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The Most Stunning Visions of Earth

See phenomenal photos of the world’s wonders from the December 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine.

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Slovenia High above the village of Črni Vrh, fantastical ice formations—including spikes over a yard long—encase the trees and lookout tower atop Mount Javornik. The windswept ice, or hard rime, is the result of fog freezing after a week of snow and gales.
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Tonga Off the coast of the Vava‘u islands, a newborn humpback whale—perhaps less than a week old—drifts near the placid surface. Already about 15 feet long, it could grow to 50 feet. These waters are a prime calving ground for the species.
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Czech Republic In the village of Deštné in the Orlické Mountains, an ice-encrusted house is a landmark for contestants in the Šediváčkův Long dogsled race. European mushers and up to 700 dogs compete in the annual four-day race, which covers 150-some miles.
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