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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Tumbler in Paradise

Tumbler in Paradise

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, February 28, 2018/Categories: natural history, photography, video, environment

                                  Papua New Guinea Earthquake, 2-26-2018 (credit: USGS)

A massive tumbler of an earthquake, magnitude 7.5, just struck the central highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). PNG is famous for having the highest number, almost 850 at last count, of spoken languages as well as its remarkable wildlife like the Birds of Paradise which are found nowhere else on Earth.

                         Central Hilands landslides, Papua New Guinea (credit: James McQueen)

The imagery that is emerging from the remote landscapes is impressive showing entire mountains collapsing into river drainages and blocking the flow. A helicopter pilot, James McQueen, captured video that shows the stunning extent of the landslides caused during the tumbler. Aftershocks are expected since Papua New Guinea sits atop the 'Ring of Fire' where several contintental plates collide and interact with each other. The faultlines are especially complex around the island.

                               Continental Plates on Papua New Guinea (credit: Wiki-commons)

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunami's are geologically common in this region of Asia. PNG's dissected mountain topography most likely resulted from eons of faulting events like the recent earthquake but they also created the ecological niches, biological diversity, and cultural isolation that is found there.

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