Drone Photographer Captures Stunning Aerial Shots of a Shrinking Dead Sea

Tzvika Stein
Tzvika Stein

The Dead Sea is stunning from above, even if it is shrinking. As Lonely Planet reported, Tel Aviv-based landscape photographer Tzvika Stein uses drones to capture aerial views of the threatened body of water. “It’s beautiful and fascinating and very unique,” Stein tells Mental Floss of capturing the natural wonder that way. Yet it’s often too dangerous for him to shoot his photos from ground level.

The Dead Sea is famous for its salty, mineral-rich water and mud. Tourists visit the famous lake bordering Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank to slather their bodies with sludge—but those who can’t make the trip can purchase beauty products packed with the same natural ingredients. Due in part to this demand, the Dead Sea is rapidly shrinking, as mineral extraction companies cause water levels to dip at rates of up to 3 feet per year, according to CNN Travel.

In addition to salt and minerals, the Dead Sea is filled with sinkholes, many of which are now visible as the lake dries up. It’s dangerous to explore these craters because the surrounding ground might collapse, according to Bored Panda—which is why Stein uses his drone to safely record them from the sky.

Initially attracted to both the lake’s salt textures and its reflective water, Stein says he finds its sinkholes equally riveting, even if they are evidence of the lake’s growing plight. You can check out some of the photographer's abstract landscape shots below, or visit his Instagram or Flickr to view more works.

 Aerial drone photos of the Dead Sea in Israel, shot by Israeli photographer Tzvika Stein.
Tzvika Stein

Aerial drone photos of the Dead Sea in Israel, shot by Israeli photographer Tzvika Stein.
Tzvika Stein

 Aerial drone photos of the Dead Sea in Israel, shot by Israeli photographer Tzvika Stein.
Tzvika Stein

Aerial drone photos of the Dead Sea in Israel, shot by Israeli photographer Tzvika Stein.
Tzvika Stein

Aerial drone photos of the Dead Sea in Israel, shot by Israeli photographer Tzvika Stein.
Tzvika Stein


Tzvika Stein

Aerial drone photos of the Dead Sea in Israel, shot by Israeli photographer Tzvika Stein.
Tzvika Stein

[h/t Lonely Planet]

13 Father's Day Gifts for Geeky Dads

Amazon/Otterbox/Toynk
Amazon/Otterbox/Toynk

When in doubt, you play the hits. Watches, flasks, and ties are all tried-and-true Father’s Day gifts—useful items bought en masse every June as the paternal holiday draws near. Here’s a list of goodies that put a geeky spin on those can’t-fail gifts. We’re talking Zelda flasks, wizard-shaped party mugs, and a timepiece inspired by BBC’s greatest sci-fi series, Doctor Who. Light the “dad” signal ‘cause it’s about to get nerdy!

1. Lord of the Rings Geeki Tikis (Set of Three); $76

'Lord of The Rings' themed tiki cups.
Toynk

If your dad’s equally crazy about outdoor shindigs and Tolkien’s Middle-earth, help him throw his own Lothlórien luau with these Tiki-style ceramic mugs shaped like icons from the Lord of the Rings saga. Gollum and Frodo’s drinkware doppelgängers each hold 14 ounces of liquid, while Gandalf the Grey’s holds 18—but a wizard never brags, right? Star Wars editions are also available.

Buy it: Toynk

2. Space Invaders Cufflinks; $9

'Space Invaders' cufflinks on Amazon
Fifty 50/Amazon

Arcade games come and arcade games go, but Space Invaders has withstood the test of time. Now Pops can bring those pixelated aliens to the boardroom—and look darn stylish doing it.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Legend of Zelda Flask; $18

A 'Legend of Zelda' flask
Toynk

Saving princesses is thirsty work. Shaped like an NES cartridge, this Zelda-themed flask boasts an 8-ounce holding capacity and comes with a reusable straw. Plus, it makes a fun little display item for gamer dads with man caves.

Buy it: Toynk

4. AT-AT Family Vacation Bag Tag; $12

An At-At baggage tag
ShopDisney

Widely considered one of the greatest movie sequels ever made, The Empire Strikes Back throws a powerful new threat at Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion: the AT-AT a.k.a. Imperial Walkers. Now your dad can mark his luggage with a personalized tag bearing the war machine’s likeness.

Buy it: ShopDisney

5. Flash Skinny Tie; $17

A skinny Flash-themed tie
Uyoung/Amazon

We’ll let you know if the Justice League starts selling new memberships, but here’s the next best thing. Available in a rainbow of super-heroic colors, this skinny necktie bears the Flash’s lightning bolt logo. Race on over to Amazon and pick one up today.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Captain America Shield Apron; $20

A Captain America themed apron
Toynk

Why let DC fans have all the fun? Daddy-o can channel his inner Steve Rogers when he flips burgers at your family’s Fourth of July BBQ. Measuring 31.5 inches long by 27.5 inches wide, this apron’s guaranteed to keep the cookout Hydra-free.

Buy it: Toynk

7. Doctor Who Vortex Manipulator LCD Leather Wristwatch; $35

A Doctor Who-themed watch
Toynk

At once classy and geeky, this digital timepiece lovingly recreates one of Doctor Who’s signature props. Unlike some of the gadgets worn on the long-running sci-fi series, it won’t require any fancy chronoplasm fuel.

Buy it: Toynk

8. Wonder Woman 3-Piece Grill Set; $21

Wonder Woman three-piece gill set
Toynk

At one point in her decades-long comic book career, this Amazon Princess found herself working at a fast food restaurant called Taco Whiz. Now grill cooks can pay tribute to the heroine with these high-quality, stainless steel utensils. The set’s comprised of wide-tipped tongs, a BBQ fork, and a spatula, with the latter boasting Wonder Woman’s insignia.

Buy it: Toynk

9. Harry Potter Toon Tumbler; $10

Glassware that's Harry Potter themed
Entertainment Earth

You can never have too many pint glasses—and this Father’s Day, dad can knock one back for the boy who lived. This piece of Potter glassware from PopFun has whimsy to spare. Now who’s up for some butterbeer?

Buy it: EntertainmentEarth

10. House Stark Men’s Wallet; $16

A Game of Thrones themed watch
Toynk

Winter’s no longer coming, but the Stark family's propensity for bold fashion choices can never die. Manufactured with both inside and outside pockets, this direwolf-inspired wallet is the perfect place to store your cards, cash, and ID.

Buy it: Toynk

11. Mr. Incredible “Incredible Dad” Mug, $15

An Incredibles themed mug
ShopDisney

Cue the brass music. Grabbing some coffee with a Pixar superhero sounds like an awesome—or dare we say, incredible?—way for your dad to start his day. Mom can join in the fun, too: Disney also sells a Mrs. Incredible version of the mug.

Buy it: ShopDisney

12. Star Wars phone cases from Otterbox; $46-$56

Star Wars phone cases from OtterBox.
Otterbox

If your dad’s looking for a phone case to show off his love of all things Star Wars, head to Otterbox. Whether he’s into the Dark Side with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, the droids, Chewbacca, or Boba Fett, you’ll be able to find a phone case to fit his preference. The designs are available for both Samsung and Apple products, and you can check them all out here.

Buy it: Otterbox

13. 3D Puzzles; $50

3D Harry Potter puzzle from Amazon.
Wrebbit 3D

Help dad recreate some of his favorite fictional locations with these 3D puzzles from Wrebbit 3D. The real standouts are the 850-piece model of Hogwarts's Great Hall and the 910-piece version of Winterfell from Game of Thrones. If dad's tastes are more in line with public broadcasting, you could also pick him up an 890-piece Downton Abbey puzzle to bring a little upper-crust elegance to the homestead.

Buy it: Hogwarts (Amazon), Winterfell (Amazon), Downton Abbey (Amazon)

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

27 Awesome Vintage Photos of Moms

Turns out leash kids aren't a new phenomenon.
Turns out leash kids aren't a new phenomenon.
General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While you celebrate your mom, take a look back at mothers through the ages. 

1. January 1860: A mother and children in the parlor.

Mother and children in the parlour
London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images

2. 1876: A mother with her adolescent daughter.

A mother with her adolescent daughter
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

3. 1885: A young couple take the opportunity to have a cuddle while mother is asleep over her paper.

 A young couple take the opportunity to have a cuddle while mother is asleep over her paper
Otto Herschan Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

4. 1890: Collecting peat in the Killarney countryside, County Kerry, a barefooted mother carries a basket on her back while her young children sit at her feet.

Collecting peat In the Killarney countryside, County Kerry, a barefooted mother carries a basket on her back while her young children sit at her feet
Henry Guttmann Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

5. 1900: A Native American mother of the Hopi tribe with a child on her back.

American native mother of the Hopi tribe with a child on her back.
Edward S. Curtis/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

6. 1900: A mother gives her daughter a drink at the bar of a public house, while the baby sleeps in a pram beside her.

A mother gives her daughter a drink at the bar of a public house, while the baby sleeps in a pram beside her
Fox Photos/Getty Images

7. 1910: A child sits quietly as his mother knits Shetland wool into jumpers.

A child sits quietly as his mother knits Shetland wool into jumpers
General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

8. 1910: A mother walks with her baby and holds the new Sturgis baby carriage, which can be folded up and carried.

A mother walks with her baby and holds the new Sturgis baby carriage which can be folded up and carried
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

9. 1911: A child plays in the sand with her spade, whilst her mother and aunt look on, at a riverside spot in Fulham, London.

A child plays in the sand with her spade, whilst her mother and aunt look on, at a riverside spot in Fulham, London
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

10. 1920: Motor meeting at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. Competitor Ivy Cummings and her mother in their racing car.

Motor meeting at Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. Competitor Ivy Cummings and her mother in their racing car
Topical Press Agency/Getty Image

11. 1925: A woman keeps a firm grip on a rope tied around her daughter's waist during a cliff-top walk.

A mother holds a rope attached to her daughter's waist
General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

12. 1925: A Palestinian mother in typical dress holding her child.

A Palestinian mother in typical dress holding her child
Chalil Raad/Three Lions/Getty Images

13. 1926: A mother gets all the exercise she needs pushing her pram and cycling at the same time and the baby gets a taste for speed at an early age.

A mother gets all the exercise she needs pushing her pram and cycling at the same time
Fox Photos/Getty Images

14. 1930: A mother enjoying a tea party with her young daughter.

A mother enjoying a tea party with her young daughter circa 1930's
Keystone View/FPG/Getty Images

15. 1930: A mother fans her baby who is lying on a cushion on the floor.

A Japanese mother fans her baby who is lying on a cushion on the floor
Topical Press Agency/Getty Image

16. 1932: A small girl in a push chair modeled on a horse-drawn carriage, out for a stroll in Hyde Park, London, with her mother and a Great Dane.

A small girl in a push chair modelled on a horse-drawn carriage, out for a stroll in Hyde Park, London, with her mother and a Great Dane
Fox Photos/Getty Images

17. 1935: Mother and daughter sunbathing in similar knitted costumes.

Mother and daughter sunbathing in similar knitted costumes
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

18. 1935: A mother towing her children to school at Burrowbridge near Bridgewater during severe flooding.

A mother towing her children to school at Burrowbridge near Bridgewater during severe flooding
Martin/Fox Photos/Getty Images

19. March 1936: June Bishop (left) who is 3 years old, seen with her mother who owns a pet shop in Alton, Hampshire. June takes her pet sheep out with her wherever she goes, rather like the nursery rhyme.

A mother walks her two children, one of whom is walking a sheep
Fox Photos/Getty Images

20. 1937: A mother fastening a notice reading "Please Mr Motorist, watch out for me," onto her son's back before he sets out on a trial bicycle ride.

1937: A mother fastening a notice reading 'Please Mr Motorist, watch out for me', onto her son's back before he sets out on a trial bicycle ride
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

21. 1940: A mother and her baby ready for evacuation from London, under a London County Council Scheme. The mother is carrying a gas mask designed especially for babies.

A mother and her baby ready for evacuation from London
Fox Photos/Getty Images

22. 1950: Mother and child looking at the monkey cage at a zoo in Puerto Rico.

Mother and child looking at the monkey cage at a zoo in Puerto Rico
Victor Kayfetz/Three Lions/Getty Images

23. 1950: A baby girl and her mother play with a harmless Indigo snake at a serpentarium.

A baby girl and her mother play with a harmless Indigo snake at a serpentarium
Three Lions/Getty Images

24. 1953: A woman seeing her newborn baby while lying inside an iron lung as part of her treatment for Polio.

A woman seeing her new born baby whilst lying inside an iron lung as part of her treatment for Polio
Keystone/Getty Images

25. 1960: Proud mother Liu Wan-Fu displays her 6-month-old quadruplets, a girl and three boys.

A proud mother displays her quadruplets
Keystone/Getty Images

26. 1963: Sixteen-year-old trainee chef Peter Maddox of Hollingworth, Cheshire, practices his hobby of fire-eating out of the window, as his mother and 9-month-old brother look on.

Sixteen year old trainee chef Peter Maddox of Hollingworth, Cheshire practises his hobby of fire-eating out of the window,
Keystone/Getty Images

27. 1970: Portrait of a mother sitting with her young girl.

Portrait of a mother sitting with her young girl, circa 1970
Dwayne Bey/Getty Images