Bio-luminescent sea plankton that shines bright blue during the night makes the sea area at Vaadhoo Island look like the Sea of Stars. The dinoflagellates glow the magical blue after oxygen is introduced to the water. Interestingly, the glow is a defense mechanism against predators. Further, even if the phytoplankton are eaten by fish, the luminescence continues, thus making the fish as targets to other predators. The sea of stars of Vaadhoo Island Maldives attracts millions of tourists every year. The tourist footfall seams to be only increasing after the sea was featured in several Bollywood and Hollywood films.
The flag of Nicaragua consists of three horizontal stripes - the top and bottom stripe are blue and the middle stripe is white. Inside the center of the white stripe, and at the center of the flag, is the country's coat of arms. The colors of the Nicaraguan flag originate from the flag of the former federation of the United Provinces of Central America. The two blue stripes represented the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea; while white symbolizes peace. A modern interpretation indicates that the color blue symbolizes justice and loyalty; while the color white represents virtue and purity. The coat of arms features an equilateral triangle which represents equality. Inside the triangle are five volcanoes, which represent the five members of the federation. The triangle also contains symbols of liberty and peace - represented by a red Phrygian cap, white rays and rainbow.
The ancient city of Petra, Jordan is an architectural masterpiece. Built into the side of a rock cliff, Petra was carved as early as 312 BC. Petra was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was unknown to the western world until 1812.
The “Rose City” is a honeycomb of hand-hewn caves, temples, and tombs carved from blushing pink sandstone in the high desert of Jordan some 2,000 years ago. Hidden by time and shifting sand, Petra tells of a lost civilization. Little is known about the Nabateans—a nomadic desert people whose kingdom rose up from these cliffs and peaks, and whose incredible wealth grew from the lucrative incense trade.
The flag of Italy consists of three equal sized vertical stripes - the left stripe is green; the middle one is white; and the right stripe is red.
The Italian flag is based on the design of the French flag. There are different accounts explaining the meaning and history of the green, white and red colors. One account states that the colors of the Italian flag may have been based on military uniforms from Milan. Another one suggests Napoleon Bonaparte replaced the blue of the French flag with green because he liked the color.
Longsheng is named after Longji, which translates to dragon's backbone. The terrace resembles dragon scales as rice fields snake through the mountains. Construction of the terraces began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when construction was completed. The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labor of the Zhuang people.
The flag of Pakistan consists of a dark green background with a white vertical stripe on the left side of it. In the center of the green base lie a white crescent and a five-pointed white star.
Green is a traditional Islamic color and the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols. The white stripe represents the non-Muslim, minority, religious groups in Pakistan. According to modern meaning, the green represents prosperity; white symbolizes peace; the white crescent represents progress; and the white star represents light and knowledge.
The Amazon River is the artery for the largest rainforest in the world. It is the largest river in the world by discharge and one of the largest by length. The surrounding rainforest represents over half of the world's remaining rainforest.
The flag of Tonga consists of a red base with a white square in the upper left corner. There is a red cross centered on the white square.
The red cross represents the country's belief in Christianity. The white stands for purity and the red represents the blood Jesus shed at his crucifixion and reminds Tonga's people that they owe their salvation to him.
The Tongan flag originated in the 1860s and was adopted on November 4, 1875, making it one of the world's oldest flags. The constitution of 1875 stated that the Tongan flag should never be changed.
Which flag would you like to learn about next week?
The Temples of Bagan sit within central Burma (Myanmar) and was built as the capital of ancient Myanmar. The temples are the largest concentration of Buddhist temples, most of which dating back to the 12th and 11th centuries.
The Andorra flag is made up of vertical bars, running left to right. The vertical bars are blue, yellow and red with the coat of arms in the center. There are two versions of the Andorra coat of arms - the French coat of arms and the Spanish coat of arms - due to the political situation in the country.