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For nearly 40 years, Olivier Grunewald and Bernadette Gilbertas have been immersing themselves in the heart of the planet's wildest spaces, often accompanying scientific missions, to share its beauty and diversity.

Litli Hrutur, the new Icelandic eruption

  • Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
A new fracture opened on July 10, 2023, ever closer to the Icelandic capital.
Since 2021, volcanologists have been closely monitoring seismic activity south of Reykjavik. After the eruption of 2021, followed by that of 2022, concern grows with each period of earthquakes. In 2023, the seismic swarm started all at once and a fracture opened up on July 10 to the north of the two previous eruptions. A large quantity of magma was detected. At the height of the tourist season, the authorities are trying to manage the flow of visitors, who are often ill-equipped to enter the area.

Atacama salars: windows on the past

  • Atacama desert, Chile
A Franco-Chilean scientific mission came to explore the salars and lagoons of the Chilean altiplano.
At an altitude of more than 4000 meters, in the middle of the shimmering colors that illuminate the desert plateau of the Atacama, microbiologists came to collect micro-organisms adapted to these extreme conditions. The salars could well be similar to the ecosystems of the primitive earth, and the abundant microbial communities could be analogues of those that dominated on Earth, before the appearance of the more complex cells from which plants and animals, including humans, have evolved.

Gorongosa, the park of reconciliation

  • Gorongosa national park, Mozambique
The Gorongosa wilderness was, until the late 1970s, the richest and most diverse ecosystem in southern Africa.
But sixteen years of violent civil war wiped out this vibrant haven of life. By 1992, Gorongosa had lost 95% of its wildlife. Today, the national park is emerging from its ashes. Behind this miracle, the dynamism of the ecosystems and the collaboration between the Mozambican government and an American philanthropist around an idea: to make the protected area an engine of development for the local populations.

Cano Cristales, the river of 5 colors

  • Macarena National Park, Colombia

"El rio mas bonito del Mundo", the river of five colors, or the Escape from Paradise, are the names Colombians give to Cano Cristales, the little river that flows through the heart of Macarena National Park.

From late July onwards, when the water level finally drops, Macarena clavigera, an aquatic plant endemic to the Sierra de Macarena, finds the ideal conditions for its development. Firmly attached to the dark rocks, it unfurls its thick fuchsia-pink hair, between the green reflections of the trees and those of the azure sky.

Leatherback turtle egg-laying

  • French Guiana

At high tide, leatherback turtles, nearly 2 meters long with a 3-meter wingspan and weighing up to 900 kilos, emerge from the muddy waters to dig a nest 80 cm deep.

After refilling the nest, they return to the sea. After two months of incubation, the little turtles, measuring around ten centimetres, emerge from the sand and attempt to reach the sea, defenceless against the many predators that lie in wait: vultures, stray dogs, buffalo toads, crabs and, at the water's edge, huge catfish. Scientists estimate that it takes 20,000 eggs to produce an adult turtle.