This natural phenomena list of 12 breathtaking wonders is truly awe-inspiring. These phenomena are famous for their beauty, power, and inherent ability to mesmerize. Below, you can experience the list alongside gorgeous photos that feature these stunning natural phenomena in the world.
Here is a natural phenomena list highlighting 12 of the most popular physical displays around the world:
- Bioluminescent Jellyfish
- Volcanic Eruption
- Northern Lights
- Blue Water
- Ice Crystals
- Natural Hot Springs
- Bioluminescent Mushrooms
What are some natural phenomena? Below is a remarkable list with captivating photos that will take you on an exciting journey of natural phenomena around the world.
1) Bioluminescent Jellyfish
Bioluminescent jellyfish are one of the most amazing creatures of natural phenomena that exhibit a glowing show of flashing lights and neon colors. These fascinating beings look like extraterrestrial ships underwater.
They naturally emit a brilliant glow-in-the-dark display that looks like something out of Star Trek. There are many different types of glowing jellyfish that range in shades from fluorescent blue to muti-colored carnival hues. They flash like a Las Vegas light show.
You have to see it to believe it. Some aquariums around the world feature bioluminescent jellyfish from time to time. They require meticulously clean living conditions, or they’ll die in the tank.
The jellyfish have a specific type of protein that absorbs certain frequencies of light. When this light gets absorbed, the proteins emit a fluorescent glow that is unique to the color and pattern of the species. In the ocean, some jellyfish take on the glowing light of the Moon in order to create a magical radiance that glows from their bodies.
There’s nothing like a huge flash of lightning and a sounding boom to get your attention. It’s one of the most dramatic and instantly terrifying natural phenomena on the entire planet. Lightning is one of the quickest and most powerful ways to light up the entire sky.
According to NASA, lightning strikes happen more in central Africa, the Himalayas, and Florida. They aren’t known to strike the ocean.
Scientists still don’t know the exact cause of lightning. It’s a mysterious bolt of electricity linked to drafts of air moving up and down in a thunderstorm. The flash starts within the cloud itself, which is made up of positive and negative charges. These charges generate energy.
How does lightning strike the ground? The buildup of negative charge within a thundercloud gets attracted to the positive charge on the surface of the Earth. An electric bolt of lightning flashes from the negative cloud to the positive ground in order to neutralize the charge. That’s how we see lightning strike.
Halos are a breathtaking natural phenomenon that many people observe around the Sun or the Moon. They take on a circular shape that creates a halo around the center body of light.
How are halos formed? Sunlight is refracted around the Sun or Moon through small ice crystals in cirrus clouds at cold temperatures. This process projects rainbow colors or a soft white glow by bending light through tiny frozen particles. The ring shape is an extended outline of the Sun or Moon.
If you see a halo, it usually means that it’s going to rain or snow within 24 hours. Because freezing temperatures are required to form ice crystals, halos are usually seen in areas that are cold enough to snow.
Halos take on the shape of a ring because they mirror the shape of the light source that’s causing them. For example, we know that if we draw an outline around the Sun, it’s going to be in the shape of a circle. The light source is coming from the Sun itself. So, the light shines outward in uniform circular directions from all points through very cold ice crystals. It’s like a bunch of baby prisms around the Sun that catch and bend light.
When you shine any light through a prism, you’re going to get a spray of rainbow colors. In the same way, when the Sun shines light in all directions equally around it, it’s going to appear in the shape of a circle. As it shines away from itself, the light goes through the micro ice crystal prisms that are floating in the cold atmosphere. This creates the amazing halo natural phenomenon we all see.
4) Volcanic Eruption
Volcanic eruptions are one of the most powerful and destructive natural phenomena on planet Earth. They primarily happen along the Ring of Fire (that’s the area around the Pacific Ocean where tectonic plates meet).
Extremely hot magma far beneath Earth’s surface rises upwards as a result of the intense heat. When solids become fiery, they expand and get lighter. This expansion and increase in temperature forces the magma to move towards the surface. The magma finds cracks and weak points in the ground as it moves up, following the path of least resistance.
Pressure continues to build underneath the Earth’s surface from the blazing magma. This pressure eventually breaks through a fissure or channel and forces a massive explosion that shoots up onto the surface of the ground. In the process, molten rock and gas are spewed out.
The molten rock is called lava and runs like a river of fluorescent reds, oranges, and fiery yellows. It’s a fantastic light show that’s probably safer viewed from video instead of in person. The lava landscapes everything in its path.
As the lava cools, it turns into brand new rock and landforms. The ash that blasts out of the volcano is very nourishing for the soil and serves as rich fertilizer for new plant life.
Scientists say that Yellowstone National Park is a supermassive volcano waiting to blow. Only time will tell.
5) Northern Lights
The northern lights are just one of those things you have to see in person to believe. They flow and dance in the night sky like a cosmic ballet. Most people don’t know that they make an otherworldly crackling sound when you get close to them in person.
Auroras can be seen from all over the world. It’s more common to view them near the northern and southern poles. The polar lights are called Aurora Borealis in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, they’re called Aurora Australis. The Sun ultimately causes the aurora natural phenomenon.
What causes northern lights? Solar storms on the surface of the Sun explode and send energy to Earth in the form of solar wind. Solar wind is full of excited particles that interact with Earth’s charged atmosphere, especially near the magnetic poles. This process creates the northern lights.
6) Blue Water (Why is Water Blue?)
Have you ever wondered why water is blue? Have you ever wondered why it isn’t blue when you drink a glass of water? Many people are surprised when they find out it’s much more than just a reflection of blue in the sky.
Why is water blue and clear? Water is clear in small amounts. Water becomes more blue as the amount increases. When water is deeper than a meter, it becomes more blue the deeper it gets. Water absorbs red visible light that causes vibrations in the molecules. This gives it a natural blue color.
Water is a very unique substance in nature. It’s one of the few things that are naturally blue in color. The molecules of water absorb the red, orange, yellow, and green parts of the visible light spectrum, leaving behind the blue and purple shades. These blue tones are reflected and scattered throughout the water molecules, giving them the color of blue. The more water there is, the more blue you will see.
7) Ice Crystals
Ice crystals are one of the most beautiful and artistic natural phenomena in the world. It’s been confirmed by scientists that no two snowflakes are alike. It could take hours or days for a person to come up with a design as intricate and beautiful as a common ice crystal.
The sophisticated and elaborate design of each snowflake has a feel of royalty and elegance. They fall into perfect and symmetrical shapes full of exquisite drama, timelessness, and precision. It looks as if a grand architect designed each one with exacting care. There appears to be some kind of intelligence, order, and beauty in the chaos of a flurry.
How are snowflakes formed? In freezing weather, water vapor condenses and attaches to a particle like dust. The particle freezes and turns to ice as it falls and naturally transforms into a 6-sided shape. The particle sprouts 6 arms that take on many different designs as the temperature changes.
Every snowflake is unique. There’s a lot of unseen art out there.
8) Natural Hot Springs
Natural hot springs are a phenomenon that can turn into a soothing hot tub vacation. If you love hot tubs, jacuzzis, and nature, then you’ll probably love a getaway to a natural hot springs resort.
Natural hot springs are huge pools of water found naturally on Earth that get heated from geothermal vents deep within the ground. The water receives heat from magma in the Earth’s crust.
It’s common to find many different kinds of minerals in the water. Some people use these minerals for beauty treatments. The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is full of silica mud that people slather all over their skin.
Some natural hot springs are much too hot and dangerous to get near. Other hot springs feature perfect jacuzzi temperatures that tourists flock to for bathing and relaxation. The best ones have first-rate restaurants and cozy hotel rooms.
Here are 3 of the best natural hot spring resorts around the world to soothe your body, mind, and soul:
- Blue Lagoon, Iceland
- Terme di Saturnia, Italy
- Rogner Bad Blumau, Austria
9) Bioluminescent Mushrooms
Bioluminescent mushrooms are a spectacular natural phenomenon that can light up an entire forest or valley. They carpet woodlands with a glowing blanket of neon magic. It’s hard to believe that something so magnificent is completely natural and unplugged.
Glowing mushrooms come from the orders Agaricales and Xylariales. The substance that makes them glow is called luciferin, which comes from the Latin word meaning “bringer of light” or “morning star”. This is the same compound that makes fireflies and jellyfish glow.
Bioluminescent mushrooms can be found all over the world, but certain rare species can only be located in the Brazilian rain forest.
Floods are one of the most disastrous natural phenomena that have been documented throughout history. Not only have the waters themselves been deadly, but the aftermath of famine and starvation has been a devastating issue.
The deadliest flood that’s been documented occurred in China in 1931. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result of this great disaster.
Many people don’t know that the Holy Roman Empire (central Europe in the Middle Ages) suffered 11 massive floods between 1014 – 1570, killing more than 250,000 people on average. Some of the deadliest of these floods were brought in on the night of the new moon.
Fact or legend, it’s been documented in various ancient texts that the island settlement of Atlantis was destroyed by a great flood. Supposedly, the natives possessed advanced technology and were tapped into higher consciousness.
Earthquakes have been one of the most lethal natural phenomena throughout the ages. Thankfully, fewer people die from earthquakes today due to excellent government regulation and implementation of seismic retrofitting for all buildings.
One of the deadliest earthquakes in history shook China on July 28, 1976. It’s estimated that half a million people died in this earthquake. Again, we see that this major unfortunate event happened on a new moon.
Sometimes, earthquakes happen off the coast deep within the ocean floor. This can generate a massive upheaval in the water and blast out a super wave that rises up to pound the coastline. Tsunamis can be enormous, reaching over a thousand feet in some instances. These monsters can wipe out everything in their path when they hit land.
Rainbows are known to be one of the most magical natural phenomena in the world. Legend tells us that there’s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Are rainbows only for dreamers?
A rainbow is made up of all 7 colors within the visible light spectrum. When all these colors are combined in the form of light, the color white is seen. The color that appears to be nothing, white, is actually full of color and diversity when broken apart. This helps provide a little scientific evidence as to how something can come from nothing.
When light hits a droplet of water, the light bends through it and splits into 7 different colors. These colors are reflected from the water and give the perception of a rainbow. In order to see one, the Sun must be shining from behind you while it’s raining in front of you.
Of course, the above natural phenomena list is not limited to just these 12 amazing examples. Nature holds endless and boundless phenomena that can take lifetimes to learn and discover. This list was just a beginner’s course to scratch the surface of infinite possibility.
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