25 Natural Phenomena That Will Leave You Stunned
11th April, 2019
Netflix unsplash.com
Can you believe that something as cool as an underwater waterfall even exists? Discover the most amazing natural phenomena on the planet in this article. Mother Nature surprises us in extraordinary ways we can not even imagine. Have you ever heard of the stones that can move on their own? Or ever seen something as terrifying as volcanic lightning or something as captivating as fire rainbows? We’re sure that some of the natural phenomena that take place on the Earth will feel like they’re too good to be true, while just the sight of others will terrify you. Take a look at some of nature's most dream-like occurrences and who knows, maybe you'll be motivated to take a trip to the places where they occur.
Frost Flower stebok.net
01
Frost Flower
A frost flower is exactly what one can imagine—a flower-shaped ice crystal. At the first glance, it may look like white feathers resting on the stem of a plant. Frost flowers are only formed on the stems of a few plants during the snowy winters and require exceptional conditions to appear. They are quite elusive as they only have a short time frame of appearance and melt quickly.
Lake Hillier - Australia www.shutterstock.com
02
Lake Hillier - Australia
Can you imagine a bubblegum pink colored lake? Though it seems almost magical, this is just the beauty of nature. For people wondering what might have caused this lake to get such uniformly pink color, scientists reveal that the color is because of the unique type of salt-loving microbes that are abundant in the waters of Lake Hillier.
The Caño Cristales River - Colombia wall.alphacoders.com
03
The Caño Cristales River - Colombia
The Cano Cristales river in Colombia is probably the most colorful river on the planet. These colors in the riverbed are because of the reproductive process of the Macarenia Clavigera plants. Between September and November each year, the river bursts into various colors when the water level is just right. A large stretch of the riverbed is decorated with shades of green, red, blue, yellow, and black.
Columnar Basalt - Ireland www.shutterstock.com
04
Columnar Basalt - Ireland
The basalt columns in Ireland's Giant Causeway is a unique phenomenon. It is the result of the volcano lava cooling down in a peculiar way that leads to the formation of hexagonal columns. There are almost 40,000 basalt columns and they have naturally structured themselves like steps while cooling off. Each column is of different width and some are as high as 30 meters.
Lake Maracaibo Thunderstorms - Venezuela www.shutterstock.com
05
Lake Maracaibo Thunderstorms - Venezuela
If you’re terrified of thunderstorms, then you probably won’t like to know what happens in the Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. With thunderstorms observed for almost 300 days each year, this lake is known to have recorded the highest rate of lightning strikes anywhere on the planet. This constant phenomenon is linked to the hot and humid climate conditions, mixed with the cool breeze of the surrounding area of Lake Maracaibo.
Waterspouts unsplash.com
06
Waterspouts
The tornado-like appearance of waterspouts can scare anyone. A waterspout is a rare type of cloud formation that is created by swiftly growing cumulus clouds, and it can take various twisting shapes. It mostly stays amidst the water and is not harmful to the seafarers. However, there is a slight chance that a waterspout can transcend onshore and turn into a mighty tornado destroying everything on its way.
Underwater Waterfall - Mauritius unsplash.com
07
Underwater Waterfall - Mauritius
Even reading the term “underwater waterfall” might not make sense to many, so how can such a thing even exist? Well, it doesn’t exist in real; it’s just an optical illusion that can be observed in the southern tip of Mauritius.This interesting yet unbelievable optical illusion is known to occur when the ocean current drives the sand off the shores to the sudden depths of the ocean floor.
Desert Roses www.shutterstock.com
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Desert Roses
Desert roses are not exactly roses, but the complex pattern of this rose-like formation of sand in the desert is something to marvel at. The rosette structure is known to be made of mineral gypsum that develops in dry sandy areas that flood from time to time. These rose-shaped gypsum crystals are formed in the middle of the sand during the process of evaporation.
Singing Sands unsplash.com
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Singing Sands
Yes, you read that right! Apparently, there are only a few deserts around the world where the singing sand phenomenon occurs. And much like you’d expect, these sounds don’t seem to be pleasant. The sand rather creates a deep groaning sound that can reach for miles. Researchers say that the sound is only heard when the sand grains slide down the slope because of the wind.
The Wave - Arizona, USA pixabay.com
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The Wave - Arizona, USA
This wavy geological structure is a wonderful natural creation. Located in the slope of Coyote Buttes at the Arizona-Utah border, it is known to have formed in the Jurassic era. Characterized by long stretching lines of gold, yellow and rusty red color, The Wave is one of the most photographed places in the US. It’s not an easy place to reach as one requires a permit to hike The Wave.
Moonbows www.shutterstock.com
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Moonbows
Moonbows are essentially rainbows that are formed because of the moonlight instead of the sunlight. But unlike rainbows, moonbows are an extremely rare occurrence and manifests one when specific conditions of their formation are met. They are formed when the light from the moon is reflected and refracted off water droplets in the atmosphere. However, they are much fainter than rainbows and sometimes only appear as a white arc.
Salar de Uyuni - Bolivia unsplash.com
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Salar de Uyuni - Bolivia
Stretching more than 4,000 square miles, Salar de Uyuni is one of the largest wonders of nature. It looks like a never-ending sheet of white hexagonal tiles. It is the biggest salt flat on Earth that was naturally formed about 30,000 years ago when an ancient lake dried up. This salt flat provides over 25,000 tons of salt each year to local miners and helps in feeding thousands of flamingos.
Eye of the Sahara - Mauritania www.shutterstock.com
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Eye of the Sahara - Mauritania
Also known as the Richat Structure, this phenomenon was first seen by a group of astronauts. Located in the western Sahara region in Mauritania, it now serves as the homecoming signal for astronauts landing in Florida. Even scientists have not fully understood how this massive, 25-mile wide geologic formation was created. It remained undiscovered for years as it was tricky to identify from the ground level.
Spotted Lake - British Columbia, Canada www.shutterstock.com
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Spotted Lake - British Columbia, Canada
If you watch the spotted lake from high above, you’ll probably be reminded of one of the most famous games, Twisters. Located in British Columbia, Canada, these polka-dotted circles are created during summertime. The evaporation of the mineral-rich water leaves behind the massive concentration of salt and other minerals in the shape of a circle, in hues of green, brown, and yellow.
Lake Natron - Tanzania www.shutterstock.com
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Lake Natron - Tanzania
The bright red lake Natron is probably the deadliest place for most sea creatures. The microbes that survive the unfavorable conditions of this lake, give it the signature color. The lake water is so highly acidic that at certain days the temperature of the water rises as much as 140-degree Fahrenheit (60-degree Celsius). The bodies of animals that die here get coated with various chemicals, giving them a stone-like appearance.
Rainbow Eucalyptus pixabay.com
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Rainbow Eucalyptus
If you look at the rainbow eucalyptus tree from a distance, it may appear like someone has hand-painted this tree. But surprising to many, this multi-colored tree is a hundred percent beauty of nature. What makes the rainbow eucalyptus tree unique is its bark. As the tree ages, its bark gradually peels off, revealing new, brightly colored bark in shades of orange, green, red, blue, or gray that’s hidden underneath.
Bioluminescent Waves unsplash.com
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Bioluminescent Waves
Almost everybody who loves to stroll along the beach during the night wishes to see this spellbinding bioluminescent phenomenon. Fortunately, these bioluminescent waves can be seen on several beaches around the world. The bright blue light created by living organisms or phytoplankton is due to the conversion of energy to light energy. This beautiful sight is especially noticeable when the waves are washed to the shore.
Light Pillars - Arctic region www.shutterstock.com
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Light Pillars - Arctic region
This is another phenomenon that appears like a shooting beam of light from the sky. They are observed when the light from the setting sun or street lamp hits the ice crystals in the air. They are mostly seen in the northern regions closer to the Arctic. In some parts of the northern latitude, their appearance is so rare that people reported them as UFO sightings in the past.
Fire Rainbows www.shutterstock.com
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Fire Rainbows
Don’t let the name fool you; fire rainbow is one of the most glorious sights one can behold. Fire rainbow, or technically called a circumhorizontal arc, is neither produced from fire nor is it an effect of rainfall. It is a rare natural wonder that appears in the sky when the sun is very high, and its rays are passing through a certain kind of cloud formation, called the cirrus cloud.
Flammable Frozen Bubbles - Canada unsplash.com
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Flammable Frozen Bubbles - Canada
Don’t these bubbles look ethereal? It looks as if flying saucers dropped from the sky have got trapped inside the lake. These bubbles are formed when the bacteria in the lake consume a dead organic matter, releasing methane gas. These frozen bubbles are not harmful but because they are infused with methane gas, they can explode if lit. One can see them in the Canadian lakes during winter.
Sailing Stones - Death Valley, USA www.shutterstock.com
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Sailing Stones - Death Valley, USA
What if we told you that there exists a place on earth where stones weighing hundreds of pounds move all by themselves? Spooky, right? Apparently, something exactly like this occurs in California’s Death Valley National Park. What’s even more surprising is no one has ever seen the rock sail on their own, but they leave behind deep groove marks which are indicative of their movement.
Murmuration or unsplash.com
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Murmuration or "Black Sun"
A single starling isn’t very fascinating to watch. But when the flock of hundreds or thousands of starlings soar through the sky, you will be delighted to see nature’s most incredibly coordinated dance, known as Murmuration, or "Black sun". The strange phenomenon can be mostly observed in the USA and Europe, particularly in England. It’s believed that starlings gather in a massive group to protect themselves from their predators.
Blood Falls - Antarctica www.shutterstock.com
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Blood Falls - Antarctica
Antarctica is a place where one can come across both sublime and gory spots. One such creepy spot is the Blood Falls, discovered in east Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys. Much like its name, blood falls looks eerie; as if blood trickling down from some hidden laceration. But this scarlet-red liquid is just water with a high level of iron, which causes it to rust on contact with air.
Volcanic Lightning unsplash.com
24
Volcanic Lightning
It’s surprising enough to learn that volcanoes can produce lightning. This lightning on top of a volcano is probably the scariest thing you can ever witness. This phenomenon can only take place when the volcano is erupting and occurs only in the plumes of thick volcanoes. When a volcano is erupting, the densely packed ash particles generate a tremendous amount of friction and become electrically charged, which produces lightning.
Lenticular Clouds unsplash.com
25
Lenticular Clouds
Lenticular clouds are a special type of cloud formation that occurs in high altitude regions. What's more interesting is because of their lens or saucer shape, some people mistook it for a real UFO in the past. This cloud formation occurs in places where stable moist air flows over mountains. At the right temperature, the moisture in the air condenses and takes the shape of the cloud.