Waddenzee at Terschelling (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

in Photography Lovers2 months ago

Hey Hivers!
On the last day of my visit to Terschelling, I finally had the chance to see the famous Dutch Waddenzee for myself, and up close. I honestly don't know much (barely anything) about the Waddenzee, other than that they're a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pretty amazing huh... But why is it so special? Not gonna lie, but I'm shocked when I read about it how "special" it is for all of us.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

What's so special about the Waddenzee?

So, what makes the Waddenzee so special? It is the largest sand and mud flats in the world. They're spread from Northeastern Netherlands to Northwestern Germany. If you have a grasp of how wide Germany is, that's pretty big! But size doesn't really matter, or does it? The size of the Waddenzee however, is not the only thing that's colossal. It's also one of the most important coastal ecosystems on the planet.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

Due to its huge size of it, you can imagine how much life is presented here. The Waddenzee is home to many plants and animals. Let's say... 10,000 different species of animals and plants. It isn't just the Seabirds that enjoy eating your Harring straight from your hand in that area.

Another amazing sight and thing that makes the Waddenzee so special, is because of the "ordinary" tidal phenomenon. Because the Waddenzee is so huge, the whole thing is constantly changing due to the ebb and flow of the tides. You could say that the landscape you see will never be the same. Never. Let that sink in (pun intended). Due to this stuff, it is a perfect place for photographers, and birdwatchers.

Birdwatchers? Yeah, many, many birds who migrate go to the Waddenzee. Pretty mindblowing if you think about that. Why do all these birds go here one may start to wonder.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

I was lucky enough to see the Waddenzee up close on my visit to Terschelling, and it truly was an awesome and inspiring experience. At first, I had no clue I was looking at the Waddenzee due to its size. The amount of mud and sand that you could see was pretty impressive. Also, seeing a washed-up jellyfish that didn't make it was pretty cool. I probably won't have a chance like this again seeing and studying a jellyfish just like that up close (in that condition). Something I'll never forget. And the fact that it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site is just a bonus.

If you ever have the chance to visit the Waddenzee, I highly recommend it.

So, of course, as the photographer that I am, exploring the Waddenzee myself was nice. One thing that struck me, was the mirrored/vanishing horizon in the distance. It's kinda funny though because before visiting the Waddenzee, I knew a little bit about it. But after reading more about it, I never imagined how this area could be so important for our planet.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

What's for dinner?

Seeing all these seashells washed up, and jellyfish, I can only imagine why all these birds make their way to the Waddenzee. It must be heaven for them. All that food was presented to them on a silver platter, twice a day. I'd swap.

Now that I mention birds... There are over 10,000 different bird species that call the Waddenzee home, making it one of the most important bird habitats in the world. Majestic white-tailed eagle? No problem. Tiny sandpiper? You're welcome too! But not just birds allow themselves to settle there. Of course, where there is the sea, there is fish. The Waddenzee is one of the most important fishing grounds in Europe. I had no idea that 100 different fish were being caught here.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

©2023 - Ruben Cress

The Money shot

This is my favorite photograph that I took while checking out the Waddenzee. Of course I had to edit it differently, and take a bit more time to finetune it. I remember it was getting late, as water was starting to get in. I simply love that there is a person in this photograph as it perfectly illustrates how huge this landscape is.

©2023 - Ruben Cress

Should've digested some more info before I went

The Waddenzee is a truly special and unique place, more than I could've imagined while being there (kinda stupid to read more about it after my visit). So, if you ever get the chance to visit the Waddenzee, don't miss it, and unlike me, read about it before you visit. It's an experience you'll never forget.

I hope you guys appreciated these photographs and a little story about the Waddenzee.


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I have heard of Waddenzee before. I remember I've read about it in the newspaper when I was visiting my in-laws (my husband is Dutch), and it said that people go deep in the direction of the sea and some of them have to get rescued because they don't make it back on time before the tide. This scared me so much that I refused to go there 😅 I'm not so good with water, so such stories are not really for me..

Anyway, I didn't know it was so pretty! And I love the shots of jellyfish. It reminds me of our stay close to the beach one day.. we saw so many of them!

Oh, and I believe you can also go seal watching at Waddenzee. There should be places where there are plenty of them - just in case that you will have another chance to go there 🙂

My gf also doesn't like the sea much. I had no idea people actually went too far to get rescued, but I'm not surprised either lol! The Dutch are pretty stubborn people (but you probably already know that 🤣)!

It actually took me a while to realize what I was looking at lol! I was taking pictures on the go, and I realized 5 minutes later that it was the Waddenzee.

Hmhmm, Seal scouting! That sounds cool, I think we were visiting the island just before Oerol (one of the big festivals there), so not sure if there would be Seals with all the crowds(?).

Wow what an amazing collection of photos.
I am already fascinated by the vastness and the beauty of the place.
Indeed nature is like a treasure trove that has endless treats for us provided we do not spoil it.
The way you have described the place and how the landscape keeps changing perpetually one is drawn to the charm of the place instantly.
I am glad I found your post.

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Thank you very much! The Waddenzee is a great place to take photographs. You got a pretty big spread to start taking photographs as well :P

It's pretty interesting if you think about it, an ecosystem that is constantly different. It's kinda like photography itself ;) we'll never have the chance to capture the exact same photograph ever again.

I'd never heard of it before, it looks like a place that you should visit again soon :) ... I noticed that you said there are mud flats, are they the type that trap people in sticky mud???

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It's the type of mud flats that will take you if you're not careful yes as these mud flats -are- part of the Sea. 😱

Then no sticking around on them!

Thanks for sharing this article. Its a new information to me. I didn't know this place before.

Lucky to have this one of a kind place for different species rellying their food to eat everyday here.

This place should be taken care of always because its very important to all.

Thanks, and you're welcome! It's pretty insane to think that this is one of the most important coastal ecosystems on the planet. As it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, it's being protected ^^

Thank you for sharing the information.

What an amazing photowalk! These are very nice pictures. I have never been to the Watten. But seeing these I really wanna go there!
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Thanks a lot (also for the shoutout on Twitter)! I think you will have a great time making photographs there, or just chill and walk around during Summer or Spring.

Another day to learn something great on Hive, i learnt something new about Waddenzee

thanks alot @rubencress for this

You're welcome haha ^^

10,000 species of animals?
That's a lot
I would love to visit there someday.

Also, the photographs are so wonderful

Pretty insane huh! It's animals and plants though :P So every different twig and seashell counts as well.

looks like such a beautiful place

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It surely is!

@rubencress hermosas fotografías, me da una hermosa sensación las imágenes, saludos.


I feel ashamed that this is part of UNESCO and I never heard of it until now. But I gladly added it on my bucket list! I love this kind of spots offered by nature which leave you speechless ❤️

Nice, when will you go? And once you go, do share the photographs that you'll take. Sounds like you've visited some UNESCO sites... to which ones did you go? :P

Not sure when but considering that Romania is not very far from Netherlands or Germany, I might consider this as being my next trip. I should check the flights soon ☺️

I've seen a lot of UNESCO world heritages but most of them from my home country - Romania. Though, I did see a few in Spain, Austria, and Italy too. I'm more interest in less known places by the world and those who have UNESCO's tag are usually quite popular. However, I can't miss seeing some of them by myself too 😉

What an amazing place I think this is a dream came through for you. Great shots.

Thank you :)) It was indeed an awesome experience to get to see this with the Sun out.

Nature has the best place for humanity.

I have been in places "close" to this... where sand is as long as 1 km on low tide, and it goes away on high tide.

Do you remember where this was? The Waddenzee is spread from Northeastern Netherlands to Northwestern Germany

Around (beech of Isla Canella), here:


Where on low tides you get sort of the redded area available for big walks with some part that are deep enough to hold still fish and shellfish (lots of it here), called conquilhas (in Portuguese).

Because of how the tide flows, sometimes those sanded parts, would become isolated islands for some hours... until you need to swim back to land. Lots of memories from this place too :P

This place is amazing and sea side photos are so good.
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Thank you :)

Hi @rubencress
Very good photos and thanks to you for sharing. I am big time fan of sea photos and you did awesome work. Have a great weekend
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Thank you! I personally like the jelly fish pictures a lot. That was something I never saw before.

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