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20 Places that Look Like They’re From Another Planet

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As you get stuck in the day-to-day of life, it can sometimes feel like the world is becoming a very boring place. You pass by the same places day in and day out, and you have the same kinds of experiences day in and day out, too. But, it’s terrible that we all come to feel this way in our lives at one time or another! The fact is that it’s a great big and incredible world out there, and it’s one that’s full of all kinds of secrets and cool things to see!

In fact, there are some places on this planet that look and feel as if they’re not a part of this planet in the very least. They look like places that you’d see in a science fiction film – and in fact some of them have even popped up in just those kinds of films!

On the list below, we’re going to share 20 places on our planet that look like they’re from another planet. From crazy rock formations, to incredible geysers and even to beaches the light up at night, it’s all here. So, if you want to open your eyes to majesty of the world once again and see things different, then read on… These places are about to blow your mind!

1. Socotra

There’s an incredible diversity of flora and fauna on this small island, a diversity that exceeds even that of Galapagos.

2. Hillier Lake

Due to bacteria and algae, this Australian lake get a bright pink color that closely resembles Pepto-Bismol.

3. Fly Geyser

An abandoned well is responsible for this amazing sight, which is made from calcium carbonate.

4. Giant’s Causeway

These strange columns in Ireland were actually created by a volcanic eruption a long time ago

5. Fingal’s Cave

And wouldn’t you know that ancient volcanic activity is also responsible for the unique look of this incredible Scottish cave.

6. Lake Baikal Ice

During the month of March, fissures open up in this frozen lake revealing iridescent blue ice.

7. Cascata Bigar

These are some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, and they’re rightly considered to be sacred by those who live near them.

8. Uyuni Salt Flats

After it’s just rained, you can walk out onto these salt flats and get the sensation that you’re actually walking on the sky.

9. Skaftafell Ice Cave

Located in a national park of the same name, these distinctive ice caves get their blue hue from the way the ice refracts light.

10. Lake Natron

This incredible lake gets its deep red color due to the small organism that inhabit this incredibly salty body of water.

11. Aogashima

What makes this small volcanic island so interesting? How about the fact that it features a volcano inside of a volcano.

12. Glowing Waters in Maldives

Because of bioluminescent phytoplankton, the waters around Vaadhoo Island appear to glow at night.

13. Glowworm Caves

Speaking of bioluminescence, it’s bioluminescent worms that give this New Zealand cave its distinctive look.

14. Playa Escondida

With a name that literally means “hidden beach”, this is just what it sounds like!  Beach hidden inside of a cave.

15. Yuanyang County

When you’ve got just the right vantage points, these working rice terraces become a thing of unrestrained beauty.

16. Cano Cristales

A variety of different algae give this pool its signature rainbow look. When you see it, you won’t believe your eyes!

17. Pamukkale Thermal Pools

These hot spring are the most beautiful in the world, if you ask us, and they get their almost ice-like look due to the fact they’re made from limestone.

18. Naica Mine

These huge crystals, which are made of selenite, are caused by the heating of the planet and definitely resemble the Fortress of Solitude.

19. Dead Vlei

Once long ago, there used to be a forest that stood here… Now, these dead trees are all that remains of that forest.

20. Sentinels of the Arctic

What on Earth cold these be? Well, the answer is quite simple! They’re trees that are forever covered in snow.

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World’s First All-Electric, Jet-Powered, Five-Seater Air Taxi Completes Test Flight

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German electric air taxi startup Lilium unveiled Thursday its jet-powered, five-seater prototype, which conducted its first flight earlier this month.

The Lilium Jet is part of an app-based flying taxi service that the company expects will be “fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025.”

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The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically. The aircraft design has no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine.

“In less than two years we have been able to design, build and successfully fly an aircraft that will serve as our template for mass production,” Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said in a statement. “Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travelers.”

The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 186 miles in 60 minutes on a single charge. (Photo Credit: Lilium)

The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 300 kilometers (186 miles) in 60 minutes on a single charge, and will connect cities through a network of landing pads. Commuters will be able to book rides from their nearest landing pad through the Lilium smartphone app.

“At the push of a button, passengers will be able to use the Lilium app to locate their nearest landing pad and plan their journey with ease,” the company said in a press release. “Choosing from a network of pads across cities and regions, passengers will enjoy journeys that are comparable in price with a taxi, yet four times faster.”

The Lilium air taxi service, operational in 2025, allows commuters to book rides from their nearest landing pad through a smartphone app. (Photo Credit: Lilium)

The Lilium Jet took flight for the first time on May 4, after completing extensive ground testing at Lilium’s HQ in Munich, Germany, the company said. The prototype aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, has also begun a rigorous flight test campaign, the first step toward certification of the aircraft to safety standards comparable to those of large commercial aircraft.

The full-scale, full-weight Lilium Jet prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically. (Photo Credit: Lilium)

In 2017, Lilium completed testing of a two-seater prototype, which first demonstrated Lilium’s “signature transition flight maneuver,” where the aircraft shifts from vertical to horizontal flight, and laid the groundwork for the five-seater prototype.

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Google Combines Trip-Planning Features Under One Roof

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Google is making it easier to plan your next trip online.

Following last year’s rollout of similar mobile tools, the company on Tuesday announced a major revamp of its web-based travel platform.

The new google.com/travel landing page features information about previously reserved journeys, and lets users effortlessly switch between flight, hotel, and package searches.

“As you plan a trip, your research and reservations will be organized for you in Trips,” Richard Holden, vice president of product management for travel, wrote in a blog post.

Finally, the web and mobile versions are on feature parity, making it simple to start outlining your summer vacation on the commute, consult the whole family from the living room, and finalize arrangements from the comfort of your bed.

Look for the ability to directly edit saved trips and add new reservations (coming soon), as well as sections highlighting recently viewed hotels and activities.

“When you want to continue planning, all of your research will be waiting for you,” Holden boasted.

Scroll down to see travel articles and find out more about a destination, like suggested day plans, popular restaurants near your hotel, and events during your dates.

Google also baked in weather forecasts for upcoming or potential trips, “so you can make sure you’re prepared, rain or shine,” according to Holden.

If this is all a bit too much, users can opt out of private results by adjusting the web and app activity settings.

And while this week’s updates tend to focus on desktop, Google has introduced a handy new mobile function for neighborhood newcomers: Google Maps points out popular areas nearby and what they’re known for.

Visiting Vancouver for the first time? Find out more about Gastown, Coal Harbour, and Yaletown with the tap of your finger.

“Our goal is to simplify trip planning by helping you quickly find the most useful information and pick up where you left off on any device,” Holden said. “We’ll continue to make planning and taking trips easier with Google Maps, Google Search, and google.com/travel—so you can get out and enjoy the world.”

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Researchers Have Invented a Quieter, Less Terrifying Airplane Toilet

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If you’re a frequent flyer, you know how loud airplane toilets could be. Flushing could produce a noise so terrifyingly loud, it almost seems like the whole lavatory is being sucked out through that tiny hole.

But changes might be coming: Researchers from Brigham Young University have invented a vacuum-assisted toilet that is about half as loud as the regular airplane commode.

“People have told us they don’t want their kids to be scared to use the bathroom on a flight,” said lead researcher Kent Gee, BYU professor of physics. “So, we’ve used good physics to solve the problem.”

While aviation tech has developed, the airline industry hasn’t been able to improve vacuum-assisted toilets over the last 25 years. That’s because getting airplane toilets to flush with very little water requires a partial vacuum, which at 38,000 feet, pulls air at nearly half the speed of sound. When things move at that speed, any disturbance at all to the flow — like the bend of a pipe or a valve — generates significant noise.

And with cabins now quieter than ever due to newer airplanes, toilet flushes reverberate much more throughout the cabin.

“Airline companies have always had standards for the toilet noise, but they’ve never met those and there has never been much pressure to do so,”said Scott Sommerfeldt, BYU professor of mechanical engineering. “Now with the reduced cabin sound levels, the sound of the toilet flushing is more noticeable and customers are pushing back.”

To solve the problem, the BYU team focused on three valve conditions during the flush cycle: the initial noise level peak associated with the flush valve opening, an intermediate noise level plateau associated with the valve being fully opened and the final noise level peak associated with the flush valve closing.

The researchers added additional piping to increase the distance between the toilet bowl and the flush valve and made the pipe attachment at the bowl more of a gradual bend as opposed to a sharp 90-degree angle.

Tests of the new contraption show aeroacoustically-generated noise dropped up to 16 decibels during the flush valve opening and about 5 to 10 decibels when the valve is fully opened.

“It’s a great mix between physics and engineering,” said grad student Michael Rose, lead author on the team’s paper published in Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics. “The toilet is much quieter and now kids won’t think they’re going to get sucked out.”

The researchers have filed three patents on the new toilet and are now working with an industry partner to bring it to market. The invention works with existing airplane toilets — only the elbow need be removed during a retrofit, while the valve and the bowl can remain where they are.

The vacuum-assisted tech could also be used for toilets on cruise ships and trains and even in green building projects where housing units are looking at ways to reduce water usage.

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