Untold Stories of Working With the Elements

What do you want to be when you grow up?

It’s a question we all heard a million times as a child. Common responses would be a policeman, teacher, astronaut, firefighter, and so on. As we get older and start to realize the endless possibilities of what we could be, our dreams and passions become more fine-tuned. Today we are highlighting the stories of five people that are the pioneers of their passions. They’re some of the first to create, discover, inspire, and explore their interests, all of which relate to Earth’s elements. These five people test nature’s limits, uncover the unknown, and embrace the unending power of Earth.

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Element: Earth
Who: Bernie Krause
What: Soundscape Ecology

Bernie Krause knows there is a large responsibility attached to being a soundscape ecologist. He records, monitors, and identifies patterns in ecosystems. Krause has thousands of recordings on tape, and he’s noticed a very unnerving pattern in recent years: the sounds of Earth are dimming. Ecosystems are less robust as they were in years past in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, CA because of the drought and global warming. Krause is helping the world understand the dangers posed to our environment in a way nobody else can, and for that we thank him.

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Element: Ice
Who: Simon Beck
What: Snow Murals

Whether you love the hot or the cold, there’s no way you won’t appreciate the art that Simon Beck creates. His canvas of choice? Snow. Beck crafts incredible snow murals by walking across huge surfaces of blank snow. The murals he creates are intricate, awe-inspiring, and a true treat for anyone who stumbles upon them. It’s unlikely you’ve ever heard of a snow mural, but now that you know it exists, don’t you want to find one? Beck has created over 100 murals in 10 years, a few of which you can see here:

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Element: Sun
Who: Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg
What: The First Solar Powered Airplane to Fly Around the World

Yes, you read that right. A solar powered airplane exists, and it successfully flew around the world. The idea for this innovative craft came into the minds of two pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, about 13 years ago when they wanted to create a flying apparatus that didn’t rely on fuel. After carefully crafting and testing the large plane, the plane took flight in March 2015. Throughout the course of a year and 17 legs of the journey, the first solar powered plane traveled across the globe and made history.

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Element: Water
Who: Kitt Turner
What: Canyoneers

Canyoneering involves repelling into an unknown abyss of a cave and not knowing what you’ll find at the bottom. Sounds pretty adventurous, right? Kitt Turner has been canyoneering for years and doesn’t intend to quit any time soon. Canyoneers are often the first people to discover small caves and nooks in Earth’s surface, which is a reward in and of itself. The intense exhilaration, brand new discovery, and breathtaking views are what keeps people like Turner going back for more.

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Element: Wind
Who: Anthony Howe
What: Kinetic Sculptures

Some people are born to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art that incorporate Earth’s elements, like Anthony Howe. His passion is creating beautiful sculptures that move according to the wind. Howe wanted to create sculptures that were unlike anything done before, involved the never-ending source of the wind, and would cause people to pause and feel like they were experiencing a different kind of reality. The sculptures are unusual and beautiful, and have received world-wide recognition.

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Nature and weather are amazing forces that impact everyone’s lives whether you realize it or not. These five pioneers harness that energy and create amazing things with it. Learn more about these stories and many other inspiring ones by watching That’s Amazing on The Weather Channel, premiering this Sunday at 9/8 c. Do you have a hobby that involves one of Earth’s elements? Let us know in the comments below!


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One Comment


  1. I really enjoyed the stories presented in this show, with the exception of one: the person who stacks stones in Colorado. This practice is controversial for several reasons and violates the basic principle of “leave no trace”. I’m surprised the weather channel would endorse it by featuring it on a show. Please reference http://www.hcn.org/articles/a-call-for-an-end-to-cairns-leave-the-stones-alone
    And
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/stacking-rocks-wilderness-no-good-180955880/
    For more information.

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