One of the most gorgeous images from National Geographic's recent photography contest is this one, of a boiling lake under cloudy skies. It looks like what I imagine the methane lakes might look like on Titan. Taken by Ben Hattenbach, this pool of intensely (and naturally) blue water is a geothermal oasis in an arctic desert in Hveravellir, in the Kjolur region of central Iceland. One of the other winners managed to capture an image of boiling rock arcing through the air.

Bob Douglas took this in Hawaii, at the Pu`u`O`o vent on the Kilauea Volcano, where lava meets water. Here you can see lava being hurled into the air, and as it hits the ocean it sends up those intense, thick clouds of steam in the background. You can see more of winning photos at the National Geographic website, and download extra-large sizes for your desktop. International Photography Contest Desktop Wallpaper [via National Geographic] Thanks, Marilyn Terrell!