palau’s jellyfish lake was once connected to the pacific ocean, but when the sea level dropped its population of jellyfish were left to thrive in the isolation of its algae rich waters. no longer needing to defend themselves from predators, the jellyfish lost their sting, allowing snorkelers to now swim with them as they make their daily 800 metre migration from one end of the lake to the other.

photos by (click pic) david kirkland, david doubilet, tomas kotoucjody macdonaldchean chong lim, eric changnadia aly and richard schneider  (see also: vancouver aquarium jellyfish)

endangered hawaiian green sea turtle (or honu in hawaiian) swimming under breaking waves. the sea turtles come into the shallow waters to eat seaweed off of the reef and are very skilled at being just the right distance away from the dangers of the crahsing waves. photos by clark little,  via  these  additional  sources. (more sea turtle posts)

canadian rocky mountain high. photos by richard gottardo

baby japanese macaques, aslo known as snow monkeys, in the joshinetsu kogen national park. located in the valley of the yokoyu river in the northern part of nagano prefecture, the areas remains relatively free of humans thanks to heavy snowfalls, an elevation of 850 meters, and being accessible only via a narrow two kilometer footpath through the forest.

photos by (click pic) ben torodeoscar tarneberg, kiyo photography, stephano sityziakoichi kamoshida, diane mcallistermarcosjra and patypatyapaty, tubasa-wingsdaisuke tashiro and masashi mochida

six year old anita and twelve year old sonia, sisters, were both born blind to parents who, as field labourers making less than a dollar a day, were unable to afford the 300 dollar, fifteen minute operation that would restore their sight. 

for such children, blindness is often a death sentence. unable to read or find work, most leave their villages to spend their lives homeless, asking for money in the streets (much like with this photo). 

but with the help of 20/20/20, a non profit which seeks to provide the surgery for the approximately twenty million in need, sonia and anita were successfully treated, with their defective opaque lenses replaced with functional artificial ones. 

said anita’s mother, “when they removed the bandages, she kept saying ‘mother, i can see! i can see!’” as 20/20/20 explains, “it is an amazing experience to watch a child open their eyes and see for the first time. some gasp, some cry. some are too stunned to do anything except look around them and take it all in.”

you can watch a short, but impactful, documentary on anita and sonia, which includes the touching footage of the sisters seeing for the first time. photos from a larger series by brent stirton. click picture for more on their story from said doc. (see also: india’s dalits)

photos by mike roberts, masa ushioda, peter liu and doug perrine of green sea turtles being cleaned by yellow tangs, goldring surgeonfish and saddle wrasse. by feeding on the algea and parasites which grow on the turtle shells, the fish not only keep them clean, but reduce drag, helping the turtles to swim faster.

see also: butterflies drinking turtle tears 

circumhorizontal arcs photographed by (click pic) david england, andy cripe, del zane, todd sackmann and brandon rios. this atmospheric phenomenon, otherwise known as a fire rainbow, is created when light from a sun that is at least 58 degrees above the horizon passes through the hexagonal ice crystals that form cirrus clouds which, because of quick cloud formation, have become horizontally aligned. (see also: previous cloud posts)

honduran white tent bats roosting under a heliconia leaf, which they sever down the length of its midrib to create a ‘tent’ that provides a waterproof shelter and protection from potential predators. 

photos by (click pic) konrad wothekenji nishida, jenny theobald and tobias gerlach, leyooutofsomewherewanja krahalex figueroamatt brady, and michael and patricia fogden

photos* of and by thomas woodson, joey schusler, and sam seward biking the huayhuash mountain range in the peruvian andes. with a climb to over fifteen thousand feet, the route they planned for had only been completed once before by bicycle. as woodson puts it, riding a bicycle in this terrain at that altitude is “like pushing a wheelbarrow up a staircase while trying to breath through a drinking straw.”

*published in outside, yeticycles and their multimedia feature at bikemag.

photos by flip nicklin — who cofounded whale trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and public education — of north pacific humpbacks in their winter hawaiian breading and birthing grounds (the photos without the spruce trees) and off the coast of alaska (the ones with the spruce trees), where they feed in the summer. this annual migration of about six thousand miles is one of the longest of any mammal.  (more whale posts)