Imagine an otherworldly landscape with massive flat-topped mountains rising above a rain forest, and waterfalls cascading into the vegetation below.

This otherworldly spectacle isn’t a work of fiction. These magnificent rock formations are called Tepuis, and they are found in Venezuela and western Guyana.

The tepuis are not just a marvel of the geological world, they are also home to unique species found only on the tops of individual tepuis. Like islands hovering above the forest below, each tepui is home to endemic species found only on their summits.

On this Saturday Around the World, we take you to explore the tepuis, scaling their walls and exploring their crevasses in search of new species.

So, let’s head to South America with National Geographic, and venture out in search of the unknown…

Behind the expedition…

The exploration of incredible places is done with the willpower and tenacity of people who revel in their passions. Our last video today is a talk from a true explorer.

After reading about the remarkable biodiversity on the tepui summits, climber Mark Synnott saw an opportunity to lend his climbing expertise to scientific research. He approached National Geographic, offering to tackle the tepui walls in search of undiscovered species. Here is Synnott at Nat Geo Live sharing the story of that harrowing journey up the tepui…

The power of passion…

We possess no greater power than to live in service of our passions.

Whether we are climbing walls, discovering toads, creating art, or making discoveries in a lab great work is fueled by passion. We ask better questions, head deeper in our explorations, and search tirelessly for paradigm shifting ideas when what we do feeds our soul.

What are your passions? Does your work fulfill them in some small way? Does your life outside of your job fulfill them in some way? Are you finding a way to nurture those same passions in the next generation?

We are raising a generation with the opportunity to see a world of infinite possibilities and passion at their fingertips. Like no other time, we can give children a window into worlds far beyond those that they may ever see firsthand. We have the power to ensure the next generation of thinkers and explorers is inspired by the amazing nature of this world. So go, rediscover the thing that makes you tick and ask better questions to inspire the next generation.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

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  1. “Mysterious Islands in the Sky Unlock Secrets of Our Past: “Return to the Tepuis.” YouTube. National Geographic, 11 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 June 2016. <>.
  2. “Climbing Islands in the Sky in Search of New Species – Nat Geo Live.”YouTube. National Geographic, 20 June 2016. Web. 20 June 2016. <>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV