Today is apparently National Nature Photography Day, according to the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). We’re big fans of the natural world here at PopSci, because from the plains to the mountains, costal beaches to inland lakes, we find that nature never fails to inspire, motivate, and awe us.
A little over 30 years ago, the Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson coined the term Biophilia. Biophilia is a theory to explain what Wilson saw as an innate human tendency to search out connections with nature and other forms of life. Biophilia is why we jazz up our offices with plants, bring cats and dogs into our homes, and spend hours puttering around the garden. It’s why we’ll pay more for a hotel room with ocean views, and why a neighborhood with big leafy trees seems more welcoming than an endless sea of concrete.
Studies are increasingly showing that spending time in the natural world isn’t just fun—it’s also good for us. Time spent outdoors has been linked to everything from improving eye development in children, to regulating mood, to increasing fitness, to even helping us heal more quickly after getting sick.
Of course, unless you actually work outside (as a farmer, for example, or perhaps a park ranger), we know just how hard it can be to make it to the great outdoors. The average American spends only seven percent their time in the open air. We spend 87 percent of our time indoors; the remaining 6 percent in cars. National Nature Photography Day is a lovely reminder to get out into nature, and a wonderful time to share some photos of our favorite experiences with you.
So in honor of National Photography day, here are some of the PopSci staff’s favorite photos—ones we’ve taken ourselves during adventures in the natural world. And we want to see your gorgeous nature photos, too. Tag them on Instagram and Twitter with #PopSciLovesNature and we’ll feature our favorites on the site. Note: by using our hashtag, you’re giving us the right to repost your images on our social channels or website.