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Phenomenal photos of the world’s wonders

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Thailand In Chiang Mai, floating lanterns set the night alight during the annual Yi Peng festival. The tradition, rooted in Buddhism, emphasizes reflection and spiritual cleansing. The lit lanterns, or khom loi, are hot-air balloons made of rice paper.
This story appears in the July 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.
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United States Against a velvet backdrop in a South Carolina lab tank, a mushroom coral resembles a blooming flower. These invertebrates are used for tissue explants, a type of plant propagation. Eighteen photos were stitched together to make this composite.
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Japan Seen from below, an autumn blaze of maple leaves is veined by a crooked lattice of trunks and branches at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The Tokyo site is a hot spot for momijigari, the centuries-old Japanese tradition of viewing fall foliage.
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