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Photographer Captures Fairytale-Like Horses Roaming Iceland’s Epic Landscape

The series showcases the unique beauty of Iceland’s horses in their natural element, drawing the viewer into a world of fantasy and myth.

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(TMU) — Based in South Carolina, artist Drew Doggett started his career in fashion photography. However, Doggett now travels the world searching for and photographing amazing landscapes and portraits of cultures, people, and communities using the techniques learnt during his earlier career. His travels have taken him to fascinating and remote places such as the Himalayas, Ethiopia, and most recently to Iceland.

Doggett’s fascination with the legendary Icelandic horses resulted in an expedition to the mystical land from where he captured the beauty of the horses and the incredible landscapes they roam in.

The resulting series, In the Realm of Legends, showcases the unique beauty of the horses in their natural element which draws the viewer into an ancient world of fantasy and myth, where one would not be surprised to encounter a Viking.

The Icelandic Horse is one of the oldest horse breeds in the world, brought to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. For nearly 1000 years, no other breed of horse has stepped foot on Iceland’s soil, keeping out disease and creating the ultimate pure bred equine. No other horse is allowed in the country and when a horse is exported from Iceland it is never allowed to return.

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Winter in Iceland is not for the faint of heart, but the native horses don't seem to mind at all. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ "Through the Falls" is from my series In the Realm of Legends 👉 Swipe for #ddpinhomes⁣⁠⠀ ____________⁠⠀ Learn more about Drew Doggett⁠⠀ Limited Edition Prints⁠⠀ www.drewdoggett.com⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ #IntheRealmofLegends #DiscovertheLegend #Iceland #BeLegendary #horsesplanet #lookhorse #horse #horses #horsesofinstagram #horsetagram #horsepower #horselove #horsecrazy #lookhorse #horsephotography #equestrian #equine #equestrianphotography #horseofinstagram #horsesplanet #myhorse #horseaddict #horseoftheday #equestrianlife #horselife #dreamhorse

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A huge part of the life and the history of the people of Iceland is in high demand around the world. While the Icelandic horse is bred for export, they are primarily used for companionship and riding. Those who have experience in riding other breeds would argue that Icelandic horses are the best riding horses in the world.

According to the official website Horses of Iceland, “the goal of breeding Icelandic horses is to produce a healthy, fertile, and durable riding horse. Robust, elegant and versatile with five excellent gaits. The conformation should offer optimal natural balance, and the movements should be supple, high and ground covering in all gaits, giving an elegant and powerful image.”

Called a gaited horse breed, most Icelandic horses have two extra natural gaits called tölt and flying pace in addition to the walk, trot, canter and gallop. Most are born five-gaited, while some lack the flying pace and are considered four-gaited.

Icelandic horses vary in size from about 130 cm (4 ft 3 in) to over 150 cm on the highest point of withers and is one of the most colorful breeds in the world with over 40 colors and up to 100 variations.

These truly unique horses are known worldwide for their character. They are friendly, quick learners, adventurous, and smart. They are usually easy to handle with power and stamina needed for long distances on difficult terrain. Their versatility allows them to be used for competitions at the highest level, yet safely carry a young, inexperienced rider on ride out.

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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As Marine Life Flees the Equator, Global Mass Extinction is Imminent: Scientists

Elias Marat

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The waters surrounding the equator are one of the most biodiverse areas in the globe, with the tropical area rich in marine life including rare sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and other creatures.

However, rampant rises in temperate have led to a mass exodus of marine species from the sensitive region – with grave implications for life on earth.

While ecologists have long seen the thriving biodiversity of equatorial species holding constant in the past few centuries, a new study by Australian researchers published in The Conversation has found that warming global temperatures are now hitting the equator hard, potentially leading to an unprecedented mass extinction event.

The researchers from the Universities of Auckland, Queensland, and the Sunshine Coast found that as waters surrounding the equator continue to heat up, the ecosystem is being disrupted and forcing species to flee toward the cooler water of the South and North Pole.

The massive changes in marine ecosystems that this entails will have a grave impact not only on ocean life – essentially becoming invasive species in their new homes –  but also on the human livelihoods that depend on it.

“When the same thing happened 252 million years ago, 90 percent of all marine species died,” the researchers wrote.

To see where marine life is headed, the researchers tracked the distribution of about 49,000 different species to see what their trajectory was. The global distribution of ocean life typically resembles a bell curve, with far fewer species near the poles and more near the equator.

However, the vast alteration of the curve is already in motion as creatures flee to the poles, according to a study they published in the journal PNAS.

These changes augur major disruptions to global ecosystem as marine life scrambles in a chaotic fight for food, space, and resources – with a mass die-off and extinction of creatures likely resulting.

The research underscores the dire need for human societies to control rampant climate change before the biodiversity and ecological health of the planet is pushed past the point of no return.

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Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever

Elias Marat

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Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.

Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.

In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.

At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.

“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.

“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”

The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.

Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.

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‘Horrific’ Swarms of Spiders, Snakes Invade Australian Homes Amid Devastating Floods

Elias Marat

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In recent years, Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) has faced everything from drought to brushfires, a pandemic, a recent all-consuming plague of mice and now, devastating floods and massive hordes of spiders.

In videos shared across social media, hundreds if not thousands of spiders can be seen scrambling through people’s homes and garages prior to an evacuation order being issued on early Saturday in expectation of the floods.

In one video posted to Facebook by Melanie Williams, the arachnids of all sizes can be seen scrambling about in search of shelter from the coming deluge.

“Check these spiders out, oh my god, oh my god! Look at them all,” Williams said in the video. “No! No! Oh my god.”

The Guardian reports that Kinchela resident Matt Lovenfosse was pulling up to his home on Monday morning when he witnessed what appeared to be a sea of “millions” of spiders climbing about to escape the floodwaters.

“So I went out to have a look and it was millions of spiders,” Lovenfosse said.

“It’s amazing. It’s crazy,” he continued. “The spiders all crawled up on to the house, on to fences and whatever they can get on to.”

The flooding has resulted in some 18,000 residents fleeing their homes since last week, with authorities warning that the cleanup could last until April.

The floods have also seen thousands of snakes and insects of every kind scrambling to flee from the floods, with some snakes even leaping into rescue boats to avoid being drowned.

“There were also skinks, ants, basically every insect, crickets – all just trying to get away from the flood waters,” vistor Shenae Varley told Guardian Australia.

It’s just the latest reminder that Australia isn’t just another country – it may be its own entirely different world.

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