Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Oct 17, 2022
Long-eared owl in the Czech Republic
Whooo is that up in that tree? Why, that"s just a typical long-eared owl, sometimes called the lesser horned owl or cat owl. It"s one of the most numerous owl species in the world with an estimated population between 2 million and 5.5 million long-eared owls widely distributed across the Northern Hemisphere. Our featured friend today was found in the Czech Republic, but they"ll adapt to several kinds of habitats.
Oct 16, 2022
Prince Christian Sound in southern Greenland
The sheer size of Greenland is hard to put in perspective. The world"s largest island is more than 836,000 square miles—that"s more than three times the size of Texas and 170,000 square miles larger than Alaska. It is a land of deep fjords and thick ice that must have made the Norse explorers feel right at home when they landed there a thousand years ago.
Oct 15, 2022
International Archaeology Day
Naqsh-e Rostam is an ancient necropolis carved into the mountains of southwestern Iran, a porthole into one of the earliest civilizations to flourish in ancient Persia. The tombs of four Achaemenid kings (you can see three of them here) are marked by rock reliefs carved high above the ground into the cliff face. This site and the area around it are of huge significance to the history of Iran and its people. They"re also a shining example of the role archaeology plays in understanding our past. On the third Saturday of every October, we pause to celebrate and recognize the contributions of archaeologists as interpreters of human history.
Oct 14, 2022
Río Arazas in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Spain
Striking in any season, but particularly beautiful in years when the warmth of summer stretches into fall, the Pyrenees have served as a natural border between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe since the earliest civilizations took root there. Located in the center of the range, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park was created in 1918 and expanded in 1982. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Oct 13, 2022
After months of eating, roaming, and avoiding predators, Alaska moose spend autumn trying to propagate the species during what is called the rutting season, which runs from late September to early October. Males, called bulls, will mark their scent on trees to attract females. They’ll also fight other bulls for access to females, called cows.
Oct 12, 2022
Travel back 199 million years with a trip to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, a 95-mile-long stretch of coastline in southern England. This stunning fossil display is known as the Ammonite Pavement, where thousands of ammonite fossils are embedded in a limestone ledge at the west end of Monmouth Beach in Dorset. Although the ammonites look rather like snail shells, these are fossils of extinct sea creatures that are more closely related to today"s octopus or squid. Britain"s Natural History Museum notes that the fossil-filled ledge is unique in the world because of the sheer number and size of the ammonites: The fossils reach up to 27 inches in diameter. If you want to check them out, timing is everything—the ledge emerges at low tide, and there are more ammonites in large rocks nearby, too.
Oct 11, 2022
Tortula moss, Netherlands
You may be surprised to learn that this elegant plant dappled with water droplets is a variety of moss: Tortula muralis, better known as wall screw-moss. It"s found all over the world, even in urban areas where more sensitive mosses have a hard time thriving because of dry soil and air pollution. Mosses in general are accurate monitors of air pollution—they absorb air and water, so contaminants can also be measured in their cells.
Oct 10, 2022
Indigenous Peoples Day
We"re celebrating Indigenous Peoples" Day by peering through the sculpture called "Circle of Sacred Smoke" aka "Wind Circle" or "Circle Wind" at Devils Tower, one of the most famous rock monoliths in the US. The "Circle," sculpted by Japanese artist Junkyu Muto and installed in 2008, is the third of seven "peace sculptures" placed around the world. Twelve feet high and made of white marble, it"s intended to evoke a puff of smoke from a Native American ceremonial pipe.
Oct 9, 2022
Earth Science Week
Hundreds of shades of blue are marbled together in this cool shot. No, it"s not a work of modern art, it"s right off the brush of nature. This is a satellite photo of phytoplankton blooming near Alaska as the cool, salty Chukchi Sea mingles with warmer, fresher water closer to shore.
Oct 8, 2022
World Octopus Day
One of the least understood of sea creatures, this glass octopus lives in the depths of the ocean where sunlight can"t reach, about 3,000 feet down. Glass octopuses are rarely seen and difficult to observe, but they"re a great example of the diversity of the order Octopoda, which we"re celebrating today on World Octopus Day. The observance comes around, appropriately, every Oct 8.
Oct 7, 2022
Berlin Festival of Lights
The double-decker Oberbaum Bridge is one of Berlin"s most beloved and iconic landmarks. For centuries the Oberbaum Bridge connected the two districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg until they were separated by the Berlin Wall from 1961 to 1989. The first bridge at this spot was built in the 1700s, although the current road-and-rail Oberbaum was constructed at the end of the 19th century.
Oct 6, 2022
International Geodiversity Day
These dragon tail-like structures that stretch into the Bay of Biscay are part of one of the most unique and remarkable geologic formations on the planet. The Basque Coast of northern Spain is a wonderland for geologists and for people who just like looking at cool rocks. Guided tours of the Basque Coast Geopark allow visitors to discover 60 million years of uninterrupted geologic history.
Oct 5, 2022
World Teachers Day
Class trip? Looks like this teacher has their youngsters in line. If only it were always this easy.... Today is World Teachers" Day, and we"re celebrating educators of all kinds. This year"s theme is "Teachers at the heart of educational renewal," and it highlights the remarkable efforts of teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine. They"ve had to balance health and safety concerns with an abrupt switch to remote learning or partial in-person classes, all while focusing on the education and well-being of their students.
Oct 4, 2022
World Space Week
Since the first pictures arrived from the James Webb Space Telescope this July, the world has been mesmerized by the vividness, resolution, and literally otherworldly nature of the telescope"s infrared images. The JWST"s technology will revolutionize the fields of astronomy and cosmology, allowing observation of the first stars in the universe and the formation of the first galaxies. The telescope"s high infrared resolution and sensitivity may even allow it to reveal potentially habitable exoplanets.
Oct 3, 2022
World Architecture Day
In Belgium"s largest city, the Antwerp Port Authority is housed in a century-old building that sports a gleaming new addition. The update to the building, known as the Port House, was the vision that Zaha Hadid created with her team at Zaha Hadid Architects, which won a 2009 competition to build the new structure around a 1911 firehouse. Work was completed in 2016, the same year the famed architect died. The expansion is intended to resemble the hull of a sailing ship with a protruding bow glimmering with diamonds, recalling Antwerp"s longtime trade in precious stones.
Oct 2, 2022
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
October means pumpkin fields, Halloween, leaf-peeping, and the World Series. But in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the beginning of October means a skyful of hot air balloons. The 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest gathering of balloonists in the world, with more than 500 hot air balloons going aloft this week. The now nine-day event got its start by launching 13 balloons from a shopping mall parking lot in 1972 to celebrate the birthday of a local radio station. It has easily become the biggest event of the year in Albuquerque, whose entire populace can view balloons in flight simply by stepping outside their homes and looking up.
Oct 1, 2022
Yosemite National Park turns 132
There are thousands of waterfalls in Yosemite National Park, but perhaps none are as well known as Bridalveil Fall. First things first: Don"t call it "falls" because then someone may think you were in Utah where another waterfall bears the surprisingly similar name, Bridal Veil Falls. Bridalveil, as seen in the photo, is often the first waterfall visitors to Yosemite encounter. It plunges 617 feet and flows year-round, fed with water from Ostrander Lake nearly 10 miles away. When the flow is light, brisk winds blow the water sideways. That"s why the Ahwahneechee Native Americans, who have lived in the Yosemite Valley for centuries, traditionally called the waterfall Pohono, or "Spirit of the Puffing Wind."
Sep 30, 2022
Southern right whale
The end of September in the Southern Hemisphere means warming weather and the nearing of summer. For southern right whales like this one off the coast of Argentina, it"s time to migrate southward toward Antarctica and rich feeding grounds. Southern right whales are a subspecies of right whale that inhabit the oceans below the equator. They feed on krill at the surface of the water, holding their mouths open as they swim through clouds of the tiny crustaceans.
Sep 29, 2022
World of WearableArt Awards
Clothes used to be animal hides and fur. Art used to be stick figures painted on cave walls. Times have changed. Now fashion is a major industry and art can be a lucrative field, too. Today we"re celebrating "wearable art," which blurs genres and has passionate devotees. Curious? Well, check out the World of WearableArt (WOW), which is WOW-ing (sorry) fashion and art fans with its awards show in New Zealand right now. The competition runs till October 16 and features work by global designers, artists, and costumers—it"s New Zealand"s largest theatrical production. The competition is just part of the event, though—there are dancers, musicians, and aerialists, too.
Sep 28, 2022
A. M. Foster Bridge in Cabot, Vermont
At one point in history, the United States had upwards of 14,000 wooden covered bridges. Most of them were built between 1825 and 1875 to cross a stream or river and were intended to withstand the elements. An uncovered wooden bridge may have a life span of only about 20 years while a covered bridge could stand for more than 100. Even still, they don"t fare well without upkeep and restoration costs can be high. That"s why iron replaced wood as the preferred bridge-building material in the mid-1800s. These days, fewer than 900 of the original wooden covered bridges are believed to still be standing. The A. M. Foster Bridge, seen in today"s photo, can be found in Cabot, Vermont.
Sep 27, 2022
Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
The highest concentration of geysers in the world is found here in this corner of Yellowstone National Park, called the Upper Geyser Basin. They include what is perhaps the most famous geyser of them all: Old Faithful. But the Upper Basin contains many other geysers as well, including the tallest predictable geyser (Grand Geyser) and the most voluminous geyser (Giant Geyser). Yellowstone contains about 500 geysers, roughly two-thirds the number in the entire world.
Sep 26, 2022
Autumn in Alaska
It"s that time of year when Alaskan caribou are beginning to feel a little frisky. From late September until early November, males will be strutting their stuff, locking antlers with one another, and competing for the attention of females in hopes of furthering the species. Successful males will mate with 15-20 females a season. After the rutting season males will shed their antlers while females keep theirs until spring. In today"s photo we"re looking at some caribou in southcentral Alaska crossing the Susitna River.
Sep 25, 2022
World Rivers Day
On World Rivers Day, we honor what may be thought of as the queen of them all—the Amazon, which flows more than 4,000 miles mostly through the South American countries of Peru and Brazil. The Amazon discharges a whopping 58 million gallons of fresh water into the ocean every second, enough to fill 83 Olympic-sized swimming pools, far more water than any other river in the world. It accounts for 20% of all fresh water that flows into the world"s seas and oceans. It"s also the vital heart of the largest and most diverse rainforest in the world. The Amazon rainforest is home to a third of the world"s animal species and its trees and plants pull billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, making it one of the Earth"s best defenses against climate change.
Sep 24, 2022
National Public Lands Day
This striking photo lets us showcase two noteworthy events in one day, at no extra charge. (You"re welcome.) National Public Lands Day is observed on the fourth Saturday in September, and today"s also part of the Acadia Night Sky Festival, which celebrates the starlit skies over Maine"s gem of a national park.
Sep 23, 2022
Golden jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake, Palau
If you"re lucky enough to see this view through the lens of your diving mask, you must be snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake on the island of Eil Malk in the Pacific island nation of Palau. Golden jellyfish are a subspecies unique to this small lake, on this small island—they"re found nowhere else on the planet. Millions of teacup-sized golden jellies inhabit the lake, following the sunlight that nourishes them. Symbiotic algae live inside the jellyfish and provide their hosts with energy as a byproduct of photosynthesis. The more sun the jellies get, the more energy they derive from their hitchhikers. The jellies start the day at the east end of the lake and drift westward until dusk, following the arc of the sun.