It’s an Elephant!

But not just any elephant!

Today on Bing

June 13, 2019

A unique elephant encounter in Nantes

Created by François Delarozière, Pierre Orefice, and their team of artists and engineers at La Machine Company workshop, the Grand Éléphant was the first of three artworks/attractions constructed for the Machines de l’île (Machines of the Isle) in Nantes. The elephant is a mechanical sculpture that’s so big it can take up to 49 passengers for a 45-minute walk. After unveiling the elephant in 2007 and the Carrousel des Mondes Marins (Marine World Carousel) in 2012, they’re now working on an ambitious third project, L’Arbre aux Hérons (Tree of Herons), scheduled for 2022. The efforts of these visionary creators have turned a shuttered industrial shipyard on the Loire River into a unique place where art, architecture, tourism, and urban planning come together to delight all who visit.

The Marrying of Man and Nature

Today on Bing

June 8, 2019

Diving into World Oceans Day

Humans have been trying to construct artificial coral reefs since at least the 1950s, with only marginal success. But in 1979, German scientist and inventor Wolf Hilbertz created ‘Biorock,’ also known as ‘Seacrete.’ Hilbertz found that by directing a low-voltage charge to a metal frame submerged in seawater, calcium and other minerals in the water would build up on the frame. This mineral coating is so similar to the mineral composition of natural reef substrate that it creates a good habitat for the growth of corals. After the minerals have begun to coat the surface, divers transplant coral fragments from other reefs, attaching them to the structure’s frame. These coral pieces begin to bond to the accreted mineral substrate and start to grow, typically faster than in natural environments. Eventually the reef looks and functions like a natural reef ecosystem rather than an artificial one.

The story of Biorock is a good example of how technology and human innovation are important parts of the conservation movement, especially where Earth’s oceans are concerned. More than 70 percent of our planet’s surface is covered by oceans, and those oceans contain 97 percent of Earth’s water. That’s why ocean health is a global concern. It’s also the motivation behind World Oceans Day, celebrated every June 8. We’re celebrating with this photo of a Biorock reef off the Gili Islands in Indonesia.

Too Cute

to not share.

Today on Bing

June 3, 2019

Oh, happy day!

This baby harbor seal is happily ensconced on a beach on the German island of Düne in the North Sea archipelago of Heligoland. Throngs of seal watchers come here every May and June to watch these cute pups spend their first few weeks of life lolling about the beach.

You know what else was born in June? Bing. Ten years ago today, in fact, Microsoft birthed Bing with a striking picture of a hiker in Denali National Park on our homepage (perhaps suggesting the long climb ahead of us 😊). In a testing phase before the launch of Microsoft’s new search engine, its code name was Kumo. Since its launch on June 3, 2009, there have been 3,651 homepage images (counting leap days) in the US and over a thousand more when you add in the unique pictures that have graced the Bing homepage in the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, China, Japan, India, Brazil, Spain, and the rest of the world. There have been some great photos for sure, but this jolly-looking fellow really captures how tickled we are to be celebrating today. Thanks for visiting. You make it all worthwhile.

Turtle Day

Today on Bing

May 23, 2019

Come out of your shell for World Turtle Day

Make way for the green sea turtle, which you’ll find—if you’re lucky—swimming in tropical and subtropical coastal waters around the world. You’ll notice that despite its name, the green sea turtle’s shell is not green at all. The name comes from the color of its fat, which takes on a greenish hue after the adult turtle starts eating seagrass and algae. Unfortunately, like many other sea turtle species, the green sea turtle is endangered and its population shrinking due to hunting, boat-propeller accidents, plastic pollution, and loss of nesting grounds.

World Turtle Day was established in 2000 to protect turtles and tortoises and their threatened habitats around the world. Conservation efforts are led by several nonprofit organizations such as American Tortoise Rescue, which focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, and protection of all turtle species. Since the organization’s inception it’s rescued or rehomed more than 4,000 turtles across the world through a combination of community outreach programs and financial contributions from donors.