Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Amazing Planet

A site that I started following recently is Our Amazing Planet; the post that got my attention was one that went viral in the pop aggregators, and was pointed out by two or three geobloggers as well: a to-scale column of earth from 36,000 feet in the atmosphere to 36,000 feet depth. If you haven't seen this infographic, I do recommend it... for example, had you asked me to guess a typical jetliner cruising altitude, I would have essentially nailed it. But had you asked me the highest elevation a bird has been seen flying, I would have been off by a factor of fifty percent or more.

Sites like this are fun and enjoyable, and to the extent that they cite their sources (as they do quite nicely on the above infographic), educational. Other pieces can be unclear and misleading, though if you know your science, you can see how they chose the words they did. Unlike, for example, National Geographic, which has been disappointing me more and more recently with their sloppiness, this site is not pretending to be authoritative or to be interviewing the power hitters of cutting-edge research. They're having fun with something they obviously enjoy, and at that level, doing a good job.

A Willy Wonka-worthy post was The Scrumptious Chocolate Falls of Arizona. Two other recent ones I've enjoyed were the Ten Most Visited National Parks (the national park bucket list) and Ten Least Visited National Parks (all yours). It's another one of those US-centric ones, but I thought this might be a fun early summer geo meme. Bold the ones you have visited, and italicize the ones you've never heard of before. Leave a comment and/or link if you decide to play, and I'll post a link to you.

Most visited:
10: Glacier
9: Acadia (Maine, Alaska and Hawaii are the three states I've never visited)
8: Grand Teton
7: Cuyahoga Valley (I've visited the area many times in the 60's and 70's, though it wasn't until 2000 that this became an official unit of the NPS)
6: Rocky Mountain (I'm kind of ashamed of this one)
5: Olympic
4: Yellowstone
3: Yosemite
2: Grand Canyon
1: Great Smoky Mountains

Least Visited:
10: City of Rocks NR, Idaho
9: Cumberland Island NS, Georgia
8: Florissant Fossil Beds NM, Colorado (This is one I've always wanted to see)
7: Chiricahua NM, Arizona
6: Tonto NM, Arizona
5: Dry Tortugas NP, Florida
4: Katmai NP & Preserve, Alaska
3: Kalaupapa NHP, Hawaii
2: Hagerman Fossil Beds NM, Idaho
1: Russell Cave NM, Alabama

Callan's in, and yes it is the same Cuyahoga River, but upstream of the Cleveland metro area. The rocks are Ordovician and Silurian Mississippian and Devonian. The exposures are quite spectacular.

Phillip, the only other Oregon Geoblogger I know of, has his list here.

Gaelyn's back yard is #2 on the first list... Soooo jealous!

Silver Fox smokes out a spelling error, and her list is here. As always, mistakes are my own, and I reserve the right to edit ones that embarrass me.

Ed at Geology Happens has the fullest list I've seen so far.

Geotripper Garry Hayes is playing too, and notes how few of us have been to many on the "least visited" list.

Via a comment at Callan's list, blarg! Another spelling error on my part: Russell Cave should have two l's... now it does.

Oops, missed Fab Grandma's post a couple of days ago.

Coconino, at Ordinary High Water Mark, gets into the game.

Planelight at Life in Plane Light adds another list, with the comment, "I need to visit more National Parks / Monuments." So do we all.


Anonymous said...

I'm game.

Philip said...

I'll play

Gaelyn said...

Great idea. I'm posting the Parks Meme.

My three unvisited states are also Maine, Hawaii or Alaska.

Silver Fox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Silver Fox said...

And here's mine.

splord said...

Only one on either list that I have visited is Great Smoky Mountains. I've been there many, many times, but I lived within two hours of it for the first 46 years of my life.

Karen said...

I have posted mine--like Gaelyn, I live and work at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I've never been to the south rim, I need to remedy that soon. Also, I have never been to the Rocky Mountain National Park even though my daughter lives in Denver.