Ammolite is a rare and valuable opal-like organic gemstone found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of North America. It is arguably the rarest gemstone on earth, rivaling the rarity of such gemstones as alexandrite and red diamonds. It is made of the fossilized shells of ammonites, which in turn are composed primarily of aragonite, the same mineral that makes up nacreous pearls.
Now updated daily. Don't forget to Like Sublime Things on Facebook.
Argo is a global array of 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measures the temperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean. This allows, for the first time, continuous monitoring of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean, with all data being relayed and made publicly available within hours after collection.
A brinicle (a portmanteau of “brine” and “icicle”) is the hydrospheric equivalent of an atmospheric icicle. Unlike an icicle, which is formed by the accumulation of layers of ice from a slow flow of water, a brinicle is formed beneath sea ice when a flow of extremely cold, saline water is introduced to an area of ocean water.
Carrara is notable for the white or blue-grey marble quarried there. Many sculptures of the Renaissance, such as Michelangelo’s David, were carved from Carrara marble.
Dead Vlei is a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei. Dead Vlei is surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, the highest reaching 300-400 meters. The clay pan was formed after rainfall, when the Tsauchab river flooded, creating temporary shallow pools where the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. When the climate changed, drought hit the area, and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river from the area. The trees died, as there no longer was enough water to survive. There are some species of plants remaining, such as salsola and clumps of !nara, adapted to surviving off of the morning mist and very rare rainfall. The remaining skeletons of the trees, which are believed to be about 900 years old, are now black because the intense sun has scorched them. Though not petrified, the wood does not decompose because it is so dry.
The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km². The island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment which is carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast.
Ernst Haeckel was an eminent German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms, and coined many terms in biology.
A phenomenon native to Mexico, where it is known as a brincador (“hopper”). Physically, Mexican jumping beans resemble small Tan to brown beans. They are a seed pod in which the larva of a small moth has chewed through. The seed does not actually jump so much as wiggle because when it gets in a hot place the larva snaps its body hoping to roll to a cooler place.
Sociable weaver nest. Sociable weavers construct the largest nests of any bird, housing hundreds of individuals spanning many generations.