Sometimes it can be tough to remember that tiny miracles, as hard as they can be to spot, are actually all around us.
As poet Walt Whitman once put it, “Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.”
Take a look around you: Our natural world is filled with tiny little miracles. Every grain of sand on the ground is made up surprising beauty if you look closely enough, as is every unique snowflake that falls from the sky to coat the earth in a blanket of breathtaking white.
Give thanks for not only how lucky you are to be alive but also your ability to be able to witness all of the beauty that our planet provides for us.
Appreciating the planet that sustains literally all the life we know and see around us (and everything that is too small to be apparent to our eyes) is a great way to take steps toward appreciating everything in your life.
The microscopic tardigrade (or water bear) is nature’s toughest animal! It can survive in the planet’s most extreme conditions, from being cooked at 304 degrees F to being completely dehydrated for up to 10 years. These creatures can even survive in outer space!
This is how a grain of sand looks under a microscope, reflecting the biology and geology of the area it was plucked from. Now just imagine how many treasure troves are contained on an entire beach … and how many beaches there are in the world!
Cacti are flowering plants that produce seed-bearing fruit, but the plant can produce its own genetic twin from pieces that have been broken off! The spines of a cactus can be used as a suture for wounds after they’ve been sterilized using hot coals.
This astonishing moth orchid (Phalaenopsi) looks like a bird ready to take flight. That’s because the Phalaenopsis cultivar was carefully cultivated by inventor René Schoone and resembles a hummingbird almost perfectly, making it all the more attractive to potential pollinators.
A tiny seahorse whose world is in inside this little jar … with his bigger natural world just behind him. Seahorses are the only animal species on Earth in which the males become pregnant and give birth, which frees the females to more quickly reproduce more eggs!
This fruit fly (G tridens) has evolved wings that look like two ants are protecting him. Each “ant” appears perfectly designed and, according to scientists, is amazingly symmetrical. By flapping its ant wings, these fruit flies are able to visually confuse and ward off predators.
This newly hatched baby sea turtle is ready to take on the ocean. During the first three to five years of their lives, sea turtles spend most of their time floating in seaweed beds, where they find food and shelter before venturing out into deeper waters.
The firm grasp of a newborn baby’s fingers is wonderful, even though their legs are their strongest body parts. It takes weeks for a baby to recognize other adults and people, but they can recognize the smell and voice of their mother right at birth. Mothers can also detect their baby’s own unique scent from a batch of newborns!
Out of billions and billions, no two snowflakes are exactly the same. Incredibly, snowflakes always have six sides, similar to the human fingerprint! As the temperature drops, snowflakes become larger and more complex in design.
This glasswing butterfly (Greta oto) has lovely translucent wings that provide a window of sorts into its tiny world. This unique species is confounding to science, as it lacks the colored scales on its wings that are found on other butterflies, making it appear as though its wings are made of glass!
The way it feels to look up and see so many raindrops falling from the sky is incomparable. However, we are not the only planet to experience rain; Venus rains sulfuric acid, and scientists suspect that on Saturn and Jupiter, it rains diamonds!
Even though our oceans contain gigantic octopuses that can weigh up to 156 pounds, there also exists the Octopus wolfi, which was first discovered and classified in 1913. Octopuses are so smart that they can learn simply by observing the behavior of other octopuses, and they can solve problems like unscrewing a lid from a container to get food.
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