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One of our very favorite photo contests has just kicked off! The 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest brings out the most breathtaking shots in travel photography. This year, the prizes are really exciting! The grand prize winner will receive an eight day National Geographic Photo Expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal for two while the second place winner gets a six day National Geographic Photo Expedition to explore winter wildlife in Yellowstone.

The…

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Photographer Troy Moth spent the first few years of his life living in a tent in a remote tree-planting camp in Western Canada, instilling in him a deep love of nature. His upbringing surrounded by untamed flora and fauna is reflected in Animal Works, a series of striking photos depicting animals roaming freely in the wilderness.

Moth's images are impactful in their stark, minimalist compositions. Whether the subject is a tiny figure amidst windswept grasses, or an intimidating force emerging from the darkness, the animal's powerful presence demands attention from the viewer. Bears, horses, wolves, and fierce birds of prey turn their piercing gazes on the camera, the intelligent gleam in their eyes fascinatingly feral and humanlike at the same time.…

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While the idea to create this transparent Japanese tea house originated in 2002, and while the design was realized in 2011, it's only now, nearly five years from the presentation of the design that KOU-AN Glass Tea House has finally been unveiled. KOU-AN has been installed in the mountainside of Kyoto, Japan, at Seiryuden (Blue Dragon Hall), which is the home of the Shorenin Temple. Seiryuden is located on Shogunzuka Hill, 220 meters above ground level. Opened in October 2014, it's a popular observation spot because of the incredible views it provides of the whole cityscape of Kyoto. Installed on the vast observation deck, the glass tea house shimmers in the sun and one can stand outside of it and see completely through the stunning structure. (See…

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As the temperatures rise and flowers come back in bloom, it’s clear that spring is officially here. And, what better way to celebrate than with Colleen Jordan’s Wearable Planter! The unique accessories are miniaturized vases and decorative containers that hold sprouts, succulents, and small flowers. Wear them around your neck, as a pin, or even clipped to your bike. It’s a great way to carry a bit of nature with you all day long.

To produce these adorable planters, Jordan first designs them using modeling software and then 3D prints them in nylon. Finishings like leather and silver chains are applied to them afterwards. Each piece is watertight and translucent, meaning you can see the roots or bottom of the plant.

These charming creations are all available in Jordan’s…

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With more than 30 years of experience as a cave explorer and guide under his belt, Australian photographer John Spies is an expert at navigating the incredible formations and winding passages of underground sites never before seen by man. Camera in hand, the adventurer has journeyed into the depths of over 80 caverns in Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam—including a few caves previously undiscovered by humans. His remarkable explorations have included trips to Tham Xe Bang Fai—a cave in Laos containing the world's largest gour pool—and Vietnam's Hang Son Doong, the largest known cave in the world.

Entirely new worlds can be found in these magnificent caverns. Enormous stalactites hang over underground rivers, pools, rocky terrain, and plains covered in lush vegetation. Some places can only be accessed using kayaks or skilled climbing techniques, making each location a…

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We all look a little different when we're coming out of a bath or shower, but that's nothing compared to these dogs! Pet photographer Serena Hodson (or Serenah) just sent us her latest project, called Dry Dog Wet Dog, and it's right at the intersection of adorable and funny. Though pretty self-explanatory, we'll let her describe it to you anyway. "Dry Dog Wet Dog came about with washing my own dogs. Their personalities change when they know it's bath time. So I decided to create a series of the different looks and not only personalities but the difference in look from groomed to wet. We get such great texture on the dog when the hair is wet. Some dogs look completely different when wet and this was the joy I wanted to capture."

Serenah is no stranger to My Modern Met. We first featured her creative pet photography back in…

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This year's Boston Marathon was won by a woman who ran 26.2 miles in just over 2 hours, but she wasn't the only winner. The last person to cross the finish line was 39-year-old Venezuelan Maickel Melamed, who has a form of muscular dystrophy that greatly impairs his movement. This marathon holds special meaning for the physically-challenged man, since his parents brought him to Boston as a child to be treated for his disease. 

Even though it took Melamed 20 hours to complete the marathon, he continued on despite drenching rain, cold, wind, and Boston's hilly terrain. During the race, the inspiring man was joined by a group of volunteers who walked beside him, held umbrellas for him, and cheered him on. This touching scene was then photographed by…

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When Bailey Miller suddenly lost all feeling in her legs, doctors were utterly stumped. "Our daughter, Bailey, had complete paralysis from the waist down for 11 days with no explanation as to why," explains Bailey's mom. 

Miraculously, on her 12th day in the hospital, Bailey just as mysteriously regained her ability to walk. During her stay, she received incredible support and care from the hospital's staff, so she decided to surprise one of her favorite nurses with this spectacular news. 

Approaching the nurse in her wheelchair, Bailey pretended that it was just another normal day, until she stood up. Seeing that she had recovered, the nurse screamed, immediately embraced the young woman, and started to cry. The…

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Woven Nest-Inspired Jewelry by Heather Bayless

Artist Heather Bayless combines her love for nature and art in these beautiful pieces of jewelry that were inspired by nests. Using sterling silver, she wraps the metalwork around until a tiny sculpture of a nest is formed. In particular, she's inspired by weaver birds who are known for making elaborately woven nests. "They create their homes in unexpected places by intricately weaving grasses into a vessel form," she states.

The artist was born in the countryside in upstate New York where her house was surrounded by forest. With a gardener mother and a scientist father, she found curiosity in plants and all living things. Bayless received her BFA in graphic design and metalwork in at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and then moved to Seoul, Korea where she receive her MFA at Kookmin University. After Seoul, she moved to Kansas, where she currently resides and teaches.…

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Dubbed the “Queen of Double Eyes,” artist Alex Garant depicts beautiful women that are multi-eyed and in double vision. The gorgeously-painted oil portraits have facial features that are multiplied and offset from one another. This distortion of eyes, noses, and mouths makes her realistic-looking subjects appear unfocused as their bodies are combined with geometric patterns and Art Nouveau-esque flourishes.

Besides the blurred-vision portraits, Garant has less dizzying works where women simply have an extra set of eyes. Noses, mouths, and other attributes remain the same. In some of these images, she’s fused graphic, decorative designs with their skin that are reminiscent of tattoos.

Garant finds inspiration in early ink printing, vintage pop surrealism, baroque tapestries, and retro kitsch. And although the portraits use traditional oil painting…

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Remco Douma is a Dutch photographer who is passionate about capturing the sights of Uruguay, a country that he calls his home. While at Brava beach near Punta del Este, he witnessed a magical sight. “Sea sparkles” appeared on March 31, and they transformed the crashing waves into a spectacular, luminous blue that radiated under the night sky.

This natural phenomena is the result of bioluminescence, and it’s what makes an organism able to glow in the dark. Fireflies and plankton also have this trait. The sparkles that Douma photographed were caused by a dinoflagellate species called Alexandrium fraterculus. It’s nontoxic (unlike Noctiluca, another dinoflagellate species), and scientists aren’t exactly sure why it shines. Some think that the Alexandrium…

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Celestial animals come to life in this luminescent, sculptural installation by French artist Julien Salaud. Part of his Stellar Cave series, each expansive work of art is made of cotton thread that is coated in ultraviolet paint, woven into the shapes of stunning creatures, and held down with thousands of nails to form a glowing tapestry that transforms the room into an intergalactic grotto.

Polygonal representations of deer, birds, bears, and felines evoke the geometric likenesses of constellations in the night sky. The intricately formed beasts seem to be part of an imagined mythology and cosmos that envelops the viewer in the dazzling light of a faraway galaxy.…

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Visitors to the One World Trade Center can now watch the evolution of New York City unfold before their eyes. The elevators to the observatory at the top of the building show an animated timelapse depicting the development of the city's skyline from the 1500s to today, as is seen in this video by the New York Times.

As the sky pod ascends to the 102nd floor, visitors watch the skyline transform from flat, marshy ground to the familiar modern cityscape of the present, with decades zooming past in seconds. The amazing timelapse is a terrific precursor to the experience awaiting visitors at the observatory, from which they can gaze at the iconic skyscrapers dotting the metropolis today while…

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This morning, The New York Times Magazine shared their latest cover. Photographed from a helicopter, the aerial photo shows a brand new piece by street artist JR of a gigantic man walking in New York, or more specifically, the pedestrianized Flatiron Plaza next to Madison Square Park. The massive wheatpasting highlights The New York Times' latest initiative called Walking New York where everyone is invited to share their most memorable walk, the one that they love or remember the most.

On a special, interactive site, users can position a pin or enter an address to show the specific location of their favorite walk. In 500 characters, they can then share why that walk is meaningful to them. Select submissions will be published online…

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Down in Costa Rica, scientists have discovered an adorable, familiar-looking new species. This newfound amphibian is a frog known as Diane’s Bare-hearted Glassfrog, since its underbelly is translucent and takes on the appearance of glass. Most surprisingly, this extraordinary creature looks just like Kermit the Frog! 

The frog has evaded discovery until now because it lives in a remote location and also because its mating call is quite similar to an insect's call. Brian Kubicki, Stanley Salazar, and Robert Puschendorf are the scientists who discovered the Kermit look-alike between 400m and 800m up in the Talamanca mountains, stating that its call sounds like “a single tonal long metallic whistle-like note.” Not only did Dr. Kubicki capture vivid photographs of the frog, he also decided to name it after his mom Janet Diana…

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Third-grader Joshua Bass went to school thinking that it was going to be a normal School Picture Day, but it turned out to be so much more. For an entire year, Corporal James Bass had been deployed in Kuwait and was coming home on leave. To surprise his son, the remarkable father decided to show up to Joshua's elementary school and photobomb his school picture. 

After the photo was taken, the photographer showed the eight-year-old the snapshot, but he didn't quite know what was going on. Then, he turned around, saw his father standing there, and immediately ran into his arms. In the midst of their moving embrace, Joshua says to his father, "You still got it."…

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Geometric Fine Line Tattoos by LA's Famous Dr. Woo

This past December, The New York Times ran a story about Brian Woo (aka Dr. Woo), calling him the "Tattoo Artist for the Hollywood Set." Having inked such celebrities as Drake, Ellie Goulding, and Cara Delevingne, the 33-year-old is one of the most in-demand tattoo artists in Los Angeles with a wait list that's six months long. Young and old have fallen in love with his signature style of intricate, fine-line, single-needle style pieces. With an Instagram following that now stands at 454,000, he's also followed by a legion of online fans who watch his every move.

Woo started off by dabbling in tattoos when he was just 13 or 14 years old. He and his friend would experiment with "stick-and-poking" their legs after school.…

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Located in Berlin, this project known as Urban Treehouse showcases a modern design that has the possibility for long-term living. Baumraum is a firm known for this type of elevated architecture, and they created the treehouses as an experimental research project. They’re set within a community of residential buildings with larger properties and gardens - much different than a rural area surrounded by nature. The design intends to add to the city’s collection of small alternative constructions, all while preserving the nearly 7,000 square-foot tree population around it.

Urban Treehouse consists of two near-identical cubic units that each have 226 square feet of living space, including a kitchen and bathroom. Both hover on a 13 foot-high base and have a lower terrace that’s 8.5 feet from…

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Curious about the brain? Now you can learn about it with your everyday home decor. ThinkGeek created a 10-piece set of Brain Specimen Coasters that separates the organ into thin slices. Each part is printed on a four-inch clear glass coaster, and they form a complete three-dimensional brain when stacked on top of one another. There’s a specific order to the assemblage, but that’s not hard to recreate since each piece is labeled.

The vivid designs are reminiscent of what’s produced by a microtome, which is a tool used to cut something into extremely thin slices for view on a microscope. Individually, you can better understand parts of this fascinating organ, while at the same time having an eye-catching accessory that’s sure to be a conversation starter for your guests.…

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Rebekah Gregory was one of the many runners injured by a double bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. She nearly lost her life, as well as the life of her young son who was waiting for her near the finish line. As a result of the injuries sustained from the deadly blast, Rebekah has undergone 35 surgeries, including one last November to amputate her left leg.

Despite these hardships, the 27-year-old has refused to be kept down. In the two years since the tragic event that cost her her leg, Rebekah has given inspiring speeches as a motivational speaker, trained daily to build strength and endurance, and bravely testified at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial. Yesterday marked another milestone for Rebekah, as she successfully completed the last 3.5 miles of the 2015 Boston Marathon on her new prosthetic leg (affectionately named…

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