Chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica ) ride out high surf on blue-ice icebergs near Candlemas Island in the South Sandwich Islands . Safe for the moment from predaceous leopard seals, chinstrap penguins are the second most abundant species in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic.
A storm passes over Yellow Mounds Overlook in South Dakota's Badlands, casting light and shadow below. Although the region's name derives from the Oglala Sioux words mako sica or "land bad," the Badlands showcase the powerful effects of wind and water and contain fossil beds dating to 35 million years ago.
Towering in close symmetry, these basalt columns near Fingal's Cave form the base of the Scottish island of Staffa. The columns formed when cooling lava flows met bedrock and the region's cold weather. The island contains three main caves.
Towers of salt and a riverbed colored by crystallized salt create an otherworldly landscape in Ethiopia's Danakil Desert. Sitting more than 300 feet (90 meters) below sea level, with temperatures reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), local inhabitants prize the Danakil for one thing: its salt deposits.