Few attractions lure travellers like Mother Nature. With stunning rock formations and spectacular light shows galore, the world’s exceptional natural phenomena can rival even the most impressive man-made attractions. We have collected some of the stunning places on earth for you to enjoy. Following are the details:-
Scarlet-stained waters of Sydney
This looks like a scene from the movie Jaws, where blood-thirsty sharks ravage the waters off populated beaches. The scarlet stain is a red tide, or algal bloom, pictured in Sydney. This visually arresting phenomena occurs when algae accumulates rapidly in coastal waters due to warm ocean temperatures, low salinity, calm seas and periods of rain followed by sunny days. Some red tides, including this one at Clovelly Beach, can be harmful because they deplete oxygen in the water and produce toxins. During such events, travellers should check for beach advisories and heed resulting closures.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans weren’t the only ones who excelled at imposing architecture. Nature herself puts on quite a show for travelers visiting Scotland’s scenic Cliffs of Staffa, where columnar basalt rises majestically over the North Sea. This hard, dense, dark volcanic rock can be found around the world, including the famous Giant’s Causeway in Ireland and Devils Tower in the US state of Wyoming. It forms when thick, hot lava flows cool rapidly, creating contractions which fracture the lava into columns and appear to be man-made.
Superstorms in the US Great Plains
While most travelers would run the other way at the sight of a super-cell, some intrepid storm chasers sometimes travel the US in pursuit of dangerous super-storms. Super-cells like the one given above, which raged across Montana in December 2010, are rotating updrafts of wind within thunderstorms. This can produce large hail, high-speed winds, heavy rain, dangerous lightning and even tornadoes. They are typically found in the US Great Plains, including such states as Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Fog in the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon drew even more interest when a rare weather event suddenly filled the canyon with billows of thick fog. An occurrence that usually happens only once a decade, according to the National Park Service. Called an inversion, the event is caused by cold air getting trapped in the canyon by a “lid” of warm air; the warm air rises while the humidity in the cold air causes a dense sea of fog.
Illuminated Icelandic skies
Some of the best light shows on Earth are hundreds of miles from the world’s light-flooded cities. The brightly colored Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, occurs near the magnetic north pole. A complex reaction causes charged particles in the atmosphere to collide, releasing brilliant streaks of light to dance across a starlit sky. Travellers can most often see the show between late September and late March in countries such as Greenland and Iceland, as well as northern Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Alaska. According to scientists, excellent solar activity has made 2013 the best year in a decade to see the Northern Lights, with solar activity peaking in December.
Double rainbows at Niagara Falls
We’ve all seen rainbows, those dazzling arches of color which form when sunlight is reflected inside water droplets suspended in the air. Double rainbows form when sunlight is reflected twice inside water droplets rather than once, due to the angle at which light enters the raindrop and is refracted. The colors of the second rainbow are inverted, with red inside and violet outside. Interestingly, double rainbows aren’t so rare, many times the second rainbow is simply too dim for most eyes to perceive. The best time to catch this phenomenon is when the air is filled with mist, either shortly after a rainfall or near a waterfall, in the early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky.
Volcanic lightning in Chile
What happens when you take two striking natural phenomena – volcanoes and lightning – and put them together? One of nature’s most dangerously spectacular shows. Volcanic lightning, which strikes in the middle of or shortly after a volcanic eruption, occurs when debris from an eruption reacts with charges in the atmosphere. Though rare, volcanic lightning has been reported during the 2011 eruption of southern Chile’s Puyehue volcano, Alaska’s Mount Augustine in 2006, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 and Japan’s Sakurajima in 2013. The event is notoriously difficult to anticipate, so seeing one is a rare lifetime experience.