The lighthouse is a near-universal symbol of safety and guidance that has helped mariners find their way home since ancient times. Although they are gradually outliving their usefulness, they are still epic monuments to human ingenuity and their own resilience. Because August 7th is National Lighthouse Day in the U.S., we decided to share some amazing pictures of lighthouses with our readers. Ancient mariners were often guided home by bonfires built on hilltops, which were later elevated and evolved into lighthouses. And since there were no actual ports back then, the blazes showed the safest way to the shore. The structures gradually grew taller and stronger and moved closer to the sea. Most lighthouses currently still standing are marvels of practical and resilient architecture and engineering, brushing off the worst that the oceans have to offer. While their guiding beacons may soon cease to sweep across the coastal night sky, we can still appreciate the beautiful and epic pictures of lighthouses. Cast-Iron Lighthouse, Whiteford, UK.