Although we can travel the world easily these days, there are still places we can’t go to for some reason. Fret no more as you can visit these cool places from your couch. Now get some popcorn and let’s start the list of 10 exotic places you can visit while sitting in your cozy living room.
International Space Station
By far the largest artificial object orbiting our planet is the International Space Station (ISS). Launched on November 20, 1998, the ISS is a true testament to what we can achieve when we bring together technological and scientific expertise from across the globe. The ISS functions mainly as a microgravity science lab. It can be manned by up to six people at any given time.
Watch the webcams here.
Coral reefs are nothing short of spectacular. These “rain forests of the ocean” house and feed as many as 25 percent of all ocean species, sustaining an impressive biodiversity of life. Coral reefs are typically found in tropical and subtropical waters. The largest and most famous of them—the Great Barrier Reef—has taken an astonishing 20,000 years to take its current shape.
Watch the webcams here. https://reefcam.tv/
Photo credit: Christopher Michel
Antarctica is so remote that only the most dedicated among us will ever travel to the interior of this icy continent. There are permanent research bases in Antarctica, but they’re manned by as few as 1,100 people during the harsh winter months, rising to about 4,400 in the summer.
While humans haven’t established a significant presence in Antarctica, millions of penguins call it home. Just one species of these cute creatures—Adelie penguins—number around 3.8 million breeding pairs. Everyone loves penguins, but most people will only get to see them outside their natural habitats—in zoos and sea parks around the world.
Watch the webcams here. http://www.usap.gov/videoclipsandmaps/palWebCam.cfm
Those who prefer a warmer climate are often fascinated by the idea of getting close to the wild animals of Africa. African safaris tend to be at the top of “things to do before you die” lists. The continent teems with species not found elsewhere on Earth.
An African safari is easily the trip of a lifetime for many people. Nothing will ever compare to the feeling of actually being there and seeing the elephants, giraffes, and cheetahs in their natural environment.
Watch the webcams here. http://www.africam.com/wildlife/
The Northern Lights
Another bucket list favorite is the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. Northern lights are formed by charged particles colliding with the atmosphere and bursting into different colors. These range from bright green to deep blue to ruby red, depending on the altitude. The different colors mingle and paint curious patterns in the night sky—a sort of nighttime rainbow.
The aurora is one of the most incredible and mesmerizing sights around. To see it, you usually need to travel to regions near the Arctic, like Canada, Alaska, Iceland, or northern parts of Scandinavia. The best time to catch the northern lights is from September to April. Many tour operators offer packages specifically for those chasing this elusive occurrence.
Watch the webcams here. http://www.porjus.eu/aurora-webcams
Prague City Center
The capital of the Czech Republic is one of the oldest and most beautiful places in Europe. Every year, no fewer than four million tourists flock to Prague, making it the 22nd-most-visited city in the world. The center of Prague is filled to the brim with noteworthy old architecture, from the 14th-century Charles Bridge to the Prague Castle—the biggest medieval castle in Europe.
The quaint Old Town district offers many unique sights of its own. It’s also the location of the oldest functioning astronomical clock in the world, hanging on the wall of the Old Town City Hall. Every hour, two square windows above the clock face open, and a procession of figurines makes its way through, popping in and out of the open windows. This brief show is called “The Walk of the Apostles” and draws crowds of gawking onlookers.
Watch the webcams here. http://www.praguewebcam.com/
Jokulsarlon Glacial Lake
Jokulsarlon is as tranquil as it is tough to pronounce. Jokulsarlon literally translates as “glacial river lagoon,” and it’s pretty much exactly that: a charming glacial lake located close to Europe’s largest glacier—Vatnajokull, in Iceland. It is one of Iceland’s must-sees, and numerous operators offer boating tours to the lagoon. As many of these operators won’t stop reminding you, the lake was also used as a filming location for multiple Hollywood movies, including Batman Begins and Die Another Day.
A lone webcam bears witness to this gradual transformation. So tune in and watch live streaming video that tells the tale of disappearing glaciers and thriving glacial lagoons.
Watch the webcams here. http://www.livefromiceland.is/de/webcams/jokulsarlon/
Tokyo Skyline & Skytree Tower
The city’s skyline is dotted with imposing skyscrapers, including the tallest structures in all of Japan. For decades, the Japanese height record belonged to the 333-meter (1,100 ft) Tokyo Tower. As of 2012, that is no longer the case. The recently completed Tokyo Skytree now absolutely dwarfs the Tokyo Tower, standing a staggering 634 meters (2,080 ft) tall. Tokyo Skytree is the world’s highest self-supporting tower and second-tallest building, losing out only to Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Skytree’s primary function is as a communications tower, but it doubles as an eerie, blinking Eye of Sauron at night, looming over the city. Think we’re making that up? Then wait until it gets dark in Japan and see the Tokyo skyline and the Skytree Tower for yourself from a conveniently placed webcam. (On some nights, visibility may be limited, but it’s worth coming back for.)
Watch the webcams here. http://livejapan.org/kt34.html
Three separate waterfalls on the Canada-US border form the Voltron of waterfalls known as Niagara Falls. Two of these—American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls—are on the US side. The one in Canada is called Horseshoe Falls but is sometimes referred to as Canadian Falls to make sure there’s little doubt as to its location.
Watch the webcams here. http://www.niagarafallslive.com/niagara_falls_webcam_info.htm
Mount Everest is the highest mountain on the planet and a temporary home to hundreds of brave climbers each year. Since it was first conquered in 1953, an estimated 4,000 people have reached the mountain’s 8.8-kilometer (5.5 mi) summit.
Watch the webcams here. http://www.evk2cnr.org/WebCams/PyramidOne/everest-webcam.html
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