Beautiful, bizarre images of Earth taken by the European Space Agency’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites.

These pictures are more than just cool: In a talk at TEDxBarcelona, Stephen Briggs — head of Earth Observation science at the ESA’s European Space Research Institute — tells the fascinating tale behind the satellite and explains how these uncommon images of Earth are more valuable than you think.

Watch the whole talk here»

Above:
1. Aragon and Catalonia, Spain
2. The Okavango River Delta, Botswana
3. Sand dunes, Namibia
4. The Great Salt Desert, Iran
5. Palouse Region, United States
6. Rural Kansas, United States

(Images via ESA)

Say hello to Katie Spotz — the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean (2,817 miles!), the first person to swim the entire length of the Allegheny River in the US, and someone gutsy enough to run 150 miles across the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert aloneĀ … AKA a fearless adventurer owning the term girl power.

In a talk at TEDxSMU, Katie explains how she overcame the expectations she had set for herself by stepping out of her comfort zone. For most of her life she thought that running marathons and entering triathlons were for “those people,” she says, and told herself that she would just never be one of them — until one day she decided that the only real thing stopping her from running, rowing, and swimming was not trying.

Here, she recounts her epic adventures »

Photos via Katie Spotz