Photographer's Amazing Snap of an Osprey Is Holding Two Big Surprises

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As a wildlife photographer, Doc Jon understands the importance of being in the right place at the right time. But it took getting home and really squinting at his own work to realize that he recently captured a “one-in-a-trillion shot” while taking a photo of an osprey in Madeira Beach, Florida. While demonstrating the power of his lens to a fellow beach-goer, Jon pointed his camera at an osprey flying about 400 feet above their heads, and snapped a quick photo.

“I started shooting and my settings were off,” Jon told Fstoppers. “I had no tripod. I was trying to hold it steady, but it was windy out," he said. "I could see the osprey had a fish, but it was far away. It wasn't until I got home, cropped in on it, lightened the shadows, and applied some sharpening that I suddenly saw. ‘Oh my god, that's a shark's tail.’ Then I saw the fish in its mouth and I knew it was going to go viral.”

Jon predicted correctly.

Photos courtesy of Doc Jon via Facebook

Jon’s photo, which has already been shared by thousands of people, features the osprey holding a shark, which is holding a fish—making it sort of like the photographic version of a turducken. News of Jon’s amazing photo spread after he posted it to his Facebook page and a local news station saw it. Since then, he told Fstoppers, he’s been receiving requests for interviews from as far away as Israel and India.

Of course, with all that exposure comes the inevitable question of authenticity. Fortunately, Jon is taking that part in stride.

"The fun part for me is some people are commenting that it's Photoshopped, and obviously, those people don't know the limitations of Photoshop," Jon told Fstoppers. "Then, other people are telling me I should have sold it instead of sharing it online. I'm laughing, because really, it's not a good photo. The photo itself kind of sucks. But it tells a great story and it's getting me a lot of recognition for my other work now."

[h/t: Fstoppers]

15 of the World's Most Popular Beaches as Seen From Above

Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock via Getty Images
Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock via Getty Images

Planning your next great beach vacation? See what the world's most popular spots for sun and sand look like from the sky.

1. South Beach // Miami Beach, Florida

Shadow of airplane arriving in Miami
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Miami Beach, Florida’s South Beach is a major entertainment area, attracting tourists from all over the world to enjoy the city's unique nightlife, shopping, and restaurants.

2. Bondi Beach // Sydney, Australia

Aerial view of Bondi Beach in Australia
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With its breathtaking views and vibrant beach culture, it's no wonder that Bondi Beach is one of Australia's most iconic destinations.

3. Tulum, Mexico

Aerial view of a beach in Tulum, Mexico
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Tulum, Mexico's crystalline beaches are just one part of what makes this seaside town the third most visited site in Mexico.

4. Surin Beach // Phuket, Thailand

Aerial view of Surin Beach in Phucket, Thailand
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Acting more like a coastal village than a beach resort, Thailand’s Surin Seach is also known as "Millionaire's Row" because it's lined with luxury resorts that are filled with A-list celebrities.

5. Waikiki Beach // Honolulu, Hawaii

Aerial image of tropical Waikiki Beach Honolulu Hawaii
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Located in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu, Waikiki Beach—which is 2 miles long—accounts for about 42 percent of the state’s annual tourist industry revenue.

6. Deauville Beach // Normandy, France

Aerial view of Deauville beach in Normany, France
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Deauville Beach in Normandy, France is often referred to as the "queen of the Norman beaches." In addition to being surrounded by a ton of history, it's one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France.

7. Navagio Beach // Zakynthos, Greece

Aerial view of Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, Greece
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Located in the Ioanian Islands of Greece, Navagio Beach, a.k.a. Shipwreck Beach, is a secluded cove and is often cited as the most beautiful beach in Greece (which is pretty high praise when you consider the competition).

8. Trunk Bay // St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Aerial view of Trunk Bay in St John in United States Virgin Islands
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St. John’s most famous beach, Trunk Bay, has a snorkeling trail for its visitors that includes information about coral formations and sea life.

9. Maya Bay // Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Aerial view of Maya Bay in Phi Phi Island in Thailand
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Danny Boyle's 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, may have been a box office dud—but it made a star out of its filming location in Thailand. So much so that the beach became a sort of victim of its own success; because of the amount of tourists it attracted (it was regularly called "the most famous beach in Thailand"), it closed to tourists in 2018. Earlier this year, officials announced a tentative reopening in the summer of 2021.

10. Anse Source d’Argent // Seychelles

Aerial view of Anse Source D'argent in Seychelles
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Located in the Seychelles, an archipelago off the cost of East Africa, Anse Source d'Argent—with its pink sands and rows of beaches—is a great place to both relax and explore.

11. Isola Bella // Taormina, Sicily

Aerial view of Isola Bella at Taormina in Sicily
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Isola Bella, one of Sicily’s most beautiful beaches, is located in Taormina, a small hilltop town that is also home to Teatro Antico di Taormina, an ancient theater that's still in use today.

12. Newport Beach, California

Aerial view of Newport Beach, California
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Whether it’s hiking or water activities, Newport Beach has plenty to do for both sunbathers and adventure-seekers.

13. Railay Beach // Thailand

Aerial view of Railay Beach in Thailand
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Getting to Thailand’s Railay Beach is part of the adventure: It's a small peninsula that is only accessible by boat.

14. Surfer’s Paradise // Queensland, Australia

Aerial view of Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia
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This seaside resort in Eastern Australia offers great views and majestic waves, making it truly live up to its name.

15. Kamari Beach // Santorini, Greece

Aerial view of Kamari Beach in Greece
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Kamari Beach resides on one of Greece’s most popular islands, Santorini, and is notable for its unique black sand.

Amazing Time-Lapse Shows Leaves Dramatically Changing Color During Fall

RCKeller/iStock via Getty Images Plus
RCKeller/iStock via Getty Images Plus

During autumn, the leaves of many of our deciduous trees change color before falling off and dying. Sad, right? It depends on how you look at it.

Owen Reiser—a very patient mathematics and biology student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville—spent more than a month filming the color-changing process to create an ambitious, two-minute time-lapse video featuring close-ups of leaves transforming from yellow and green to red and brown.

“I was taking a field biology class and we were learning about deciduous trees,” Reiser told Smithsonian. “I’ve been getting into wildlife photography and time-lapse for a while, and I couldn’t find a time-lapse of leaves changing color, so I just went for it.”

It took Reiser six weeks—and many sleepless nights—to compile the footage. He snapped more than 6000 close-up photos of leaves, including images from 10 different Midwestern deciduous trees, such as sassafras and sugar maple. He took a photo of each leaf once every 30 to 60 seconds for three days using a camera, a LED light, and a battery that allowed his camera to run constantly. “It’s [basically] a cardboard box and a bunch of duct tape, but it gets the job done,” he said.

You can see the green and yellow leaves quickly fill with reds and browns; new colors dramatically take over, and pigments break down. It looks like “dye spreading through fabric,” according to Smithsonian.

But what occurs when the leaves alter color isn’t so simple. “People argue that the red color is [also] an unmasking from the breakdown of chlorophyll, and that’s simply wrong,” David Lee, professor emeritus in biological sciences at Florida International University, told Smithsonian. “The red color is actually made when the chlorophyll is beginning to break down—there’s a synthesis of those pigments, so it’s quite a different thing.”

Either way, after watching the video, you'll never look at fall foliage the same way again.

[h/t Smithsonian]

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