National Geographic has a fun new interactive puzzle game that lets you submit your favourite photos, then piece them back together.
The interactive game, called the Jigsaw Puzzle Generator, is on the National Geographic website. It consists of photos submitted by readers from around the world and selected by the editors of the magazine.
"Readers rate the photos, and the best ones get made into online jigsaw puzzles," National Geographic Traveler's chief researcher, Marilyn Terrell, explained to me.
"The site contains over 800 puzzles so far, and there's a separate category for animal photos. Each puzzle takes about 5 to 15 minutes to complete, so it's not a huge investment of time.
"Unlike other jigsaw puzzles I've see online, these have a more realistic, three-dimensional quality to the pieces, and the pieces fit together with a satisfying snap," Terrell said.
You can look at the puzzle photo for as long as you like before you begin, but once you click on the image, the puzzle pieces scatter and the timer starts. Just like with real jigsaw puzzles, it's easier to start with the edges, which you drag into place with your mouse. When you put the last piece in place, the timer will tell you how long it took."
The puzzles are fun and very addictive, but what makes them so appealing is the fact that they are user-generated. The professional photographs in National Geographic are beautiful, but there is something very intriguing about these amateur shots that showcase the beauty seen by the ordinary traveler as well.