Earth Matters

October Puzzler

October 26th, 2021 by Adam Voiland

UPDATE — This image shows the terrain in Sleepy Hollow, New York, the setting for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. See the full image and story in our October 31 Image of Image of the Day. Congratulations to Chris Pollard for being the first reader to solve the puzzler.

Every month on Earth Matters, we offer a puzzling satellite image. The October 2021 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!

16 Responses to “October Puzzler”

  1. Karen Cowell says:

    I think it’s a very deep underwater trench.

  2. Jc Sanchez says:

    The image may be The Dead Sea.

  3. Robert T Deloyd says:

    Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean?

  4. Leon says:

    Marianas Trench. This looks like a bathymetric map to me.

  5. yvonne ingrid Vanderduim says:

    Suez canal

  6. Gerald Garrett says:

    Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean

  7. chris pollard says:

    Hudson River Valley, Sleep Hollow, NY
    Home to the famous/fabled Head-less Horsemen.

  8. Allan James Berdos says:

    Mariana’s Trench

  9. Nichos Molnar says:

    Mariana Trench

  10. ivan says:


  11. Fred Smith says:

    while I can’t be specific, it looks like the barren rocky terrain in Greenland.

  12. Riley says:

    I believe that this is a picture of a crater on an astroid. I believe it is that because I can see the curve of the object in the picture, so I assume it is an object smaller than a planet.

  13. Tom says:

    I think the colors represent depths below sea level and the picture is a deep under water canyon.

  14. Shahryar Shalileh says:

    The border between continental Europe and the Americas on the ocean floor.

  15. Stephan Kievits says:

    I think it is: Halloween on the Hudson
    Washington Irving’s classic tale about a headless horseman plays out an ancient landscape scarred by tectonic collisions and the relentless forces of erosion.

  16. Michael John says:

    Either river channel or lake with either lava flows from volcano or just sediment building up along the left side