Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Mar 7, 2018
Chapel of St. Michel on Lake Serre-Ponçon, Hautes-Alpes, France
Lake Serre-Ponçon, known as the ‘Sea in the Mountains,’ was formed in 1961, when the Durance River was dammed to help prevent flooding in nearby communities. It’s considered one of the largest manmade lakes in Europe and is a major source of hydroelectric power, irrigation, and tourism. The historic Chapel of St. Michel, established in 1020 and rebuilt in the 17th century, survived the flooding of the valley—but it became an island destination in the process.
Mar 6, 2018
Celebrating National Dentist Day
If ever there was a perfect mascot for National Dentist Day, celebrated on March 6, it’s the crab-eating macaque. This individual was photographed cleaning its teeth in Malaysia’s Bako National Park. Crab-eating macaques are native to Southeast Asia and they have a proclivity for using tools to forage, eat, and even practice dental hygiene. Scientists have observed them using blades of grass, fibers, and feathers to floss between their teeth. Give this macaque a gold star!
Mar 5, 2018
Seattle Central Library, Seattle, Washington
In 2004 Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas infused an old-school institution with a high-tech vibe when he designed the Seattle Central Library. An instant architectural landmark for downtown Seattle, the library has been embraced by what’s been frequently ranked as one of the ‘most literate’ cities in the United States. Beyond its striking appearance, the facility has many unique features, including a four-story Books Spiral, which allows users to browse the nonfiction collection in one continuous walk, uninterrupted by stairs, elevators, or different rooms.
Mar 4, 2018
Australian baobab tree, Kimberley region, Western Australia
There is much mythology surrounding the Australian baobab tree, known for its large, swollen trunk. Commonly called a boab in Australia, the species is related to other baobab species in Arabia and Africa. Other names for the Australian boab are ‘bottle tree,’ ‘upside down tree,’ and ‘gouty stem tree.’ All seem appropriate to us. Some indigenous communities relied on the trees for water (stored in its massive trunk), food, and medicine. Ancient baobabs were cherished as beloved individuals.
Mar 3, 2018
Celebrating World Wildlife Day
We like to think this lone cougar is off to meet its friends in a celebration of World Wildlife Day, recognized each year on March 3. The 2018 theme of the UN-sponsored event is protecting big cats, including lions, tigers, cheetahs, and cougars just like this one. Cougars have a wide range in the Americas, spanning from Canada to Argentina. Photographer Sebastian Kennerknecht captured this image in the Andes of northwest Argentina using a camera trap, a remotely activated camera equipped with a sensor that can photograph animals without a human present.
Mar 2, 2018
Satellite image of sand and seaweed in the Bahamas
We have NASA’s Landsat program to thank for this rare view of the Atlantic Ocean in the Bahamas, as captured by satellite. The patterns you see are sand and seaweed beds that have been sculpted by ocean currents. That dark spot? It’s called the Tongue of the Ocean. The tongue is a deep, dark trench that separates the islands of Andros and New Providence in the Bahamas and connects to a larger geological feature known as the Great Bahama Canyon.
Mar 1, 2018
Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
To celebrate Independence Day in Bosnia and Herzogovina we’re in Mostar, a city on the banks of the Neretva River. This bridge that joins the two sides of the city is called Stari Most, or ‘Old Bridge.’ The original stone bridge was built in the 16th century but destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War. Reconstruction began in 2001, using local materials and even some stones from the original bridge. The new ‘Old Bridge’ was completed in 2004.
Feb 28, 2018
Isla del Pescado on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
Isla del Pescado is one of many ‘islands’ on the high Andean salt flat called Salar de Uyuni. This unusual landscape in Bolivia draws in many curious visitors who explore the plain’s 4,086 square miles. Isla del Pescado translates from Spanish to English as the Island of Fish, a reference to the isle’s appearance on the horizon when viewed from a distance. If the thick crust of salt on the Salar seems familiar, it may be because you’ve seen it recently on the big screen: Salar de Uyuni appeared as the planet Crait in the climax of the recent ‘Star Wars’ installment, ‘The Last Jedi.’
Feb 27, 2018
A polar bear near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
In October and November, many polar bears descend on Churchill, where they wait for Hudson Bay to freeze before heading out onto the ice to hunt for ringed seals. Tourism has flourished in the town as a result, with people flocking to see the charismatic white giants arrive. If they’re lucky, the tourists may even spy a polar bear striking a perfect yoga pose, like our friend here. February 27 is International Polar Bear Day, an observance created to educate the public about this predator’s crucial role in its Arctic habitat, and the effects of melting polar ice on the polar bear’s future.
Feb 26, 2018
A leafy seadragon in the waters off Wool Bay, Australia
Australia’s southern coast is leafy seadragon territory, so it’s the place to go if you want to see the camouflaged critter in its native habitat. This amazing specimen was photographed near Wool Bay. The leafy seadragon has evolved to resemble seaweed as a way to fool predators. It’s a relative of the seahorse, but isn’t quite the swimmer that its cousin is, so the camouflage gives it a big advantage.
Feb 25, 2018
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
With a higher elevation than other nearby parks, Bryce Canyon’s climate is a little cooler, so fog drifting across the park’s forests is not uncommon. Bryce Canyon has many unusual geologic features, not the least of which are the hoodoos—tall spires of stone—that form a large portion of the landscape. In fact, there are more hoodoos here than in any other spot on the planet. #hoodooparty
Feb 24, 2018
A red fox on the Swiss side of the Jura Mountain range
Red foxes are a common sight in this subalpine range that forms a natural border between Switzerland and France. Our photo of a red fox prowling on a snowy winter night was taken with a "camera trap," a remotely activated camera equipped with a motion sensor and a light flash. Images taken with this method reveal the local wildlife going about their business undisturbed by the presence of humans, and give us a glimpse into the lives of our fellow creatures.
Feb 23, 2018
Aerial view of the Colorado River Delta in Mexico
For centuries, the Colorado River emptied into the Gulf of California between the Baja Peninsula and the mainland of Mexico. But dams and diversions have reduced the delta to a trickle, resulting in the desert-like landscape seen in this image. Conservation efforts on the parts of Mexico and the United States are helping to return the Colorado Delta to its former condition.
Feb 22, 2018
Roman theater of Cartagena, Spain
A surprising discovery was made here in the city of Cartagena in 1988 during the construction of a new shopping center. The remains of this ancient Roman theater were found buried underground, where they’d been hidden for centuries, partially covered by the city’s old cathedral. The theater has since been painstakingly restored. Archaeologists say it was constructed sometime between 5 and 1 BCE and at one time could hold up to 6,000 spectators.
Feb 21, 2018
Innerdalsvatna Lake, near Ålvundeidet, Norway
All is calm and quiet here at Norway’s Innerdalsvatna Lake. This Scandinavian country has made headlines in recent years for its efforts to protect the environment, and natural scenes just like this. Its parliament has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2030, an ambitious effort that would rely on carbon offsets. The country is also known for its wide adoption of plug-in electric vehicles, boasting the largest fleet per capita in the world.
Feb 20, 2018
Buddha in the roots of a tree, Ayutthaya, Thailand
This is the profile of Gautama Buddha, peeking out of tree roots at an ancient Buddhist temple in the city of Ayutthaya in central Thailand. This city once served as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya, a Siamese kingdom that existed from 1351 to 1767 before it was destroyed by the Burmese Army. You can explore the city’s remains at the Ayutthaya Historical Park.
Feb 19, 2018
Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Washington, DC
Presidents" Day seems an apt time to showcase this perspective of the Jefferson Memorial, reflected in the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. Construction on this memorial to our third president began in 1938, but it didn’t come without controversy. In an event dubbed the Cherry Tree Rebellion, some 50 women chained themselves to a Japanese cherry tree to protest the removal of trees that would be lost to make way for the monument. The cherry trees had been a gift from the city of Tokyo in 1912. Ultimately, the protest didn’t delay the project, some trees were lost but others were planted, and the memorial was complete in 1943.
Feb 18, 2018
Great horned owl near Lake Tohopekaliga, Florida
No, those aren’t really horns on the great horned owl, shown here blending in nicely with its surroundings in central Florida. The distinctive tufts of feathers on top of its head are known as ‘plumicorns.’ They have nothing to do with hearing—instead, they’re thought to be used to show expression and for camouflage. Feel free to impress your friends with this bit of trivia during the Great Backyard Bird Count, a four-day event in February that invites participants to help monitor bird populations.
Feb 17, 2018
Infant Sumatran orangutan, Indonesia
February 17 is known as Random Acts of Kindness Day, and if you’re inspired by this event, our orangutan pictured here could use a helping hand. All three species of orangutans are critically endangered and are found only in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. They face many challenges, including habitat loss and the illegal wildlife trade. Nonprofits like the World Wildlife Fund are working to protect habitat for orangutans and many other species in Southeast Asia.
Feb 16, 2018
Dragon dance performed in Chenzhou, Hunan Province, China
This bird’s-eye view of a traditional Chinese dragon dance shows how teams of performers use poles to manipulate the long figure of a dragon, weaving its body in different positions in time with music and loud drumming. Dragons are associated with good luck in China, and dragon dance performances like this are common during Lunar (aka Chinese) New Year festivities, which begin on the first day of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar, or February 16 this year. This will be the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese zodiac.
Feb 15, 2018
The Feathers at Frenchman Coulee near Vantage, Washington
This time-lapse photo shows a hiker’s light marking the trail up to The Feathers, a rock formation near the small town of Vantage, Washington. The Feathers rock formation is popular with rock climbers, with routes featuring equally colorful names such as ‘Updrafts to Heaven’ and ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends.’ Nearby is Gingko Petrified Forest State Park, where trees that are millions of years old have gradually turned to stone.
Feb 14, 2018
Aerial view of a heart-shaped field in Trittau, Germany
Happy Valentine’s Day—perhaps unintentionally—from the pastoral fields of Trittau. The small town is less than an hour’s drive east from the industrial port city of Hamburg. An aerial photograph of farm fields here revealed this spot plowed in the shape of a heart. How are you celebrating, or perhaps avoiding, today’s holiday?
Feb 13, 2018
Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Louisiana
To celebrate Mardi Gras today, we venture into Preservation Hall, the legendary performance space in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. The former art gallery at 726 St. Peter Street isn’t the oldest music venue in New Orleans, but it’s one of the most important. Since it opened in 1961, Preservation Hall has become a premier showcase for traditional New Orleans jazz and a performing space for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which plays here most nights when it"s not on the road.
Feb 12, 2018
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Join us in celebrating Black History Month here at the Contemplative Court fountain of the Smithsonian Institution’s newest museum, the National Museum of African History and Culture in Washington, DC. Even before Black History Month was established in the United States, the second week of February was important to black communities who celebrated the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb 14).
Feb 11, 2018
Te Rewa Rewa Bridge near New Plymouth, New Zealand
This pedestrian and cycle bridge lets residents and visitors in the North Island city of New Plymouth cross the Waiwhakaiho River while marveling at the span’s artistic design. Said to resemble both a breaking wave and a whale skeleton, the bridge is meant to invoke the sacred relationship of the indigenous Māori people with the land, sea, and wind. On one side is an old Māori burial ground, so great care was taken in the design and structure of the bridge—an attempt to interfere as little as possible with the Māori site. From the view in this photo, Mount Taranaki lurks in the background.