Jungles in Paris

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China’s Original Postcard Landscape

At 270 miles long, the Lijiang is not one of China's mighty waterways. Yet it looms large in the national imagination, thanks to a breathtaking …

Land of 2,000 Temples

Sprawled across 16 square miles of semi-arid plain, the ancient city of Bagan (also called Pagan) is the world's largest group of religious …

Grizzlies of Greater Yellowstone

The American West has a reputation as a wide-open place for ramblers, pioneers, and other restless types. One of the region's most iconic travelers …

La Estrella, Spain, Population: Two

Juan Martin spent his boyhood roaming the Spanish countryside as a goat herder and farmhand. When he was a young man, he met a woman as she was …

Cabins of Barrow, Alaska

Few permanent structures change as dramatically with the seasons as the hunting shacks in Barrow, Alaska. The cabins are inhabited only in warmer …

Permafrost

Iceland's Most Disruptive Volcano

Eyjafjallajökull is the little volcano that caused big problems. When it erupted in April 2010, it sent a plume of ash 35,000 feet into the air and a …

Greenland's Garden of Rusting Barrels

In Eastern Greenland, about 30 nautical miles from the 2,000-person town of Tasiilaq, a decades-old U.S. military installation returns ever so slowly …

The Flamboyantly Independent French District of Saugeais

“WELCOME TO THE REPUBLIC OF SAUGEAIS,” read official-looking signs in several villages along the French-Swiss border. But the governments of the …

People of the Yak: Bhutan’s Brokpa Herders

The Brokpa are an isolated community in the far east of Bhutan, where about 5,000 of these highland pastoralists live in and around the villages of …

The Remarkable Swimming Lizard of the Galápagos

The marine iguana (<i>amblyrhynchus cristatus</i>) occupies an isolated and offbeat domain of the reptile kingdom. Unique to the remote Galápagos, this …

Elks Club: The Giant Winter Herd of Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson Hole isn't exactly what it sounds like—it's a high-altitude valley, accessible following a steep descent from the Teton or Gros Ventre …

Flower Power: Camellias of Avery Island, Louisiana

The camellia, a genus of flowering evergreen, comes in dozens of species and thousands of varieties. Though they are native to the Far East, the …

Deep South: Antarctica's Diving Weddell Seals

The whales, sea lions, and penguins of Antarctica migrate to points north during winter. Most of the continent's well-insulated seals seek out warmer …

Etna: The Most Epic Volcano in Europe

Yea, how often have we seen<br>Etna, her furnace-walls asunder riven,<br>In billowy floods boil o'er the Cyclops' fields,<br>And roll down globes of fire and …

The Sacred, Sculpted Corridors of Arizona’s Antelope Canyon

The cathedral-like canyons of the American Southwest are often considered the region's defining natural feature. This includes the slim, winding …

Rock Icons: Australia's 'Twelve Apostles'

The “Twelve Apostles” of Australia's southern shore push upwards from the surf as though reaching for the heavens. But these dramatic features of the …

Greenland's Iceberg Alley

The Jakobshavn Glacier, also known as Sermeq Kujalleq, is a mass of ice in southwest Greenland whose total catchment covers an area about the size of …

The Wild & Wonderful Gannet Colony of Percé, Quebec

Every April, more than 100,000 northern gannets settle on Quebec's woodsy Bonaventure Island, on the Canadian province's eastern Gaspé peninsula. …

Central Asia's Shrinking Sea

Once the world's fourth-largest inland sea, the Aral is now mostly a wasteland—and, perhaps, a grim parable of modern times. It has been called the …

Colombia's Valley of Rare Palm Trees

In Colombia's Cocora Valley, clusters of slender palm trees stretch through the mist to touch the clouds. The elongated trunks, striped with …

Land of Pu-erh: Tea Fields of Xishuangbanna, China

<i>Camellia sinensis</i>, the Chinese tea plant, has been cultivated for thousands of years in the subtropics of Yunnan, considered by many to be the …