你今天过得怎么样？ 'Saguaro' you today?
Saguaro cacti, Ironwood Forest National Monument, Arizona
Massive succulents against a mountainous backdrop, underneath the sun-kissed Arizona sky—it's prickly perfection. Pictured here are saguaro (pronounced 'sah-wah-roh') cacti at the Ironwood Forest National Monument in the Sonoran Desert. Even if you haven't seen one in person, when you hear the word cactus, you're probably thinking of saguaro—tall, green, cylindrical, with arms pointing upward. From tattoos to coffee cups, you'll find this iconic symbol of Arizona on almost everything. Though they are slow growers, these plants have been known to live over 200 years and reach enormous heights, with a 78-footer setting the record. Another cactus, known as 'Grandaddy,' survived in the sweltering desert for about 300 years, eventually succumbing to old age in the early 1990s. Cacti may not be for everyone, but they tend to grow on you (figuratively, of course)!
小心龙出没！ Watch out for dragons!
Though you might instinctively watch out for invading fleets or dragons overhead, you're more likely to encounter a tourist than a Lannister in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. As you may know, 'Game of Thrones' filmed here frequently throughout the run of the show, and you can scarcely blame them; Dubrovnik's Old Town is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world. For centuries it flourished as the Republic of Ragusa, maintaining independence through diplomacy and robust trade networks. This 'Pearl of the Adriatic' has withstood military bombardments and devastating earthquakes, yet the city has always rebuilt and persevered. While pop culture, history, and UNESCO World Heritage Site status are all big draws, they might be too effective: A recent report estimated that in 2019 there were 36 tourists for every resident.
一个酷炫的凝灰岩火山口 A 'tuff'-tastic crater
Jeju Island, South Korea
The South Korean island of Jeju is full of wonders. If you don't have a chance to visit its volcanic landscape, ancient stone statues, waterfalls, and rocky coastline, you can dive into the island's fascinating chronicles from the comfort of your computer. The star of today's image, Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), is the island's rare tuff cone formation, created by an underwater volcanic eruption about 5,000 years ago. Tuff cones are also called ash cones, referring to the accumulated ash settling in a cone formation after the lava's forceful explosion. Seongsan Ilchulbong was added to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List in 2007.
博物馆之夜 A night at the museums
Museum Night in Berlin
As the summer is fading away, we find ourselves reminiscing about vacations and long hours of lively evenings. But let's not bury the picnic days just yet! There is plenty to look forward to, especially if you are in Berlin. The Long Night of Museums only happens once a year—on the last Saturday of August since 1997—but it shakes up Museum Island and the rest of the German capital. The event series is more than a peaceful appreciation of artifacts—quite the opposite—you can expect music, talks, workshops, cocktails, dance, and more from 6 PM into the small hours of the morning. Featured in today's image, Museum Island—embraced by the Spree River—is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is home to a museum quintet: Altes, Bode, Pergamon, and Neues Museums, and Alte Nationalgalerie.
这是你的土地 This land is your land
National Park Service anniversary
Though summer is winding down, it's not too late to pack some gear and head into the great outdoors. Unsure where to go? Look no further than our 63 national parks, which exist thanks to the National Park Service, created on this day in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. He ordered the service to preserve the landscape, wildlife, and history of the parks 'in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.' In other words, the park service was established for all of us! Just make sure that whether you're visiting the islands of American Samoa, the glaciers of the North Cascades, the waterways of the Everglades, or the 308-foot Lower Falls of Yellowstone in today's image, that you explore them with care and appreciation so that they can be preserved for centuries to come.
自然“鳍”观 What a fin-tastic view!
Shark Fin Cove, California
Shark Fin Cove, also known as Shark Tooth Beach, is nestled in a cove in the tiny town of Davenport on California's Central Coast. The cove is a coastal gem known for its stunning sea stack—a vertical rock formation that resembles a shark's fin. The fin used to be connected to the mudstone cliff that surrounds the beach. Over time, the relentless crashing waves and strong winds slowly eroded the rock formation. Shark Fin Cove is visible from Highway 1, where travelers can stop and look at the expansive Pacific Ocean views.
溅起一潭水花 Making a splash
Skógafoss waterfall, Iceland
Behold Skógafoss, one of Iceland’s largest waterfalls. This powerful cascade measures 82 feet across and drops 200 feet over what were once the sea cliffs of the country’s southern coast. The coastline receded seaward, but the cliffs remained, leaving behind this natural wonder, powered by water from two glaciers. Skógafoss, which translates as 'forest waterfall,' is frequently graced with single or double rainbows, formed by the refraction of sunlight through the mist. Legend has it that a treasure chest is hidden behind Skógafoss, left there by a Viking settler named Prasi Porolfsson.
The waterfall has appeared on the big screen, in 'Thor: The Dark World' and the Bollywood movie 'Dilwale,' as well as on TV in the final season of 'Game of Thrones.' The Skógar Museum, which offers insights into Iceland's cultural heritage, sits near the waterfall in Skógar village.
为罗马建筑“起立欢呼” A 'standing ovation' to Roman architecture
Amphitheatre of El Jem, Tunisia
This impressive structure is the Amphitheatre of El Jem, in the Tunisian town of the same name. Made entirely from stone blocks, it was built in the 3rd century CE, when this area was Thysdrus, a city of ancient Rome. Once capable of seating up to 35,000 spectators, it is the largest colosseum in North Africa and one of the largest in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, it is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres, almost equal in grandeur to the Colosseum in Rome.
Beneath the arena, there is an extensive underground network of tunnels and chambers, which are open to visitors. Despite its age, the arena floor is still preserved, and visitors can walk on it, following in the footsteps of gladiators and others who stepped out before huge crowds, nearly 2,000 years ago.
自内而外的光彩 Glowing from within
Discovery Day in Yukon, Canada
It's Discovery Day in Yukon, Canada, a day to commemorate the 1896 discovery of gold at Bonanza Creek. The event set off the Klondike Gold Rush, which attracted thousands of prospectors to the region in search of gold, leading to significant economic and social changes. The population increase led to Yukon separating from the Northwest Territories and the formation of Yukon Territory in 1898.
Discovery Day celebrates Yukon's rich heritage, history, and natural resources—like Emerald Lake, seen in today's image, known for its deep green hues. You'll find it on the Klondike Highway, which roughly follows the route used by the prospectors more than a century ago. It is also a day to honor the spirit of adventure exhibited during the gold rush. Government offices, schools, and many businesses close to allow people to participate in the festivities, including parades, historical reenactments, gold panning competitions, and concerts.
海上哨兵 Sentinel of the sea
International Lighthouse Weekend
To mark International Lighthouse Weekend, we're on England's southwest coast, where Start Point Lighthouse looks out over the turbulent waters of the English Channel. The lighthouse is perched upon a rugged cliff on one of the country's most exposed peninsulas, which stretches nearly a mile into the sea in the county of Devon. Built in 1836, the elegant lighthouse was designed by civil engineer James Walker in the Gothic style, as seen in its castle-like parapet. It has undergone many changes since then and more accommodation was added in the 1870s, but no lighthouse keepers live there now—it has been automated since 1993.