10 Beautiful Rock Islet

Usually, rock islet is a landform composed of rock, lying offshore, uninhabited, and having at most minimal vegetation. But sometimes, rock islets don't look exactly like this - some are naturally strange looking, and some of them people have adapted to their own needs and made them pretty unusual. Uniqueness makes these small islands very popular among local visitors, foreign tourists and photographers from around the world.

1. Tanah Lot - Bali, Indonesia

Tanah Lot means "Land [sic: in the] Sea" in the Balinese language. Located in Tabanan, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Denpasar, the temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.

Tanah Lot is claimed to be the work of the 15th-century priest Nirartha. During his travels along the south coast he saw the rock-island's beautiful setting and rested there. Some fishermen saw him, and bought him gifts. Nirartha then spent the night on the little island. Later he spoke to the fishermen and told them to build a shrine on the rock for he felt it to be a holy place to worship the Balinese sea gods.

The Tanah Lot temple was built and has been a part of Balinese mythology for centuries. The temple is one of seven sea temples around the Balinese coast. Each of the sea temples were established within eyesight of the next to form a chain along the south-western coast. However, the temple had significant Hindu influence.

At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple, which was created from Nirartha's scarf when he established the island.

2. New Eddystone Rock, Alaska, USA

The Alaskan island called New Eddystone Rock is a pillar of basalt. The basalt came from fractures in the floor of Behm Canal (natural channel in Alaska). The broken, haphazard texture of these basalts indicates that New Eddystone Rock was part of a volcanic vent where magma rose repeatedly to the surface of the earth.

Capt. George Vancouver named the rock after the Eddystone Lighthouse near Cornwall, England, when he sailed through this area in 1793. This forested pillar is 237 feet (72 m) high.

3. Fastnet Rock, Ireland

Fastnet Rock or simply Fastnet is a small islet in the Atlantic Ocean and the most southerly point of Ireland. Due to its location, Fastnet was known as 'Ireland's Teardrop' because it was the last part of the country that Irish emigrants would see as they sailed to the United States in the 19th century.

Fastnet Rock is a small clay-slate islet with quartz veins. It rises to about 30 metres (98 ft) above low water mark and is separated from the much smaller southern Little Fastnet by a 10 metres (33 ft) wide channel. The Rock's lighthouse was originally built in 1854, but was swept away in 1865. It was eventually rebuilt in 1906 with granite rocks imported from Cornwall and now also boasts a helipad.

4. Turnip Rock, Michigan, USA

Just off the Michigan shore in Lake Huron is Turnip Rock, a large turnip-shaped rock-island. The unique shape is the result of thousands of years of erosion by storm waves.

Twenty-foot-high (6 m) trees and other vegetation have grown at the top of the isolated rock. The surrounding land is privately owned, so visitors can only view the rock via boat or over the frozen lake in the winter.

5. Dunbar Rock, Honduras

On this small island in Honduras, is located an incredible resort. The villa at Dunbar Rock is one of the Caribbean's most unique dive resorts; truly one of a kind. It is so well known and unusual that it's featured in the Government of Honduras tourism advertisements and on its own postcard.

Dunbar Villa operates as a well known dive resort, with excellent diving and fishing right off the dock. The coral reef is 100% private and the island lends itself to the intimacy of a private island. The island has a small oak forest that provides shade from the heat of the day.

6. Stenčica (Little Rock), Serbia

House in the middle of Drina River is situated on Stenčica islet, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia. Precisely, this town lies in the valley of the Drina River at the eastern edge of Tara National Park.

In 1968 local kids have erected the first structure on this islet, like a retreat and without a building permit proper. Not only the natural setting is intriguing but also the fact that it sits on the river which now represents border between two countries (Serbia & Bosnia and Herzegovina), territory not belonging to either jurisdiction, sort of duty free zone. The structure was rebuilt several times since then. Whenever torrential rain and flood take the structure down, one of the original builders, Milija Mandic Gljiva, would build a new one.

7. Mitsukejima, Japan

Mitsukejima is an uninhabited island in Suzu, Ishikawa, Japan. Because of its shape, it is also known as Gunkanjima ( meaning "Battleship Island"), which is also the common name given to Hashima Island in the Nagasaki Prefecture. According to folklore, the island was given the name "Mitsukejima" by the monk, scholar, and artist, Kūkai, who was the first to discover the island while travelling from Sado Island, Niigata.

Mitsukejima is approximately 150 metres (490 ft) long, 50 metres (165 ft) wide, and 30 metres (100 ft) above sea level. It is composed of diatomaceous earth, the raw materials for shichirin, a portable clay cooking stove which is a specialty product of Suzu. Mitsukejima is known as a scenic spot of the Notohantō quasi-national park, and attracts many tourists.

8. Clingstone, Rhode Island, USA

Clingstone House is a remarkable 105 year old mansion on a piece of rock in the Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. The rock is so small that it can be at the most called a micro islet. The three storey, 23 roomed mansion, with 10 bedrooms, was built in 1905 by J.S. Lovering Wharton in consultation with artist William Trost Richards.

Although the house was designed to withstand hurricane winds, however it was badly damaged by a hurricane in 1938 and remained vacant for about 20 years. In 1961 it was purchased by an architect Henry Wood, a distant cousin of Wharton, who renovated it and now maintains it by using a very imaginative method of inviting about 70 of his friends and relatives each year to stay with him and help him in carrying out the annual repair work including cleaning of 65 windows. The mansion is locally known as "The House on a Rock".

9. The Rock, Tanzania

On this islet, near the shore of the beautiful Michanwi Pingwe beach (Zanzibar), is located a Rock Restaurant. Depending on the tides it is possible to wade across or if you prefer, the restaurant has a boat to transport you from the beach to the steps at the bottom of the rock and back again.

The owners don’t advertise the restaurant, and they don’t put up signs pointing people to their joint. They just sit there and wait for people to find them. Naturally the restaurant serves a wide variety of sea food.

10. James Bond Island - Thailand

James Bond Island is a famous needle formed limestone rock in the sea. This was featured in the 1974 movie The Man with the Golden Gun. It is located in Ao Phang-Nga (Phang-Nga Bay) National Park, Thailand.


10 Animals that Lived Longer than OldestHuman

A French citizen who has the longest confirmed human lifespan in history at 122 years and 164 days. She was born on February 21, 1875 and passed on August 4, 1997. She’s lived through both world wars, seen humankind land on the moon and witnessed the birth of the Internet.

So it may come as a surprise to some to learn that there are animals that have lived far longer than Jeanne and thus, any confirmed human being for that matter. Here are ten interesting animals that have lived longer than any human on our planet.

Ocean Quohog – 507 years old

Arctica islandica, common name the ocean quahog, is a species of edible clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Arcticidae. This species is native to the North Atlantic Ocean, and it is harvested commercially as a food source. This species is also known by a number of different common names, including Icelandic cyprine, mahogany clam, mahogany quahog, black quahog, and black clam. Ocean quahogs live in water between 25 and 1,300 feet deep. In the northern part of their range, they’re found in shallower water closer to shore.

The mollusks are known to live exceptionally long lives with two specimens found to have lived 507 years (Paul G. Butler et al.) and 375 years (Schone et al.).

Bowhead Whales
Oldest Living Mammals on Earth – 211 years old

The Bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is a baleen whale of the right whale family Balaenidae. A stocky dark-colored whale without a dorsal fin, it can grow to 20 m (66 ft) in length. This thick-bodied species can weigh 75 tonnes (74 long tons; 83 short tons) to 100 tonnes (98 long tons; 110 short tons), second only to the blue whale in weight.

It lives entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to feed or reproduce to low latitude waters. It is listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service as “endangered” under the auspices of the United States’ Endangered Species Act.

In an article by science writer Ned Rozell of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a whale was analyzed with an age of 211 years. The aging method used measures changes in aspartic acid in a specimen’s eyeball and has an accuracy range of about 16%, meaning the 211 year-old bowhead could have been from 177 – 245 years old. This would make it the oldest known mammal that exists.

“Adwaita” the Aldabra Giant Tortoise – 256 years old

Adwaita (meaning “one and only” in Sanskrit) (c. 1750 – 23 March 2006) was the name of a 250 kg (550 pound) male Aldabra giant tortoise in the Alipore Zoological Gardens of Kolkata, India. He was amongst the longest-living animals in the world and is believed to be the oldest known tortoise on record.

According to the BBC, historical records show he was a pet of British general Robert Clive of the East India Company and had spent several years in his sprawling estate before he was brought to the Alipore Zoo in Calcutta about 130 years ago. The shell of Adwaita will be carbon-dated to hopefully provide a more accurate assessment of his age.

“Hanako” the Koi Fish – 226 years old

Koi fish are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp (Cyprinus carpio) that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation. Some of the major colors are white, black, red, yellow, blue, and cream.

According to Laura Barton of The Guardian: the age of a fish is calculated in much the same way as one works out the age of a tree by counting its rings; most fish have growth rings on their scales known as annuli. This technique was used to estimate the age of Hanako, meaning “flower maid”, the world’s oldest koi carp, who died on July 7, 1977 at the age of 226 years.

The Geoduck – 168 years old

The geoduck (Panopea generosa) is a species of very large, edible, saltwater clam in the family Hiatellidae. The common name is derived from a Native American word meaning “dig deep”. Contrary to the spelling, the pronunciation of this clam is “gooey duck” and the odd spelling is likely the result of poor transcription.

The geoduck is native to the west coast of North America, primarily occurring in Washington State and British Columbia. With their extremely long siphons which can be 1 metre (3.3 ft) in length, the geoduck is both one of the largest clams in the world, and one of the longest-lived animals of any type.

These clams were not fished commercially until the 1970s, but in recent decades a huge demand from Asian markets has developed, and the clams are now farmed as well as being harvested in the wild. The clams currently sell for huge sums of money, which has made poaching a problem.

According to a scientific research paper by J.M. (Lobo) Orensanz et al., the oldest recorded specimen was 168 years old.

Sturgeon Fish – 125 years old

One of the oldest families of bony fish in existence, sturgeon are native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. Sturgeon is the common name used for some 26 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae. Sturgeons ranging from 7–12 feet (2-3½ m) in length are common, and some species grow up to 18 feet (5.5 m).

In April of 2012, the Wisconsin state Department of Natural Resources tagged a 125-year-old sturgeon that measured 7 feet and 3 inches in length and weighed 240-pounds. The fish, which wasreleased back into the river after it was tagged, was also the largest ever captured in Wisconsin.

Orange Roughy – 149 years old

The Orange Roughy is a relatively large deep-sea fish belonging to the slimehead family (Trachichthyidae). It is found in deep waters (180 – 1,800m / 590 – 5,900 ft) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean, Indo-Pacific, and in the Eastern Pacific off Chile. The fish is actually a bright, brick red color; however, the orange roughy fades to a yellowish orange after death.

The maximum published age of 149 years (G.E. Fenton et al.) was determined via radiometric dating of trace isotopes found in an orange roughy’s otolith (“ear bone”).

Freshwater Pearl Mussels: 210 – 250 years old

The freshwater pearl mussel, scientific name Margaritifera margaritifera, is an endangered species of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusc in the family Margaritiferidae. This species is capable of making fine-quality pearls, and was historically exploited in the search for pearls from wild sources.

In recent times, the Russian malacologist Valeriy Ziuganov received worldwide reputation after he discovered that the pearl mussel exhibited negligible senescence (i.e., lack of symptoms of aging) and he determined that it had a maximum lifespan of 210–250 years, according to his published report entitled: Life Span Variation of the Freshwater Pearl Shell: A Model Species for Testing Longevity Mechanisms in Animals.

Red Sea Urchin – 200 years old

Strongylocentrotus franciscanus, commonly called Red Sea Urchin (although its color ranges from pink or orange to nearly black), is a sea urchin found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Baja California. It lives in shallow waters from the low-tide line to 90 metres (300 ft) deep, and is typically found on rocky shores that are sheltered from extreme wave action.

A Sea Urchin’s spherical body is completely covered by sharp spines that can grow up to 8 cm. These spines grow on a hard shell called the “test”, which encloses the animal. The oldest ones have been measured to be around 19 cm in diameter.

According to a research paper by Thomas A. Ebert at the Department of Zoology at Oregon State University, the largest reported red sea urchins are from British Columbia, Canada and are expected to be around 200 years old.

Lamellibrachia luymesi – 170 years old

Lamellibrachia luymesi is a species of tube worms in the family Siboglinidae. It lives at deep-sea cold seeps where hydrocarbons (oil and methane) are leaking out of the seafloor. It is entirely reliant on internal, sulfide-oxidizing bacterial symbionts for its nutrition.

The most well-known seeps where Lamellibrachia luymesi lives are in the northern Gulf of Mexico from 500 to 800 m depth. This tube worm can reach lengths of over 3 m (10 ft), and grows very slowly.

According to a research article by Sharmishtha Dattagupta et al., the tubeworm has a lifespan of over 170 years.


Beauty of Mount Fuji

Experts are red-alert claiming that Mount Fuji volcano is about to erupt. Mathematical models created in September 2012 by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention suggested that the pressure in Mount Fuji’s magma chamber could be at 1.6 megapascals higher than it was in 1707. The media jumped on this to claim as meaning an eruption of Mt. Fuji was imminent. We’ll leave that for the scientists to decide because nothing can be done to stop a natural disaster. Meanwhile, Mount Fuji has applied to be a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. It’s been around in Japanese art since ancient times when samurai warriors trained at the base and women were forbidden from climbing to the sacred summit. Nowadays people travel from all over the world specifically to see this view; about 300,000 adventuresome souls climb to the summit annually. It’s thought Mount Fuji means “everlasting life.” Ironically at the northwest base of Fuji there are 14 sq miles (35-sq-km) that represent the opposite of life—the taking of life. Aokigahara Forest, also called the Sea of Trees, is infamous as a dense forest where troubled souls go to commit suicide. So we interrupt the scheduled panic and doomsday disaster news, to take in the beauty before it is allegedly destroyed in an eruption. Here’s the magnificent 12,389 ft (3,776.24 m ) Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s ‘Three Holy Mountains’ and the Suicide Forest.

It’s all over the news; volcano researchers’ reports warning that an eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan is ‘looming’ and ‘imminent.’ While we certainly hope that such doom and gloom reports of Mount Fuji being a ‘ticking time bomb’ are wrong, we wanted to take a look at the magnificent beauty of the highest mountain in Japan. It’s located on Honshu Island, but towering in at 12,389 feet (3,776.24 meters), the active stratovolcano can be seen from so very many beautiful places in Japan. Here is Mount Fuji and seen from gorgeous green tea fields.

Majestic Sunrise from the Summit of Mount Fuji. While no one is exactly certain, it is thought that the first ascent was in 663 by an anonymous monk. In ancient times, samurai trained at the base of Mt. Fuji and women were forbidden from climbing to the sacred summit. Nowadays people travel from all over the world specifically to see this view; about 300,000 adventuresome souls climb to the summit annually. Most hikers climb the mountain at night in order to be in a position at or near the summit to see a sunrise such as this. The morning sunshine is called “Goraikō” which means “honourable arrival of light.”

Mount Fuji as seen from the International Space Station (ISS). All the recent worry about an eruption started after the 2011 disasters like the 9.0 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that wreaked so much devastation. In September 2012, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention used mathematical models that suggested that the pressure in Mount Fuji’s magma chamber is higher than it was the last time the Japanese volcano erupted in 1707. Other scientists have claimed that is poppycock and it’s pure hysteria to spread such fear in the media.

Nothing can be done to stop a natural disaster. Instead, we wanted to examine the beauty of Mount Fuji and its exceptionally symmetrical cone which has been a subject of Japanese art and stories throughout the ages. Here, 7 Navy aircraft fly in front of the snow-capped Fuji volcano.

It’s thought the mountain got it’s name from the Ainu language of the native Japanese people and means “everlasting life.” Ironically, there are 14 sq miles of forest at the northwest base of Fuji that represent the opposite of life—the taking of life. Here in the foothills, we see Aokigahara Forest, also called the Sea of Trees, which is infamous as a dense forest where troubled souls go to commit suicide.

Estimates are as high as 100 bodies being recovered every year from the suicide hotspot of Aokigahara. “In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide in the forest, 54 of whom completed the act. Suicides are said to increase during March, the end of the fiscal year in Japan. As of 2011, the most popular means of suicide in the forest were hanging and drug overdoses.” A zombie sneaking through Suicide Forest? No zombie apocalypse to go along with the doomsday for Fuji volcano eruption warnings. This photo is a production still for 緋色の陰 Puddle of Lust event. For people fascinated with doomsday reports and the coming eruption of Mt. Fuji, we’ll get back to the bizarre and scary aspects of the otherwise sublime Sea of Trees.

Magnificent Mount Fuji from Lake Yamanaka, the highest, yet the shallowest, of the Fuji Five Lakes. Lake Yamanaka is located in the village of Yamanakako in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji. The lake is also the third highest lake in all of Japan.

Harvesting fields as Shinkansen Bullet Train screams past the mountain.

Night view with fall foliage from Kanagawa, Japan.

Fuji volcano capped with snow while cherry blossoms bloom beside a pagoda at Tokyo, Japan.

Most people hike up Mt. Fuji between July 1 and August 27, but there were over 300,000 climbers during all 2009. That means you should expect crowds of climbers at the summit. Climbing from October to May is very strongly discouraged and many people who ignore the warning have died due to accidents and the cold. On average, “around 4 people die and over a dozen are injured every year on Fuji by hypothermia or falling rocks.” Climbers are advised in this guide: “Mount Fuji is divided into ten stations with the first station at the foot of the mountain and the tenth station being the summit. Paved roads go as far as the fifth station halfway up the mountain. There are four 5th stations on different sides of the mountain, from where most people start their ascent.”

Human soaring like an eagle while paragliding over the south side of Mount Fuji. Wikipedia adds, “Paragliders take off in the vicinity of the fifth station Gotemba parking lot, between Subashiri and Hōei-zan peak on the south side from the Mountain, in addition to several other locations depending on wind direction. Several paragliding schools use the wide sandy/grassy slope between Gotenba and Subashiri parking lots as a training hill.” This view is from Gotenba which is by far the lowest 5th Station with an altitude of about 1400 meters. If walking, the ascent to the summit is reportedly much longer than from here than the other 5th stations. The Gotemba Trail leads from the Gotemba 5th Station to the summit. There are about four huts around the 7th and 8th station. Ascent: 7-10 hours. Descent: 3-6 hours.

Endless fields of purple flowers in foreground, Mount Fuji still capped with snow in the background.

Aerial view of snow-capped crater located on the highest peak of Mt.Fuji. Fantastic Japan explains, “This iconic natural wonder is not actually a single volcano but three. The youngest volcano, the one we all know today: Fuji, lies on an older volcano known as Kofuji, underneath which is Komitake volcano. The first peaks were possibly formed about six hundred thousand years ago.”

Mt. Fuji, one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains,” as seen from the Shibazakura Flower Festival.

View of Shinjuku skyscrapers and Mount Fuji as seen from the Bunkyo Civic Center in Tokyo.

Tokyo, Japan – seen from the North Observatory 45th floor – Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. If Mt. Fuji volcano erupts, Tokyo is only about 60 miles (100 km) away. That could effect about 10% of Japan’s total population. As of October 1, 2011, the population of Tokyo was estimated to be 13.189 million; it has the largest population among all the 47 prefectures.

An SH-60F helicopter from the Warlords of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron Light 51 Det. 11, flies in front of Japan’s Mt. Fuji. The squadron, based in Atsugi, Japan, provides combat-ready armed anti-surface and anti-submarine helicopter detachments to ships deploying in the Korea, western Pacific and Persian Gulf regions.

View of Mt Fuji and Asagiri Plateau from Mount Kenashi which is a “1,964 m (6,444 ft) mountain on the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures in Japan. According to Wikipedia, “There are two stories behind the naming of the mountain, which have opposing meanings. The first story says that the name was derived from the mountain having absolutely no trees (木無し kenashi, lit. ‘treeless’). The second story says that the name came from the mountain having many trees (木成し kenashi, lit. ‘abundant trees’). Through the years, the kanji for the name has changed to the current 毛無, which means ‘hairless’.”

Mt. Fuji viewed from the Fuji Five Lakes region, Motosu Lake, of Yamanashi Prefecture. “Lake Motosu is 140 meters deep, making it the ninth deepest lake of Japan. This lake, Lake Saiko and Lake Shojiko were all formed by lava flowing across what is now Aokigahara Jukai Forest and into the enormous lake that once dominated the area. All three lakes are still connected by underground waterways.”

Sunset over ‘Diamond Fuji’ with the Tokyo Sky Tree in the foreground. The 3,776-meter peak straddles the border of the two prefectures, both of which celebrate the mountain on Feb. 23. About 240 schools, including 93 prefectural high schools and elementary and junior high schools in nine municipalities close on that day to celebrate their beloved mountain. The Shizuoka Prefecture designated Feb. 23 as Mount Fuji Day in December 2009 and then the Yamanashi Prefecture followed suit in December 2011.

Snow-capped Mount Fuji and flowers. The Japanese government proposed making Mount Fuji a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site; the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is expected to make a decision in summer of 2013.

Lake Ashi. The photographer wrote, “Shot near Motohakone-ko. Mt. Fuji-san can barely be seen from the back as well as the water gate (The Red Torii Gate).”

Mt.Fuji and Lake Shojiko at sunrise, one of the Five Fuji Lakes. “Lake Shoji is the smallest of the five lakes. Remnants of lava flow still jut out of the water. Locals usually fish from these rocks.”

Limited Express “Asagiri” in Gotemba line against the background of Mt.Fuji.

Shiraito Falls is a waterfall in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, near Mount Fuji, Japan. It’s part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and a protected Japanese Natural Monument since 1936. The falls were regarded as sacred under the Fuji cult.

The photographer wrote, “The experience at the summit of a God Volcano is like no other.” Successful Mt. Fuji climbers have embedded coins in the Torii gate (posts) at the summit. As for the hook, “they used to hang a traditional temple bell from it.”

“Silence is golden,” the photographer noted. “The old hut at sangome (3rd station) of Mt. Fuji.”

Japan Fujiyoshida and Mount Fuji. Climbing Mount Fuji is “very popular not only among Japanese but also foreign tourists, who seem to make up more than a third of all hikers. The peak season for climbing Mount Fuji is during the school vacations which last from around July 20 to the end of August. The peak of the peak is reached during the Obon Week in mid August, when climbers literally have to stand in queues at some passages. While you may want to avoid the Obon Week, we believe that by avoiding the crowds in general, you would miss out one of the most interesting aspects of climbing Mount Fuji, which is the camaraderie and unique experience of ascending the mountain among hundreds of equally minded people from across the world.”

Varying views via cable cars, ranging from breathtaking to dense fog.

Sunrise and journey to the top of Mount Fuji. The photographer wrote, “Welcome to Shizuoka!” WikiTravel states, “The thing to do on Mt. Fuji is, of course, to climb it. As the Japanese say, a wise man climbs Fuji once, and a fool twice, but the true wisdom of this phrase is usually only learned the hard way.” Most people climb Fuji in “4 to 8 hours at walking speed (depending on your pace), and the descent another 2 to 4. An overnight climb in order to reach the top for the sunrise (go-raiko) is the most traditional thing, but you will probably be shuffling along in a slow-moving line for the latter stages of the ascent. Consider starting out in the late morning to reach the summit for the equally majestic sunset, with a tiny fraction of the crowds to accompany you. Afterward, you can try to sleep in a mountain hut and catch the sunrise if you like; two for the effort of one.”

Curved trees on mystical Mount Fuji.

Bridge to the Sea of Trees, aka Aokigahara. The ‘Suicide’ Forest is listed under the top ten haunted places in the world: “Considered as one of the most haunted forest in the world, it is located in the bottom of Mount Fuji. After the Golden gate bridge, this forest is the second most popular place for suicide. Far away from the busy streets of modern world, valued by paranormal investigators.”

Even though Aokigahara Forest is called the Suicide Capital of the World by some people, it is undoubtedly gorgeous. Some say “due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is known for being eerily quiet. The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology and is a popular place for suicides.” There are reportedly 100 bodies discovered yearly, “despite numerous signs, in Japanese and English, urging people to reconsider their actions. The annual body search, consisting of a small army of police, volunteers, and attendant journalists, began in 1970. There are also a variety of unofficial trails that are used semi-regularly for the annual ‘body hunt’ done by local volunteers. In recent years, hikers and tourists trekking through Aokigahara have begun to use plastic tape to mark their paths so as to avoid getting lost. Though officials try to remove the tape time and time again, tourists and thrill-seekers inevitably leave more and more litter, and a great deal of it lies scattered throughout the first kilometer of the forest, past the designated trails leading to tourist attractions such as the Ice Cave and Wind Cave. After the first kilometer into Aokigahara towards Mount Fuji, the forest is in a more ‘pristine’ condition, with little to no litter and few obvious signs of human presence.”

Some suicides scenes are staged for movies, such as about to happen on left, but the scary, haunted feeling is real enough in the Sea of Trees. For those people brave enough to hike beyond the blocked and closed walking paths at Aokigahara Forest, they often encounter signs of real suicides in the Suicide Forest.

Skull and bones, human remains and evidence of another suicide. Destination Truth reported, “Aokigahara Forest is considered the most haunted location in all of Japan.”

But there’s so much more than death to seen close to Mount Fugi. There’s beauty like the carpet of pink flowers and fun like at amusement parks.

Mount Fuji from Yokohama, Japan.

Will this be the same Mt. Fuji during fall that people will see next autumn, or will the volcano erupt as experts predict? Wired Science says that although the hype behind Mount Fuji erupting has the “interwebs all worked up,” it’s instead like a “zombie in a horror movie….It seems we’ve entered the DOOOOM season in the media this month. I’m not sure what triggers this cascade of apocalyptic thinking, but once it gets going, it is like a game of ‘telephone’. What starts off as a benign report about some piece of volcanologic research ends up with” the media hysteria.

Aerial photograph of Mount Fuji taken from the ISS. Will it erupt like Mount St. Helens did in the USA, bringing wide-scale destruction and disaster? Or is this yet another hailing of coming Apocalypse, common among the doomsday 2012 phenomenon predictions?