Happy Earth Day!

The Effing Awesomeness of Earth (Photos)

In honor of Earth Day, The Daily Beast takes a look at the often indescribable scenes of beauty found around our world and celebrated in National Geographic’s ‘Sublime Nature.’

David Doubilet/National Geographic Creative

David Doubilet/National Geographic Creative

With all the talk of global warming and the impending doom of our planet, we often forget to take a step back and enjoy the natural wonders we're working so hard to save. In honor of Earth Day, The Daily Beast takes a look at the often indescribable scenes of beauty and majesty found around our world. Published in a new book, Sublime Nature (National Geographic), these images celebrate both "the large, epic landscapes that most remind me of how powerful, mesmerizing and beautiful our natural world is," as author Cristina Mittermeier explains, as well as "the minute details that nature provides . . . a fin, a scale, an eye, the texture of ice."


As if standing on the water’s surface, a fisherman casts his line into the clear waters of a coral islet in the Raja Ampat Islands of Indonesia.

Joel Sartore/National Geographic Creative

As the sun shines through a tree canopy, millions of monarch butterflies flutter their wings and take flight from their winter roost in the Sierra Chincua, Mexico.

George Steinmetz/National Geographic Creative

Flying over the hypersaline waters of Lake Natron, Kenya, a small airplane casts a shadow on the red surface of the lake.

Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative

An adult leopard seal uses a large chunk of ice to scan its surroundings in the Antarctic Peninsula.

George Steinmetz/National Geographic Creative

The ghostly figures of saguaro cacti stand under a starry sky in Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats. 

James L. Stanfield/ National Geographic Creative

Steam rises from hot springs at Blood Pond Hell on Kyushu Island, Japan.

Paul Nicklen/National Geographic Creative

A school of fairy basslets darts to and fro among lettuce coral blooms in the Phoenix Islands in the central Pacific. 

Frans Lanting/ National Geographic Creative

A lovely, silent landscape is formed by dead camel thorn trees against a backdrop of the Sossusvlei dunes in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia.

Kent Davis/National Geographic Your Shot

An aerial view captures one of Earth’s mostdramatic spectacles—the birth of a new volcano in Hawaii.

Gordon Gahan/National Geograhic Creative

A shaft of light pierces the approaching dusk in this aerial view of Dusky Sound near the southwestern tip of South Island, New Zealand. 

National Geographic

Sublime Nature

Sublime Nature: Photographs That Awe and Inspire is available from National Geographic.