Our world is a really big place, filled with sky-scraping mountains, mysterious ice caves, rolling cloud formations, and animals the size of buildings. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, dive into these 20 photos that prove how awesome Mother Nature is—awesome, and just a tad terrifying.
This gallery was originally published in 2017. It has been updated with new information. The vivid rock formations of Arizona’s Antelope Canyon. (© vwalakte) A diver approaches humpback whales near Roca Partida, part of Mexico’s Revillagigedo Islands. (© Getty) Flooded, patterned rice fields in Yuanyang, China during springtime. (© Getty) Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Canada at sunset. (© Getty) Snowy coniferous trees in Gosau, Austria. (© Getty) Strong waves pour into Sydney’s Bondi Icebergs pool. (© Getty) Wildebeest migrate across the Sand River in the Serengeti. (© Getty) Bubbles of methane gas under Russia’s frozen Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake in the world. (© Getty) Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Michoacán, welcomes millions of butterflies every year. (© Getty) Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupting in April 2015. (© Getty) Chott el Jerid is the largest salt lake in southern Tunisia and the largest salt pan of the Sahara. (© Getty) Clouds fill China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, where some sandstone pillars are as tall as skyscrapers. (© Getty) Mountaineers climbing Mount Everest. (© Getty) At 370 feet wide, Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in Yellowstone and the third largest in the entire world. (© Getty) Flamingos stand in the mineral-rich Lake Natron, located in northern Tanzania at the border with Kenya. (© Getty) Northern Lights dance over the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon in Iceland. (© Getty) Millions of (harmless) jellyfish float in Palau’s Jellyfish Lake. (© Getty) Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, spans more than 4,000 square miles. (© Getty) Dunes meet the Atlantic Ocean on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. (© Getty) Moss-covered trees densely packed in the Hoh Rain Forest, located in Washington’s Olympic National Park. (© Getty) The Great Barrier Reef, a landmark about the size of Japan, can be seen from outer space. (© Getty) Bioluminescent shrimp glitter on rocks in Okayama, Japan. (© Getty) A flock of fulmars gathers on top of a massive iceberg near Disko Bay in northern Greenland. (© Getty) Twisted, wind-blown trees at Slope Point, the southernmost point of New Zealand’s South Island. (© Getty) The viewing platform at Brazil’s Iguazu Falls, a chain of 275 waterfalls that extends nearly two miles. (© Getty)