The article about 11 Strange natural phenomena. Tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, fires… And then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, nature presents you with another startling phenomenon.
Imagine seeing a tornado combined with a powerful forest fire, moving stones, and waves frozen in motion! These are just a few of the most amazing mysteries of our planet. Just wait, there are many more to come! Here are 11 Strange natural phenomena you’ve never heard before:
1. Volcanic Lightning Storms
Picture this: you’re watching a volcano eruption, which is a scary view by itself. But suddenly, you notice ominous bright flashes lighting up the sky over the volcano.
It takes the nightmarishness of the experience to a whole new level. There is not one, but two perfectly scientific explanations for the phenomenon of volcanic lightning. One cause is static electricity which occurs when dense ash particles rub together not high above the ground.
The other source of volcanic lightning is high above the surface, near the stratosphere, where chaotically moving ice crystals set free powerful jolts.
2. Combustible Ice.
What looks like frozen flying saucers is, in fact, pockets of highly flammable and combustible methane gas. Trapped underwater, it forms psychedelic landscapes and stunning patterns.
Typical for northern lakes, such as Lake Abraham in Alberta, Canada, these bubbles appear when dead animals, leaves, and plants fall into the water and get consumed by bacteria.
These bacteria later excrete methane gas. But don’t be fooled by the beauty of this phenomenon. When spring comes, the ice melts, and the methane bubbles start to fizz and pop in a most amazing way.
You wouldn’t want to light a match in the area! You could provoke a massive explosion. On top of that, methane is the gas which creates a greenhouse effect and, therefore, warms the planet up.
3. Cocooned Trees.
In 2010, Pakistan experienced the worst flood in the country’s history. This natural disaster hit more than 14 million people with 10 years’ worth of rainfall covering the country in less than a week.
People lost their homes, countless buildings were completely ruined and rivers burst over their banks. But something absolutely unique and unexpected came from the aftermath of the flood.
Tons of insects had to look for a shelter above the ground, and spiders chose to nestle in trees. As a result, they cocooned their new homes in such thick spider webs, they were visible from a distance. Honestly, this view gives me chills: there must be thousands of spiders lurking in these trees!
4. Frozen Waves.
Imagine you’re surfing a perfect wave, and then it suddenly freezes! Well, it sure sounds creepy but couldn’t possibly happen in real life, right? Wrong! You can see mind-blowing frozen waves in Antarctica!
These waves occur when ice gets compressed, and the ever-increasing pressure squeezes the air bubbles out. As for the beautiful blue color, it’s the result of ice melting and re-freezing.
5. Blue Lava.
Kawah Ijen Volcano in Indonesia is not your ordinary fire-spewing mountain! Instead of producing black smoke and red lava, as most volcanoes do, this eccentric guy lets out a blue flame, electric blue lava.
This phenomenon occurs because the volcano contains some of the highest levels of sulfur in the world. And when sulfuric gases interact with scorching air and get lit by the molten lava, they start to burn blue.
Unfortunately, you can see this mesmerizing sight only at night. By the way, the world’s largest acid lake is also located inside this crater.
6. Fairy Circles.
If you ever set foot on the arid soil of the Namib desert in Namibia, prepare yourself for an eerie picture. You’ll see countless circular patches between 6 ft to 50 ft in diameter.
Organized in a honeycomb-like pattern, they stretch across 1,500 miles toward the horizon. These patches are also known as “fairy circles,” and you might be disappointed by the explanation of this mystery.
No one knows for sure the origin of these circles, even though there are numerous theories, from the radioactivity of the soil to the activity of sand termites.
7. Wandering Stones.
Stones that travel are also called sailing stones because they seem to move across the dry lakebed of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, California.
As the stones move, they leave behind a creepy trail which used to have scientists baffled. After all, some of the boulders weigh more than 660 pounds!
On top of that, some of the trails are curved while others are mostly straight, with unexpected turns to the right or the left. But eventually, NASA experts cracked the mystery in 2006. It turns out that in winter, the lake fills with water, covering the boulders at the bottom in ice.
And since ice is pretty buoyant, underwater movements and winds make the stones move across the lakebed. In their wake, they leave bizarre tracks, only seen when the water evaporates in the summer.
8. Hair Ice.
You can see this phenomenon in the forest on a humid winter night. Resembling cotton candy or a white hair wig, unusual ice crystals grow on rotting wood.
Unfortunately, this beauty melts as soon as the sun comes up. Only recently have scientists discovered what creates hair ice. All this time it was… are you ready?
Fungus! It allows ice to form super thin hairs and helps them to support this form throughout the night. When this particular type of fungus isn’t present, instead of fragile hair, ice forms a crust-like structure.
If you ever see a tight burning column of air, don’t panic: it’s not the apocalypse yet. The creepy combination of whirlwind sounds and scorching inferno means that you have crossed paths with a fire tornado (aka fire twister or fire whirl). This dangerous phenomenon mostly occurs during wildfires.
These fires create a big area of boiling-hot air just above the ground. When this scorching air gets mixed with the cooler air higher up, it results in a whirlwind that churns up burning debris and flames. The most powerful firenadoes can stretch hundreds of feet into the sky.
10. Black Sun.
In Denmark, people experience blackout-type effects on a pretty regular basis. Just look how weird it is! But it gets even more bizarre when you find out that birds are the cause of this unusual phenomenon.
Every spring and fall, millions of starlings begin their annual migration from Sweden, Finland, and Norway toward Britain, Belgium, and France. And Denmark is the lucky place where you can observe Sort Sol (the Danish name for Black Sun).
The birds travel in large flocks which makes it easier to exchange information and stay warm. Before the birds land, they perform movements that look like dancing.
But in fact, they are making different formations in an attempt to shoo predators away. And although the birds fly in highly synchronized patterns, people think that the huge flock changes its shape chaotically. “Dark Sun” lasts only 20 minutes during sunset, and you have to be either fast or lucky to see this phenomenon.
11. Rainbow Trees.
If you travel to the Philippines, Indonesia, or Papua New Guinea, you’ll have a chance to see some of the most unusual and cheerful trees in the world. The trunk of the rainbow eucalyptus looks as if it has been painted orange, green, red, purple, yellow, brown, blue; you name it.
Some trees are so bright that they seem artificial. The rainbow eucalyptus regularly sheds strips of bark, which reveals a bright green layer underneath. A bit later, this green layer gradually changes its color, and since the shedding happens at a different time in different places on the trunk, the tree starts to look multicolored and very cute.
Do you know any other rare natural phenomena? If so, write about them in the comment section below! Remember to rate this article “11 Strange natural phenomena by Bright Side” and share it with your friends!
Credit: Bright Side