In general, a countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities. Typical a countryside has low population density and small settlements. Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. Within the various uses of the word today, "nature" often refers to geology and wildlife. Nature can refer to the general realm of living plants and animals, and in some cases to the processes associated with inanimate objects—the way that particular types of things exist and change of their own accord, such as the weather and geology of the Earth. It is often taken to mean the "natural environment" or wilderness—wild animals, rocks, forest, and in general those things that have not been substantially altered by human intervention, or which persist despite human intervention.