Great pyramids of Giza, Cairo

is a city in Egypt, located on the west bank of the Nile. It is the third largest city in the country after the Cairo and Alexandria, the metropolis that borders directly with Cairo, the administrative center of Giza.


Giza is one of the best known tourist destinations. Near the town are some of the most startling and most impressive monuments of ancient Egyptian civilization: the great pyramids of Egyptian pharaohs Cheops, and Hefren Mikerin, Great Sphinx of Giza, and many other pyramids, temples and museums.


Millions of tourists visit Egypt to see the only survived of the Seven Wonders of the world. Pyramids got recognized by the World Tourist organization, a kind of Oscars for the tourism industry.


Each year millions of tourists arrive in Cairo to see the one of the Seven Wonders of the WorldGreat pyramid and the pyramids and Hefren Mikerin located in the plateau of Giza.

It is believed that these pyramids were built before more than 4,5 thousand years and served on the Egyptian tombs pharaohs. And until now, however, researchers disagree on their exact age and purpose. In the scientific world is constantly emerge and new hypotheses the manner in which they were built massive pyramids.


The pyramids are one of the most imposing buildings survived until today. In ancient times, are a marvel size and now wonder of their age. With its 481 feet (146.59 meters) the Great Pyramid was the tallest building in the world until the 19th century. Moreover, only one of the Seven Wonders of the world that we can still see with his eyes. Indeed, when the Great Pyramid is only 449 feet high (137 meters), because it is losing some of its peak. The initial length of the side of the pyramid was 754 feet (230.33 meters) and is now 745 feet (227 meters). Ploshttta based is 13 acres, ie 568.500 square feet (52,843 sq m). According to official estimates the Great pyramid of Giza was built of stone blocks 2.300.000 with an average weight of 2,5 pt This means that the pyramid weighs approximately 5.750.000 tons! In the construction will block more light than 2 tons, and the worst blocks weigh 70 tons. Almost the entire exterior of polished limestone is removed by the Arabs before 600g to be used in the construction of mosques and other buildings in cities. This gives a rough pyramids, tiered look. The only original entrance is on the north side and 16 meters high. Only inside the pyramid of Cheops is also burial chambers and four wells . The two shafts, starting from the burial chamber of Pharaoh were found in the 1610g, and those beginning in the chamber of the queen – in 1872.


Historians are not quite firm, but assumes that the pyramid of Cheops was completed in BC 2589g. But its construction continued 20d. Soon made excavations of settlement and cemetery of this period in the vicinity of the pyramids and inscriptions found in them, clearly show that people who built the pyramids were not slaves, but artisans and peasants. Most of the stone blocks that were needed to build the pyramids were logging directly from the plateau. This is saving the hard work of transporting the blocks from other quarries along the Nile. To build the pyramids were needed 40.000 people. We have to note that the Egyptians did not know then wheel and all work is done without any machinery.

Great pyramids of Giza are tombs of the pharaohs of the fourth dynasty Hefra (gr-Hefren), Khufu (Cheops-town) and Menkaura (gr-Mikerin). Smaller pyramids were designed for the wives of the pharaohs. These facts are confirmed by the history of Herodotus, who visited the Giza 450d in BC. and found in the burial chamber of Cheops pyramid inscriptions.

ExoticTourist Destinations in World

1.Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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With its ultramodern skyline, it's easy to forget that Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, was once a small town of Bedouin traders. Now the old mixes with the new: At the Nad al Sheba racetrack, camels race by day; thoroughbreds at night. High fashion and electronic stores are as popular as the gold souk. A sampling of the 400-plus restaurants gives you a taste of Dubai's ethnic diversity. Come enjoy the beaches, golf, historic sites, nightlife and renowned tax-free shopping of Dubai

2.Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

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This Red Sea resort town on the tip of the Sinai peninsula offers world-class diving with spectacular reefs, magnificent drop-offs and shipwrecks waiting to be explored. Dive among the sharks (and barracudas and turtles and ...) at the aptly named Shark Reef or earn diving certification in the gentler waters of Na'ama Bay. Take a day trip to St. Catherine's Monastery, the reputed site of the biblical burning bush, or find yet more postcard-perfect waters at the Ras Mohammed National Park.

3.Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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"Ochi" offers the white sands and clear water expected of a Caribbean island, complete with waterfalls and rainforests. Climb the natural staircase of Dunn's River Falls, stroll the Coyaba River Gardens or take a driving tour under the lush canopy of Fern Gully. Swim with dolphins or ride horseback along plantations and beaches. Reggae fans should make the trip to Nine Mile, Bob Marley's birth and final resting place. Jazz aficionados should check out the annual Ocho Rios Jazz Festival in June.


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A cluster of idyllic atolls in the Indian Ocean, about 200 of the Maldives' 1200 islets are inhabited. Another 100 are private resort islands. Turquoise lagoons, underwater coral gardens, swaying palm fronds and glorious white sand beaches are the big draws of this paradise perched on the Equator, 435 miles southwest of Sri Lanka. Maldivians are warm, friendly and hospitable. The population is predominantly Muslim; on the capital of Male and other inhabited islands, modest clothing is recommended for women

5.Phuket, Thailand

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Phuket offers a rainbow spectrum of spectacular vacation sights from blue lagoons and pink sunsets to orange-robed monks. Three wheeled-Tuk Tuks, taxis, buses and long tailed boats transport visitors between these marvels. Phuket's south coast offers its most popular beaches. The north is more tranquil. Koh Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and Patong Beach are popular spots. Diving, snorkeling, wind surfing and sailing are just a few active options. Inland, forested hills, mountains and cliffs wait to be explored.

Discover the traces European theme parks

At Europa-Park, the vision of a united continent has taken shape a long time ago. Discover the most beautiful European countries first hand. Here, Europe is not just a spot on the map, it comes alive in the hearts of the guests.

An excursion into German history: Start your adventurous day at Europa-Park at the “Fountain of Encounters”, which is situated in front of the main entrance. Stroll through the “German Alley”with its splendid façades and the magnificent EP-Express station “Berlin Alexanderplatz”.

Discover the traces of German history and admire a fascinating panorama of typical German architecture. Brandenburg brick Gothic, Franconian half-timbered buildings, Saxon baroque style, Weimar neoclassicism and Southern German architectural styles characterize the alley with its shopping passage, which invites you to stroll, look and shop around.

Visit the “Antique German Fair”, have a look at an original piece of the “Berlin Wall” or relax in the SWR3 Rock-Café after a shopping tour through the typical German shops. Relax in our 550 year old Castle Park and enjoy sitting on the terrace of “Balthasar Castle”, which was built in 1442…

Welcome to „Merry Old England“! A triumphal arch, an elegant glass pavilion, the nostalgic merry-go-round with its antique hand-carved horses and the majestic statue of Queen Victoria – all this is waiting for you to be discovered in our English themed area!

Stroll past shooting galleries, an amusement arcade and a candy shop, before you get in one of the racing cars on the Silverstone Race-Track. One of the highlights at “Victoria Square” is the Globe, a replica of the original Shakespeare-Theater. Here, you can experience a combination of show and live-performance with a Shakespearian touch.

Big adventures and picturesque sceneries. Windmills belong to Holland just like Edamer cheese and Delft China! This is why a stately windmill is situated in the picturesque Dutch village at Europa-Park. But those who have a glimpse behind the scenes, also discover a real land of adventures!

When entering one of the boats in “Pirates in Batavia”, you will experience a pirates’ attack on a peaceful colony. Or let yourself be whirled around in a giant coffee cup, until you lose your sense of direction!

But also the little ones will have a lot of fun here in Holland: they can fly up and down with the Red Baron, go on a ride with the Mini-Scooters, ride the waves with Peter Pan or climb up inside a tower with a wobbly bridge and a spiral slide. And don’t miss the beautiful stage play “Off to Neverland”, which is performed in the new children’s theatre in the Dutch themed area.

And after all the excitement, you and your family can take a break in the “Dorfkrug”!

Enter the mystical empire in Eastern Europe. The golden domes of the orthodox churches gleam in the brilliance of their former glory.

Be a cosmonaut looking for clues in the Euro-Mir, a very extraordinary roller coaster. Or visit the Mir Space Station, an original setting of Russian space travel.

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, we recommend the Russian village, where you can observe many traditional craftsmen at work.

The marketplace with its beautiful Reindeer-Fountain always bustles with activity. The view of the colourful wooden houses along a roaring torrent and the Norwegian stave church, where you can even get married, is just breathtaking. In addition, you can stroll along a shopping arcade with souvenir shops, snack bars and a fish restaurant – Scandinavia welcomes you with typical nordic hospitality.

The giant swingboat “Vindjammer” swings its daring passengers up and down, as if being on a stormy voyage. Children are delighted with Andersen’s fairy tale tower, the sunk city “Vineta” and of course the wobbly bridge.

But the real adventure can be found in the Fjord-Rafting! Enter a rolling round boat and float down a 600 metre long torrent, passing roaring waterfalls, treacherous rapids and a dark and misty grotto.

Over hill and dale in the Austrian themed area. A splashing ride is waiting for you in the Tirol Log Flume. First, you glide slowly through a diamond cave in a hollow tree trunk. Then you are pulled up and race down a roaring torrent. The splashing water is a welcome refreshment on hot summer days.

The Alpine Coaster “Enzian” invites you for a rapid ride through an adventurous world. Once you´re seated in the train, it takes you uphill and down dale, passing tight curves and steep descents. And after all the excitement, you can stroll through a “Magic World of Diamonds”, where you can watch hard-working goblins digging for diamonds.

Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace was operated by the luxury hotel group Kempinski Hotels & Resorts. The world’s most expensive hotel was built and is owned by the Abu Dhabi government. The city, which is the United Arab Emirates’ capital makes a great impression on the Middle East corporate tourism being the biggest rival of Dubai. The 3 billion $ cost hotel was opened in 2005 and is a colossal standstone itself.

The seven star hotel shows the beauty of Arabian culture. Traditional decor is used inside mostly in silver, gold, marble and glass mosaics. The chandeliers are made of Swarovski crystal. There are 114 domes (including the Grand Atrium which is higher than the dome of St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome), 200 fountains, the luxurious and technologically advanced Conference Centre, The marvellous Blue Salon and so on. The simplest suite is called Palace Suite. Each of them contains at least three rooms and a 61″ plasma screen.

Located in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, the magnificent Emirates Palace is a national landmark and one of the most impressive hotels and conference venues ever built. Perfect for corporate and leisure travellers, Emirates Palace offers a variety of luxury services to suit every need, whether you come on vacation with your family or for a business meeting or international conference.

Emirates Palace is second to none in regards to recreational facilities. Unlimited avenues are available whether one is looking for family fun activities or to a more private time alone with ones spouse.

Emirates Palace offers palatial restaurants which bring the world’s finest cuisines. Gourmet meals for example exquisite seafood of the Sayad and magnificent view of the Gulf gives fabulous experience for the visitor. The Caviar Bar is also popular because of its world class champagne menu and caviar selections with live traditional music.

Conveniently located near major business quarters, shopping malls and local attractions, Emirates Palace is the ideal address for your business/leisure requirements during your stay in Abu Dhabi. Leading International Airline carriers operating from most of the major cities across the world have direct flights to Abu Dhabi thus making the emirate of Abu Dhabi easily accessible.

Hotel location
Abu Dhabi Airport 38 km (25 – 30 mins approx)
Dubai Airport 180 km (100-120 mins approx)
Abu Dhabi City Centre 3 km (5-10 mins approx)

Rooms & Suites
Each of the exceptional rooms and suites provides guests with uncompromising indulgence. These include 302 Grand Rooms, 40 splendid Khaleej & Khaleej Deluxe suites, 4 Royal Khaleej suites, 16 three-bedroom Palace Suites divisible into a total of 48 one-bedroom individual suites.

The Grand rooms, Khaleej & Khaleej Deluxe Suites & Royal Khaleej Suites are divided equally within the East & West Wings. Both Wings enjoy their respective Reception area, Beach Access, Swimming Pool, & Fitness Center.

The exclusive Palace suites are located in the centre of the Palace section itself and therefore provide the guest with ideal location whether for business / leisure requirements.

Inside every room & suite, the decor is a masterful blend of Arabian regal splendor and the latest technology. Decoration includes acres of gold leaf and the finest marble. The guest is given command of all room & suite appliances including lights, air conditioning & in room entertainment systems via a touch screen hand held control.

52-inch LCD screens in all room categories
61-inch LCD screens in all suite categories
Language preferences for the interactive LCD screen & hand held control can be set at reception upon check in of the guest
All rooms & suites have private balconies / terraces respectively
All rooms & suites enjoy Private Butler Service
Complimentary wireless internet (WIFI) connectivity up to 10 MB
AED 100 charge/day wireless internet (WIFI) connectivity up to 20 MB
All rooms & suites have personalized check in
All suites equipped with Laptops

Pool & Beach
A 1.3km private beach awaits the guests at the Emirates Palace. The white sandy beach access is only limited to in-house guests thus ensuring privacy and exclusivity.

The East Wing swimming pool is a relaxation pool complete with swim up pool bar, separate Jacuzzis & a covered children’s pool area.

The West Wing swimming pool is an adventure pool equipped with water slides, waterfalls, and a lazy river. A separate covered children’s pool area is also available.

The guests have access to both pools whilst staying at the Emirates Palace and therefore whether they are looking for family fun or secluded relaxation, Emirates Palace is the ultimate resort.

Fitness Suites
Emirates Palace has two Fitness Suites on the ground floor of the East & West Wings. The West has a larger variety of CV and Resistance equipment, together with two “Vibro gyms”, whilst the East has a large exercise floor space where most classes are offered. The predominance of equipment is from the Technogym range.

Being one of the word’s most prestigious hotels, Emirates Palace is a popular place for dignitaries and celebrities.

Top 5 Tallest Structures in the World

1.Burj Dubai

The Burj Dubai is projected to be the world’s highest land structure built on land by the end of this decade. With its construction started in 2004, the building is expected to be finished in 2009, when it will rise to a estimated height of 818 m (2,684 ft) (although some sources announce numbers up to 1011 m).
Built in the “New Downtown” of Dubai, the structure was designed by the famous ”Skidmode, Owings and Merril” company, also in charge of the Sears Tower in Chicago and Freedom Tower in New York. Having more than 160 floors, the tower will house 30.000 accommodations (situated between floors 37 an 108, these apartments were sold in just 8 minutes from the moment the prices were posted) and a vast number of hotels, shopping centers and entertainment areas. A massive park will surround the tower, and the estimated investment in Burj Dubai will be over 8 billion dollars.

2.Kvly-tv mast:

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“Kvly-tv mast”, height record holder 1963-1974 and 1991-2008, standing in Blanchard, Traill County, North Dakota, USA with the height of 628.8m (2063 ft). This tallest TV transmission tower is owned by Hoak Media, is located 3 miles of Blanchard, half way b/w Fargo and Grands Forks. Its construction was completed on 13 August, 1963.It took thirty days to complete and costs US $500,000.It is still the tallest structure on the earth.

3.Warsaw Radio Mast:

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Poland’s “Warsaw Radio Mast” until it collapsed on 8 august 1991 which is mast radiator insulated against ground in nature. It is situated in Konstantynow, gabin.It was completed on 18 may, 1974. There are hundreds of arguments but its weight is 420 tones by Polish sources. The height of this mast is 646.38m (2,121ft).

4.Cn Tower:

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“Cn tower” in Toronto, Ontario, Canada standing with the height of 553.33m (1,815.4ft).This observation and telecommunication tower was constructed in 1973–1976. It remained the tallest free-standing structure in the Americas, the signature icon of Toronto’s skyline, and a symbol of Canada, attracting more than two million international visitors annually. It was build to serve for Observation, UHF/VHF-transmission.

5.Taipei 101:

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Breaking the record of CN Tower, “Taipei 101”, located in Taipei, Taiwan with height of 509.2m (1,671 ft) exists on fifth tallest structure in the world. An exciting thing is that it is the first skyscraper to exceed 500 meters in structural height. Its purpose is to serve for communication, conference, library, observation, office, restaurant, and retail and fitness center. It construction costs USD $1.76 billion. The building contains 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground. Taipei 101 is owned by the Taipei Financial Center Corporation and managed by the International division of Urban Retail Properties Corporation based in Chicago.

Taipei 101 Tower in Taipei, Taiwan

With a massive 60-foot spire inspired by Twaiwan's native bamboo plant, Taipei 101 Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world. At 508 meters (1,667 feet) high, the tower and its spire outrank the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Taipei Tower has 198,347 m2 (2,336,000 sq. ft.) of office space, 77,033 m2 (796,000 sq. ft.) of retail space, and 83,000 m2 (893,000 sq. ft.) of parking space for more than 1,800 vehicles.

Designing a building this large presented unique challenges because Twaiwan is subject to typhoons and earthquakes. To counter movement, a tuned mass damper system has been incorporated into the structure. The 800-metric ton (1,764,000 lbs.), spherical steel mass is located on level 88 and will be visible from the restaurant and observation decks. The system transfers the energy from the building to the swinging sphere, providing a stabilizing force.

The design of Taipei 101 borrows heavily from Chinese culture. Both the building’s interior and exterior incorporate the Chinese pagoda form and the shape of bamboo flowers. The lucky number eight, which means blooming or success, is represented by the eight clearly delineated exterior sections of the building.

WTC Twin Towers 2 built by 2013

Twin Towers 2 was a proposed design by structural engineer and architectural model-maker Kenneth Gardner and deceased architect Herbert Belton for rebuilding New York City's World Trade Center site destroyed in the September 11 attacks. 1 World Trade Center is currently under construction at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. Construction is due for completion in 2013.Each tower would have a redesigned facade that mimics the same upward flow of columns that the original twin towers had; however the windows would be much larger at 40 inches wide rather than the 18 inch windows on the original twin towers.

Each tower would be 500 meters (1515 ft) tall at roof level, nearly 100 metres (330 ft) taller than the originals. The lobbies would be 6 stories tall and have an onyx-clad elevator core and a recreated balcony. The towers would have a "triple tube design", the first tube being the outer wall/skin, the second tube being the core wall itself, and the third tube being the inner core of the building. This allows for column free floor space and a much stronger structure. The first 60 floors would be office space. The 67th floor sky lobby would open onto a skypark at the bottom of a huge atrium inside the the core of the building. Around the atrium would be executive offices, residences and possibly shops and stores. The atrium in the South Tower would be topped with a large skylight. The North tower atrium would be topped by a refurbished Windows on the World restaurant and on the roof of both towers would be observation decks and possible Top of the World indoor observation deck. The North Tower would feature dual spiral staircases within the ornamental mast that reach 1700 feet into the sky. The South Tower observation deck would be recreated. The Towers would have fire relief floors, high capacity escape elevators and five much wider staircases.

Building 3 would contain 96,000 sq ft (8,900 m2) of trading floor space and an Opera House and Cultural Exchange Center at the top. WTC 3,4,5 would contain over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of ground level retail space (not including the underground mall). WTC 6 would be a hotel with a 12 story atrium and balconies with river views.

Most Unusual Stadiums in the World

A beautiful stadium is a must-have for every self-respecting sports team. Sometimes, a simple stadium can become something more than the sum of its parts, it becomes a real landmark. Here you’ll find some of the coolest stadiums in the world. And don’t forget to post a comment with your favorite! And do add if I missed any.

1. World Games Stadium – Taiwan

World Games Stadium – Taiwan

Taiwan has what is being touted as the largest solar-powered stadium in the world, the ‘World Games Stadium’. It comes with massive and gigantic solar panels which harnesses all the solar energy in order to generate electricity that could be used by the stadium. It has a 14,155 square meter roof and it harnesses about 1.4 gigawatt hours of electricity every year. The coolest part of the stadium is that when the stadium is not being used, 80% of the neighborhood around the stadium can also be powered through the electricity generated by the stadium on days when it is not being used

2. Allianz Arena – Germany

Allianz Arena – Germany

The Allianz Arena is located in the north of Munich, Germany, and it is home to the Bayern Munich and to TSV 1860 München. With a capacity of 69,901 spectators, this is the first stadium in the world that has a full changing color outside. It is lit up in red when Bayern Munich play, in blue when 1860 Munich play and in white when in use by the German National Team. (thanks, Tim

3. Estadio Municipal de Aveiro – Portugal

Estadio Municipal de Aveiro – Portugal

Estádio Municipal de Aveiro is a football stadium in Aveiro, Portugal. It was designed for the UEFA Euro 2004 by the Portuguese architect Tomás Taveira. It has an ambitious design that combines a simple and endearing shape with a liveliness of colours of every kind throughout the entire stadium. The seats have different colours and are distributed in a random way. Red, green, yellow, blue, white, and black seats offer an original and chromatic animation and a strong feeling of dynamism and cheerfulness – even when the stadium is empty it looks as if the party has already started

4. Marina Bay Floating Stadium – Singapore

Marina Bay Floating Stadium – Singapore

The Float at Marina Bay, also known as Marina Bay Floating Platform, it’s the world’s largest floating stage. It is located on the waters of the Marina Reservoir, in Marina Bay, Singapore. Made entirely of steel, the floating platform on Marina Bay measures 120 metres long and 83 metres wide, which is 5% larger than the soccer field at the National Stadium. The platform can bear up to 1,070 tonnes, equivalent to the total weight of 9,000 people, 200 tonnes of stage props and three 30-tonne military vehicles. The gallery at the stadium has a seating capacity of 30,000 people.

5. Playground “Batarija” – Croatia

Playground “Batarija” – Croatia

Between the fifteenth century fortifications of Trogir, Croatia, there is a tiny stadium from Croatian club HNK Trogir, with a capacity of 1,000 people. It looks like a nice stadium but perhaps there are more viewers watching matches from the restaurant on the roof of the castle located at the side of the field, than from the stands.

6. Eco Stadium Janguito Malucelli – Brazil

Eco Stadium Janguito Malucelli – Brazil

Eco-Stadium Janguito Malucelli, located in Curitiba, is the first eco-stadium in Brazil. It can hold 6,000 people on grass-covered seats. Designers used recycled wood for the construction.

7. Mmabatho Stadium – South Africa

Mmabatho Stadium – South Africa

South Africa Mmabatho Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Mafikeng city and it is currently used mostly for football matches. The stadium holds 59,000 people and was designed and built in 1981 by a Russian construction company.

8. Gospin Dolac – Croatia

Gospin Dolac – Croatia

Gospin Dolac, built in 1989, it’s a stadium in Imotski, Croatia, and serves as home stadium for NK Imotski football club. With a capacity of 4,000 spectators, this stadium is located next to a 500m deep fall into a lake.

9. Fujieda City Stadium – Japan

Fujieda City Stadium – Japan

The Fujieda City Stadium accommodates 13,000 spectators, for either watching soccer games or having a picnic. Instead of using concrete steps designers created two terraces with grass, where you can sit back and watch the match.

10. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium – Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium – Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium is a multi-use stadium in the Kasımpaşa neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Kasımpaşa S.K.. Although the stadium capacity was extended to 13,500 spectators, the stands cover only half of the field, leaving the other half totally exposed to the neighborhood.

The 10 Plankton of Christmas

Dr. Richard Kirby, a Royal Society Research Fellow at Plymouth University was going through his images of plankton with a festive eye in mind and discovered there were quite a few that fit with the season. In fact he ultimately came up with the "10 Plankton of Christmas."

10. A Candle: The larva of the starfish Luidia ciliarisPlankton of ChristmasAn unusual plankton here, the starfish larva body is the transparent part, while the orange is the juvenile starfish or Luidia sarsi. It detaches from the body and sinks to the floor while the leftover body keeps swimming with plankton until it dies.

Dr. Kirby continues: "Their (Planktons) importance on a global scale is obvious when you realize that 50 per cent of the world's photosynthesis takes place in the surface of the sea, drawing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the oceans and releasing oxygen."

9. A Christmas Tree: The paddle worm Tomopteris helgolandica

Plankton of Christmas This beautiful "tree" is actually an upside down paddle worm with its tentacles flowing back down its sides. It swims with a paddling motion, hence its common name while the Latin means "cut" and "wing." Some species will release glowing sparks when disturbed.

8. Fireworks: Protozoan Acantharea

Plankton of Christmas The golden color comes from symbiotic phytoplankton called zooxanthellae inside the single celled Acantharea. The needles are made out of celestite which many of us know as a pale blue beautiful mineral.

Underpinning the whole marine food chain, phytoplankton, which are plantlike and no bigger than the width of a human hair, are fed on by zooplankton.

7. Five Gold Rings: Spiral chains of the diatom Eucampia zodiacus

Plankton of Christmas"These diatoms and phytoplankton like them are the primary producers in the surface of the sea and account for 50% of all photosynthesis on Earth," Dr. Kirby explains. "Without the plankton food web, there would be no fish in the sea or seabirds in the skies above. The largest mammals on earth, the baleen whales, even rely upon these smallest of sea creatures for their food."

6. A Christmas Lantern: The doliolid Doliolum nationalisPlankton of ChristmasBelieve it or not, these Doliolids are actually distant relatives of ours. They swim by pumping water when they contract their body wall. Anyone swimming in the sea will have swallowed them without realizing it.

5. Santa's Hat: The larva of a sea anemone

Plankton of Christmas These larva of the sea anemone may not look familiar right now but they turn into gorgeous 'flowers of the sea" as the link shows. In the meantime, the ocean's Santas have their own hats!

Dr. Kirby says: "With sea temperatures rising as a result of a warming climate, the numbers and distribution of the plankton are changing with ramifications for the whole marine food chain, and the ecology of our planet."

4. Snowflakes: Baby brittle starsPlankton of ChristmasAbove you can see baby brittle stars ready to start their journey as adults after sinking to the sea floor. Brittle stars are near relatives of star fish and as adults have very long slim arms.

Dr. Kirby continues his explanation of the importance of plankton: "Your car is also fueled by their remains and over millions of years they created some of the most enigmatic features of our coastline. So when you drive your car to the festive family gathering it is all thanks to the processed plankton that fuel it. When you turn on the oven to cook the Christmas turkey, the gas comes from plankton that sank to the seafloor over hundreds of millions of years of earth's history."

3. Angels: Sea angels, Clione limacina

Plankton of Christmas Sea angels are sea slugs - the "wings" are modifications of their foot that they use to locomote and catch prey. Their prey are sea butterflies (another species of pteropod) and the angels have co-evolved to the point that even their metabolism is closely matched to that of their prey.

2. A Star: A baby Luidia ciliaris starfish

Plankton of Christmas This baby starfish, unusual with 7 arms has just detached from its larval body and is sinking to the sea floor to continue its growth - it will grow to be between 40 and 60 cm! The upper arms are pale orange to reddish orange but the lower are white. Some half bury themselves to catch urchins and bi-valves.

1. Bells: The jellyfish Aglantha digitale

Plankton of Christmas This tiny jellyfish is an important predator in the plankton food chain. It has 8 long sex glands just under the roof of the umbrellas and around 80 tiny tentacles at the base.
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