Strange names in Tasmania


Watersheds in Canada


Political stripes in NATO


Ancestral Map of First Americans


Top 500 Universities


Earth Nightlife


North American Ice Age 15,000 Years Ago


Major Air Traffic Routes


Countries with McDonald’s


Mount Thor: Highest Vertical Drop in the World


Mount Thor, officially gazetted as Thor Peak, is a mountain with an elevation of 1,675 metres (5,495 ft) located in Auyuittuq National Park, on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada. The mountain is located 46 km (29 mi) northeast of Pangnirtung and features Earth’s greatest vertical drop of 1,250 m (4,101 ft), with the cliff overhanging at an average angle of 15 degrees from vertical. Despite its remoteness, this feature makes the mountain a popular rock climbing site. Camping is allowed, with the only official site being at the entrance to the Akshayuk Valley near Overlord Peak.

I don’t know about climbing it, maybe a parachute jump from the top.



Lost Tribe on small Island in the Indian Ocean remain virtually untouched by modern civilization.

American ‘killed in India by endangered Andamans tribe’

An American man has been killed by an endangered tribe in India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Fishermen who took the man to North Sentinel island say tribespeople shot him with arrows and left his body on the beach.

He has been identified as John Allen Chau, a 27 year old from Alabama.

Contact with the endangered Andaman tribes living in isolation from the world is illegal because of the risks to them from outside disease.

Estimates say the Sentinelese, who are totally cut off from civilisation, number only between 50 and 150.

Seven fishermen have been arrested for illegally ferrying the American to the island, police say.

Local media have reported that Chau may have wanted to meet the tribe to preach Christianity to them.

“Police said Chau had previously visited North Sentinel island about four or five times with the help of local fishermen,” journalist Subir Bhaumik, who has been covering the islands for years, told BBC Hindi.

“The number of people belonging to the Sentinelese tribe is so low, they don’t even understand how to use money. It’s in fact illegal to have any sort of contact with them.”

In 2017, the Indian government also said taking photographs or making videos of the aboriginal Andaman tribes would be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years.

But on social media the young man presented himself as a keen traveller and adventurer.

The AFP news agency quoted a source as saying that Chau had tried and failed to reach the island on 14 November. But then he tried again two days later.

“He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking.

“The fishermen saw the tribals tying a rope around his neck and dragging his body. They were scared and fled,” the report added.

Chau’s body was spotted on 20 November. According to the Hindustan Times, his remains have yet to be recovered.

“It’s a difficult case for the police,” says Mr Bhaumik. “You can’t even arrest the Sentinelese.”


The Sentinelese (also Sentineli, Senteneli, Sentenelese, North Sentinel Islanders) are one of the Andamanese indigenous peoples and one of the most uncontacted peoples of the Andaman Islands, located in India in the Bay of Bengal. They inhabit North Sentinel Island which lies westward off the southern tip of the Great Andaman archipelago. They are noted for vigorously resisting attempts at contact by outsiders. The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire. Their language remains unclassified.


The Sentinelese (also called the Sentineli or North Sentinel Islanders) are the indigenous people of North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Islands of India. One of the Andamanese peoples, they resist contact with the outside world, and are among the last people to remain virtually untouched and uncontacted by modern civilization.
The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society subsisting through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants. There is no evidence of either agricultural practices or methods of producing fire. The Sentinelese language remains unclassified and is not mutually intelligible with the Jarawa language of their nearest neighbors.


The precise population of the Sentinelese is not known. Estimates range from fewer than 40, through a median of around 250, and up to a maximum of 500. In 2001, Census of India officials recorded 39 individuals (21 males and 18 females); however, out of necessity this survey was conducted from a distance and almost certainly does not represent an accurate figure for the population who range over the 59.67 km2 (14,700 acres) island. The 2011 Census of India recorded only 15 individuals (12 males and three females). Any medium- or long-term effect on the Sentinelese population arising from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and resulting tsunami is not known, other than the confirmation obtained that they had survived the immediate aftermath.
On previous visits, groups of some 20–40 individuals were encountered regularly. Habitations of 40–60 individuals were found on two occasions. As some individuals are thoughtto be hiding, a more precise approximation of group size cannot be determined. This would suggest that some two to six groups occupy the island. The rule of thumb population density of 1.5 km2 (370 acres)/individuals in comparable hunter–gatherer societies indicates that one such group could live off the land alone. A significant amount of food is derived from the sea. It seems that, at any one time, the groups that were encountered could only have come from a rather small part of the island, and that about half of the couples had dependent children or included pregnant women. There appeared to be slightly more males than females.


The Sentinelese and other indigenous Andamanese peoples are frequently described as negritos, a term which has been applied to various widely separated peoples in Southeast Asia, such as the Semang of the Malay Peninsula, the Aeta of the Philippines archipelago, as well as to other peoples in Australia including former populations of Tasmania.[citation needed] The defining characteristics of these “negrito” peoples (who are not a monophyletic group) include a comparatively short stature, dark skin, and afro-textured hair.
Although no close contacts have been established, author Heinrich Harrer described one man as being 1.6 metres (5 ft 3 in) tall and apparently left handed.


Negrito people of the Andaman Islands

Most of what is known about Sentinelese material culture is based on observations during contact attempts in the late 20th century. The Sentinelese maintain an essentially hunter-gatherer society, obtaining their subsistence through hunting, fishing, and collecting wild plants; there is no evidence of any agricultural practices.
Their dwellings are either shelter-type huts with no side walls and a floor sometimes laid out with palms and leaves, which provide enough space for a family of three or four and their belongings, or larger communal dwellings which may be some 12 square metres (130 sq ft) and are more elaborately constructed, with raised floors and partitioned family quarters.
Advanced metalwork is unknown, as raw materials on the island are extremely rare. It has been observed, however, that they have made adroit use of metal objects which have washed up or been left behind on their shores, having some ability at cold smithing and sharpening iron and incorporating it into weapons and other items. For example, in the late 1980s two international container ships ran aground on the island’s external coral reefs; the Sentinelese retrieved several items of iron from the vessels.

Their weaponry consists of javelins and a type of flatbow. At least three varieties of arrows, apparently for fishing and hunting, and untipped ones for shooting warning shots, have been documented. Fishing arrows have a number of forward-pointing prongs; hunting arrows have ovoid arrowheads, the latter two as well as their associated barbs below the tip made from iron. The arrows are over 1 m (3 ft) long. The harpoon- or javelin-type arrows are nearly half as long again, about the same length as the bows (over 3 m (10 ft)), and can also be thrown or used for stabbing, but the latter probably only rarely.
For catching large fish, a harpoon is used which is similar in design to the fishing arrows, but nearly 2.5 m (8 ft) long. Knives are also known, but it is unclear to what extent the Sentinelese fashion them themselves.
Known tools include adzes, pounding and smithing stones, and various finely or coarsely woven baskets for small-grained or larger goods, as well as bamboo and wooden containers. Fires are maintained as embers inside dwellings, possibly assisted by resin torches. There exist fishing nets and basic outrigger canoes used for fishing and collecting shellfish from the lagoon but not for open-sea excursions.
Food consists primarily of plants gathered in the forest, coconuts, which are frequently found on the beaches as flotsam, pigs, and, presumably, other wildlife (which apart from sea turtles is limited to some smaller birds and invertebrates). Wild honey is known to be collected and the Sentinelese use a kind of rake to pull down branches to gather fruit or nuts, such as sapodilla and pandanus.

Rare photo Sentinelese on the beach


Incidents of contact

In January 1880, an armed British expedition to the island led by 20-year-old Maurice Vidal Portman, the local colonial administrator, arrived to conduct a survey of the island, and to take a prisoner, in accordance with British policy regarding unwelcoming tribes at the time, which was to kidnap a member of the tribe, treat them well and give them gifts, and release them back to the tribe, hoping to demonstrate friendliness. Portman’s expedition of the island is believed to be the first by outsiders. While the Sentinelese tended to disappear into the jungle whenever outsiders were spotted approaching, Portman’s expedition found an elderly couple and four children after several days. They were taken prisoner and brought to Port Blair. The elderly couple became ill and died, probably from contracting diseases to which they did not have immunity. The four children were returned to the island, given gifts, and released. The children then disappeared into the jungle. After this incident, the British did not try to contact the Sentinelese again and instead focused on other tribes.
In 1967, the Indian government began a series of “Contact Expeditions” to the island. The programme was managed by the Director of Tribal Welfare and anthropologist T. N. Pandit. The first expedition, headed by Pandit, included armed police and naval officers. The Sentinelese retreated into the jungle, and the expedition failed to make contact with any of them. During these expeditions, an Indian Navy vessel would anchor outside the coral reefs and send small boats to approach the beaches, and while keeping a distance, the crew would drop various gifts into the water to wash up on shore. If the Sentinelese fled for the jungle, the parties might land on shore and drop off the gifts before leaving.
On 29 March 1970, a research party of Indian anthropologists, which included Pandit, found themselves cornered on the reef flats between North Sentinel and Constance Island. An eyewitness recorded the following from his vantage point on a boat lying off the beach:
Quite a few discarded their weapons and gestured to us to throw the fish. The women came out of the shade to watch our antics… A few men came and picked up the fish. They appeared to be gratified, but there did not seem to be much softening to their hostile attitude… They all began shouting some incomprehensible words. We shouted back and gestured to indicate that we wanted to be friends. The tension did not ease. At this moment, a strange thing happened — a woman paired off with a warrior and sat on the sand in a passionate embrace. This act was being repeated by other women, each claiming a warrior for herself, a sort of community mating, as it were. Thus did the militant group diminish. This continued for quite some time and when the tempo of this frenzied dance of desire abated, the couples retired into the shade of the jungle. However, some warriors were still on guard. We got close to the shore and threw some more fish which were immediately retrieved by a few youngsters. It was well past noon and we headed back to the ship…


In the spring of 1974, a National Geographic film crew came to the island, in what was one of the most unsuccessful expeditions made on the island. North Sentinel was visited by a team of anthropologists filming a documentary, Man in Search of Man. The team was accompanied by armed police officers and a National Geographic photographer. When the motorized boat broke through the barrier reefs, locals emerged from the jungle. The Sentinelese responded with a curtain of arrows. The boat landed at a point on the coast out of range of the arrows and the police (dressed in jackets with padded armour) landed and left gifts in the sand: a miniature plastic car, some coconuts, a live pig tied, a doll, and aluminium cookware. The policemen returned to the boat and waited to see the locals’ reaction to the gifts. The reaction was to launch another round of arrows, one of which struck the documentary’s director in the left thigh. The man who wounded the director withdrew and laughed proudly, sitting in the shade while others speared, then buried, the pig and the doll. Afterwards, everyone left, taking with them only the coconuts and aluminium cookware.
In the early 1990s, the Sentinelese began allowing the boats to come closer to the shore, and sometimes greeted them unarmed. However, after a few minutes, the Sentinelese would warn them off by making menacing gestures and firing arrows without arrowheads. In 1996, the Indian government ended the “Contact Expeditions” following a series of hostile encounters resulting in several deaths in a similar programme practised with the Jarawa people of South and Middle Andaman Islands and because of the danger of introducing diseases.
The Sentinelese appear to have emerged relatively unscathed from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, apparently managing to reach high ground. Three days following the tsunami, an Indian naval helicopter was sent to check on them and drop food on the beach. It was warned away by a Sentinelese warrior who emerged from the jungle and brandished a bow and arrow.
In 2006, Sentinelese archers killed two fishermen who were fishing illegally for mud crabs within range of the island. Their boat’s improvised anchor failed to prevent it from being carried away by currents while they were asleep. The boat drifted into the shallows of the island, where they were killed. An Indian Coast Guard helicopter that was sent to retrieve the bodies was driven off by Sentinelese warriors, who fired a volley of arrows.
There were two documented occasions when Onge individuals were taken to North Sentinel Island in order to attempt communication resulting in brief and hostile exchanges, during which they were unable to recognise any of the language spoken by the inhabitants.Their island is legally a part of, and administered by, the Indian Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In practice, however, the Sentinelese exercise complete autonomy over their affairs and the involvement of the Indian authorities is restricted to occasional monitoring, even more infrequent and brief visits, and generally discouraging any access or approaches to the island. The possibility of future contact, whether violent or non-violent (armed or unarmed) has been discussed by various organisations and nations.

Pictures from space and best drone photos

Mountain High 

An astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) snapped a picture of the United State’s Cascade and Rocky Mountains, as well as Canada’s Coast Mountains. An ISS solar array can be seen in the upper center part of the frame.


Cloudy Tail 

A massive cloud of hydrogen streams from a Neptune-sized exoplanet due to the extreme radiation given off by the planet’s star. Researchers have never seen this occur around such a small planet dubbed – GJ 436b – before.



Crew members on the International Space Station got a front seat view of this week’s auroras and captured this image.


Up, Up, and Away 

A Soyuz rocket shoots into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 23. Three crewmembers bound for the International Space Station for a five month mission on board.

nat geo


This is the first picture of Earth’s entire sunny side that NASA has released since the famous “Blue Marble” image in 1972. Images published in the interim have been stitched together from multiple pictures taken at different times.



Satellites captured smoke from Canadian and Alaskan wildfires drifting over the Greenland Sea. Alaska has had its worst fire season ever, with millions of acres burned as of July 7. Over three million acres have burned in Canada as of July 15.


Solar Marble 

Our sun glows in x-ray and ultraviolet light. High-energy x-rays are shown in blue, low-energy x-rays are green, and extreme ultraviolet light shines in yellow and green. Active regions flare up in bursts of white.


Drone photos

Snorkeling With Sharks 

Snorkelers swim with sharks near Moorea Island in French Polynesia.


Lost Island 

Tourists wait for a sunset in French Polynesia, a group of islands in the South Pacific.


Glorieto Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada 

A cliff diver jumps into the ocean in Mazatlan, Mexico.


Above the Mist 

The Cathedral of Maringa pokes through heavy fog in Parana, Brazil.



Mont-Saint-Michel is an island commune off the coast of Normandy, France.


Death Valley: A Very Hot Place

Death Valley is a desert valley in Eastern California, in the northern Mojave Desert, bordering the Great Basin Desert. During summer, it is one of the hottest places on Earth, along with deserts in the Middle East and the Sahara.

Death Valley’s Badwater Basin is the point of lowest elevation in North America, at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. It is 84.6 miles (136.2 km) east-southeast of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States, with an elevation of 14,505 feet (4,421 m). On the afternoon of July 10, 1913, the United States Weather Bureau recorded a high temperature of 134 °F (56.7 °C) at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, which stands as the highest ambient air temperature ever recorded at the surface of the Earth. This reading, however, and several others taken in that period, a century ago, are in dispute by some modern experts.

Recent temp reading in Death Valley.

Little Islands

air Aerial-view-of-Aogashima-a-volcanic-Japanese-island

Aoga-shima island off the coast of Japan

air ireland inishturkbeg

Inishturkbeg Island off Ireland

air male maldives

Male, capital island city of the Maldives

air battleship island japan

Battleship Island, Japan. There was a coal mine under the island, the company built apartment buildings for the workers and their families. It was abandoned in the 1980’s.

air palau

Palau, South Pacific

air lejima japan

Lejima Island, Japan

air sark island

Sark Island, English Channel

air tasmania Babel_Island_Aerial

Babel Island, off Tasmania

air thousand island lake china

Thousand Island Lake, China

air thunder bay

Small island off of Thunder Bay, Ontario

air whitsunday island australia

Whitsunday Island, Australia

The Avalanche Protection Wall of Flateyri

Flateyri is a small fishing village located on a narrow strip of land at the edge of the sea in the picturesque Westfjords, in northwest Iceland. The village of only 300 has been a trading post since 1792 and saw its heyday in the 19th century when it became a major whaling center and base for shark-hunting. The fishing industry has always been vital for the villages in the Westfjords, and Flateyri had successfully married this tradition with tourism making the village a very popular destination for foreign sea anglers.

Like so many Icelandic villages, Flateyri is located on the seaside at the base of a steep, treeless mountain called Skollahvilft. The mountain is but steeper than usual and remains covered with snow for much of the year making it susceptible to avalanches. However, no major incident had occurred until one October morning in 1995.


It was 4 am on the 27th, and the residents of Flateyri were sleeping. Suddenly, they were awakened by a deafening roar as ice, rocks, and snow came crashing down the mountain. Seventeen homes, only one of which was thought to lie in the avalanche danger zone, were buried under snow and rocks. Local residents immediately attempted a rescue effort, but the snow had erased all landmarks and they had trouble locating where the houses were. The darkness made matters worse. Twenty people were killed that day. It took search parties two long and grueling days to locate all the bodies.

The disaster was the second deadly avalanche in the same region in ten months. In January, the people in the fishing village of Suðavík suffered a devastating avalanche where sixteen residents lost their lives. After that incident, people living in avalanche-prone areas became more prepared and cautious. As winter began the following October, high winds in the West Fjords prompted evacuations across the region. Hundreds of electric poles were snapped by the winds like twigs. Several avalanches occurred the day before the disaster at various places. In Langidalur, a herd of 18 horses were killed, while another slide destroyed a storage building in Sugandafjor.


Two deadly avalanches struck the Westfjords in 1995. One hit the town of Súðavík in January, killing 14, the other struck Flateyri in October, killing 20. Photo/GVA

In 1998, a special A-shaped earthen dam was built up the mountain to protect Flateyri from future avalanches. The structure consist of two deflecting dams that form a wedge or A-shaped structure in the mountain side. There is a small catching dam that extends between the two deflecting dams in the lowermost part. The walls are 600 meters long and 15-20 meters tall, while the catching dam is 10 meters high and 350 meters long.

Only a year after the dam was completed, in February of 1999, a large avalanche from the mountain came crashing down into the eastern side of the dam and went into the sea. The village was saved. The next winter, in March, another huge avalanche from the mountain slammed into the western wall and the village was protected again. Other smaller avalanches have occurred regularly, and each time the protection wall has deflected the snow safely away from the village.


A memorial to those who lost their lives.