Earth Matters

February Puzzler

February 24th, 2015 by Kathryn Hansen


Every month on Earth Matters, we offer a puzzling satellite image. The February 2015 puzzler is above. Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what part of the world we are looking at, when the image was acquired, what the image shows, and why the scene is interesting.

How to answer. Your answer can be a few words or several paragraphs. (Try to keep it shorter than 200 words). You might simply tell us what part of the world an image shows. Or you can dig deeper and explain what satellite and instrument produced the image, what spectral bands were used to create it, or what is compelling about some obscure speck in the far corner of an image. If you think something is interesting or noteworthy, tell us about it.

The prize. We can’t offer prize money, but, we can promise you credit and glory (well, maybe just credit). Roughly one week after a puzzler image appears on this blog, we will post an annotated and captioned version as our Image of the Day. In the credits, we’ll acknowledge the person who was first to correctly ID the image. We’ll also recognize people who offer the most interesting tidbits of information about the geological, meteorological, or human processes that have played a role in molding the landscape. Please include your preferred name or alias with your comment. If you work for or attend an institution that you want us to recognize, please mention that as well.

Recent winners. If you’ve won the puzzler in the last few months or work in geospatial imaging, please sit on your hands for at least a  day to give others a chance to play.

Releasing Comments. Savvy readers have solved some of our puzzlers after only a few minutes or hours. To give more people a chance to play, we may wait between 24-48 hours before posting the answers we receive in the comment thread.

Good luck!

54 Responses to “February Puzzler”

  1. Robert van den Helm says:

    Bangkok, Thailand..

  2. Fritz G says:

    Bangkok, Thailand.

  3. Phil Stevens says:

    This is a view of southern Bangkok around a meander of the Chao Praya river. The river channels have been connected by a manmade channel across the slender neck of the oxbow, the Klong Lad Pho, which helps discharge floodwaters in times of high flow.

    The Bhumibol bridge also spans the two portions of river where they nearly meet and joins three urban districts by a pair of suspension spans and a road interchange. The bridge was opened in 2006, at the same time as the sluice gates controlling the water diversion through the Klong Lad Pho. These are visible as the line of blocky structures near the head of the canal.

    The main land use within the meander appears to be parks and market gardens, probably because the land is fertile and prone to flooding. Outside the loop is dense urban development with industrial areas visible, including port facilities, tank farms (the round structures) and an oil refinery (the area around the tank farm on the east edge of the meander).

  4. Dejan Kreculj says:

    An aerial view of Bangkok, Thailand taken by NASA satellites.

  5. Feather Wilson says:

    The area in the oxbow turn is characterized by heavy vegetation that is the result of a near surface local sand aquifer fed by turn in the river. More subsurface water is reaching the root systems in the oxbow turn due the accumulation of a point bar.

  6. Ellen Hardy says:

    Besancon, France, on the Doubs River

  7. greg says:

    It’s the lower part of the Chao Phraya river about 10 miles north of the Gulf of Thailand, as it wends its way through Samut Prakan Province of greater Bangkok (Krung Thep to the Thai’s), 13°40’58.0″N 100°34’10.3″E.

    Like all major rivers over flat land, the river forms numerous curving bends, often referred to as ox-bows in the US, which eventually become separated lakes as the river creates its own short cut. The Mississippi has numerous examples. There is a man-made channel here, at the left in the image just below the Bhumibol Bridge.

    These bends usually have very rich soils, as they capture the flowing sediments and minerals from upstream. Originally filled with freshwater swamp forests, with mangroves as a dominant tree, this area seems to have been converted to rice paddies and other agriculture uses, as well as urban areas.

  8. Kishan Dulal says:

    its a Aerial view of Bangkok with chao Praya river.

  9. Hicham LAHSINI says:

    Colorado USA

  10. Matteo says:

    Bangkok !!!

  11. Kandasamy says:

    An aerial view of Samut Prakan, Thailand, Bangkok.

  12. Paul Greathead says:

    It’s a geo-portrait of M’Rau, supreme leader of the Hunninut cluster. Congratulations must go to the artist who captured this stunning life-sized portrait or her magnificent countenance. Marvel at the rendition of the compound eye, which can see colours in parallel violet and infra-black. Her necklace is particularly nice, although in real life monkeys aren’t allowed to drive their vehicles on it.

  13. Pound says:

    Bangkok Thailand
    Thai people call this “The basil pork”
    or กระเพาะหมู.
    This area is reserved for agriculture.

  14. faisal jaradat says:

    The Nile ,Egypt near cairo

  15. faisal jaradat says:

    Sudan – kartoum

  16. beatriz says:

    Paris’ france

  17. Parichart Laksanawimol says:

    Prapadeung, Samut Prakarn Province, close to Bangkok, Thailand

  18. saglieto says:

    see that big bridge in corner left seems is “BANGKOK”

    thank you

  19. Ajay Kunnath says:

    Samut Prakan in the center and to the west and south; Bangkok on the east and the north.

  20. Gopala krishna says:

    Its bankong aireal view…..picture represents a sea cut and surrounding city…

  21. ramrome says:

    13.681248° 100.565632° bangkok thailand

  22. Joan says:

    my guess was the Mississippi River near St. Paul and Minneapolis.

  23. Sudruethai T. says:

    Bang-Kra-Jao or “The Lung of Bangkok”

  24. Mesfin Tesfaye says:

    It is ozone layer that destroyed Becouse of human made’s work is to keep altervayole light but after it destroyed our world very sure am winner..

  25. tanatakorn says:

    ฺBang Ka Chao , Samutprakarn THAILAND

  26. Ron S. says:

    This is aerial view of an area called Bang Kra Jao in Samutprakarn province Thailand.

  27. Ville Kiviharju says:

    The Image is from Thailand Bangkok. It is taken by Landsat 8 using bands 2, 3 and 4 (RGB). The scene is interesting due to meandering and flooding river, which offers fertile land. Thats why there is a lot of vegetation in the middle of urban area.

  28. Juan says:

    This reminds me “The last green corner on Earth”. Maybe is not the last, but this deep green part along the river, paints a unique place somewhere around a tropic area. A little lake, seems to be a refuge for the last birds: The Humans, because our biggest dream is to fly and see what we left behind.

  29. khalid jodi says:

    At first I looked at Google Earth and in fact I did not recognize the picture , After reading the comments I got to know the place I got to visit it through the program and see the perception of the site and it was very beautiful .
    The idea in this , NASA has helped me to recognize the beautiful places .
    I expect the next time I will search for the place and know it more directly
    Thanks NASA

  30. Lluís Casamitjana says:

    BANGKOK , of course.
    Best regards

  31. Amponpanarat says:

    Amphoe Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan Province, Thailand .

  32. PPKen says:

    Bangkokian’s Lung

  33. NihasAhamed says:

    Bangkok Chao Phrayo River bank; its look like very carefully fastend Bag which containing” Oxygen” for Bankok cities peoples.

  34. Jeffrey says:

    The thick colour is a river, It is in London

  35. Jak Siripon says:

    It is called Bang Kra Jao (a part of Bangkok) where a few of my friends have privilege to live there and I drive in the 2 bridges to get across that part everyday.

  36. Eva says:

    United Kingdom,Eastenders

  37. Thana Chirapiwat says:

    The place is called Bang Krachao. It is in Samut Prakan province, not in Bangkok. The Chao Phraya river meanders around the area which has been preserved as farmland by Samut Prakan’s Land Use law. Bhumibol I & II suspension bridges, lower left corner of the picture, connect Samut Prakan to Bangkok. In the picture, right of the two bridges is a dug canal, Klong Lad Pho, conceived by King Bhumibol to help diverting the water in the river.

  38. Ad van Gerven says:

    Canal Grande in Venice, Italy

  39. P. Komolkiti says:

    “Lung of Bangkok” is the nick name for “Bang Kra Jao”, the large green land surrounding by Chao Pra-ya river south of Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. In the middle of highly dense and fast growing city, Bang Kra Jao is preserved for agricultural area which pump oxygen into the heart of the city. Today it’s threaten by unsustainable land development that would make the area less green.

  40. Pornsun says:

    Bang krachao, Amphoe Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan Province, Thailand . (Near Bangkok)

  41. Alisara says:

    Bangkok Thailand
    Chao-Praya river

  42. ์Navin Wangyuruey says:

    This place is known as, “The lung of Bangkok”. The actual name is “Bang Kra Jao” which located in Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan, Thailand.

    It is the greenest location in the middle of city and industrial area. Time Asia magazine – Best of Asia mentioned this place as “The Best Urban Oasis” in 2006

  43. Steve Howard says:

    The image is of Bangkok, Thailand. what makes this image interesting is that there appears to be very little traffic on the river, which leads to the conclusion that it was taken during the protests of
    January 2014.

  44. Paul Mueller says:

    It’s my home, Khung Bang Krachao, nicknamed “The Lungs of Bangkok” or, as the locals say in Thai: “Pig’s Stomach”. It is located in a meander in the Chao Phraya River just south of Bangkok. Comprised of six subdistricts with a population of around 10,000 and an area of around 16 square kilometers, it is part of the Phrapradaeng District of Samut Prakan Province. It is an island since there are at least two canals that cut through the “neck” It is also the largest green space in the world next to any city the size of Bangkok or larger, but sadly is being quickly developed. In 1977, the original plan by the government was to buy almost the entire island to preserve it as a green space, but it was only in 1982 that the funding came in, resulting in only a little over ten percent actually being purchased.

    The island has a Mon population (located mainly near the neck) that displays its customs/traditions during Songkran in April, but it occurs about a week later than the rest of the country.

    The area draws many cyclists due to the relatively empty small roads and cool, elevated paths that pass beneath the trees connecting the twelve temples spread out on the island. Birdwatchers come to the large park to spot a variety of colorful birds (and maybe a few reptiles too). There is a “floating” market draws mostly Bangkokians on weekends. Fireflies are abundant in certain areas and there is a research station here.

    Most of the area is protected by 2.5 meter AMSL sea wall that held up to the 2011 floods, but the coastal areas not protected did experience flooding at peak floodwater+high tides.

    This image was taken fairly recently, within a year or so, as I can make out a large earthworks project in the southern part of the island that was supposed to become a tangerine plantation, but seems to be stalled, possibly due to the rising salt content of the soil due to allowing the brackish water in from the Chao Phraya River via a network of canals and ditches.

    Come see it while it is still green.

  45. braig says:

    is it the seine river in paris?!

  46. caitlin west says:

    Paris France?

  47. Sajailat says:


  48. Andrzej Szuksztul says:

    This month’s photograph shows lower part of Bangkok (upper part of image), including industrial part to the right of the image, Chao Phraya river bend and Samut Prakan to the bottom.

  49. Sornchai Chatwiriyachai says:

    Bangkok, Thailand. The green area is actually Sumut Prakarn Province surrounded by Bangkok.

  50. Pang says:

    This area we call “Bang Kachao Island ” at Samutprakran province so this area have 6 villages opposite from “Bang Kachao Island ” is Bangkok. Actually, “Bang Kachao Island ” have a floating market and good ozone. Another is “Lung of Bangkok”