From a serious mass extinction event and scientists studying Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression for clues to life on Mars, to a drug lord’s mansion being turned into a luxury resort, here’s your weekly wrap of adventure news from around the web.
The winners of the Annual International Drone Photography Contest have been announced and include some of the most talented aerial photographers in the world today. Hosted by Dronestagram, a website dedicated to—you guessed it—drone photography, and National Geographic, the winning shots capture perspective-bending beach scenes, daredevilish Russian window cleaners and a surreal switchback highway through a Transylvanian forest.
A trillion-ton iceberg the size of Delaware has broken free in Antarctica. The ‘berg, one of the largest in recorded history, calved from the Larsen C ice shelf and reduced the shelf’s size by an enormous 10% in the process. Researchers say that despite its size, the berg was already floating before it broke, so there’s no need to be concerned about its impact on sea levels–for now.
Twenty-five new UNESCO World Heritage sites have just been revealed for 2017. Featuring the British Lake District, the ‘Manchester’ of India, a subarctic farming landscape and an underground water management system in Poland, this fresh batch of wonders illustrates the breadth of beautiful diversity to be found on this big spinning rock of ours.
Speaking of beautiful diversity: In severely less positive news, scientists have warned that Earth’s sixth mass extinction event is well under way. Published in the peer-reviewed journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study talks of a “biological annihilation” that will have “serious ecological, economic and social consequences” if we–humans–fail to halt it. Read the full story on the Guardian.
If you find the news of this extinction simply too harrowing and fancy relocating to another planet altogether, you could pay a visit to Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression, where scientists are studying for clues as to how life could exist on Mars. But if a sweaty trip to the depression seems a bit much to bear, you can explore the area via our photo feature from the comfort of your couch.
One of Pablo Escobar’s former mansions has been renovated and transformed into a luxury, 26-room hotel. Located in Tulum, Mexico, the resort also features nine garden terraces, five-star food, a white-sand beach on its doorstep and a $370 per night price tag. Might be worth taking up a second job—just don’t go taking any cues from Pablo himself.
The Australian Society of Travel Writers have announced their shortlist of candidates for their Awards of Excellence 2017. The list features two Adventure.com contributors, Ben Groundwater and John Borthwick. Ben most recently wrote for us about the importance of taking risks with food when we’re traveling, while John wrote about the time he walked across Thailand in just half a day. These blokes aren’t messing around.
What else are we reading this week? Well, reporter Alice Driver wrote about the shit men say to her when she travels for Outside Online, Huck Magazine took a deep-dive into the brain-bending photography author William S. Burroughs, and Roads and Kingdoms explored the delicious Korean restaurants in Mexico City.
Oliver is the Australia editor of Adventure.com. Originally from the UK, he's lived in Melbourne since 2011 and writes for a range of international travel and music publications.