I just loved seeing all these amazing places on earth. Spent so much of my life NOT appreciating the beauty, and smelling the roses, this helps remind me to STOP and breath in DEEP!
1. Volcanic lightning aka “dirty thunderstorms.”
When it comes to volcanic eruptions, mile-high ash clouds and geysers of molten lava grab most of the attention. But lightning often accompanies the blasts, and new research suggests that the electrical bolts may be part of a system dubbed a dirty thunderstorm.
Abraham Lake is an artificial lake on North Saskatchewan River in western Alberta, Canada. The lake was created in 1972, with the construction of the Bighorn Dam, and named after Silas Abraham, an inhabitant of the Saskatchewan River valley in the nineteenth century.
Abraham Lake is home to a rare phenomenon where bubbles get frozen right underneath its surface. They’re often referred to as ice bubbles or frozen bubbles. This has made the lake famous among photographers.
3. Underground natural springs in Mexico.
Ik-Kil Cenote, Chichen Itza: A cenote is a natural deposit of spring water found underground.
4. Giant crystal cave in Nacia, Mexico.
The Cave of the Crystals was discovered in 2000 by miners excavating a new tunnel for the Naica Mine in northern Mexico. The main chamber contains some of the largest natural crystals ever found in any of the underground caves around the world. The cave’s largest crystal found to date is 11 meters (36 feet) in length, 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter and 55 tons in weight. The crystals became so large because of the extremely hot temperatures inside the cave, reaching a steamy 58 degrees Celsius (136 degrees Fahrenheit), that allowed microscopic crystals to form and grow.
5. Shimmering shores of Vaadhoo, Maldives.
Pinpricks of light on the shore seem to mirror stars above in an undated picture taken on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives.
The biological light, or bioluminescence, in the waves is the product of marine microbes called phytoplankton—and now scientists think they know how some of these life-forms create their brilliant blue glow.
Various species of phytoplankton are known to bioluminesce, and their lights can be seen in oceans all around the world, said marine biologist and bioluminescence expert Woodland Hastings of Harvard University.
6. Reflective salt flats in Bolivia.
Located at 11,995 feet above sea level, Salar de Uyuni is a mystifying salt flat in Altiplano, Bolivia that has a reflective nature when covered with water. The briny layer of land, created through the rainy season, transforms the otherwise plated pockets of dry salt into a giant mirror, giving the illusion of walking on water. Though the salty desert is quite beautiful when left alone, the introduction of water leads to an unbelievably surreal result. It is especially exquisite on cloudy days where it looks as though visitors are taking a stroll in the sky.
The miraculous metamorphosis of the 4,086 square mile expanse of salted terrain, which happens to be the largest salt flat on earth, is all at once mind-boggling and breathtaking. There’s an inexplicable beauty to the infinite presence of a blue sky filled with puffy, white clouds. Travelers find it hard to shy away from documenting the remarkable and heavenly scene, choosing to feign a balancing act, jump for joy, or skate across the lustrous surface that mimics a sheet of ice.
7. Light pillars over Moscow.
You would think they were spotlights or lasers except for the fanning out at the top. Those would disperse much differently. These seem to fan out in a fog. Winter has a unique beauty all its own. These strange columns or pillars of light occur over and above bright city lights, and so likely involve ice crystals reflecting back those lights. The reason why these pillars fan out the way they do at the top is currently unknown for certain, it could possibly be upper atmospheric wind currents. It is known to happen in northern cold climates. This phenomena happens when it is very cold, 20F below or more. Ice crystals “fall” or float upwards. It is like a rainbow, but only with ice instead of rain.
8. Natural salt water fountain off the coast of Oregon.
Thor’s Well is part of Cape Perpetua, a typical Pacific Northwest headland – a forested area of land on the central Oregon Coast, surrounded by water on three sides. Thor’s Well is also often simply called the Spouting Horn. It is essentially a huge salt water fountain operated by the Pacific Ocean’s power.
This natural spectacle is at its best when it’s the most dangerous to watch – at high tide or during winter storms.
9. Beautiful sandstone formations in Arizona.
This spectacular sandstone formation called “The Wave” is located on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes, Arizona. The formation can be reached by hiking approximately 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) across rugged, trail less landscape, making the round-trip to and from The Wave a nearly 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) hike that climbs about 350 feet (107 meters) in altitude.
10. Rainbow Eucalyptus trees in Kailua, Hawaii.
The Rainbow Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) or Mindanao Gum is the only species of Eucalyptus tree found in the northern hemisphere. As if that weren’t extraordinary enough, the up to 70-m tall tree also shines in the colours of the rainbow: its bark can take on a yellow, green, orange and even purple shading!
11. The Blood Falls in Antarctica.
Blood Falls, a discharge of deep red water off the edge of Taylor glacier in Antarctica.
In the image above, that little beach ball-appearing object on the bottom left is actually a researcher’s tent, giving you a sense of the massive size of the feature.
“Scientists believe a buried saltwater reservoir is partly responsible for the discoloration [in the falls], which is a form of reduced iron,” Science 360 says.
12. Spiderweb cocooned trees in Pakistan.
Trees shrouded in ghostly cocoons line the edges of a submerged farm field in the Pakistani village of Sindh, where 2010’s massive floods drove millions of spiders and possibly other insects into the trees to spin their webs.
Beginning last July, unprecedented monsoons dropped nearly ten years’ worth of rainfall on Pakistan in one week, swelling the country’s rivers. The water was slow to recede, creating vast pools of stagnant water across the countryside
13. Giant clouds over Beijing.
To the untrained eye, it could have been the first signal of the end of the world as nuclear war broke out.
But instead of anything sinister, the giant mushroom cloud spotted in the skies over the Chinese capital last week was simply a brilliant showcase of the wonder of nature.
The huge cloud, which appeared on Thursday, gradually took the shape of an explosion from an atomic bomb.
14. The underwater forest of Lake Kaindy.
Kaindy Lake is a 400 meter long lake in Kazakhstan’s portion of the Tian Shan Mountains located 129 km from the city of Almaty. The lake was created after an earthquake in 1911 that triggered a large landslide blocking the gorge and forming a natural dam. Subsequently, rainwater filled the valley and created the lake.
The lake is famous for its scenic beauty particularly the submerged forest and the imposing trunks of spruce trees that rises out of the lake water. Above water, the sunken trees appear as large masts from lost ghost ships, or perhaps the spears of a mysterious army hiding and waiting for the right time to emerge.
15. Lake Hillier, Australia
Lake Hillier is a pink-colored lake on Middle Island, the largest of the islands and islets that make up the Recherche Archipelago, Western Australia. From above the lake appears a solid bubble gum pink. It is such a significant distinguishing feature of the archipelago that air passengers often crane their necks to take a glimpse of it.
The lake is about 600 meters long, and is surrounded by a rim of sand and a dense woodland of paperbark and eucalyptus trees. A narrow strip of sand dunes covered by vegetation separates it to the north from the Southern Ocean.