Natural History News

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One of the most exciting aspects of a Turkey and Greece cruise is reliving the ancient history that is scattered across the islands and peninsulas. In ancient times and today, people were familiar with Aphrodite, the goddess of love. But it was not until Praxiteles, a sculptor from the 4th century B.C., made his famous work that the world came to know her in the buff.

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India has a wealth to offer international tourists, from nature travel in the rich Western Ghats to the urban explorations afforded by the modern metropolis of Mumbai. Plus, the vibrant Indian culture draws travelers from across the globe. Modern explorers looking for a unique glimpse of the both the native culture and amazing wildlife can join International Expeditions’ India Tiger Safari, which includes a stop in Khajuraho. This small town is famed for its temples featuring exquisite — and often erotic — depictions of the Hindu and Jain pantheons of gods.

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Brazilian scientists reported finding a new river in the Amazon basin that they estimate is the same length but nearly 100 times as wide, The Guardian reports. Lead researchers Valiya Hamza and Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel of Brazil's National Observatory presented their findings at the International Congress of the Society Brasiliera Geophysical in Rio de Janeiro.

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The sites of pure biodiversity found in the tropical Bijagós archipelago remain pristine today thanks to the local tribe's history of preservation and respect for nature.

In fact, despite the regional industrial threats, on the majority of the 88 islands — only 23 of which are inhabited — the ethnic Bijagós people have maintained land-based values in their religion.

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Pilgrims once flocked to the Egyptian island of Philae, coming from all over the ancient world to worship Isis, a goddess who is commemorated with a massive temple that was re-erected from beneath the Nile River. Isis was mysterious to most who worshipped her, but was believed to have healing powers for those who sought her counsel.

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Adventurers will find a wealth of exciting and mysterious artifacts on the path to the Incan city of Machu Picchu, and many of those are found in the great Urubamba Valley. Also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Urubamba Valley is a stronghold of Inca culture that offers those who travel to Machu Picchu a glimpse of what life for these ancient peoples must have been like.

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The simple temple behind the Church of St. George is a must-see in Cairo before embarking on a Nile cruise or other explorations of Egypt. The Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in Egypt, located on a site that has been holy to the Jews as long as they have been in Egypt. In fact, it is said to be where Moses was found in the reeds.

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There is a reason the sparkling shoreline of Turkey is called the Turquoise Coast. Not because of any abundance of a certain mineral, but rather for the bright green-blue of its Aegean and Mediterranean waters. However, an even more apt name for the area may be something that pays homage to its historical roots, as everything in the region — from its cliffs to its bays — is steeped in the history and culture of the Lycians, an ancient group of people who made history for their peaceful democratic societies and institutions.

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Though sites like Machu Picchu, the Great Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge may differ from one another in several ways, they are all bound by at least one similarity — distinction as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The prestigious title reflects these locations' unique positions as arbiters of the local culture and as a commanding physical significance for the area in which it is found.

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