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Geo Porn – The Earth is Sexy!

It’s the weekend, so let’s get sexy. No, not that kind of sexy. Let’s talk about geo porn. The Earth is sexy as hell. I don’t know if you all know this, but geology is an extremely sexy science. From subduction to orogeny to cleavage and hot intrusions, geology is full of super sexy verbiage to get your scientific juices flowing. These titillating terms are great for blog post material, but can be tricky when teaching a bunch of freshman guys (no offense, guys, but you tend to giggle more at “cleavage” than the ladies do). I will admit I have all but eliminated the most provocative of geo terminology from my class to avoid the snickers and giggles, and my face turning red while holding a mineral up and saying something along the lines of, “Look at this beautiful cleavage!” I’ve done it…true story. Since I mainly teach students who are not geology majors I can get away with forsaking the frisky language and sticking to topics that are fairly chaste in their descriptive words. Although, I still catch myself slipping into sexy geo talk sometimes, as there are so many geology terms and phrases that sound kinky. In fact, people have made a living out of producing eye-catching bumper stickers, comic strips, and posters espousing some of the dirtiest sounding geo talk. Here’s an example:

 

Geologists getting all worked up!

Geologists getting all worked up!

(http://www.irenesinternet.com/lol/geology-unexpected-benefit/#sthash.iAyXb2C5.dpbs)

Yes, the geologists are a sexy bunch, no doubt. Contrary to the nerds of TV sitcom fame calling us the dirt people (try, dirty people, ;), a tough geology dude in battered hiking boots, schlepping a pack full of rocks and wielding a hammer is a nice piece of eye candy, if you ask me. You might not think so at first, but a girly girl who can heft a pack of rocks and wield a sledgehammer is also quite a saucy sight! Confession time, so if you don’t want to hear a personal tidbit related to my love life you might want to tune out now. (Students of mine, if you are reading this…erase this part from your memory when next you come to class, as I know it is totally weird to think that your professors actually have a life outside of school). My first memory of feeling attracted to my husband, I mean, REALLY attracted to him, was when we were graduate students, sitting in his office late at night, unwrapping rock samples that had just arrived from his field season in Tibet. He was wearing Carhartt shorts and his battered La Sportiva Makalu boots, crouched on a small metal box unwrapping rocks, and I had a great view of the muscles in his thighs, earned through months of relentless hiking in Tibet. (Yes, I was shamelessly sneaking a peak of his thighs up inside his shorts, so sue me. That’s ogling #LikeAGirl. We do it too, ok, deal with it). My husband is not burly, but he is ripped. This all sounds completely un-feminist of me, but there has been a lot of estrogen flying around on this blog lately, and I had to shout out to my main man for a second, since we are talking about sexy geologists. But I digress……….

So the words are sexy (cleavage, thrust, intrusion, injection, orogeny, etc.). And the geologists themselves are sexy (I am serious…they are). But what I really want to point out is that the EARTH is hella sexy. This planet we live on is full of mouth-watering eye candy that we can all appreciate. Whether you like the watery oceans, the rugged mountains, the lush forests, the expansive plains, or the pink deserts (see what I did there…sexy!), you can find places on Earth that will make you weak in the knees. Here are some amazing Earth pics that are, in my opinion, excellent examples of geo porn (Disclosure – I did not take all of these pictures, most are by my husband, or are shamelessly stolen from the interwebs):

Catalina Mountains, Tucson, AZ.

Catalina Mountains, Tucson, AZ.

(http://www.kutztown.edu/activities/clubs/geology/)

Let’s start local, y’all.  The Catalina mountains, right in our backyard, are so sexy you cannot believe it.  In the world of geology, this mountain range is a prime example of what we geologists call a core complex.  It is a 10.  No doubt.  In layman’s terms, those mountains used to be a big vat of hot melted rock (i.e., magma) that was underground.  Volcanoes were blowing off like mad.  Then, the volcanic activity stopped, the ground started stretching, and the Tucson mountains slid off the Catalina’s along that big, flat, tilted surface you see when you look to the north at the mountain range.  That’s called a detachment fault.  Anyway, these mountains are stunning, and so sexy.  We are lucky to have this naked display of deep, once hot intrusive rock in our backyard.  Tucson is a great place for geo porn.

Mount Everest.  Photo by Paul Kapp.

Mount Everest. Photo by Paul Kapp.

The big daddy of geo porn, Mount Everest.  The fact that this mountain is so revered by millions of people, and draws hundreds every year to attempt summiting, is proof that size does matter.  Standing at over 29,000 feet above sea level, this monster is majestic as fuck, and is the tallest mountain on Earth.  If that’s not sexy I don’t know what is.

Pamir.  Photo by Paul Kapp.

Pamir, Tajikistan. Photo by Paul Kapp.

There are several dirty things I could say about this photo, but I won’t.  It is just mouth-wateringly sexy. I love snow, so that helps.  But even with all the frozen H2O in this pic, it is hot as hell.  The gaping hole of sunlight, the welcoming, open valley below it…okay, I said all the dirty stuff.  I couldn’t help it.

Ripples, Dunhuang, China.  Photo by Paul Kapp.

Ripples, Dunhuang, China. Photo by Paul Kapp.

The texture in this photo is amaze-balls.  Don’t you just want to run your hand over those sexy ripples?  Actually, they are pretty large scale so you might do better to roll around in them, like the scene in Indecent Proposal with the money on the bed.  Sand is sexy.

Yardangs, China.  Photo by Paul Kapp.

Yardangs, Yardang National Park, China. Photo by Paul Kapp.

And from ripples to…nipples?  (Click on the photo to really see what I am talking about).  Though they may remind us of female anatomy, these are wind carved landforms, sandblasted by intense winds during periods of strong jet-stream activity.  Wind isn’t thought of as particularly efficient at causing the breakdown of materials at Earth’s surface, but come to find out if it is strong enough it can blow a lot of crap away!

Yardangs, China.  Photo by Paul Kapp.

Yardangs, Yardang National Park, China. Photo by Paul Kapp.

More nipple landforms…because I know you pervs wanted more nipples.

Qiadam yardangs.  Photo by Paul Kapp.

Qiadam yardangs. Photo by Paul Kapp.

How about some sexy geologists sitting on some huge, long, wind carved landforms.  Stunning, no?

Green sand beach, Big Island, Hawaii.  Photo by Jess Kapp.

Green sand beach, Big Island, Hawaii. Photo by Jess Kapp.

Want something wetter than all that wind blown dust?  Check out the vivid colors of the green sand beach superimposed against the crystal blue of the Pacific ocean.  This is close to the southern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, which is the southernmost point of the U.S..  I know…there are several words in here that are extremely naughty but I won’t point them out.  It took us over two hours of hiking in driving wind to get here, and we never made it down to the actual beach because at that point we were like, fuck it, let’s go back to the resort and drink cocktails.  However, I am glad I saw this particularly pornographic location as there are almost no other places like it on Earth (none that humans can get to).  The sand is green because it is primarily composed of olivine, (you might know it as peridot).

Lunpola, central Tibet.  Photo by Paul Kapp.

Lunpola, central Tibet. Photo by Paul Kapp.

These rock layers are 23 million years old.  Sedimentary rock layers, like these (which were deposited in a lake) are laid down flat.  These aren’t flat.  So what’s up?  These beds are tilted.  The beds got tilted!  That’s some intense sexy right there.

Virunga volcanoes, Uganda, Africa.

Virunga volcanoes, Uganda, Africa. Photo by Jess Kapp.

A lush, green landscape in Uganda with the prominent, pointy Virunga mountains in the background. They are volcanoes that sit on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC.  The volcanoes exist in this part of the world because Africa has a huge gash in it, the Red Sea, which is a result of the continent being torn apart by plate tectonic forces.  Breathtaking.  Orgasmic.  Geo porn.

Now I am all hot and bothered and need to go to bed.  I could add geo porn pictures all night, but I am too old for that shit.  It is time to drift off to sleep and dream of my next adventure, somewhere sexy as hell. If you agree that the Earth is sexy, get out and work it!  See it.  Experience it.  Observe it. Photograph it.  Appreciate it. Share that appreciation with your kids (minus the nipple references, of course).

We have one hell of a sexy home planet here.  Show it some serious love.

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