Earth, air, fire and water – these four primordial elements make up our world according to ancient beliefs. Although modern science has left these archaic beliefs behind eons ago, the name “Blue Planet” derives from one of these mythological primordial element.
In the universe known by human beings the Blue Planet is the only place where life can be found. This is Earth, the common home of the millions of species of our fauna and of more than 7 billion men.
The name Blue Planet has become so widespread in almost all the languages as though it had existed forever. And yet, this well-known term was given to it only in the second half of the 20th century. Earth was named like this at a time when man became able to step out into space. A little more than half a century has passed since the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin saw for himself those numerous movingly fantastic pictures of space which today all of us, earth dwellers can admire.
More than two thirds of the surface of our planet is covered by water. Water is also an essential element of the atmosphere of Earth, and it has been for billions of years playing an important role in shaping the surface of our planet. This means that the biosphere making life and survival possible owes its existence to the simple and yet fantastic compound the molecules of which consist of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
This compound plays a key role in the structure of living organisms and in their metabolism. It is essential to both flora and fauna, and not one specie is able to survive without it. It is especially true in regard to the human organism, which is able to survive without water for a mere three days.
The presence of water is also decisive in the emergence and survival of the climate system of Earth. The climate of Earth played a key role in the evolution of life. Even today, our rich and colorful flora and fauna is provided with adequate conditions of life by the climate system being in constant change and yet ensuring the continuous circulations of water. Accordingly, the constant circulation of water is the essential catalyst of the constant circulation of life.
As much as we know about this special material considered to be a natural part of our life, one of its important secrets is still well hidden. We cannot explain how water came to be on Earth. This question has not been yet answered unequivocally, no commonly accepted scientific explanation has thus far been given. But everyone agrees that no known form of life is able to survive without this “element natural” one of the elements of Universe much older than our life giving Earth itself, i.e., without water - this colorless and tasteless matter that, sometimes takes up the state of either liquid, solid or gas.
This is H2O, the natural and yet mystical source of life on earth.
Zay Yar Lin, a sea captain from Myanmar, doesn’t only capture the everyday life of seafarers – their struggle with the seas and the excitement of reaching shore – but also fishermen, sailors and the busy world of harbours, as well. In his photos, he places the emphasis on lighting, composition, the interplay of colours and unusual perspectives. His shots are abstract, still they also communicate stories about everyday people.
The spellbinding rings produced by a Vancouver-based studio, Secret Wood, showcase Canada’s natural wonders. In addition to the country’s rugged mountains, luxurious emerald forests and wonderful northern lights, the design studio has also been inspired by majestic waterfalls.
The Aletsch Glacier, whose source is at an elevation over 4000 metres in the Bernese Alps, is Europe’s longest and largest volume glacier, which is visible from space. At present, its area covered with ice all year is 28.6 square kilometres, but it is getting smaller.
In her series entitled Blue Ice, photographer Julieanna Kost has captured the strikingly beautiful blue and turquoise colours and gradations of the glaciers and icebergs of Antarctica. She embarked on her Antarctic expedition on a small motor boat to record the ice landscapes using digital technology.
Japanese photographer Ryota Kajita has captured the icy beauty of Alaskan landscapes in his series Ice Formations. The artist, now living in Alaska, has spent seven years exploring the remote and uninhabited regions of the state so as to capture the complex natural patterns.
Water is a fundamental condition of life – it is irreplaceable and indispensable, it is very literally the wellspring of life, and humans and water have been living in a close symbiosis since time immemorial. Contemporary architects are also happy to reflect on that relationship.
Award-winning photographer Christian Vizl has been inspired by the ocean since childhood. The native of Mexico City has been photographing marine life for 30 years, and in that time his artistic documentation of life underwater has earned him an international reputation.
The aquarelles of Canan Esen, an illustrator from Germany, depict real and imaginary denizens of the oceans, among them majestic whales and playful dolphins. The talented artist hopes that her work can inspire action for the health of oceans and the wellbeing of marine wildlife.
Russian photographer Kristina Makeeva travelled to Lake Baikal in southern Siberia to capture the frosty beauty of the world’s largest freshwater lake. The mirror-like surface of the the approximately 600 km long lake features cracks and bubbles that create spectacular organic patterns in the clear ice.
Portuguese artist Vanessa Barragão makes sculptures out of textiles on an exquisite theme: her incredible pieces pay homage to the extraordinary, colourful creatures of the oceans. She uses industrial textile waste to create woollen carpets, tapestries and wall ornaments that imitate the structure of coral.