The extraordinary scenes that nature creates never cease to surprise and astound us. It's hard to believe that these phenomena actually happen on Earth--and not another planet.
The Everlasting Storm, VenezuelaAt the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela, a very unique mass of storm clouds swirls, creating the rare spectacle known as Catatumbo lightning. The storm occurs up to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day, and 280 times an hour.
The Great Blue Hole, Belizechikarma.comThese massive underwater caves formed during past ice ages, when sea level was far lower than it is today and much of the seafloor was exposed to the elements. Blue holes were the target of erosion, which ended when they were once again submerged.wikipedia.org
Green Flash Sunsets and Sunrisesmatadornetwork.comThis rare and elusive scene is a meteorological event that occurs for a few seconds only when the sun starts to dip below or rise above the horizon. Meteorological conditions have to be just right to allow light from the sun to bend in the atmosphere and appear briefly as a green flash.livescience.com
The Gateway to Hell, Turkmenistanlh3.ggpht.com
Volcanic LightningVolcanic plumes produce immense amounts of electrical charge and static. In rare cases, this can spark a violent lightning storm.
Spherical Boulders, New Zealandreddit.comThe Moeraki Boulders are huge natural spherical boulders that have formed at Koekohe Beach over time. These balls were originally formed under the sea floor in a process that saw sediment, such as sand, hardened into stone. Over 60 million years, coastal erosion revealed these creations to the worldwikipedia.org
Steam Towers, Icelandapod.nasa.govThe area of Hverir is incredibly geothermally active, so much so that ghostly towers of steam and gas rise from bodies of water and mud as they boil. Combined with the Northern Lights, this place looks like an alien world.wikipedia.org
Columnar Basalt99traveltips.comThese columns that are so perfect, they almost look artificial. Millions of years ago, they were lava plateaus, which over time, cooled and fractured to create the stunning facade we see today.wikipedia.org
Fire Rainbowsdaslasher1.deviantart.comFire Rainbows are formed by light reflecting from ice crystals in high level clouds. The halos are so large, they often appear parallel to the horizon.
The Almost Never-Ending Wave, Brazilcraud.net
Marianas Trench, Pacific Ocean
Danxia Landforms, Chinabeauty-places.comThese colourful rock formations are the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits laid down over millions of years. Wind and rain then carved amazing shapes into the rock, forming natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys, and waterfalls.wikipedia.org
The Monarch Butterfly Migration, United States and Mexicotexasbutterflyranch.com
Nacreous Clouds, Arctic Environmentsupload.wikimedia.org
The Sardine Run, South Africaafridive.com
The Flowering Desert, Chilewallpaprezt.com
Living Rocks, Chile
Socotra Island, YemenBooms Beat
Lenticular Clouds, Mountainous Areasboredpanda.org
Red Crab Migration, Christmas Islandtodayifoundout.com
Spotted Lake, Canadalh3.ggpht.com
Underwater Crop Circles, Japandailynewsdig.com
Frozen Methane Bubblesnpr.org
Fairy Circles, Namibiamedia.npr.org
The Black Sun, Denmarkantikleidi.com
Morning Glory Clouds, AustraliaMorning Glory clouds are incredibly rare, so much so, that we don't know what causes these strange cloud formations. They're most commonly seen at fall in the small town of Burketown in Australia.
Fields of Websnews.bbcimg.co.uk
White rainbowsdanielheadrick.wordpress.comThese rainbows form in fog, rather than rain. The condensation reflects little light, and as a result, the rainbow is made up of very weak colors - like white - rather than the vibrant colors of a traditional rainbow.
Bioluminescent Waves, Vaadhoo Island, Maldivesindependent.co.ukThe sparkle in these waves comes from marine microbes called phytoplankton that glow in the dark. The galaxy they paint across the shore is nothing short of breathtaking.
Mammatus Cloudnetdost.comMammatus clouds are pouches that form and hang underneath the base of a cloud. They occur very rarely when when air and clouds holding different levels of moisture mix, with the heavier one sinking below the lighter.
Geysers Before Eruption, Strokkur, Icelandreddit.com
Asperatus Cloudsnasa.govAsperatus Clouds are so rare that they were only classified as of 2009. We know little about them other than the fact that they look mesmerizing.
Horsetail Fall, Californiamatadornetwork.comHorsetail Fall is a seasonal waterfall that occurs on the side of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. An even rarer sight to see occurs only for a few days in February, when, if weather and climatic conditions are just right, the water catches the light of the sun and turns a fiery orange.matadornetwork.com
Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees, AustraliaRainbow eucalyptus trees have a unique, multicoloured bark, making the tree appear as if it were hand painted green, blue, purple, orange and maroon. This occurs because the trees shed patches of bark at different times throughout the year. This means that exposed areas of the tree age over different periods into an entire rainbow of colours.wikipedia.org
Striped Icebergs, Antarcticawallpagez.com
Frost Flowers, Arctic Areasstudents.washington.edu
Snow Chimney, Arctic Areasgeorgesteinmetz.comFumaroles are vents that allow steam from volcanoes to escape into the open. In arctic areas, as soon as steam leaves one of these vents, it freezes, and eventually, massive snow chimneys are formed around the volcanic vent.smithsonianmag.com
Light Pillars, Russiaytimg.com
Sailing Stones, Death Valley, California
Sky Punchupload.wikimedia.orgSky punches are large gaps that appear in clouds. These occur when ice crystals in the cloud begin to evaporate.catinwater.com
Supercellssusanspiritusgallery.comSupercells are the rarest and most dangerous type of storm. While they are formed just like other storms, the vertical rotation of their updraft means that they can sustain themselves for much, much longer.
MaelstromsThese truly massive whirlpools form when conflicting tidal flows meet. The swirling vortex is powerful enough to pull in swimmers and small boats. The most powerful is Saltstraumen, located outside Norway.
Hair IceThis strange ice is fluffy to the touch and as the name suggests - looks like hair sprouting out of plants. This strange occurrence is the result of the bacteria pseudomonas syringae. It raises the freezing temperature of internal water in plants and when that water escapes into the cooler air, hair ice is the result.
10,000 year old glacial ice looks like.
Turquoise ice formations from Lake Baikal, Russia
Blue glacial icetwitter.comIce absorbs every color in the spectrum except blue which causes the glaciers to appear solid blue!
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