Geologica: Earth’s Dynamic Forces

Geologica: Earth’s Dynamic Forces

When it comes to breathtaking photos, the best always come—at least, in my experience—from National Geographic. I’ve had Nat Geo books on my coffee tables and desks since adolescence and have loved them all my life. Whether you need some inspiration, want to travel without leaving the house, or simply want to lose yourself for an hour, all you need to do is pour over these books and you automatically feel lost in the wonders of the world.

Recently I acquired a new nature book called Gologica: Earth’s Dynamic Forces. Its backbone is the concept of plate tectonics and the changes of the Earth resulting from plate movement. I remember as a little girl being terrified of plate tectonics, worried that an eminent collision would occur in my lifetime and wipe out the human race (or at least my house). I also remember wishing that Pangea were still one solid single mass, so I could easily travel the world and meet people from all over and we would have peace. (Today I question that statement greatly, for surely one group would try to acquire the entirety of Pangea for power!)

Geologica tells me that I wasn’t far off base—and that modern science can detect plates shifting even in small neighborhoods! Sure, they aren’t a massive movement yet—but they do take place at about the rate of fingernail growth. And let me tell you, my fingernails grow fast.

The book portrays Earth’s forces in relation to climate, animals, time, plants, and more in exquisite photographic detail. One of the first photos in the book, an aerial image of the “remains of the volcano Naboyatom” on Kenya’s Lake Turkana, is considered one of the birth places of civilization. It is the source of some of the earliest human fossils on record, and the image of the volcano—which looks like a great alien spiral jutting into a clear blue sea from the photo—is simply breathtaking. That’s only on page twelve of the massive, 576-page book!

Geologica features large, crisp hardbound pages. It’s one of those books with photography that you have to examine multiple times, simply staring at pages and coming back to them to see something new every time. From the majestic Alaskan Russell Glacier to the lush Amazon rainforest, Namibia’s hypnotic sand dunes to the timeless Paradise Harbor of Antarctica, the world is a vast, varied place—and so much of it is captured in this wonderful book to see. Coupled with intensive research about these places’ rich histories as well as the planet’s future, it’s both informative to read and amazing to look at—a visual treat for the senses.