Earth Day: 50 mind-blowing images of our world from outer space

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 23, 2015 07:22 IST

The beauty of Earth is indisputable - from the mighty mountains, to the rippling rivers, to the panoramic plains - everywhere one looks, our planet's beauty takes our breath away. And that is only as far as the naked eye can see. Ever imagined what Earth would look like when viewed from the outer space?

To fully appreciate Earth's beauty, came up with what they call the "overview effect". The term refers to the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. As a result the website started generating satellite images of various places to give people a different perception of many famous places.

Every year on April 22, more than 190 countries around the world observe "World Earth Day". On this occasion HT brings out some selected clicks from the Daily Overview's collection. The photos and text are republished here without any changes and with their permission.

Lover's Island

Galešnjak, Croatia

Galesnjak - commonly known as "Lover’s Island" - is a naturally occurring, heart-shaped isle off the coast of Croatia.

Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications built along the east-to-west line that represents the historical northern border of China.

Seaweed Farms
Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

Seaweed farms on Nusa Lembongan – a small island located southeast of Bali, Indonesia – have an average harvest of 50,000 pounds per month.

Pivot irrigation fields

Copeland, Kansas, USA

Pivot irrigation fields cover the landscape north of Copeland, Kansas, USA. Powered by electric motors, lines of sprinklers rotate 360 degrees to evenly irrigate crops.

Port Hercules

Port Hercules, the only deep-water port in Monaco, provides anchorage for up to 700 vessels. Monaco, has an area of 0.78 square miles and a population of 36,371, making it the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world.

Santosh Park / Uttam Nagar
Delhi, India

Delhi, India contains approximately 11 million residents. The neighborhoods of Santosh Park and Uttam Nagar, both pictured here, contain some of the city's most built-up and densely populated land.

Ice Runway

McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

The Ice Runway on the McMurdo Sound of Antarctica is the primary airplane landing strip for the US Antarctic Program. Constructed on top of the frozen water at the start of each season, the runway is used until early December when the sound begins to break up.

Roseville Yard
Roseville, California, USA

Roseville Yard, located north of Sacramento, California is the largest rail facility on the west coast of the United States. Operated by the Union Pacific Railroad, the yard accommodates approximately 98 percent of all rail traffic in the north of the state.

Residential development
Cape Coral, Florida, USA

Residential development surrounds the waterways of Cape Coral, Florida, USA. With more than 400 miles (640 kilometers) of navigable channels, the total length of the canals in this “Waterfront Wonderland” is the greatest of any single city in the world.

A guitar-shaped forest - more than one kilometer in length - is visible outside the city of Laboulaye, Argentina. For years, a couple by the name of Pedro Ureta and Graciela Yraizoz discussed the idea of creating such a design. However, when Graciela suddenly passed away, Pedro and their four children planted 7,000 cypress (the body of the instrument) and eucalyptus (the strings) trees in her honor. The guitar was her favorite instrument.

Rub' al Khali or The Empty Quarter
Saudi Arabia

Rub' al Khali or The Empty Quarter is the largest sand desert in the world, covering 650,000 square kilometers in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and the UAE

West Side Yard

New York City, New York, USA

The West Side Yard in New York City is used to store commuter rail trains for the Long Island Rail Road. Located between 30th Street, 33rd Street, 10th Avenue and 12th Avenue, it is the only active railroad yard in Manhattan, excluding the subway system.

Australia Day

Bondi Beach

One of the city’s most popular destinations, the beach gets its name from the Aboriginal word "Bondi" that means waves breaking over rocks.

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California, USA

The Golden Gate Bridge is a 1.7 mile (2.7 km) long suspension bridge in San Francisco, California that spans the Golden Gate strait, the mile-wide channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Whirlpool exchange
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A whirlpool interchange connects three major roads by the Miracle Garden in Dubai, UAE. When construction of this junction began in 2006, Dubai contained 30,000 industrial cranes - 25% of all cranes on the planet.

Niagara Falls
Border of Ontario, Canada and New York, United States

Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the border between Ontario, Canada and the United States. The falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). The Maid of the Mist boat, visible here, has carried passengers into the rapids immediately below the falls since 1846.

Stelvio Pass

Northern Alps, Italy

The Stelvio Pass is a road in northern Italy that is the highest paved roadway in the Eastern Alps with an elevation of 2,757 m (9,045 ft) above sea level. Only accessible in the summer months (June-September), the road and its 75 hairpin turns are sometimes scaled during the famous Giro d’Italia cycling race.

Pineapple Garden Maze

Wahiawa, Hawaii, USA

The Pineapple Garden Maze at the Dole Plantation in Wahiawa, Hawaii, USA is one of the world’s largest mazes. The labyrinth stretches over three acres and includes nearly two and a half miles of paths crafted from 14,000 plants.

Nile River Delta

The Nile River Delta covers approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) of the Egyptian coastline and the region contains about half of Egypt’s 80 million people.

Magdeburg Water Bridge
Magdeburg, Germany

The Magdeburg Water Bridge is a navigable aqueduct in central Germany. As the largest bridge of its kind in Europe, it spans the Elbe River to directly connect two canals, allowing large commercial ships to pass between the Rhineland and Berlin without having to descend into and then out of the Elbe. The structure was built with 24,000 tons of steel and 68,000 cubic meters of concrete.

Bratsk Pulp Mill
Bratsk, Russia

Timber is frozen in the Angara River by a pulp mill in Bratsk, Russia. A pulp mill is a manufacturing facility that converts trees and wood chips into thick fiber board that is shipped to a paper mill for further processing. The facility in Bratsk has a capacity of 413,000 cubic meters of wood per year.

Green Cathedral
Almere, Netherlands

The Green Cathedral or De Groene Kathedraal located near Almere, Netherlands, is an artistic planting of 178 Lombardy poplar trees. The “Cathedral” is 150 m (490 ft) long and 75 m (246 ft) wide, which mimics the exact size and shape of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, in Reims, France.

Spiral Jetty
Great Salk Lae Utah, USA

Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture by Robert Smithson, consisting of a 1,500-foot-long (460 m), 15-foot-wide (4.6 m) counterclockwise coil jutting from the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, USA.

Jiaozhou Bay Bridge

Qingdao / Huangdao, China

The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge — connecting Qingdao and Huangdao, China — is the world’s longest bridge, spanning 41.58 kilometers (25.84 miles).

Kufra Basin Agriculture Project

Kufra District, Libya

The Kufra Basin in the Sahara Desert of Libya is one of the most heavily irrigated oases in the world.


Belfast, Ireland

"Wish" is a land-art portrait spanning 11 acres in Belfast, Ireland. Created by artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, the work represents the youth's ability to look towards the future.

Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellowstone National Park, Teton County, Wyoming, USA

At the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, visitors can get a close-up view on a series of elevated boardwalks. The hot spring gets its vivid color from pigmented bacteria that grow around the edge of the mineral-rich water.

Kaaba / Al-Masjid al-Haram

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

The Kaaba is a granite, cuboid structure that stands 43 feet high. The Cube is located at the center of Masjid al-Haram, the largest mosque in the world in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Burning Man

Black Rock City, Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA

Burning Man is a week-long, annual event held in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, USA. Drawing more than 65,000 participants in 2014, the event is described as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.

Tulip Fields

Lisse, Netherlands

The image shows 35,000 walruses gathered on the shore, five miles north of Point Lay, Alaska. Environmental experts say the photograph is dramatic proof of changing environmental conditions that result from sea ice loss. The accelerating retreat of Alaskan sea ice north into the Arctic Ocean severely impacts the walruses who rely on it for everything from giving birth to diving to hunt for food.

Costa Concordia Shipwreck

Isola del Giglio, Italy

The Costa Concordia was a Italian cruise ship that wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy on January 13, 2012.

Mount Taranaki

North Island, New Zealand

Mount Taranaki, also known as Mount Egmont, is an active stratovolcano on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.


Betsiboka River, Madagascar

Dramatic evidence of the catastrophic erosion in northwestern Madagascar is seen at the rapidly expanding Betsiboka River Delta.

Mir Mine

Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia

Mir Mine is an inactive, open-pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia.

Port of Valencia

Valencia, Spain

Thousands of automobiles await shipment at the Port of Valencia in Valencia, Spain.

Ivanpah Solar Power Facility

Ivanpah, California, USA

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is a solar thermal power project in the California Mojave Desert, 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Las Vegas, Nevada.


Creil, Flevoland, Netherlands

Located in the province of Flevoland in the Netherlands, the village of Creil contains many farms that specialize in the growth of flower bulbs.

Statue of Liberty

New York City, New York, USA

The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture in the middle of New York Harbor, in Manhattan, New York City.

Recession of the Dead Sea

Neve Zohar, Israel

In recent decades, the water level of the Dead Sea has been dropping at more than 3 feet per year due to the extraction of raw materials and the diversion of water to the north (noticeable here).

Agricultural Development

Loxahatchee, Florida, USA

Uluru / Ayers Rock
Northern Territory, Australia

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the Northern Territory of Australia.

Luecke Farm

Smithville, Texas, USA

Luecke Farm in Smithville, Texas, USA uses a selective clearing of trees to spell out the surname of its owner "LUECKE." The distance from the "L" to the "E" is just short of 3 miles. Consequently, NASA uses the text to focus and optimize photographs taken by the Hubbell Telescope.

Palm Island / Hibiscus Island

Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Palm Island and Hibiscus Islands are two man-made islands located in Miami Beach, Florida. While the residential neighborhoods on the islands have some of the highest property values in the city, they are also among the first places ordered to evacuate in advance of a hurricane.

Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal

Newark, New Jersey, USA

In 2013, The Port of New York and New Jersey handled 745,419 new and used automobiles.

Los Caracoles Pass

Los Andes, Chile

Los Caracoles Pass (or "Snails Pass") is located in a remote section of the Andes Mountains on the Chilean side of the border with Argentina. The twisting road climbs to an elevation of 10,419 feet, has no roadside safety barriers, and is frequented by large trucks.

Big Cajun II Coal Plant
New Roads, Louisiana, USA

The Big Cajun II Coal Power Plant in New Roads, Louisiana was ranked 42nd on the list of most polluting coal power stations in the US with a yearly output of 860,640 pounds of combustion waste.

Desert Breath

Hurghada, Egypt

"Desert Breath" - located in the Egyptian desert near Hurghada on the Red Sea - is a double-spiral art piece. Because the 89 protruding cones that make up one spiral are constructed from the sand that was dug to create the 89 depressed cones of the other spiral, in due time, with erosion, the area of approximately one million square feet will revert back to its original state.

Eixample District
Barcelona, Spain

Eixample - a district in the city of Barcelona, Spain - is characterized by its strict grid pattern, octagonal intersections, and apartments with communal courtyards.

King Khalid International Airport

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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