54 Crazy Natural Phenomena You Won't Believe Actually Happen On Earth. I'm In Absolute Awe...

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.

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The Everlasting Storm, Venezuela

At 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, Belize

chikarma.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 Sunrises

matadornetwork.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
travelandescape.caThe Gateway to Hell is a vent, where natural gas escapes to the surface through cracks in the rocks. The flame it produces has burned ever since it was set alight in 1971. A similar flame in Iraq has burned for for over 4,000 years and is even mentioned in the Old Testament.wikipedia.org

Volcanic Lightning

Volcanic plumes produce immense amounts of electrical charge and static. In rare cases, this can spark a violent lightning storm.

Spherical Boulders, New Zealand

reddit.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, Iceland

apod.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
ppcdn.500px.orgIce caves are temporary structures that form at the edge of glaciers when flowing water melts a hole into glaciers. The tightly packed ice has very few air bubbles and absorbs all light except for blue, giving the ice its unique color.

Columnar Basalt

99traveltips.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 Rainbows

daslasher1.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 Pororoca is a surfable tidal wave that travels as far as 500 miles up the Amazon River - and at times - can reach 12 feet high. The longest wave in the world forms only twice a year from February to March, when the tides of the Atlantic Ocean meet the mouth of the Amazon. A Brazilian surfer set the record when he rode the wave for 37 minutes, travelling nearly 8 miles.
Marianas Trench is the deepest part of the world's vast oceans, at a staggering depth of nearly 7 miles. If Mount Everest was put at the very bottom, it would still be covered by a mile of water. The unfathomable trench has given birth to some of the strangest creatures you will ever see.

Danxia Landforms, China

beauty-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
4hdwallpapers.comOn their own, Monarch butterflies are a beautiful orange and black, but when they migrate in mass every year, they fill the sky with a swath of brilliance. When temperatures fall in October, millions of butterflies will travel up to 2,500 miles from North America towards Mexico, covering trees as they make their epic escape from winter.listverse.com
matadornetwork.comThese incredible clouds are extremely rare, because normally, the stratosphere is quite dry and clouds cannot form. But in extreme polar winters, there’s just enough moisture for these strange clouds to take form about 12 miles above Earth.theguardian.com
scubadiving.comThe sardine run occurs from May to July every year, when billions of sardines move from cooler waters at Cape Point towards the East coast of South Africa. Groups of sardines are so large that they can be spotted by satellites and often measure more than 5 miles long, 1 mile wide and 100 feet deep.roughguides.com
It can be difficult to believe, but these rocks are living, breathing organisms. Their appearance allows them to blend into beaches and avoid predators. Interestingly, these creatures have both male and female organs and can breed individually.
National GeographicSocotra is so isolated that one third of its plant life is found nowhere else on planet Earth. One of the most bizarre forms of life is the dragon blood tree, which resembles an umbrella.
4.bp.blogspot.comThese lens-shaped anomalies form when moist air flows over a mountain and piles into large and layered clouds. Due to their strange shape, these clouds are often mistaken for UFOs.
thatscoop.comIn October and November, the 120 million crabs that call Christmas Island home begin a mass migration to the ocean in hopes of mating. For around 18 days every year, traffic is halted as the roads run red with crabs edging their way to the coast.christmas.net.au
strangesounds.orgAs the water evaporates from this lake near Osoyoos, British Columbia, minerals are left behind in a strange lily pad pattern of circles, which make the lake look entirely foreign. Each circle is a different colour, because of the vast amount of minerals found in the lake.roughguides.com
decodedscience.comThese strange patterns are found on the seabed, rather than in fields of corn. At around 7 feet wide, they litter the Japanese sea floor, each with a unique pattern. Until recently, we had no idea how these patterns were produced, but surprisingly, tiny fish were the culprits. Male pufferfish, no more than 5 inches long, will flap their fins in the sand to produce these amazing patterns in hopes of attracting a mate.livescience.com
lh5.ggpht.comFairy circles are mysterious patches of bare soil that appear in otherwise lush African grassland. Fly from Angola to South Africa and you’ll see thousands of these patches, which can sometimes measure 30 feet across. Scientists believe that termites live under these circles and consume the vegetation within, so that rain keeps the soil moist.kqed.org
antikleidi.comDuring spring in Denmark, flocks of more than a million European starlings gather into a single group to form incredibly large and intricate shapes in the sky. These amazing scenes are only possible because of the flock’s amazing communication and coordination.

Morning Glory Clouds, Australia

Morning 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.
news.bbcimg.co.ukYes, those are thousands of spider webs. Fields like these ones in Australia are transformed when thousands upon thousands of spiders migrate across the land leaving behind vast and intricate webs. This usually only occurs when spiders are fleeing floodwaters.

White rainbows

danielheadrick.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, Maldives

independent.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 Cloud

netdost.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.
While erupting geysers are entrancing, far fewer people have ever seen the strange sight of a geyser moments before it errupts. Water gathers into a massive blister just minutes before the spring erupts, making it an extremely rare and strange sight.
anatoly.proUnderwater rivers, like those in Cenote Angelita, Mexico, form when a heavy, flowing substance (like hydrogen sulfate) enters a body of water and sinks to the bottom, forming a separate flow.huffingtonpost.com

Asperatus Clouds

nasa.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, California

matadornetwork.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, Australia

Rainbow 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
dailymail.co.ukThese beautiful blue stripes occur when a crevice in the iceberg fills up with water, which freezes so quickly that no bubbles form. Green stripes can form when algae attaches to an iceberg as it falls into the sea. Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment that is picked up when the berg first travels down hills into the sea.dailymail.co.uk
igert.orgThese unusual flower fields form on thin sea ice when the atmosphere is far colder than the underlying ice. When the warmer, wet air and overlying cold air meet, they form these amazing crystals.wikipedia.org

Snow Chimney, Arctic Areas

georgesteinmetz.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
amusingplanet.comLight columns are visible in extremely cold areas like Russia. They originate from natural light, like the moon or setting sun, reflecting off ice crystals, which are nearly perfectly flat and smooth.amusingplanet.com
Sailing stones can weigh up to 700 pounds and move across the barren desert without help from humans or animals. It was only recently that this spooky migration was explained. In the winter, ice forms around thousands of rocks and as the ground becomes wet, the stones begin to slide, leaving magnificent trails behind them.

Supercells

susanspiritusgallery.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.

Maelstroms

These 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 Ice

This 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.
reddit.comThe glow comes from the combustion of sulfuric gases that are pushed through the cracks of the volcano at high temperatures.

Blue glacial ice

twitter.comIce absorbs every color in the spectrum except blue which causes the glaciers to appear solid blue!
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