Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Aug 9, 2020
A peek at an explosive peak
We"re looking at Lassen Peak, a volcano also known as Mount Lassen, and its reflection in Manzanita Lake. This stunning scene can be found in Northern California"s Lassen Volcanic National Park, which was established on this day in 1916. The volcano erupted between 1914 and 1917 (with some activity as late as 1921), but these days the surrounding area is a calm destination of trails, lakes, and stark lava beds. One of the least visited parks, Lassen was the first national park in California to fully reopen after being closed for COVID-19, although it implemented some restrictions to park services and facilities. The park also includes acres of mud pots, hot springs, steam vents, and fumaroles to remind you of the heat that"s below you, including Boiling Springs Lake—one of the largest boiling lakes in the world at over 500 feet wide.
Aug 8, 2020
It s ∞ Day!
Gustave Flaubert wrote that "an infinity of passion can be contained in one minute." So, if you have boundless passion for contemplating the immeasurable, a full day should offer plenty of time. August 8 (8/8) is Infinity Day since the numeral 8 looks like a tilted ∞, the common symbol for infinity first popularized in 17th-century math books. But the concept of infinity itself represents an idea much older, inherent in the countless spiritual traditions that revere eternal gods or outline endless life cycles.
Aug 7, 2020
A whale of a hug
This time of year, humpback whales make their annual trip to the warm waters of the South Pacific to mate. Today"s image finds us swimming alongside a humpback mother and her young calf near the Polynesian island chain of Tonga. There are six main humpback populations in the southern Pacific, and this pair is part of the one that"s often called the "Tongan Tribe." The humpbacks of the Tongan Tribe return each year from their feeding grounds off Antarctica—a journey of more than 4,000 miles. Through November, the cows will stay in this region while their newborn calves grow strong enough to make the trek back to the cold Antarctic waters where their main food source—the small crustacean called krill—is abundant.
Aug 6, 2020
Space-age style by the sea
This pod-like structure near the seaside resort of Binz, on the Pomeranian coast of northeast Germany, provides a snapshot into a different era, delivered by the architect Ulrich Müther. Originally a lifeguard tower, it was constructed in 1968 in a style known as shell architecture using an innovative thin, poured-concrete material. Müther designed and built roughly 70 buildings in this manner, many of them here on the island of Rügen, where he lived. His work is regarded as some of the most outstanding examples of architecture in the region.
Aug 5, 2020
Aw shucks, It s Oyster Day
It may look like we"ve led you into a squishy green minefield, but don"t worry, these clustered oysters will only explode with flavor. In honor of Oyster Day, August 5 of each year, we"re getting a glimpse of just one method of oyster mariculture, or farming in open seawater. The briny bivalves may be grown on beds, rods, racks, or—in this case—ropes, but the basic process is simple: Growing surfaces are "seeded" with whole or ground oyster shells before oyster larvae are introduced. The shells attract the larvae, which attach themselves and soon grow into a new layer of mature oysters. Humans have been doing this at least since the days of ancient Rome, but wild-picked oysters have been an important food source to many cultures since prehistory.
Aug 4, 2020
Into the woods
Catching a glimpse of a deer makes the world go suddenly quiet. One clumsy move, even a gasp, could send these two white-tailed deer, with a flash of their namesake tails, deeper into the woods. But if you live between southern Canada and South America, chances are good you"ll get another opportunity to see these native deer. They live throughout the United States, save for parts of the Far West, and thrive in a variety of habitats—forests, grasslands, even city suburbs. This doe and fawn were photographed in Wisconsin, a state that picked this locally abundant and economically important ruminant as its state wildlife animal back in 1957. So, why isn"t Wisconsin called "The White-Tailed Deer State"? Take the quiz to find out.
Aug 3, 2020
The monsoon arrives in the desert
Lightning strikes are common during the summer monsoon in southwestern US states and northwestern Mexico. In Arizona and New Mexico, powerful thunderstorms roll in most every afternoon from early July until mid-September. Here, in the Sonoran Desert north of Tucson, Arizona, severe weather over saguaro cactus makes for a dramatic scene.
Aug 2, 2020
Isola Bella translates from Italian to English as "Beautiful Island." We"re not going to argue with that. It certainly stands out even amid the rest of picturesque Lake Maggiore in Italy"s northwestern Piedmont region. For years, the only human habitation on the island was a small fishing village. The village is still there, but in 1632, Carlo III, an Italian royal, commissioned the construction of a large palazzo (palace) on the island. The ostentatious palace includes a model Italian garden. Both are now major tourist attractions. Visitors to Stresa, the nearby town on the mainland, can book passage to Isola Bella and the other Borromean Islands for day trips or overnight stays…and our list of future travel destinations grows ever longer.
Aug 1, 2020
Where fire meets water
"Keep your distance" might be the mantra for 2020, but here at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the 50th state"s "Big Island," it"s always been good advice. Especially so for the passengers on this tour boat as they witness a red-hot lava flow hitting the chilly ocean with a tremendous explosion of steam.
Jul 31, 2020
The Big Blue of the Sierra
High in the Sierra Nevada, straddling the border between Nevada and California, you"ll find the largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe—sometimes called Big Blue. Seventy-two miles in circumference, with an average depth of 1,000 feet, it has the sixth-largest volume of any lake in the US—only the Great Lakes are larger. For at least 6,000 years, the territory of the Washoe people centered around Lake Tahoe, but the arrival of non-native people in the 19th century led to a series of armed conflicts and eventual loss of land to farms and townships.
Jul 30, 2020
International Day of Friendship
Who better to embody the spirit of International Friendship Day than these two buddies of different species? Here in Zimbabwe"s Mana Pools National Park, the hamerkop, a wading bird, catches a ride from a hippo into deeper waters, where it can access fish and insects it otherwise couldn"t reach.
Jul 29, 2020
Góða ólavsøku, from the Faroes!
The festival known as Ólavsøka spans several days, but officially July 29 is the big day of merrymaking in the Faroe Islands. What exactly are the Faroese people celebrating? Technically, they"re observing the death of Saint Olaf. The Norwegian King Olaf II is said to have died in battle on this day in 1030. A century later, he was sainted by the Catholic Church.
Jul 28, 2020
Over the boardwalk
In this shallow stretch of Shark Bay in Western Australia, a natural record of Earth"s history lies just below the water"s surface. Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve protects our planet"s biggest collections of stromatolites—small sedimentary rock towers built up over the centuries. Each layer captures fossils of the many microorganisms that populate our oceans. Some of the stromatolites in Hamelin Pool contain fossil specimens that are 3 billion years old. When you"re strolling down the boardwalk of Hamelin Pool, you"re walking over an unparalleled collection of biological history. The view of the Indian Ocean"s not bad either.
Jul 27, 2020
A stunning sight in Mexico s wilderness
Here in central Mexico, the Gallinas River spills into the Tampaón River gorge to create Tamul waterfall, renowned as a jewel of the country"s wilderness. Both rivers offer great swimming near the falls, and boaters can float by on the Tampaón for close-up views. Both activities are best attempted between July and October, though: During wetter months, the falls converge into a thundering cataract as the Gallinas rises to form torrential rapids.
Jul 26, 2020
A path to access
Here"s an example of cutting-edge form meeting practical function. This snakelike bridge, the brainchild of famed architect Frank Gehry, provides a meandering and safe path over a busy thoroughfare that separates Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park in downtown Chicago. With a gentle 5% slope, the 935-foot bridge is accessible for people who use wheelchairs or have trouble navigating stairs, and that"s the main reason why we"re featuring it on our homepage today. Thirty years ago to the day, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act. This sweeping civil rights bill prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities at work, in school, and in public spaces. The resulting law meant that much of the country"s physical infrastructure, like this elegantly curving bridge, was required to accommodate people with disabilities.
Jul 25, 2020
Going with the floe
Welcome to Disko Bay near the town of Ilulissat, Greenland, where summer"s midnight sun will dip just below the horizon for only about an hour and a half tonight. In fact, for several weeks in the period around the summer solstice, the sun doesn"t set at all on Disko Bay. Technically, the "midnight sun" occurs in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle when the sun remains visible at the local midnight. This natural phenomenon lasts from April to August in the northern regions of Greenland. (The opposite effect, polar night, occurs during winter months when the sun does not rise above the horizon.)
Jul 24, 2020
Trunks stick together
In honor of Cousins Day, we"re looking at a pair of African elephants who seem to have nothing but love for each other. Elephants are matriarchal, meaning they live in female-led groups. The matriarch—usually the biggest and oldest female—leads an extended family group that includes aunts, sisters, and their young, so a given herd is likely to be full of cousins.
Jul 23, 2020
At the foot of Dubrovnik s Gibraltar
The stairs in today"s photo lead to Fort Lovrijenac, an 11th-century fortress jutting out into the Adriatic Sea just outside the western wall of Dubrovnik, Croatia. "Game of Thrones" fans will recognize these doors as entrances to a dwelling in the fictional city of King"s Landing. Legend claims that when the fort was built on this rocky coastal outpost, it took just three months to construct. The locals of what was then Ragusa knew they had limited time before their rivals, the Venetians, would arrive to build their own outpost and rule over them. According to "The Chronicles of Ragusa," the plan worked—the fort was completed just as the surprised Venetians arrived in ships heavy with supplies.
Jul 22, 2020
Wildebeest on the move
Each year, as many as 1.5 million blue wildebeest move through the Serengeti region of eastern Africa, traveling in a roughly 800-mile loop through Tanzania and Kenya as they chase lush, green grass and fresh water. When resources are depleted in one area, the animals move to another. Late summer often finds them in Kenya"s Maasai Mara National Reserve, shown on today"s homepage. The speedy wildebeest (the species can run up to 50 mph!) is not alone in its journey; hundreds of thousands of zebras, gazelles, and elands accompany the herd. The great number of animals makes this phenomenon one of the largest land migrations on Earth, often called the World Cup of Wildlife.
Jul 21, 2020
Belgium celebrates its independence
On July 21, Belgium celebrates its independence from the Netherlands and the anniversary of the establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. The holiday brings us to the bank of the River Meuse across from the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame de Dinant, the best-known landmark in the Belgian town of Dinant in Namur province. For such a small city (population about 14,000), Dinant has a rich history. It"s the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone, and has a museum dedicated to his life and instruments. The Charles de Gaulle Bridge, which crosses the Meuse, is lined with 28 saxophone sculptures, each one representing a different country in the European Union. Namur province is also the birthplace of Leffe beer, which was brewed by monks in the abbey of Leffe starting in 1240.
Jul 20, 2020
Earthrise on Moon Day
Only two dozen people have ever personally witnessed the Earth rising over the lunar surface: the crews of Apollo 8 through 17. Those 24 astronauts are also the only humans to leave low-Earth orbit and see the "dark" side of the moon—and only 12 of them walked on its surface.
Jul 19, 2020
Venice by night
In Venice, Italy, the third Sunday in July is known as "Festa del Redentore" (The Redeemer"s Feast), which commemorates the city"s salvation from the plague in the 16th century. As Italy still reels from being hard hit by the new coronavirus, the holiday is particularly poignant this year. It traditionally features a fireworks display, a regatta, and a temporary bridge that connects the Zattere promenade to the Church of the Redeemer on the island of Giudecca. While this year"s celebration will look different due to COVID-19, it will still be an important and festive day for Venetians.
Jul 18, 2020
The moth wonderful time of the year
You"re forgiven if this is the first you"re hearing of National Moth Week, even though it"s been going strong for eight years as a global call to learn about and observe the fuzzy little insects. All too often dismissed as pesky, drab counterparts to our brightly fluttering friends the butterflies, moths seem to hog every light but the spotlight. But they don"t need flashy marketing to win the numbers game: With an estimated 160,000 moth species (though some estimates go up to half a million), they vastly outnumber their swaggering butterfly cousins in the Lepidoptera order.
Jul 17, 2020
Let s face it: It s World Emoji Day
Most versions of the calendar emoji (
Jul 16, 2020
Summertime in Alaska
Humpback whales are famous for breaching—leaping out of the water in a spectacular display of size and power. Even though they can weigh more than a house and stretch to 50 feet in length, they still manage aquatic acrobatics that are amazing to behold, as the picture on our homepage captures so beautifully. Scientists don"t know why some whales breach but speculate it"s a form of communication or a mating display. Or maybe they"re just having fun.