The Earth may be a pale blue dot in the cosmic sense, but it still seems pretty big to us. It's large enough that much of what happens here escapes our attention, leaving us to appreciate only a sliver of our planet — even on a holiday called Earth Day.

Earth Day was founded in 1970 to galvanize the environmental movement, which at the time was often fighting relatively local battles. But from international whaling to global warming, environmental issues have grown increasingly big-picture lately, befitting a holiday whose name was big-picture all along.

So in honor of Earth Day's all-inclusive nature, here's a video tribute to all seven continents — plus the oceans and atmosphere — that highlights some of the planet's less obvious wonders. Most of the footage presented here is in time-lapse, since Earth's majesty doesn't always manifest itself very quickly.

North America

Arizona and Utah — United States


Mount Teide — Canary Islands, Spain


Drakensberg — South Africa


Himalayas — Nepal and Tibet

South America

Patagonia — Argentina and Chile


Various locations


Various locations

Low-Earth orbit

From the International Space Station

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