Our amazing planet.

Image Gallery: Earth as Art

South African Ocean Bloom

Phytoplankton bloom off South Africa

(Image credit: NASA.)

Off the coast of South Africa, near where the South Atlantic meets the Southern Indian Ocean, a massive summer phytoplankton bloom colored the waters with a swirl of turquoise, green and white in late December 2011. Although this circular bloom has the appearance of a precious antique gaming marble, it is actually the result of millions of tiny plant-like organisms (phytoplankton ) which are growing where nutrient-rich waters mix together.

[Full Story: Earth as Art: An Ocean Bloom]

Stunning Natural Beauty

Blue Marble Earth

(Image credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring)

Our Blue Marble gives us amazing and unexpected art. This natural beauty supplies some of the most breath-taking views around. Here you will find a few of its offerings.

Arizona's Painted Desert


(Image credit: NASA/Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon)

In northern Arizona lies an expanse of arid, erosion-prone badlands made of multicolored mudstones and clays. This Painted Desert stretches from the Grand Canyon in the northwest to the Petrified Forest National Park in the southeast.

[Full Story: Earth as Art: Arizona's Painted Desert]

Idhan Murzuq Sea of Sand

Idhan Murzuq sand sea Libya

(Image credit: NASA)

In southwestern Libya, near the borders of Algeria and Niger, lies a sand sea known as Idhan Murzuq (also Sahra Marzuq) that rarely receives water from either sky or land. The extreme desert's complex dunes are shaped by dry winds. But extending from the northeast quarter, a corridor of sand lines what used to be a river channel: Wadi Barjuj.

[Full Story: Earth as Art: Sea of Sand]

Lake Dundas Encrusted Lake

salt-encrusted, salt lake

(Image credit: NASA.)

Salt lakes of assorted sizes occur throughout southwestern Australia, and one of the larger ones is Lake Dundas. Located about 130 kilometers (80 miles) inland from the coastal city of Esperance, Lake Dundas occupies a region of low rainfall and abundant sunshine. This salt-encrusted lake presents a complex face to satellite sensors, with plentiful islands poking above the water line.

[Full Story: Earth as Art: A Salt-Encrusted Lake]

Cloud Swirls over the Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean winds clouds

(Image credit: NASA)

As citizens of northern countries ponder sculpted snow and ice, or icings for baked goods, the summer skies over the southern oceans offered their own vision in white in the early winter of 2011. The brush strokes of bright holiday swirls were made by winds and atmospheric eddies moving over the far southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.

[Full Story: Earth as Art: Indian Ocean Clouds]

Madagascar's Bombetoka Bay


(Image credit: NASA)

On the northwestern coast of Madagascar, the salty waters of the Mozambique Channel penetrate inland to join with the freshwater outflow of the Betsiboka River, forming Bombetoka Bay. Numerous islands and sandbars have formed in the estuary from the large amount of sediment carried in by the Betsiboka River and have been shaped by the flow of the river and the push and pull of tides.

[Full Story: Earth As Art: Madagascar's Bombetoka Bay]

Live Science Staff
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.