Beautiful Earth  
Gypsum crystals in the Naica cave, Chihuahua, Mexico
The Unknown Planet: Cave of the Crystals

Naica, a small town in the Mexican state of Chihuahua hides a big secret, the deeply buried Cave of the Crystals. 300 m below the surface of earth lies a cave system containing the biggest selenite or moonstone crystals in the world, some with a length of up to 11 m and one meter in diameter, weighing up to 55 tons. The caves are part of a geological system fed by thermal waters, which allowed the crystals to grow.

Image: Gypsum crystals of the Naica cave. Note person for scale. Author: Alexander Van Driessche

Due to the impending 'new' executive order of the US President, we compiled a list of Muslim countries. The president's executive order will indefinitely ban Syrian refugees, and temporarily bar people from several Muslim countries coming into the United States. The order will again create uncertainty among Muslims and refugees, and generate logistical nightmares at airports around the globe and trigger nationwide protests and legal arguments. By the way, the president's controversial executive order might challenge almost one quarter of the world population.

Countries with the largest Muslim populations

Adherents of Islam constitute the world's second largest religious group, about 1.7 billion or 23% of the world population. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, Islam is growing more rapidly than any other religion in the world.

List of countries where the majority of the population are followers of Islam religion.
Countries with the highest percentage of Muslims (more than 90% of the population) are Mauritania, Maldives, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Iran, Morocco, Yemen, Tajikistan, Iraq, Somalia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Niger, Comoros, Algeria, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Djibouti, Libya, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Senegal, Kosovo, Gambia, Mali, Jordan, Turkmenistan, Egypt and Syria.

Countries with a high percentage of Muslims (more than 70% of the population) are Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Guinea, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Sierra Leone, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, and Brunei.

Countries with a significant percentage of Muslims (more than 50% of the population) are Malaysia, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Albania, Chad, Nigeria, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Countries with the world's largest Muslim population (more than 10 million, in million) are: Indonesia (205 m), Pakistan (178 m), India (172 m), Bangladesh (145.6 m), Nigeria (94 m), Iran (74.8 m), Turkey (74.6 m), Egypt (73.8 m), Algeria (40.4 m), Sudan (39.0 m), Morocco (32.3 m), Iraq (31.1 m), Afghanistan (29.0 m), Uzbekistan (26.8 m), Saudi Arabia (25.5 m), Ethiopia (25.0 m), China (24.8 m), Yemen (24.0 m), Syria (20.8 m), Niger (19.5 m), Tanzania (19.4 m), Malaysia (17.1 m), Mali (15.6 m), Senegal (14.5 m), Burkina Faso (11.2 m), Tunisia (11.1 m), and Russia with just 9.4 m Muslims.

Sources: Pew Research Center, The World Fact Book, Wikipedia

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the third planet (counted outward from its sun), it is not the largest but in fact the most dense of the nine eight planets in this Solar System, and it is the only one with some kind of intelligent life.
No, I'm not talking about the really amazing intelligence of a murder of crows.

I'm talking about some other inhabitants of this planet known as humans, for them Earth is known as the 'World', the whole shebang of this planet, the land, oceans, people, and most important, beside possessing things, the weather, the last connection with nature by the planet's urban population.

For almost all people nearly all things in the 'world' happen on land, exceptions are sea-based migrant Filipino workers and some holiday activities: cruises, scuba diving, surfing and expeditions using sailing vessels like multi-hulled canoes.

For many people the world begins just outside their neighborhood, and they call it, out of habit, afield, or outlandish, meaning, not here.

Until recently almost all parts of the World were inapprehensible for the majority of its human inhabitants. To understand the world was not really important, most folks stayed in the neighborhood, had a family and a home ownership savings plan.

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fu dao"In the most basic sense, the purpose of life is being - as opposed to not being."


World Regions:



 Map of Africa

Countries of Africa
Angola | Botswana | Ethiopia | Gabon | Kenya | Madagascar | Mali | Namibia | Seychelles | South Africa
  ... all countries of Africa
North America

The Americas and the Caribbean

 Map of the North America
 Map of the South America

Countries of North, Central and South America.
Bolivia | Brazil | CanadaChile | Ecuador | Guatemala | Mexico | Nicaragua | USA | Maps of the U.S. States
  ... all countries of the Americas

Countries of the Caribbean
Bermuda | Jamaica | Bahamas | Barbados | Cuba | Dominican Republic | Guadeloupe | Haiti | Puerto Rico | Saint Lucia | Trinidad and Tobago | U.S. Virgin Islands
  all countries in the Caribbean

Asia and the Middle East 

 Map of Asia
 Map of Southeast Asia

Countries of Asia
Cambodia | China | India | Japan | Lao PDR | Maldives | Nepal | Philippines | Russia | Singapore | South Korea | Thailand | Tibet | Viet Nam
   ... all countries of Asia

Countries of the Middle East
Iraq | Israel | Kuwait | Lebanon | Palestine | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | United Arab Emirates
   ... all countries of the Middle East


Australia and Oceania

Australia / Oceania

 Map of Oceania/Australia
 Map of Australia

Australia and the Islands in the South Pacific
Australia | Fiji | French Polynesia (Tahiti) | New Zealand | Samoa
   ... all countries of Australia/Oceania

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 Map of Europe

European Countries
Austria | Bulgaria | France | Germany | Italy | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | United Kingdom
   ... all countries of Europe
World Maps

profile World Maps
Maps around the World.

profile Maps of Countries
Political maps, administrative maps, searchable maps.
List of almost all countries, territories, and regions in the world.

 Overseas Territories and Dependent Areas
List of the Overseas Territories, Dependent Areas, and Disputed Territories.

 Population by Country
Population figures for all countries.

great site The biggest cities in the World
A guide to the metropolises of this planet.

The most populated cities in China
China's greatest cities.
The most populated cities in Japan
List of Japanese cities with the greatest population.
The most populated Cities in the United States
Lists of U.S. cities with the most residents.
 NEW  Storybook of the U.S. state capitals
Images and information about the 50 US state capitals.

Chinese New Year
Learn more about the Chinese New Year celebrations for the coming year. See images of the Chinese Spring Festival celebrated in Bangkok's China Town.

Images of Angkor Wat (Cambodia) , Laos and Myanmar.
Myanmar, Burma
Buddha image, Yangon, Burma
Photos: Valeska Gehrmann
Traveling and Travel Destinations

Most Famous Landmarks and Cultural Monuments in the World
As the title says, a virtual travel to many of the Most Famous Landmarks and Cultural Monuments in the World.

profile Airports and Airlines
Index of National Airlines and Airports around the world:
e.g.: profile IATA Airport Codes

profile International Currencies and Currency Codes
Up to date list of currencies around the World.

profile International Country Calling Codes
Country calling codes by country.

great site World's Top Travel Destinations
World's Top Tourism Destinations by various categories.

Travel Safety Advice
Compilation of links to Travel Advice.
More Issues

First, Second and Third World
First, Second and Third World
States of the first, second and the third world, with an explanation of the terms.

World Resources Report

Comparative (sortable) tables of:

1. Population and Human Well-Being
Table of core indicators on population, health, education, poverty,infant mortality, and HIV/AIDS prevalence by countries.

2. Food and Water
The table contains four core indicators: Intensity of Agricultural Inputs, Food Security and Nutrition, Fisheries Production and Water Resources.

3. Economics and Trade
The table shows core indicators of a country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the percent of total output of goods and services, and the Financial Flows.

4. Institutions and Governance
The sortable table shows values of core indicators to evaluate governments and levels of freedom within countries.


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