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 42 years ago as a way 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.
Arizona and Utah — United States
Mount Teide — Canary Islands, Spain
Drakensberg — South Africa
Himalayas — Nepal and Tibet
Patagonia — Argentina and Chile
From the International Space Station