Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
Photograph by Keren Su, Corbis
Narrow sandstone pillars, some over 650 feet high, pierce Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan Province, China. The park is one of several within the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Katmai National Park, Alaska
Photograph by Michael Melford, National Geographic
Alaska’s Katmai National Park is famous for bears and volcanoes. In the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, pictured here, a stream carves a canyon through rock formed during the 1912 eruption of nearby Novarupta Volcano. The snowcapped peaks are Mount Griggs and Mount Katmai (far right), part of an active system of ten volcanoes that surround the valley.
Gas Crater, Turkmenistan
Photograph by Nick Hannes, Hollandse Hoogte/Redux
This gas crater in Darvaza, located in Turkmenistan's Karakum desert, has been burning for decades. Although the country's natural gas reserves rank fifth in the world, development of gas exports is hampered by a lack of gas pipeline routes outside its landlocked borders.
Olympic National Park, Washington
Photograph by Michael Hanson
A fallen tree creates a natural bridge for a hiker in Washington State's Olympic National Park. Covering nearly 1,500 square miles of the Olympic Peninsula, the park has three distinct ecosystems: temperate forest (seen here), rugged Pacific shore, and subalpine forest and wildflower meadow.
Lake Altaussee, Austria
Photograph by Christina Anzenberger-Fink & Ton, Redux
On a lake near the spa town of Altaussee in the Austrian Alps, a boathouse is the launching point for colorful crafts. In the background Trisselwand mountain rises over 5,700 feet.
Corcora Valley, Colombia
Photograph by Alex Treadway
Colombia's lush Cocora Valley, part of Los Nevados National Park, is the principal home for the country's national tree, the palma de cera, or wax palm. The lanky tree is the world's tallest palm tree, reaching up to 200 feet tall.
Bookstore, Buenos Aires
Photograph by Bob Krist, National Geographic
Regal in size, operatic in feeling, the ornate Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookstore is housed in a former theater in Buenos Aires. Spectator balconies and opera boxes are lined with built-in bookshelves, and reading nooks invite patrons to relax for a while.
Legzira Beach, Morocco
Photograph by Bertrand Gardel, Getty Images
A woman stands under a natural arch on Legzira Beach, south of Agadir, Morocco. The cliffs on the beach, which can be visited at low tide, turn an intense red color at sunset.
Photograph by Francois Lenoir, Reuters
A gardener works on a giant carpet of begonias at the Grand-Place, the central square in Brussels, Belgium. A new floral design is unveiled every two years in August and remains on display for several days.
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