5 Amazing Nature-Created Structures

Starting this month, we are unveiling a new series of themes! For February, we kick it off with Natural Construction and Structures. Nature has remarkable ways of creating structures, even without the anthropocentric tools like power tools and cement. Follow our list as we introduce five amazing structures in Nature.

 Aerial View of Great Barrier Reef by  NASA

Aerial View of Great Barrier Reef by NASA

Great Barrier Reef
We begin with the Great Barrier Reef. Estimated to be 500,000 years old, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest organism that can be seen from space. In addition, the gorgeous coral reef sports various corals and features. Types of coral include: fan, staghorn, and brain. As the coral matures, it continues to grow larger.

 American Eagle Bird Nests in South Dakota

American Eagle Bird Nests in South Dakota

Bird Nests
There are many different ways to build a bird nest. While some are your traditional stick nests, others are more intricate. The African Hamerkop lines its nest with mud for insulation and waterproofing, with completion at 8 weeks. On the other hand, the American bald eagle lines her nest with leaves and assembles it on a high platform, such as a large tree or cliff. Red-cockaded Woodpeckers drill cavities into pine trees, using the tree’s natural oozing sap to keep predators away.

 Arizona's Window Rock by Ben Frantz Dale

Arizona's Window Rock by Ben Frantz Dale

Window Rock
Window Rock is a Navajo city in Arizona that bears its name from a nearby rock formation. The Navajo word for it is tségháhoodzání. Overtime, rock become weathered and eroded into the shape we recognize. With little barriers surrounding the rock, sand catches in the wind and blasts the structure. The windward side wears away, becoming smooth and flat; the leeward side retains its original shape. With Window Rock, the sand blasted through the rock to the leeward side.

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Spider Webs
In Charlotte's Web, the spider Charlotte weaves words into her web to help bring publicity to Wilbur. Spiders weave their webs to catch or store prey. There are several different types of webs and silk including triangle webs and tangled spider webs.

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Beaver Dams
North America’s largest rodent is known for building the dams. Beavers use their powerful teeth to gnaw on large trees, creating a chisel-like cutting surface. As aquatic mammals, their powerful tails are versatile: used as a rudder for swimming, a prop for sitting upright, fat storage for the winter, but not carrying mud. Their lodges, the term for beaver dams, are either conical in shape or across a bank. The main reason to build lodges is protection from predators.

Stay tuned this week as we continue to explore nature-created structures.