Home of the Half Dome, the hugest tree on earth, and a whole host of other natural wonders, Yosemite National Park is a feast at the Western frontier!
Yosemite National Park is famous for many things, but most of all for its ancient Giant Sequoias. In 1864, before the park even existed, President Lincoln signed a law protecting Mariposa Grove for 'public use, resort, and recreation'.
While travelling along State Route 41, make sure to stop at Tunnel View. Looking east from Artist Point Trail, you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the far distance.
Many hold that Glacier Point is the most spectacular viewpoint in the park. Come here for breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley, including Half Dome, and three of the park's many waterfalls.
The sunbaked granite of El Capitan is a forbidding sight from a distance, and even more so up close. This vertical cliff face, rising up to 3000ft above Yosemite Valley, is one of the most popular rock climbing sites in the US.
This iconic peak is one of the most recognisable sights in Yosemite. With a curved back and a vertical face, it gives the impression of a mountain sliced in half. Once described as 'perfectly inaccessible', today it can be reached by intrepid hikers.
High above Yosemite Valley, just east of El Capitan, is Eagle Peak. This viewpoint marks the highest of the Three Brothers rock formation, comprising the Middle and Lower Brothers
If you fancy a longer walk, the Ottoway Lakes Trail runs west for 29.6 miles from Glacier Point Road towards Lower Ottoway Lake. It's a tough day trip, but well worth it for its stunning views and abundant wildlife.
The native Ahwahneechee people called Yosemite Falls Cholock (The Fall) and believed that the plunge pool at its base was inhabited by the spirits of several witches, called the Poloti.
Many of the lakes in Yosemite are difficult to reach, but the shallow bays of Tenaya Lake make it a popular spot for picnicking, swimming, and canoeing.
Hargeisa is the capital of Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia. Around 30-45 minutes outside of the city lie the caves of Laas Geel, Dhagah Kureh, and Dhagah Nabi Galay.
The Neolithic rock art on the walls of the caves are from the third and second millennia BC and are considered to be some of the best preserved rock paintings in all of Africa.
The outstanding paintings show the herding of humpless cows, sheep and goats.
In September 2013, CyArk digitally documented the incredible rock shelters using laser scanning and photogrammetry.
The project was done in partnership with the Horn Heritage Charity and ICCROM.
While fortifications have been built in Japan since the 8th century, many of those that remain today, such as Inuyama Castle in Aichi, date to the Heian Period (794–1185 CE). This era of Japanese history saw the rise of local lords and of the samurai warrior class.
The familiar style of tall stone and wooden keeps known as tenshu were developed in the Sengoku period (1467–1603 CE). Originally, these were purely practical structures, designed to be used by threatened daimyō, or feudal lords, in the vicious civil wars of the era.
Over time, these temporary military structures became permanent homes and acted as palaces. They became increasingly elaborate and decorated with ornamentation as the owners sought to show off their keen aesthetic sense as much as their military prowess.
Standing on the summit of Mount Kinkazan, Gifu Castle presents an imposing image, and it was famed as a stronghold. But looks can be deceiving. In the 16th century the castle was captured by just 16 men led by the samurai Takenaka Shigeharu.
Many castles continued to be used right up until the twentieth century, and some even played a part in the Second World War. The ruins of Zakimi Castle were turned into a gun emplacement by the Japanese army, and following the war, it became a US army radar station.
Sadly, many other castles were utterly ruined. Ōgaki Castle survived the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, but in 1945 the entire castle was destroyed by American bombing raids. The castle tenshu that stands today was rebuilt in concrete in 1959 to house a museum.
Want to know more about Japanese art and culture? Discover 8 Facts About Hokusai, a master of ukiyo-e
Is there anything stranger than human curiosity? The desire to discover and learn can drive us to build some of the weirdest and most wonderful collections of… well, anything. So, to fulfil your own appetite for adventure, here's a list of the world's strangest museums.
No, this isn't actually a small square in the backstreets of 1950s Tokyo, it's the Shin-Yokohama Rāmen Museum! With a rather liberal interpretation of 'museum', the building is home to several branches of famous ramen restaurants from Kyushu to Hokkaido.
Where else, but Minnesota? It turns out the title of 'World's Largest Twine Ball' is a touchy subject. But Darwin, Minnesota, is the site of the The World's Largest Twine Ball Museum, featuring… the world's largest twine ball made by a single person.
Some stories end in happiness, others end at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. This unique collection draws together the objects left behind when the romance ends: pairs of shoes, unopened bottles of wine, even lint from an ex-boyfriend's belly button.
We can only hope that your underwear doesn't end up here…
Click and drag to explore.
Satisfy your morbid curiosity here in Amsterdam. For most of history, people have beheaded and bludgeoned each other in the name of justice. Trivial crimes from witchcraft to regicide were met with brutal, bodily punishment. And here you can experience it all!
Welcome to the International Clown Hall of Fame & Research Centre in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It might not look it, but it's a serious organisation, and home to all sorts of clowning memorabilia. So stop clowning around.
Scully, did you ever hear the one about the International UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico? The museum focuses on the famous 1947 close encounter in the nearby desert, but also features an extensive library and exhibits all focused on the history of UFO encounters.
Take me to your curator...
Over on the east coast, the cryptozoology museum in Portland, Maine collects rare, one-of-a-kind zoological specimens as well as reports of cryptid sightings and folk stories of strange creatures.
In Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers holds more than 20,000 examples of these essential items of tableware. The collection was started in 1985 by archaeologist Andrea Ludden, as a record of the wealth of creativity to be found in these simple objects.
At Leeds Castle near Maidstone, Kent, there's an utterly singular museum dedicated to dog collars. The collection was originally donated in 1977 by Mr John & Mrs Gertrude Hunt, since then, more examples, dating from the 16th-19th century, have been collared by the museum.
What is it about the English that encourages them to become such avid, eccentric collectors? In Southport, in the back of a DIY shop, you can visit the nation's foremost museum of gardening equipment.
You're only a few short steps away from entering the fascinating, high-adrenaline world of lawnmower racing, or perhaps you're keen on lawnmowers of the rich and famous? And visit the world of tomorrow; the first solar-powered robot mower!