and majesty. The Mexican government has initiated a project to regrow the coral in the reef, splicing young corals onto old ones to grow for a few months before transplanting them to the seafloor. The new coral will take the place of those that were destroyed by people visiting the islands over the years. The government is planning ahead and intends to reopen the islands sometime in the future, but with much stricter regulations on charter companies and with added protection to the local plants and wildlife.

Diving To The Bottom Of The Great Blue Hole

Just off the coast of Belize lies a mysterious formation at the bottom of the ocean. The shallow waters of the reef plunge hundreds of feet down into a massive void, appropriately named the Great Blue Hole, into which very few people have ventured.

Remains Of The Past

The origins of the Great Blue Hole, while interesting, aren’t much of a mystery. During Earth’s ice ages, sea levels were much lower. What is now shallow waters off the coast of Belize was once dry land. Throughout Earth’s last several ice ages, a massive sinkhole formed a cave. That cave filled with water and eventually became the Great Blue Hole.

When you get right up close to it, the massive underwater cavern looks somewhat intimidating. The shallow ocean drops off into a deep blue chasm, the bottom of which cannot be seen from the surface. At around 410 feet deep, the Great Blue Hole remained a mystery for some time until a handful of intrepid divers made their way to the bottom.

A Long Way Down

Diving 400 feet below the surface not only takes experience and courage. It’s a journey that requires special equipment to provide enough oxygen to last the entire trip. For reference, standard diving gear only allows the wearer to explore down to about 130 feet. In late 2005, a team of divers from The History Channel set out on the first documented dive to the bottom of the Great Blue Hole.

Their adventure into the belly of the beast confirmed the fact that the cave had been created as a dry landform before being submerged underwater and reemerging again on several occasions to continue its formation. When they finally reached the bottom, the divers landed in soft sediment, which had been deposited by the currents in uneven dunes. Stalactites loomed from overhangs, indicators of a damp past above water. Markings on the rocky formations indicated a series of rising water levels throughout several major climate phases earlier in Earth’s history.

Unusual Finds And Future Adventure

In addition to finding a cave at the bottom of the deep oceanic hole, the divers also found an assortment of crabs strewn about the sand, all of which were dead. The Deep Blue Hole receives minimal circulation in its waters 400 feet from the surface. As a result, they hold very little oxygen. Any creature unlucky enough to tumble in from up above is doomed to meet a grisly demise. Another side-effect of anoxic water is that not much can survive down there to break down dead creatures, so the carapaces stayed behind, preserved after death.

Since 2005, no one has documented another trip to the bottom of the Great Blue Hole. Jacque Cousteau, who originally made the place famous in 1971, and the team from the History Channel are the only people to ever truly explore it. Now, Cousteau’s son, Fabien, plans to explore the depths and gather information from the rock and sediment. His expedition will be documented on the Discovery Channel and will help scientists better understand the geological history of the area.

Scientists Uncover Thriving Coral Reef Hiding Deep In The Atlantic

There is still so much that humans don’t know about marine life and the oceans. Human activities like carbon emissions, plastic pollution, and abuse of natural resources have disrupted the fragile ecosystems on our planet. Coral reefs are often observed as a barometer for measuring the extent of environmental damage to the world’s oceans. Curiously enough, scientists have stumbled upon a large number of thriving coral that has been hiding deep under the ocean’s depths.

One Big Blue Mystery

Despite all of humanity’s advancements in technology, knowledge about marine life at the deepest points of our ocean is still beyond our comprehension. Although water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface, more than 95% of the world’s oceans are still unmapped. Humans have only begun to scratch the surface of understanding the oceans and seas, having mapped a mere 5% of the seafloor.

Unfortunately, scientists and researchers are racing against time to catalog and monitor the health of marine life. The amount of devastation that climate change, ocean acidification, and microplastics have caused to the planet’s oceans is still being quantified. Researchers study coral as an indicator of the health of water and surrounding marine life.

Coral Life Under Threat

Seeing bleached coral that is a startling white color may be breathtakingly beautiful, but it belies the truth of coral reef death caused by ocean acidification. Around the world, coral reefs that are a support system for a myriad of undersea life have been struggling to survive the negative impact of human behavior.

Scientists have mostly studied coral that is closer to the surface and survives via a symbiotic relationship with algae. Recently, scientists on board a research vessel off of the coast of Charleston, South Carolina stumbled upon a wide swath of ancient coral at cold-water depths.

Shrouded In The Depths

As living proof that nature will adapt to survive, scientists on board the Atlantis captured footage of mountains of coral thriving atop dead coral. The coral was 0.5 miles below the surface of the ocean, and 160 miles off of Charleston, South Carolina’s coast.

Researchers believe that the cold-water coral reef has existed for millennia, and sent out a submersible vehicle for closer investigation and sample collection. One of the more prevalent types of coral that live in this long hidden reef is Lophelia pertusa. This type of coral has been discovered in deep water at the Gulf of Mexico, where it uses its tentacles to sting prey and guide them to their stomach.

Send Out The Submersible

Exploring and mapping the world’s oceans has been challenging because of cold temperatures, pressure, and technological limitations. The creation of the Alvin has aided scientists on research expeditions, allowing a team to dive up to 2.8 miles underwater for 10 hours. The Alvin uses robotic arms to obtain specimen samples, and cameras photograph and survey surroundings.

On August 23rd and 24th, scientists boarded an Alvin to collect samples of the hidden coral reef for further study. Due to climate change and the urgency to preserve life on Earth, there is an increased push to explore the deep sea for mapping and studying marine ecosystem health.

Mission To Map The Seas

Between the discoveries of coral by the crew on the Atlantis, and corals discovered by the Okeanos Explorer, there are an estimated 85 miles of thousand-year-old coral reefs under the surface. In an effort to expand human knowledge of vulnerable lifeforms and their habitats in the ocean, a collaborative project known as Deep SEARCH is being conducted.

For four and a half years, researchers will use technology to collect data about deep-sea marine life and look for any threat posed by human activities.

MORE: Another interesting link between a changing climate and coral reefs – Rising sea levels may actually help coral islands form, with one catch: the coral has to be alive.

Sharks And Stingrays Close To Extinction, According To New Study

Sharks have been fascinating sea creatures for as long as we can remember. Are they as life-threatening as it’s depicted in Jaws? But unfortunately, sharks are not threatening our lives; they are endangered themselves. A new report reveals many of the world’s most unique sharks and rays are close to extinction. This includes the largetooth sawfish, whale sharks, electric rays, and more. These sea creatures have swum the oceans for over 250 million years.

But now, they’ll soon disappear into extinction— forever.

More At Risk

According to the new report, sharks, rays, and chimeras are among many animals on the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species. Many of these sharks and rays are at the top of their food chain, making them crucial to the health of the Earth’s ecosystem. If they were to go extinct, it would harm the entire aquatic environment.

EDGE Sharks coordinator Fran Cabada said, “Sharks, rays, and chimeras have been around since the age of the dinosaurs, but due to human activities, their modern relatives are facing threats all over the world.”

But now that conservationists know these animals are on the endangered species list, they can implement efforts to protect these sea creatures from complete extinction. Who would want to say goodbye to these beautiful sea animals?

The Largetooth Sawfish

The most critically endangered shark is the popular largetooth sawfish. Usually found in tropical waters, the shark is famous for its unique shape. Unfortunately, the sawfish population has declined rapidly in recent years, largely due to unsustainable fishing.

Everyone can agree the shark is unique, but it’s now the highest-ranked EDGE species in the world. That’s not something to celebrate.

The Basking Shark

Not that many people know about this unique shark, but the basking shark is a generally harmless shark. As a slow-moving sea creature, it feeds in shallow waters.

Much like the largetooth sawfish, the basking shark population is decreasing because of the fishing industry. The shark’s fins are found in soup and its cartilage is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

The Whale Shark

The largest living fish species, the whale shark can live up to 100 years old. But now, they’re at high risk of endangerment. Because of their impressive size, growing up to 40 feet, the sharks are targeted by fishermen.

Conservationists have worked hard to protect these sea creatures. Their hunting is now banned in the Philippines, India, and Taiwan.

Sting Rays

While sharks are endangered species, we can’t neglect rays, who dominate the EDGE species list. This includes stingrays, eagle rays, and guitarfishes. At the moment, conservation action for rays is lagging far behind protection for endangered sharks.

Overfishing is the main threat to the species. Rays have been decreasing in the ocean system for the past 30 years. Unfortunately, if they, along with sharks, were to become extinct, it would harm the Earth’s ecosystem in more ways than what many realize.

“The modern extinction of a single species from this list would cause the loss of millions of years of evolutionary history,” said Matthew Gollock of the Zoological Society of London.

MORE: World populations of marine wildlife have declined by 50% over the past four decades. Which species are most in danger and what can be done to protect them?

Coral Reef Islands Return Thanks To Rising Sea Levels

Research has found evidence to suggest that rising sea levels may actually help build coral reefs, instead of destroying them like scientists originally believed. Low-lying coral reef islands are usually less than three meters above sea level which means that they can be impacted by climate change and the rising sea levels that come with it. This rise in sea level may be a danger to those of us on land but it could be a huge help in the growth of coral reefs as long as these reefs remain healthy.

How Were Coral Reefs Formed?

At the time the five islands in the southern Maldives formed, sea levels were 0.5 meters higher than they are today. Having more water gave the waves a lot more energy when they hit land. The islands in question were formed by large waves from distant storms off the coast over three to four thousand years ago.

Known as high-energy wave events, these large waves were able to break coral rubble off the reef and move it to the reef platforms which in turn created the foundations for reef islands. This could mean only one thing – the higher sea levels and large wave events were essential to the creation of these islands.

Coral Bleaching Won’t Help

Coral Bleaching is a huge problem when it comes to the growth of coral reefs. A few ecological causes for bleaching include temperature, subaerial exposure, freshwater dilution, and a few others.

Subaerial exposure is the one that will be solved by rising sea levels because it involves the sudden exposure of reef flat corals to the atmosphere which usually occurs during low tide and a drop-in sea level.

When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as the ones stated above, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues causing them to turn white and become “bleached”. This bleaching will kill the coral if it is not resolved quickly which is why growth is not possible when bleaching is present.

Ideal Conditions For Growth

The ideal conditions for coral growth are stable climate conditions so bleaching can’t occur, perpetually warm waters, shallow water, clear salt water, abundant plankton, and little or no pollution. The only condition that would be impacted by the sudden change in sea level is having to be in shallow water.

Coral needs sunlight to survive and if they are any further than 45m to 55m below sea level, they will not get enough light and will eventually die. However, it would keep them from being exposed to the elements reducing the change of any bleaching.

Adapt To Survive

According to Dr. Holly East, the lead researcher from the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Northumbria University, coral reefs face a range of threats from climate change. The reefs need to be able to adapt to the conditions around them to survive.

By using the large wave events, researchers are hoping that the coral reefs will be able to rebuild themselves over time. However, this will only be possible if the reefs are not bleached already. We may have the perfect building conditions, but it is up to the reefs themselves to provide the bricks.

The Oceanic Twilight Zone Is A World Like No Other

There lies in the ocean an unseen world that is filled with creatures beyond the imagination. It lies 660 to 3,300 feet below and is known to scientists as the twilight zone. Not much research has been done on this layer of the ocean, but it is believed that there are more animals here than anywhere else in the world.

There’s a group of scientists currently studying this area’s bizarre inhabitants and they are hoping their research can help find a more sustainable approach to the surface’s fisheries.

Creatures Beyond Science-Fiction

The ocean’s creatures are unique compared to those on land because they each hold their own auditory signature that our ships can detect using our own sound waves. The animals that reside in the twilight zone are also known to produce their own light through different chemical reactions.

This light helps them blend in with the light flowing from the surface. Hatchet fish use this technique called counter-illumination to hide from predators looking for their silhouettes from below. Other animals down here may turn their eyes into giant lenses (like how our eyes adjust to light) or even opt to use other senses instead like the Fangtooth. The Fangtooth is known to bump into objects and other fish using pressure sensors on the sides of its body.

The Great Migration

Biologists have known about a vertical migration since the 1800s because their sample nets seemed to come back fuller at night than during the day. The size of the migration wasn’t discovered till World War II when the Navy sailors detected what they called a “false bottom” on their sonar screens.

The “false bottom” was later named the deep scattering layer as it occasionally rose toward the surface each night and sank again the next morning. This layer is produced when sound waves reflect off gas-filled swim bladders or fat droplets within the migrating creatures. This daily migration is one of the largest in the world and it happens every day. Every night creatures from the dark come to the surface just to return to the depths in the morning.

What is the point? Why travel such long distances every single night? The simple answer is food. They do it for survival, but it also helps our planet regulate climate change.

Helping The Earth’s Climate

The creatures that reside in the twilight zone are very small which is very important in an environment like this since small things don’t eat as much. However, when these organisms travel to the surface at night they will often eat the plant material there before traveling downward.

The plant material they eat consists of a large amount of carbon and through the organism, it gets transferred from the surface to the ocean depths. The animals from the twilight zone will then recycle the carbon they collected as feces, breath it out as carbon dioxide, or just turn it into dissolved organic carbon. This entire process has helped the planet regulate the amount of carbon dioxide that exists in our atmosphere. It’s just another important piece to the giant carbon cycle puzzle.

This Drone May Have Saved Hundreds of Whales From A Terrible Fate

Do you remember when we used to tell our friends locations to look up on Google Earth to see crazy stuff that was captured by the cameras? Now, the same thing happens with drone footage. Although it would be nice if a drone in Russia simply caught an odd-looking cat or a person walking down the street in a costume, the footage that was captured is sad rather than entertaining.

The grisly footage

A drone noticed what seemed to be boxes in the middle of a bay off the coast of Nakhodka, Russia. When they zoomed in, they noticed that over 100 whales and orca were being held captive in the humongous cages. When word spread of this strange and disturbing sight, activists traveled to the location to get a closer look.

If you’d like to see these “whale jails” for yourself, you can check out these close-up images.

What’s going on?

It didn’t take long for the authorities to get involved. Keeping such largine marine animals in crates that are barely larger than their bodies isn’t just hard to look at. It’s also extremely illegal.

It turns out that there are four different companies involved in this illegal scheme. The companies shared the expenses of the cranes, employees, tarps, water, and crates necessary to pull off this operation. They planned to sell the whales on the black market

Why is the whale trade illegal?

According to the International Whaling Convention (IWC), it is illegal worldwide to buy a whale, sale a whale, or hunt a whale for the purpose of selling it. The laws was created in the 1940s to slow down the whale trade because the whale population was dropping too fast. In the 1980s, the law was updated to put a worldwide ban on all selling and buying of whales.

Why capture whales?

These companies were reportedly going to sell the whales to Chinese aquariums. In China, aquariums are a booming business, and the ones with the largest, most exotic marine life get the most customers. One whale could sell for over $5 million. To get around the IWC, contracts for the whale sales are often written as if the whales are merely being rented.

How do they pull it off?

The companies lied to Russian conservation authorities about their purpose for keeping the whales. Under the International Whaling Convention, it is perfectly legal to capture whales for the purpose of science. Of course, even for science, there are still limits on how many whales can be taken out of the wild. Anyone who claims to be using whales for science has to prove it and get permission before they take any whales out of the ocean.

These companies had a permit to capture 13 orcas for stricly scientific purposes. Clearly, the companies overstepped the bounds of the permit, and they were capturing the whales to illegally sell them. Let’s hope these gentle giants get back to the ocean soon!

In other whale news, scientists have discovered an underwater ‘highway’ of mountains where hundreds of whales congregate.