PHOTO BY KONSTA PUNKKA
Switzerland’s Sphinx Observatory has been called the Top of Europe, and with good reason: At 11,716 feet above sea level, the mountaintop building, which was completed in 1937, is the continent’s highest man-made structure. “The observatory is on the craziest spot you can think of,” Finnish photographer Konsta Punkka says of the complex, which houses astronomical and meteorological domes, a telescope, and extreme-environment laboratories. Despite its precarious perch, the Sphinx is surprisingly accessible: Visitors arrive year-round by train at Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station, and then continue ascending via an elevator built into the hollowed-out mountain. Capturing this shot, however, proved trickier. “Using a drone was a very difficult task at this high altitude—close to glaciers, with the crazy winds,” Punkka says, “but I had this sunrise shot in mind already before I visited, so I had to get it.” While it may look like a simple landscape photo, Punkka has referred to this image as “my kind of a selfie.” See if you can spot him, arms outstretched, on the observation deck.