Zack Seckler’s best photograph: wild Iceland from the air

The pilot flew me around the volcanic coast in his tiny homemade plane with the door open and me hanging out taking pictures I shot this off the southern coast of Iceland, from a ultra-light aircraft, in the days before drones were ubiquitous. I love the stark nature of the Icelandic landscape and its contrasts. Deltas form from glacial meltwater running down towards the shoreline, picking up silt and different materials along the way to create these ribbon patterns. Theres all sorts of wildlife too birds, beautiful wild horses, seals. So a few years ago after a lot of research, cross-referencing Google Earth with books and photography by others, I took a red eye from New York to Reykjavik. It …

What happened when my flight was invaded by ants

Little did I know that after tweeting about my nine-hour saga, the story would go viral around the world and I would find myself embroiled in a freedom of press issue Thats odd, I thought when a large, fat ant strolled across my pillow as the plane lined up for take-off from Venice to Newark last week. The flight, as I would discover shortly into the nine-hour journey, was infested. Midair, I tweeted about the saga, partly to take my mind off the creepy crawlers, but mostly for the benefit of my sisters, who would, like all good siblings, inevitably find great mirth in my absurd predicament. Little did I know that, by the time we landed, a TV crew …

Deadly skin-eating fungal disease wipes out 90 amphibian species in 50 years

Study reveals extent of chytrid fungus and how devastating it has been for frog, toad and salamander species worldwide A deadly disease that wiped out global populations of amphibians led to the decline of 500 species in the past 50 years, including 90 extinctions, scientists say. A global research effort, led by the Australian National University, has for the first time quantified the worldwide impact of chytridiomycosis, or chytrid fungus, a fungal disease that eats away at the skin of amphibians. The disease was first discovered in 1998 by researchers at James Cook University in Queensland investigating the cause of mysterious, mass amphibian deaths. Chytridiomycosis is caused by two fungal species, both of which are likely to have originated in …