Discover These 10 Astonishing Geological Feats through Google Earth

Kathleen Villaluz

Earth is simply a breath-taking planet to live in especially if you're a geology geek. So, we thought we'd utilize Google Earth to discover some interesting locations and virtually explore them. As we embarked on a virtual trek around the world, we were surprised with some of the astonishing geological feats we stumbled upon. Some of the locations we already knew existed but the others completely caught us unprepared with their authenticity and enigmatic formation. Join us in this virtual experience as we present to you some of Earth's natural and man-made wonders.

Nazca Lines

If we're going to talk about interesting images that can be viewed from above then we need to begin with the Nazca Lines. The enigmatic ancient geoglyphs traced out on the plains of the Nazca Desert in Peru are only visible for those who are meters above the desert. We won't need to get on an aircraft though, Google Earth would pretty much do the job. The images become too pixelated when you zoom right into specific lines but if you click on the image source link, you can access the Nazca Desert coordinates. From there, you can start browsing through the various geoglyphs such as the El Astronauta, the Nazca Spider, the Nazca Monkey, and many other ancient geoglyphs.

Nazca Lines via Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

Pacific Ring of Fire

Some of us here in Interesting Engineering are earthquake nerds and the first thing noticeable to our eyes when you zoom right out of Google Earth is none other than the Pacific Ring of Fire. This massive tectonic plate traces its edges from New Zealand right up to Japan across through to California and all the way down to Chile. The visible dark lines you can see is the continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts that exist along the 40,000 km perimeter of the Pacific Ring of Fire. It's a notorious location for volcanic eruptions and seismic activities hence it's given the name Ring of Fire.

The Pacific Ring of Fire as viewed from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

Desert Breath

Desert Breath is a man-made double-spiral art located in the Egyptian desert near the Red Sea coast. The upright cone and inverted cone spiral patterns were installed by three Greek artists and architects as they were inspired by the infinite vibe of the desert. Danae Stratou, the project leader, expressed her team's approach to the installation of the enigmatic art piece. "Located between the sea and a body of mountains at the point where the immensity of the sea meets the immensity of the desert, the work functions on two different levels in terms of viewpoint: from above as a visual image, and from the ground, walking the spiral pathway, a physical experience".

Desert Breath spiral pattern from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

The Great Sandy Desert

Nature is indeed a marvelous wonder to behold and this Google Earth image can be mistaken for an art masterpiece. It's a small section of the West Australian Great Sandy Desert where random lakes and pools are sporadically spread throughout the red plain. The Great Sandy Desert spans a large area of the North Western side of the Australian continent and is the second largest desert in the country after the Great Victoria Desert.

Great Sandy Desert in Australia from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

Grand Prismatic Spring

Considered as the largest hot spring in the US and the third largest in the world, the Grand Prismatic Spring in Wyoming is one epic Google Earth find. It's like a mono eye staring at you in all its glorious display of colors. Microbial mats populate the edges of the mineral-rich water, where the mats produce various colors between green to red. Right at the center of the pool, the water possesses a deep blue color due to the scattering of blue light by particles suspended in the water.

Grand Prismatic Spring from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

Meteor Crater

Arizona's Meteor Crater is the best-preserved meteorite impact site in the world and this Google Earth capture is just stunning. The crater spans nearly 1 mile across and has a 2.4-mile circumference. According to Meteor Crater's website, the impact site was the result of an asteroid colliding with Earth at 26,000 mph approximately 50,000 years ago.

Meteor Crater in Arizona from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

The North American Arctic

Well, at first glance, this Google Earth image looks like an oil painting of a reptile's skin but it's actually a surface from the Arctic located in the North American territory. The extreme cold weather in the Arctic results into freezing the soil layers almost all throughout the year. However, in the rare events that the soil layers melt, they warp the ground surface in different ways. The blue-greenish patches on the photo are lakes that have formed into thermokarst.

North American Arctic

[Image Source: Google Earth]

Badlands Guardian

This geomorphological feature in Alberta, Canada is known as the Badlands Guardian. Yes, it strongly resembles a human head adorned with a full Aboriginal Canadian headpiece. The unique human-like profile was naturally carved out by the erosion of rainwater through the layers of clay-rich soil around the area. And although the profile is visibly seen as a convex formation, it is, in fact, a concave or a valley feature. The Badlands Guardian is estimated to be at least a few hundred years old.

Badlands Guardian in Canada from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

Long Island, The Bahamas

Looking all surreal and alluring, this stunning Goole Earth image is located in the Long Island district of the Bahamas. This part of Long Island is noted for its wide white beaches with soft sands and is considered as the most scenic area in the Bahamas.

Long Islands, the Bahamas from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

Manhattan, New York

Ok, this one is not really a natural feat or a geological wonder, but this Google Earth image of Manhattan is an astonishing display of contrast. The rectangular strip of Central Park's greenery enveloped by the tall skyscrapers is simply stunning. Despite being nature and geology lovers, we do appreciate some urban gems too.

Manhattan New York from Google Earth

[Image Source: Google Earth]

If you've made it this far down in the article then you can probably tell that we are a) avid geology enthusiasts and b) just nerds in general, and we are interested to find out about other surprising Earth images. So, drop us some cool worldly feats we can tap into Google Earth.

Featured Image Source: Google Earth

Sources: Metageologist, ODDEE, National Geographic 

SEE ALSO: This Angry Guy Used Google Earth to Get the Ultimate Revenge on His Neighbor

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