Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Sep 20, 2021
Birds of a feather flocking together
In the fall and spring, thousands of people come to the marshlands of the Wadden Sea, between Denmark and Germany, to watch huge flocks of starlings take flight at sunset. The birds synchronize their movements in a flocking behavior called murmuration. They swoop, shift, and turn as one, creating incredible shapes in the sky.
Sep 19, 2021
Arrr! Can you talk like a pirate?
Ahoy matey! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day so we present to you a fortress that was really used to defend against pirates. Arrr! This is Le Castella, a magnificent fortification on the Calabrian coast of Italy. For centuries it served as a defense against warring nations and rampaging pirates from the Ottoman Empire.
Sep 18, 2021
Hanging out on a limb
For International Red Panda Day, we"re hanging out on a tree limb with this cutie in the Chengdu Panda Base of Sichuan, China. If you spot a red panda in the wild, consider yourself lucky. Not only will you have to travel far (they live in the mountain forests of Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, and India), but there are fewer than 10,000 wild red pandas, and they"re rather elusive, hanging out up in trees. They also spend more than half their day asleep, conserving energy for—you guessed it—eating bamboo leaves. They spend a whopping 13 hours a day eating.
Sep 17, 2021
Eye of the cave
Many sea caves and rock formations line the alluring Algarve coast in the south of Portugal, and today we"re shedding light on Benagil Cave—one of the region"s most spectacular and famous natural landmarks. Just east of the small fishing village of Benagil, the cave was formed about 20 million years ago from the pounding waves that sweep in from the Atlantic. Rainfall has caused the softer segments of limestone to erode, creating a giant hole in the cave"s roof, which is what we"re looking down through in our photo.
Sep 16, 2021
A cry for independence
The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City has hosted art exhibits, music and dance performances, and much more since its opening in 1934. The ornate Art Nouveau building was originally planned to open years earlier in 1910 to mark the 100th anniversary of Mexico"s independence from Spain. Even though it missed that 1910 deadline, the Palacio de Bellas Artes is still considered a symbol of Mexican independence. To get the story of how Mexico broke with Spain, we must travel 200 miles from this spot and back in time to the early 1800s.
Sep 15, 2021
It s National Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month takes us to the Texas border town of El Paso, where artist Jesus "CIMI" Alvarado is pictured applying the final touches to the mural he calls "Fronterizos" (Border People). It was commissioned by the El Paso Museum of Art for one of its outside walls. Alvarado began his painting career as a graffiti artist, tagging the walls of the city"s historic Segundo Barrio, and today his work can be found throughout the city. This mural depicts a local musician, Johnny Barragan, with an unnamed woman, and is described as an ode to a hometown hero of El Paso.
Sep 14, 2021
Behold the mighty Aldeyjarfoss
In waterfall-dense Iceland, it says something that Aldeyjarfoss is considered one of the most beautiful sights in the country. Fed by Iceland"s largest ice cap, the 65-foot fall is flanked by distinctive hexagon-shaped basalt columns seemingly carved by some Norse god.
Sep 13, 2021
Sand, sun, and sk8ers
Walk the busy boardwalk of Venice Beach in Los Angeles, and you"ll see more than distant yachts sailing past—like an endless stream of skateboarders whizzing by within inches, always seeming to dodge you and your snow cone at the last second. Wanna bet they"re headed to this world-famous skatepark right on the beach?
Sep 12, 2021
A grand event
It"s Grandparents Day in the USA! Did you know Asian elephants live an average of 60 years in the wild? That means this pair of pachyderms in West Bengal, India, could easily be grandparents. Or great-grandparents, or even great-great-grandparents, considering elephants normally start having babies at around age 12.
Sep 11, 2021
20 years later
The glassy lower Manhattan skyline is so pristine it"s hard to fathom the tragic scene it became 20 years ago today. But this twisted beam resting on the Hudson River"s shores is one of many reminders.
Sep 10, 2021
Celebrating all things Austen
Bath, in southwestern England, was the first home Jane Austen knew away from her tiny village when she moved here at about age 25. Though the author only lived in Bath from 1801 to 1806 and did little writing here, no doubt this spa city on the River Avon gave her inspiration. After all, Bath was a popular resort at the time for Britain"s upper crust—the posh, mannered society types whom Austen satirized so wittily in novels like "Pride and Prejudice."
Sep 9, 2021
Islands of the Salish Sea
The San Juan archipelago is made up of over 400 islands and rocks, some only visible during low tide. They"re scattered across the Salish Sea between Washington state and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. No bridges connect the San Juans to the mainland, but four of the largest islands—San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw—are accessible via the Washington State Ferries system. Tourists come to the islands to take in the stunning coastal views, catch a glimpse of resident orcas, and partake in many outdoor activities, such as sea kayaking, biking, and hiking.
Sep 8, 2021
Enter the magical world of Livraria Lello
How will you celebrate International Literacy Day today? We"re highlighting this important observance with a photo of a very special bookstore, Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal. With its art nouveau façade, neo-Gothic interior, stained-glass ceiling, swooping catwalks, and the dramatic, curvaceous staircase with crimson steps, the Lello is considered one of the most beautiful—and among the oldest—bookstores in the world. The Lello bookstore opened in 1906 and has been serving up the magic of books ever since.
Sep 7, 2021
Whale hello there!
It"s whale-watching season here off the coast of Massachusetts and these humpback whales and their seagull friends are in a feeding frenzy. Here"s a little tip if you ever find yourself seeking out humpbacks: Look for birds. Where there are swarms of dive-bombing birds, there will be fish, and where there are fish, there may be humpback whales.
Sep 6, 2021
All in a day s work
For Labor Day this year, we"re at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota watching park rangers inspect the 60-foot-tall granite faces of Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Over on the left, and just out of camera shot, is George Washington. Beginning in 1927, sculptor Gutzon Borglum led more than 400 workers to carve these presidential visages into the granite face of Mount Rushmore. These tradespeople were not artists—most of them were miners who had come to the Black Hills looking for gold—but they knew how to use dynamite, jackhammers, and chisels, and so they worked for 14 years carving the likenesses into the stone.
Sep 5, 2021
Venice s grand regatta
Every year, on the first Sunday of September, Venice celebrates the Regata Storica along the city"s most famous canal. The event is the highlight of the Venetian rowing calendar and consists of two parts: a historical boat parade and a series of rowing races. Festivities begin with a regal water pageant comprising a flotilla of colorful boats from the 16th century. Gondoliers are dressed in period costume as they ferry high-ranking Venetian officials up the Grand Canal in a faithful recreation of Venice"s storied maritime past. The regatta commemorates the welcome given in 1489 to Caterina Cornaro, the wife of the King of Cyprus, who renounced her throne in favor of Venice.
Sep 4, 2021
Did you know that in the US, the first Saturday in September is National Hummingbird Day? You do now! And what a terrific bird to celebrate. Hummingbirds, such as the Anna"s hummingbird in this photo, are crucial to healthy ecosystems. Many flowers have evolved funnel-shaped blooms specifically to attract hummingbirds—large insects like bumblebees can’t always squeeze into these tubular blossoms. But hummingbirds can plunge their long, narrow bills deep into the blooms to find the nectar that accumulates in the base and in the process, they spread pollen from flower to flower.
Sep 3, 2021
Welcome to the Alien Egg Hatchery
The otherworldly rock formations in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness inspired some creative names—such as the "Alien Egg Hatchery" seen in this photo. More than 70 million years ago, this desert was a tidal swamp along the shore of the long-evaporated Western Interior Seaway that once bisected North America. A diverse array of sediment and rock was deposited by the waters, and after the seaway retreated, the rocks remained.
Sep 2, 2021
A cliffside harbor in Sardinia
The mining industry in Sardinia, Italy, was booming in the early 20th century, as European nations looked to reconstruct from the damage of World War I. But Sardinians faced myriad logistical issues trying to export the zinc, lead, and other minerals that were in high demand. Miners on the island were using modern techniques to extract more and more ore, but it wasn"t until 1924, when engineer Cesare Vecelli designed and built the mining infrastructure along the cliffs in Porto Flavia, that getting ore off the island matched their ability to extract it.
Sep 1, 2021
It s National Mushroom Month!
Is it just us or does this porcini mushroom look straight out of a fairy tale? We"re featuring this sweet "shroom today because September is National Mushroom Month, a non-official holiday inaugurated in 1992 as part of a governmental effort to promote mushroom farming in the US. Some of the biggest celebrations this month occur in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, which is recognized as the Mushroom Capital of the World. The town of just 6,000 people cultivates around 500 million pounds of mushrooms each year, about half of the total US crop.
Aug 31, 2021
Bridge over the River Tara
In northern Montenegro, the Đurđevića Tara Bridge is the fastest passage between the villages of Budečevica and Trešnjica. The five-arch concrete bridge was completed in 1940 just as World War II was spreading across Europe. By 1941, Italian forces from the Axis powers had invaded this region. Local guerrilla fighters took an extreme measure to keep the Italian army from crossing the Tara River Valley: They blew up one of the arches, making the bridge unpassable and slowing the advancement of the invading forces. The bridge was rebuilt in 1946, and though it retains its original name, some still call it the anti-fascist bridge. And now you know an awesome story about a bridge in Montenegro.
Aug 30, 2021
Behold the perfect cone
How far would you have to travel for the "perfect cone"? Well, probably not too far if you"re talking ice cream. But if volcanoes are what you"re looking for, you"ll have to make your way to Mount Mayon on the Philippine island of Luzon. The glowing lava you see is on the tip of what many consider to be the world"s most perfectly shaped, symmetrical volcanic cone. Mount Mayon has erupted dozens of times in the past 400 years, and there was a significant eruption as recently as 2018. Even this year, white steam plumes and a faint crater glow are sometimes visible. Mayon is the most active volcano in an island nation full of active volcanos. It"s located inside the UNESCO Albay Biosphere Reserve as well as in the Philippine"s Mayon Volcano Natural Park. Despite its active status, tourists still flock to the park to view the unique beauty of this cone-shaped spectacle.
Aug 29, 2021
Notes from an underground lake
The Ruskeala Mountain Park is an eerily beautiful reminder of the booming mining industry that thrived for centuries in this area of Russia near the border with Finland. Located on the site of an abandoned marble quarry, the park opened to the public in 2005. The centuries-old quarry has been flooded with groundwater since the end of World War II, although some old buildings and kilns from the mines are still intact.
Aug 28, 2021
Relationship status: It s complicated
By posing for us, are these red-billed oxpeckers imposing on the impala? Well, science hasn"t quite decided on this one. The relationship between parasite-eating birds and hoofed mammals was once considered a textbook example of mutualism, with oxpeckers cleaning up the ticks and fleas that bug the bigger beasts. Which is what we"d like to think is going on here.
Aug 27, 2021
This rock-solid house in the Fafe mountains of northwest Portugal looks like it could be the home of a modern Stone Age family. Known locally as Casa do Penedo (House of the Rock), its prehistoric appearance has drawn comparisons to the Flintstones" dwelling in the fictional town of Bedrock. But the secluded stone structure on our homepage is very much real—it was built as a rural retreat in the Portuguese countryside in the 1970s. The building is sandwiched between four boulders that serve as the foundation, walls, and ceiling of the house, blending in as part of the beautiful natural landscape.