As we approach World Water Day, it's good to stop for a moment and think about think about good ol' H2O.

It sustains life on our planet, it makes up most of the surface area of said planet, and it's downright powerful. Whether we're talking about flooding, ice or erosion, one thing's for certain: This planet belongs to water, and we're just along for the ride.


1. Sometimes erosion works pretty fast.

Yes, the Grand Canyon is a product of 70 million years worth of erosion. But cliffs all over the world collapse due to erosion every year. Here, we can see the difference that just one year can make along the shore of Lake Ontario.

Reddit | mistermajik2000 | John Kucko

2. Commuting will be tough today.

This pic, snapped from a boat, appears to show some pretty rough and choppy seas — until you notice the highway signs. This is a section of Interstate 10 during a time of (obviously) heavy flooding.


3. The bottom of the sea, exposed.

Next time the world is feeling boring, consider this: Thanks to tides, water rises and falls to dramatic levels multiple times a day. If this wasn't cool enough to consider, think about the fact that it's all due to the moon.

Reddit | rockdoctor1day

4. The loneliest job in the world is also the scariest.

This lighthouse keeper seems pretty unperturbed, despite the fact that a horrifying wave is breaking all around him and actually cresting the platform he stands on. All in a day's work, I guess.

Reddit | unknown_name

5. Sometimes, dams are no match.

What happened at Vajont Dam in 1963 is probably one of the biggest disasters you never hear about. Here, you can see how a landslide caused water to completely overwhelm the dam.

6. Maybe I'll just stick to land.

The North Sea has some of the stormiest weather in the world, creating scenes like this — where it's tough to know if you're sinking or not.

Reddit | Nagol41

7. When you can kayak through an island.

Toronto Island is usually a nice destination for a day trip, but last year, high floodwaters covered virtually the entire landmass, causing all sorts of damage.

Reddit | brazilliandanny

8. Stay away from the Strid.

This might not look like much, but this deep, fast-moving river in Yorkshire, England actually goes under the banks. It's super dangerous, and if you fall in, you're pretty much done for.

Reddit | MoribundTyke

9. All thanks to mist.

Niagara Falls, despite the tourists, is an awe-inspiring sight to behold. In the winter, the sheer amount of mist in the air leads to some crazy ice formations.

Imgur | xaruk | Adam Klekotka

10. Waves, man.

Yeah, they're mesmerizing to watch and soothing to listen to. But if you're stuck under one that's cresting — as this guy is here — there's nothing more terrifying.

Reddit | Mind_Virus

11. I hope they're tied down.

...because this encroaching wave, cresting well over the hull of the ship, is pure nightmare fuel. It's a testament to shipbuilders that boats can survive weather like this.

Reddit | KevlarYarmulke

12. Last cabin standing.

This cabin wasn't always alone, but the others have collapsed due to erosion. This pic also shows the long-term effects that water can have on nearby trees.

Reddit | dat_gullah

13. That's a lot of water.

China's Three Gorges Dam is an incredible feat of engineering, with its concrete walls towering 594 feet over the water below. Needless to say, when the water's in motion, it's a sight to see.

Reddit | halfacat4545

14. When you mess with the terrain too much in Sim City.

A landslide caused the bank of this river to give way. The water needed to go somewhere, so it flooded down the hillside.

Reddit | [deleted]

15. Time to call the insurance company.

...because I don't think these cars are going to be driveable again anytime soon. This extreme flooding took place after heavy rain in South Carolina.

Reddit | [deleted]

16. Flooding and freezing creates some crazy effects.

Floodwaters reached the treetops, then froze over, then receded. This caused frozen sections of water to become marooned up high in these mindblowing formations.