These freezing blue towers were created when ice was compressed and the trapped air bubbles were squeezed out. During the summer the surface ice melts and new ice layers compress on top. The ice appears blue because when when light passes through thick ice, blue light is transmitted back out but red light is absorbed.
In October 2018, thousands of giant balls showed up along a siberian beach. The extremely rare phenomenom is the result of strong winds pushing and pulling at coastal frost and ice, which accumulates in layers and forms into large snowballs. These sculptural shapes range from the size of a tennis ball to almost 1m (3ft) across.
They look otherworldly, like flying saucers that dropped into the water and froze, or ancient, ice-encapsulated jellyfish. In fact, these icy circles are frozen methane bubbles – pockets of gas that, when trapped underwater and frozen, form a spectacular landscape. About two million years ago, a hyper-saline body of water became trapped beneath Taylor Glacier, isolated from light, oxygen and heat. As the saltwater trickles through a fissure in the glacier, it reacts with the oxygen in the air to create this spectacular, rust-hued cascade.
A brinicle forms beneath sea ice when a flow of extremely cold, saline water is introduced to an area of ocean water, being the undersea equivalent of a hollow stalactite or icicle. At the time of its creation, a brinicle resembles a pipe of ice reaching down from the underside of a layer of sea ice. Inside the pipe is the supercold, supersaline water being produced by the growth of the sea ice above, accumulated through brine channels.
In Antartica, there are the famous Blood Falls—a blood-red waterfall pouring out of the Taylor Glacier in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Scientists and geologists first thought the red color is because of algae, according to Atlas Obscura. Research by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, however, found the red color is thanks to oxidized iron in the brine saltwater. We see the falls thanks to a fissure allowing the water to flow from the small, trapped body.
The monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. ... Using environmental cues, the monarchs know when it is time to travel south for the winter. Monarchs use a combination of air currents and thermals to travel long distances. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home!
Located in East Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania is home to many natural wonders, among which is the eerie Lake Natron. It got its name due to the mixture of salt and minerals, called natron, which are revealed when the water’s level decreases. Natron is a compound that occurs naturally, comes from volcanic ash, and is mainly consisted of sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate.
Also known as "Lac Rose", this unique lake lies just north of the Cap Vert Peninsula of Senegal, northeast of Dakar. The water in Lake Retba constantly changes hues, but the most stunning pink shade appears during the dry season, roughly from November to June. During windy weather and during the short wet season from July to October, the lake’s color is not strikingly pink due to the rain, which dilutes the salinity. The salt-loving micro-organism Dunaliella salina, combined with high mineral concentration and the intensity of the summer sun, are the producers of the cotton candy-colored water.
Experts from the University of Salamanca found the red hue was caused by freshwater green microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis which created red pigment when stressed. The red pigment created by the microalgae is called astaxanthin, formed during a state of stress. A change in the water's salt level can cause a microalgae present to become stressed. Using light microscopy, a team of researchers led by Javier Fernández-Lozano from the University of Salamanca, followed a unicellular algae's complete life cycle.
For Fata Morgana to be observed, a condition known as temperature inversion needs to exist. This occurs when a layer of colder air immediately above the seawater is trapped below a layer of warmer air. The two layers of air that are at different temperatures and densities create an interface. When light hits this interface boundary it bends and travels through the new layer at a different angle. This is known as refraction.
According to experts the blue glow isn't actually from the lava, which is a similar colour to most other volcanoes, but from the gas emitted from the mountain. There is a high quantity of sulphuric gas at Kawah Ijen which when exposed to the oxygen in the air and sparked by the lava burns a bright blue.
A dirty thunderstorm (also, Volcanic lightning) is a weather phenomenon that is related to the production of lightning in a volcanic plume. A famous image of the phenomenon was photographed by Carlos Gutierrez and occurred in Chile above the Chaiten Volcano. Other instances have been reported above Alaska’s Mount Augustine volcano,and Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano.Volcanic lightning, the researchers hypothesize, is the result of charge-separation.
Lava tubes are by-products of volcanic processes themselves. They form either as the result of surface cooling of lava flows or the result of sequential lava flows, with later flows going underneath the older ones and cavities by a process called inflation. Lava tubes are known throughout the world, in areas of volcanic activity along moving plates of the Earth's crust. Typically, lava tubes form very close to the surface, and are long tubes of more or less constant diameter. Kazumura Cave in Hawaii, is the longest known lava tube, with 65 km of passage and 101 entrances, and rarely if ever is more than 10 m below the surface.
Even worms, although small and slimy, are a natural phenomenon—especially glow worms and their caves. Most of these caves are in New Zealand and Australia, and there is also a famous one in Alabama. The Waitomo Caves in New Zealand are the most well-known, having formed more than 30 million years ago. The science behind the glow worm caves is interesting. In fact, they technically aren’t "glowing worms". According to the New York Times, fungus gnat eggs hatch, their larva constructing mucus. That mucus coughs up silk strings collecting droplets of more mucus. This is the net that illuminates and attracts flies or other victims for the worms, per the Times.
This natural phenomenon is thanks to frozen, trapped methane, similarly to the bubbles in Lake Abraham. Heating these larger-scale bubbles results in huge bursts, according to Business Insider. The warming temperatures in Arctic zones thaw the ice, releasing the gas and explosions. This is a relatively new scientific development, but these 17 old science “facts” are actually not true.
Science has been unable to solve the so-called "Taos Hum". This is a persistent sound that has troubled people here since the 1990s. No-one knows what it is or where it comes from. It might seem scientifically impossible, but there can be no doubt that this is a real phenomenon. The Hum, which has also been described as a rumble or drone, is a low-frequency sound that isn't audible to all. Research suggests that just 2% of people in Taos can hear it — and this just adds to the mystery. Scientists have spent much time in this small north-central New Mexico town, but still an explanation remains elusive. There are some who believe this to be a paranormal phenomenon.
Hang Son Doong is the largest cave on Earth, it wasn’t discovered until the 1990s. Light streaks in from sinkholes on the surface — helping lush vegetation to thrive underground in a unique environment that must be seen to be believed. Hang Son Doong is so massive that it contains its own jungle, underground river and localized weather system. Clouds form inside the cave and spew out from the exits and dolines, which gave the first explorers a clue as to how large Hang Son Doong really is.
The active Kawah Ijen Volcano in Banywang Regency, Java is one of the world’s most extraordinary volcanoes. Instead of producing the usual red lava and black smoke, its underground activities result in electric blue lava and flames rising into the air. The phenomenon has long fascinated scientists. But although the colours cannot be questioned, the underlying cause is not as most believe. The lava here is not originally blue, but becomes it due to a natural phenomenon. Indeed, the volcano has some of the highest levels of sulfur in the world and when the volcano’s sulfuric gases come into contact with air temperature above 360°C, the lava turns blue.
Science suggests it isn’t possible for a river to reach such temperatures. Yet hidden deep in the Peruvian Amazon, researchers have uncovered evidence to the contrary. Here, in Puerto Inca, the Boiling River continues to defy scientific norms. It isn’t quite boiling. But it is very hot. Located in Peru’s dense jungle, the Boiling River reaches temperatures close to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Tempted to take a dip? You shouldn’t. The waters here are hot enough to burn — and in some instances, kill.
Desert rose is the colloquial name given to rose-like formations of crystal clusters of gypsum or baryte which include abundant sand grains. The ‘petals’ are crystals flattened on the c crystallographic axis, fanning open in radiating flattened crystal clusters.The rosette crystal habit tends to occur when the crystals form in arid sandy conditions, such as the evaporation of a shallow salt basin. The crystals form a circular array of flat plates, giving the rock a shape similar to a rose blossom.
Rising flood-waters in New South Wales, Australia have not only displaced residents from their homes and caused widespread damage, but it has forced insects like the ground-dwelling wolf spider to seek higher ground to avoid certain death. The spiders instinctually climb blades of grass and other plants and are then letting out hundreds of meters of silk in an attempt to be transported to safety from gusts of wind. This is known as ballooning and is uncommon behaviour in adult wolf spiders (more typical of young spiders seeking to leave their birth place). In a bizarre twist, the spiders are actually assisting local residents, as the increased standing water and humidity is the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes. However, the elevated webs are quite effective at trapping the pesky flies.
Bioluminescence can be created in a rare number of environments. It is a glow produced by algal blooms. The blooms carry and support millions of the bioluminescent dinoflagellates. Bioluminescence is used by dinoflagellates as a defense mechanism to escape predators. Bioluminescence can really only be seen in the darkness, so you have to be in a light free zone to witness it. The plankton light up whenever they are disturbed, though only for a moment.
Formed at the meeting of opposing currents, whirlpools are often much more ominous in fiction than in real life. The most powerful whirlpools, called maelstroms, are formed in narrow, shallow straits with fast flowing water or at the base of waterfalls, but the speed of the swirl rarely exceeds 20 mph.
It's basically a mass aerial stunt - thousands of birds all swooping and diving in unison. It's completely breathtaking to witness. We think that starlings do it for many reasons. They gather over their roosting site, and perform their wheeling stunts before they roost for the night.
Christmas Island’s mass red crab migration is one of the most incredible natural processes on Earth. Every year, millions of these large crabs emerge from the forest and make their way to the ocean to breed, swarming across roads, streams, rocks and beaches. The first three photos are the adults migrating to the beach and the next three are the babies returning.
Haboobs are the result of a microburst – an intense column of sinking air within a thunderstorm, which as it hits the ground spreads out in all directions and carries sand or dust particles at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. The lofted particles can reach heights of 5000 ft and can extend up to 100 miles wide. Sandstorms and dust storms can be caused by the same variety of things (thunderstorm, jet stream, or just a lot of wind blowing over an area. The difference between sandstorms and dust storms is down to the size of the particles carried and the distance the storms travel.
These mysterious ancient stone spheres were created by a civilization lost to time and are now mostly lawn ornaments. Popping up in yards across Costa Rica, the huge, stone Diquís Spheres might be seen as simply a landscaping trend, but in fact the rounded stones are mysterious artifacts that were created centuries ago in great numbers, but for unknown reasons.
The large rocks that litter the ground here ring like bells when struck. It is believed that the ringing is a combination of the composition of the rock and the way the joining patterns have developed as the rocks have eroded away, though ultimately a concrete scientific explanation has yet to be arrived at. Curiously, if a boulder is removed from the pile, it no longer rings.
One of the world’s most spectacular geographical discoveries was the cave of giant crystals with its selenite crystals of a size never seen before. most of them measure six meters in length, with some of them reaching eleven meters. the temperature at this depth varies from 45°C to 50°C, while the percentage of humidity ranges from 90 to 100%, meaning that human beings cannot survive there for longer than two hours.
Isolated and inhospitable, this huge collection of razor-sharp vertical rocks looks like the last place where wildlife would thrive. The colossal 'Grand Tsingy' landscape in western Madagascar is the world's largest stone forest, where high spiked towers of eroded limestone tower over the greenery. The forest is a cold, dangerous labyrinth of razor sharp 300ft stone towers.
Fingal’s Cave is one of the best known of all the caves in Scotland, and one of the best examples of volcanic basalt columns in the world. Looming 227 ft (69 metres) tall over the ocean, this visually astounding geometric sea cave looks like a contemporary masterpiece displayed in the Museum of Modern Art. It has been formed completely from hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars that make up its interior walls.
A "fire tornado" is sometimes more commonly referred to as a firenado, firewhirl, fire swirl, fire twister, fire devil, or cyclone fire. Fire tornadoes begin with large, severe fires whose upward columns of extremely hot air interact with the atmosphere and cause clouds to form.
At the base of the waterfall there is a small grotto, natural gas seeps through a fissure in the rock, fueling the eternal flame, which shines brightly through the water. According to local legends, a Native American lit the flame long ago and it has burned ever since. That is not entirely true. Occasionally the flame is extinguished and needs to be re-lit with the simple flick of a lighter. Instead of being a true eternal flame, it is actually an eternal gas leak.
Siwa Oasis, one of Egypt’s most remote settlements, is also a popular tourist destination thanks in no small part to the stunningly beautiful salt pools with their azure water that people can float in. The lake is four meters in depth, but you cannot drown in it due to the heavy capacity of this water, as there is a large amount of natural salt mixed in it.
Icebergs in Antartica sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different conditions. Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with melted water and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form. When an iceberg falls into the ocean, a layer of water can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe. Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the ocean.
Divers first noticed the 6.5-foot-wide (2-meter-wide) circular structures near Japan‘s Amami-Oshima Island about 20 years ago. But no one knew how these so-called mystery circles were constructed—or what was creating them—until now. The circles, scientists say, are actually nests created by male pufferfish, which spend about ten days carefully constructing and decorating the structures to woo females.
The dancing light of the borealis are caused by collisions between electrically-charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere. The phenomenon are generally seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres and can been viewed in countries from Alaska, to Northern Canada, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Russia, Sweden and Greenland.
The mesmerising display of light-filled patterns, known as the Aurora Australis, is the result of a combination of natural forces occurring some 100km above the earth's surface. The streaks of greens, purples, reds and yellows are formed inside the Aurora Oval. This is where electrons emanating from the sun and gases in the upper atmosphere collide. The collisions produce electrical discharges which energise atoms of oxygen and nitrogen, causing the release of the multicoloured light seen in these pictures.
These strange, unnatural looking clouds sometimes form downwind of hills or mountains. They are quite unusual in the British Isles but do occasionally occur. They look a lot like the traditional shape of flying saucers in science fiction, and real lenticular clouds are believed to be one of the most common explanations for UFO sightings across the world.
A fallstreak hole (also known as a holepunch cloud) forms when part of the cloud layer forms ice crystals which are large enough to fall as a 'fallstreak'. They form in clouds of supercooled water droplets, water below 0 °C but not yet frozen. These water droplets need a tiny particle, a nucleus, to freeze or to be cooled below -40 °C.
The halo is the eye picking up light interacting with ice crystals in high-level cirrus and cirrostratus clouds as they pass in front of the sun or moon. These clouds are characterized as thin and wispy strands of ice that form in the cold region of the atmosphere, typically at around 18,000-21,000 feet or more above the surface of the planet.
A moonbow (also known as a moon rainbow or white rainbow or feelybow ) is a rainbow produced by moonlight rather than direct sunlight. Other than the difference in the light source, its formation is the same as for a solar rainbow: It is caused by the refraction of light in many water droplets, such as a rain shower or a waterfall, and is always positioned in the opposite part of the sky from the moon relative to the observer.
Fogbows – sometimes called white rainbows, cloudbows or ghost rainbows – are made much as rainbows are, from the same configuration of sunlight and moisture. Rainbows happen when the air is filled with raindrops, and you always see a rainbow in the direction opposite the sun. Fogbows are much the same, always opposite the sun, but fogbows are caused by the small droplets inside a fog or cloud rather than larger raindrops.
Fire Rainbows are neither fire, nor rainbows, but are so called because of their brilliant pastel colors and flame like appearance. Technically they are known as circumhorizontal arc – an ice halo formed by hexagonal, plate-shaped ice crystals in high level cirrus clouds. The halo is so large that the arc appears parallel to the horizon, hence the name.
Double rainbows are formed when sunlight is reflected twice within a raindrop with the violet light that reaches the observers eye coming from the higher raindrops and the red light from lower raindrops. A key feature of double rainbows is that the colour sequence in the second rainbow is reversed, so instead of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (ROYGBIV), the colours appear in VIBGYOR order.
Light pillars appear when artificial light or natural light bounces off the facets of flat ice crystals wafting relatively close to the ground.When the light source is close to the ground, the light pillar appears above the floating crystals. When the light comes from the sun or moon, the light pillar can appear beneath them, too, as the light refracts through the crystals.