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Mauna Kea: the tallest mountain of the world


With its 8.848 meters above the sea level, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain on the earth, but if we consider measuring mountains from the bottom of the ocean, the highest mountain is the Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano located in the Hawaiian Big Island, with 10.210 meters (more than a km taller than Everest!).

Due to the dry atmosphere, elevation and stable climate, Mauna Kea is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation.
On its summit, there are observatories useful for scientific research, despite not well considered by Native Hawaiians, for whom the summits of the Hawaiian mountains are sacred places.

The MKVIS Maunakea Visitor Station is accessible for tourists.

Moonbow

"The rainbow is seen by day, and it was formerly thought that it never appeared by night as a moon rainbow.
This opinion was due to the rarity of the occurrence: it was not observed, for though it does happen it does so rarely.
The reason is that the colours are not so easy to see in the dark and that many other conditions must coincide, and all that in a single day in the month.
For if there is to be one it must be at full moon, and then as the moon is either rising or setting. So we have only met with two instances of a moon rainbow in more than fifty years"


Aristotle - Meteorology, book III  (350 b.C.)

Moonbow - Victoria Falls

Moonbows may be seen in waterfalls and cloud forests areas like Yosemite and Cumberland Falls in U.S.A., Victoria Falls in Africa, Plitvice Lakes in Croatia and in the cloud forests of Monteverde and Santa Elena in Costa Rica.
Other places where it is common to see moonbows are the Waimea Canyon State Park (Hawaii), Skogafoss Waterfall, (Iceland),  Wallaman Falls (Australia) and Jerome (U.S.A.).

Okavango Delta, Botswana

It seems a bit strange that a river doesn't reach the sea, but this is what happens to the Okavango, the fourth longest river on the African continent. It rises on the Angolan mountains to finish his race in Botswana, flowing into a sea, yes, but a sandy one: the Kalahari desert.

The origin of this phenomenon dates back to the ice age, when the river flowed into the great Makgadikgadi lake (now a desert).

At its mouth, it forms an internal delta, a cradle of incredible biodiversity considered one of the best preserved natural areas where huge quantities of animals can be found, of practically all the species of the African continent.

Okavango Delta
© Mario Micklisch

Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta from space © ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO