Croatia's heart-shaped "Island of Love," known as Galesnjak, looks as if it has two giant bandages pasted over it in a picture that was taken by DigitalGlobe's GeoEye 1 satellite right around Valentine's Day.
The Band-Aid strips are actually bulldozed strips of land that are destined to become groves of olive trees. One of the island's owners, Tonci Juresco, told the Croatian daily Jutarnji List this month that Galesnjak is being remodeled to accommodate wedding parties. "The island will be more beautiful than it was," he promised.
Even in its scarred condition, the Island of Love pulls at the heartstrings: It's currently the second most popular image in DigitalGlobe's top-20 satellite image contest. Facebook users can "like" their favorite pictures, and the five most liked selections will go on to a final round of voting next week.
We featured the front-running image, showing Mount Vesuvius from above, as the holiday goodie for Day 7 of our Cosmic Log Space Advent Calendar. Every day through Dec. 25, we'll be bringing you a tasty picture showing Earth from space. The tradition is modeled on the classic Advent calendar, which lets kids pluck out hidden treats from a 25-day array leading up to Christmas.
Previously on the Space Advent Calendar:
- Day 11: A fractal puzzle, seen from space
- Day 10: London and Paris light the night
- Day 9: 'Starry Night' at sea
- Day 8: Mount Etna makes its mark
- Day 7: Staring down into Mount Vesuvius
- Day 6: Grand Canyon, seen and unseen
- Day 5: NASA salutes Nelson Mandela
- Day 4: Twin volcanoes act up in the Pacific
- Day 3: Syria's medieval marvel marred
- Day 2: Where the rain in Spain goes
- Day 1: Farewell, Earth ... Hello, Mars!
Alan Boyle is NBCNews.com's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the NBC News Science Facebook page, following @b0yle on Twitter and adding the Cosmic Log page to your Google+ presence. You can also check out "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.