Everglades National Park | Florida
Known as the “River of Grass,” the Everglades is home to numerous animal species including the American crocodile and the Florida panther. In addition, the 1.5-million acre park sustains numerous forms of plant life, including a mixture of ferns, grasses and lilies.
Acadia National Park| Maine
Known as the first national park east of the Mississippi, the rugged coast of Maine has a lot to offer. Home to natural features and ecosystems – including forests, rock formations and lakes and ponds – it is also home to nearly 338 bird species, including hawks and eagles. From the stars, it looks like as though you are looking at prehistoric Earth.
Arches National Park | Utah
Far from being your local fast food restaurant, Arches National Park is known for having over 2,000 natural stone arches. The park also has hundreds of massive fins, towering pinnacles and large balanced rocks. From space, you can see the variety of contrasting colors and textures, intertwined with landforms. It’s truly a sight to behold!
Joshua Tree National Park | California
On Earth, this desert park only hints at the vitality of the area, but from space, astronauts can see the lushness of the forest. Home to the Joshua tree, or Yucca brevifolia, the park is also home to nearly 750 plant species. Of that number, 44 are considered rare plant species.
Rocky Mountain National Park | Colorado
The wetland ecosystem, based in 150 lakes and 450 miles of streams, provide the means for plant and wildlife to thrive. Home to humans for at least ten thousand years, it is also home to a wide variety of birds, fish and mammals, including numerous types of deer, voles and foxes. When seen from space, the park seems overshadowed by the expanse of the Rocky Mountain range.
Olympic National Park | Washington State
Said to be like three parks in one, the Olympic National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including fish, birds and mammals. The park is also home to a widely diverse plant life. While in orbit, astronauts see the Olympic Peninsula jutting from the Washington coast.
Redwood National Park | California
Known for the tallest trees on Earth, the park is also home to prairies, river ways and 40 miles of pristine coastline, which can all be seen high above the Earth. It is also the natural habitat for a wide variety of animals and plants, including elk and the American Bald Eagle – which is still endangered in state of California.
Sequoia National Park | California
On Earth, as in space, Sequoia National Park is a testament to nature’s massive size. Home to massive mountains, expansive canyons and caverns, and the world's largest trees, it is also home to possibly over 260 native vertebrate species. These include – but not limited to – black bears, mammals such as the endangered Big Horn sheep, and numerous others.
Statue of Liberty | New York
Dedicated in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States. Standing tall at 305 feet, 1 inch, this massive symbol of freedom and democracy is seen everywhere – even from space!
Great Smokey Mountains National Park | North Carolina, Tennessee
Known for its biological diversity, it is said that no other area of equal size can match the park’s numbers of plants, animals and invertebrates. With approximately 17,000 species documented in the park, scientists believe that there still may be 30,000-80,000 species to find. When seen from space, astronauts bear witness to a long history of ecologic changes, climate shifts, weather and fires.
Badlands National Park | South Dakota
Known as "mako sica" in the Lakota language (“land bad”), the Badlands became known for its extreme temperatures, lack of water and exposed terrain. Full of sharp spires, gullies and ridges, it is known as the premiere example of what happens when soft sedimentary rock is eroded in a dry climate. From space, one might say it looks like Mars!
Death Valley National Park | California, Nevada
Death Valley is named for its very well known extreme weather patterns and seasonal temperatures. In this below-sea-level basin, winter brings snow to its towering peaks and its summers bring drought and record summer heat. From the International Space Station, astronauts often bear witness to what looks like a barren landscape, but is actually teeming with life.
Grand Canyon National Park | Arizona
On Earth, the Grand Canyon looks picturesque; in space, it looks no different. With the Colorado River running through it, this magnificent landmark is made possible by eons of water erosion.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park | Hawaii
Hawaii is home to five volcanoes: Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea. Kohala, the oldest, is considered extinct, Mauna Kea is considered dormant, while the rest are still active. From space, the sheer size of the volcanoes enamors those who bear witness.
Yellowstone National Park | Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
The United State’s first national park, it has numerous features that make this destination unique. It has a majority of the world’s geysers – the most famous being Old Faithful – and is home to a large population of wildlife. From space, green landscape shows signs of lush, healthy forests.
If you have ever visited some of the national landmarks in the country, you know how amazing they can be. That’s on Earth, but what about from space?