Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Jan 17, 2022
Martin Luther King Day
Sculptor William "Bill" Tarr created the large, untitled memorial that welcomes students to Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Campus in Manhattan. The steel block features quotations from King and famous phrases from the civil rights movement. It was designed to weather over time, changing in color and texture as it ages. The school was founded in 1975 and is now home to seven distinct high schools, each focusing on a different discipline, including law, technology, and the arts.
Jan 16, 2022
Hot and Spicy Food Day
The super-spicy curries of Bangladeshi cuisine start out here in the chili fields, where workers harvest and sort red chili peppers by hand. Once picked, the peppers are sun-dried and used whole or ground into powder. The chilis not only add a flavorful kick to foods but help kill bacteria as well. Plus, spicy foods help diners cool down: One natural reaction to capsaicin, the active chemical in chilis, is sweating, which can help chill the skin amid tropical heat.
Jan 15, 2022
To Sua Ocean Trench
This majestic swimming hole on Samoa"s Upolu Island sits just inland from the coast. It was formed when the roof of an ancient lava tube collapsed, exposing the 98-foot-deep teal-blue pool. This is the largest of many such tide pools and blow holes formed in the area thousands of years ago. An underground cave system connects this swimming hole to the nearby ocean, and the water rises and falls with the tides.
Jan 14, 2022
Road to Sa Calobra, Majorca, Spain
Though twists and turns abound on this road leading to Sa Calobra, on the Spanish island of Majorca, you"d have a hard time getting lost out here—there"s only one road in and out of this coastal town. Rather than cut a more direct path through the mountains via tunnels, the road"s designer chose to incorporate numerous switchbacks and hairpin turns, allowing sightseers to journey above ground. After all, if you make the long trip to this Mediterranean island paradise, you won"t want to miss a thing—just keep an eye on the road too!
Jan 13, 2022
It"s said that Erik the Red gave Greenland its deceptively pleasant name to draw unwitting settlers to the snowy subcontinent. The Viking leader wasn"t totally fibbing, though: Greenland can turn pretty darn green when the aurora borealis gives the glaciers a glow-up.
Jan 12, 2022
Take the Stairs Day
In honor of Take the Stairs Day, we"re here in China"s Guizhou province peering over at Mount Fanjing. Visitors will need to climb almost 9,000 steps to reach the summit of the mountain, the highest peak of the Wuling Mountains. Look closely at the image and you can see how the stairs wind up, up, up around stone outcroppings and through a gorge.
Jan 11, 2022
Psycho quiller? Nope, this is no homicidal rodent. Act friendly and keep a tail"s length of distance, and you should be safe from a spiny fate. (That thing about porcupines launching their quills at you like darts? Yeah, total myth.)
Jan 10, 2022
Ski touring in Austria
The High Tauern mountain range above the Austrian spa town of Bad Gastein is one of many regions around the world that attract brave ski-touring enthusiasts, like the three skiers crossing the ridge here. Ski touring is a sport for only the most skilled athletes since it usually involves navigating remote alpine territory and climbing with mountaineering gear, generally without removing your skis.
Jan 9, 2022
Rice processing in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, a nation that"s never recorded a freezing temperature, rice growing is a year-round affair. But growing an aquatic crop in the dry season—October through March—is complicated, requiring high-yield plant strains and additional irrigation.
Jan 8, 2022
For an American bison, winter is the season to slow down, plump up, and let your hair grow out. Relatable, sure, but these massive mammals get there without the aid of beer, chips, and a couch.
Jan 7, 2022
Instead of Surfin" USA, today we"re Surfin" Portugal—though if you shout a reverential "cowabunga" at these colossal waves, we"re sure the locals will get your meaning.
Jan 6, 2022
Kochelsee in Bavaria
To English speakers, this is Lake Kochel. To German speakers, it"s Kochelsee. Whatever you call it, this popular recreation spot in Bavaria looks great all decked out in winter white. Imagine how quiet it must be when the lake is blanketed by snow. Now stretch your imagination further to the warm summer months when the shores of Kochelsee are busy with tourists out to get a dose of nature. The lake is just an hour"s journey by car or train, south from Munich. Visit during summer and you"re likely to see windsurfers gliding across the surface of the lake.
Jan 5, 2022
National Bird Day
In honor of National Bird Day, observed every year on January 5, we"re at the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador, a 2,000-acre conservation area that was established in 1981. Bellavista is located at high altitude, in the northwestern Andes mountains, and is home to a huge variety of bird species, including the plate-billed mountain toucan you see here.
Jan 4, 2022
If you"re looking to take in a beautiful sunset over some exotic terrain, you could do worse than the Borrego Badlands, a 20-mile stretch of desert in southeastern California"s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This arid landscape is not the kind of dune-filled terrain that you might visualize when you think of a desert. Instead, it"s a series of rolling hills, canyons, gullies, and arroyos, speckled with sparse but hardy vegetation. It makes for a surreal and beautiful view.
Jan 3, 2022
Shrouded in snow on the summit of Mount Hamilton, in the Diablo Range just east of San Jose, California, lies the world"s first permanently occupied mountaintop observatory. Constructed between 1876 and 1887, the Lick Observatory has been the site of significant discoveries, including several of Jupiter"s moons and other planetary systems. It"s named for American real-estate entrepreneur James Lick, who set aside $700,000 for the University of California to build a facility that would be home to a "telescope superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet made."
Jan 2, 2022
Prague, Czech Republic
As a haze of blowing snow diffuses the streetlights of Prague, try to count the steeples, belfries, turrets, and towers that make up the Czech capital"s skyline. You may lose count like 19th-century travel writers did when they dubbed Prague the City of 100 Spires. The number is closer to 500 currently.
Jan 1, 2022
New Year s Day
This harp seal is starting 2022 off right. While many of us may be napping today to recover from New Year"s Eve celebrations, this seal is napping because it can. All the noise and excitement were last night, just 40 miles away at New York City"s ball drop, but it"s quiet enough here at Long Island"s Jones Beach for our sleepy friend to recuperate in the sand. Harp seals are one of five types of seals that populate Jones Beach from November to May. They travel from as far away as the Canadian Arctic and northwestern Greenland to rest up and feed before making their way north again in the spring.
Dec 31, 2021
New Year s Eve
The Land of Fire and Ice earns its nickname from the unique landscape of volcanoes and glaciers here, but Iceland"s white-hot celebrations in the dead of the Nordic midwinter also evoke the phrase. The tradition of New Year"s Eve bonfires in Iceland is said to date from the 18th century, when a group of schoolboys heralded the new year by scrounging up and torching a huge pile of wood scraps. The unruly teenagers" celebration sparked the general public"s interest, and annual fires—like this one in Reykjavik—became an internationally noted tradition for Icelanders. Huddle up to the fire and raise a toasty-warm toast to the new year!
Dec 30, 2021
Even in the places most altered by humans, nature seems to slip through, like the Milky Way shown here peeking between light beams from Germany"s Westerheversand Lighthouse. This beacon lies along the Wadden Sea, which forms the world"s largest tidal flat along the Dutch, German, and Danish coasts.
Dec 29, 2021
Elusive mountain goats, like these three in Canada"s Yukon Territory, rarely let themselves be discovered as plainly as this. Despite its name, the hooved wild mountain goat is not a true goat—in fact, it"s the only genus and species of its kind in the world. Found only in northwestern North America, its closest relatives aren"t domestic goats, but the chamois of Europe and the goral and serow of Asia.
Dec 28, 2021
Kjell Henriksen Observatory
While these domes look like they should be in a movie set depicting a galaxy far, far away, they"re actually part of a scientific research station here on planet Earth. Kjell Henriksen Observatory is named for a Norwegian scientist whose research focused on the polar lights. The aurora borealis is frequently seen here, deep within the Arctic Circle in Norway"s remote Svalbard territory. And the observatory is specially designed to observe the aurora. Since it opened in 2008, the observatory has become a destination for atmospheric scientists, who can rent one of these 30 glass-topped rooms built to house high-end optical instruments.
Dec 27, 2021
Snow buntings take flight
These snowflakes have feathers! The birds you see in this wintry image are snow buntings, sometimes referred to as "snowflakes" because of the distinct white in their wings. These medium-sized Arctic specialists love the cold and travel farther north than other passerine birds. Only ravens can be found north of snow buntings.
Dec 26, 2021
Happy Boxing Day!
December 26 isn"t just a day for Santa to put his feet up and sleep off all those mince pies. In many British Commonwealth countries, today is known as Boxing Day, a holiday that originated in the United Kingdom. There are a few conflicting theories about its origins, but it"s generally accepted that the name derives from the giving of "boxes" to lower classes on the day after Christmas. One thing is certain—it has nothing to do with pugilism, although it has primarily become a day dedicated to sporting events and shopping, much like the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US.
Dec 25, 2021
For Christmas Day, we"re taking in the winter views on Mount Khomyak in Ukraine"s Carpathian Mountains. The bright green moss and the red of the fallen leaves pop against the snowy white, as though the forest were transforming into a magical band of Christmas elves. While much of the Christian world celebrates Christmas on December 25, for those who follow Eastern Orthodox Christian traditions—including many Ukrainians—Christmas is still a couple weeks away. Eastern Orthodox Christmas celebrations are tied to the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the more universal Gregorian calendar, so Christmas Day in Ukraine will be celebrated on January 7.
Dec 24, 2021
Smoking nights in Austria
Behold the lovely Tannenbaum ("fir tree" for you non-German speakers). Here in Tyrol, Austria, Christmas Eve marks the first of three Rauchnächte, or "smoking nights." A long-standing Tyrolean tradition, people in this Alpine region burn frankincense and herbs in homes, barns, and stables to avert bad fortune. The custom is then repeated on the other two "smoking nights," New Year"s Eve and the night before Epiphany.