Earth Matters

April Puzzler

April 21st, 2020 by Kasha Patel


Every month on Earth Matters, we offer a puzzling satellite image. The April 2020 puzzler is above. Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what we are looking at, where it is, and why it is interesting.

How to answer. You can use a few words or several paragraphs. You might simply tell us the location, 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 feature. If you think something is interesting or noteworthy, tell us about it.

The prize. We cannot offer prize money or a trip to Mars, 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. After we post the answer, we will acknowledge the first person to correctly identify the image at the bottom of this blog post. We also may recognize readers who offer the most interesting tidbits of information about the geological, meteorological, or human processes that have shaped the landscape. Please include your preferred name or alias with your comment. If you work for or attend an institution that you would like to recognize, please mention that as well.

Recent winners. If you’ve won the puzzler in the past few months, or if you work in geospatial imaging, please hold your answer for at least a day to give less experienced readers a chance.

Releasing Comments. Savvy readers have solved some puzzlers after a few minutes. To give more people a chance, we may wait 24 to 48 hours before posting comments. Good luck!

See our “Filling up Lake Carnegie” Image of the Day for the answer.

50 Responses to “April Puzzler”

  1. Jennifer L. says:

    I think this looks like the worlds most challenging golf course. Look at all those sand traps! The grass sure it green, though.

  2. Ivan says:

    Must be corals….. somewhere…

  3. Emeline says:

    I think this is China because of the details in the satellite picture. It looks like a dragon from a Chinese parade and a person from a Chinese parade.

  4. sANDRA says:

    Georgian Bay Islands National Park

  5. Jackie says:

    Draining salt flats? Or evaporating pools of nutrient rich water. I’ll guess South America 🙂

  6. Ana María says:

    Bahia de Halong – Vietnam

  7. Kees says:

    I think it is a partially flooded riverdelta, my guess would be Bangladesh, but really no way to tell where.
    I see nice sandbars and maybe some houses on them.

  8. Rubén Darío Ríos says:

    Gran Barrera de Coral en Australia

  9. Victor Wright says:

    Salt lake area NW of Erta Ale volcano?

  10. Dimple says:

    Grand Canyon

  11. Greg of Roseville says:

    Low tide, in a basin, of crossing currents or protected by from dominant longshore currents.
    Possible drought area. Lower than normal water.

  12. Gene Paulo Agena says:

    Lake Lewis at Australia

  13. Wynona Louie says:

    A swamp

  14. Johnny Khawand says:

    North Slope
    Alaska
    USA

  15. Radwan says:

    Lake Qaraoun Lebanon

  16. Adwait Nautiyal says:

    Abbotts Hall Farm, which is situated on the Blackwater Estuary, along the stretch of the Essex coast. Along with rich with wildlife the unique cut out patterns and pathways resemble the surface of the human brain.

  17. Ariana Mendoza says:

    At first I was going to say a Salt marsh but there’s no vegetation and lots of algae, suggesting a heat desert. This looks like flooding. Maybe the Okavango River Delta in Southern Africa that floods seasonally?

  18. L Smith says:

    https://goo.gl/maps/oswxekQd77TiFuGA9

    Appears to be 4 band True Color and taken during winter or the wet season

  19. vicki dang says:

    Lake Carnegie, Australia?

  20. Amer Al-Shaikh says:

    I think it’s the sea’s or ocean’s water receding from an island.

  21. Manish says:

    Aral District, Kyzylorda Province, Kazakhstan

  22. sanjoli jain says:

    I want say some archipelago, but that’s a broad term so I’ll go with the delta region in bay of Bengal.

  23. Lena says:

    Looks like sand and water

  24. Kerri Stewart says:

    Tidra, Mauritania

  25. Rosemary A Millham says:

    Hello There!
    Looks like part of the Mississippi River Delta system.

  26. Richard McEntee says:

    This appears to be an area along (or near to) the Syr Darya river alluvium where it enters the remnants of the Aral Sea.

  27. Renate says:

    Stromatolites in Shark Bay, Australia?

  28. Brandon Nellis says:

    Great Barrier Reef

  29. Suzi says:

    seasonal water in salt pan dunes desert, Australian Lake Eyre?

  30. Paul says:

    Are these flooded tailings from strip mining or dredging? Green is water, brown is the tailings.

  31. Patel says:

    You are looking at this picture it is anywhere on earth
    It is interesting because in this picture every part/dot (seems like ) a living creatures

  32. Lourdes says:

    Un archipiélago en alguna parte del mundo!

  33. Suresh Babu says:

    It’s an Aral.sea shrinking photo

  34. Afsane says:

    Hello,
    I think here is a place near the sea,or a beach with a tsunami phenomenon .
    It is very interesting.
    thank you.

  35. Scott says:

    Could it be the islands of SW Florida in everglades national park?

  36. Daniela fisi says:

    West australia?

  37. Derek Pickell says:

    Lake Carnegie in Western Australia. It’s an ephemeral lake so this must be after a rare period of rain.

  38. Susanna Suonpää says:

    Turkmenbashi Gulf on the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan.

  39. Antonio Enrique Herrera Martinez says:

    I was studying for a while the picture….first thing, definitively is an archipielago…..seems like a deserted vegetation islands (of course, it may be that some wavelength was used that blocks vegetation)….I found several small archipelagos in the Red sea, Dahlac Marine national park, Farasan island….BUT…they were too small!….then look for the “world islands” in Dubai, definitively, the picture doesn’t look like man made islands (?! I maybe wrong, thought) and still is too small….things that call my attention, some of the islands have inner lakes…I started to look on river deltas, but their islands are way big, and this picture (with no scale of course!) seems made out of small islands, but bigger than the “world islands”…so, I went to the Everglades, as I remember there were areas that look like the picture…I found an area between Marco Island and Chokoloskee island, made out of “thousand islands”…then, the vegetation, is an issue if we don’t know what wavelength the picture was taken or combination of wavelengths…BUT, it maybe taken after a hurricane passed by that area, the vegetation normally suffers from it or a wavelength was used that do not show vegetation…well, hope is of any good the answer!!!, regards

  40. Krzysztof Wronski says:

    Caspian Sea dunes, east coast, Turkmenistan.

  41. Brooke P. says:

    The ephemeral beauty of Lake Carnegie in Western Australia

  42. Krzysztof Wronski says:

    Turkmenistan, Caspian sea east coast.

  43. Erik Jachode says:

    I believe this is in Costa Rica, near Buenas Aires. I came across something just like this on Google Earth recently. Now what exactly we’re looking at here, I have no idea!!

  44. James Bond says:

    THis is the microscopic image of Corona sample collected.

  45. Sander Clement says:

    lake Carnegie, Australia. Credit goes to Parisa Jahan on the Nasa Facebook Timeline.

  46. Krzysztof Wronski says:

    Brook P is right: Lake Carnegie

  47. Norma Moore says:

    The Pantanal in South America

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