The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is a national park located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil. Because there is a high average amount of rainfall per year and almost no vegetation, the sweeping sand dunes that dominate the landscape catch the rain instead - turning it into vast, shallow pools that are popular tourist destinations for swimming.


Why do we make fun of the fact that so many places in the Middle East have names ending in “-stan”, anyway?

The suffix “-stan” just means “land [of]”.

Do you know how many places in Europe have names that end in “-land”?

England, Scotland, Ireland, Poland, Finland, Holland, Switzerland, the Netherlands - hell, even Germany’s native moniker is “Deutschland”.

Outside of Europe (and considering only those regions with predominantly white populations), you’ve got Iceland and New Zealand, plus sub-national regions like Queensland (Australia), Newfoundland (Canada), Greenland (part of Denmark), and so forth.

That’s a whole lotta “-land”s.

Bit of a double standard, innit?