Unusual and Incredible Phenomena of our Fascinating Universe

TRAVEL world's most unusual

1. Blue Neon Waves: San Diego

wonders of the natural world

Unfortunately, the Blue Neon waves, which were observable from the San Diego shoreline, have ceased, but that doesn’t make them any less of a natural wonder. The nocturnal opposite to the city’s “Red Tide”, the Neon waves were a spectacle of colour brought on by an over abundance of a certain kind of plankton. The “neon” effect which was evident in the surf, was the result of the bio-luminescence of the millions of dead plankton being washed ashore.

2. Columnar Basalt: Volcanic Rock Island of Staffa

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena  Rock Island of StaffaLooking more like a discarded scene prop from 2006′s Superman Returns (the less said, the better), Columnar Basalt occurs in the wake of thick lava flow. When the lava flow cools, an extensive network of fractures develops, resulting in the formation of hexagonal columns. If the cooling is rapid, smaller columns will be observed, and alternatively, slow cooling renders large colomns.

2. Blue Holes

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena Blue Holes

Although not quite as cool as a black hole or anywhere near as mind-boggling as a worm-hole, blue holes are much easier to observe. Technically giant underwater sink-holes, blue holes were formed at some time during past ice ages, when the sea level was roughly 110 metres lower than it is today. The deepest blue hole in the world is Dean’s Blue Hole, just west of Clarence Town in the Bahamas, and is recorded at 202 metres. The widest blue hole is the Great Blue Hole (pictured), and is 300 metres in diameter.

4. The Cave of  Crystals: Mexicowonders of the natural world Mexico

Imagine an underground world where shimmering crystals crisscross caverns like a giant’s Tinkertoys. Mexico’s Cave of Crystals, buried below the Chihuahuan desert, is just that. Here, enormous crystals of selenite grow more than 30 feet (10 meters) long.

But this fantasy world is tough to withstand. The cave is nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) below the surface, and a magma chamber below keeps the caverns heated to about 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), with 99 percent humidity. Explorers must wear protective gear if they hope to survive in this crystal cave for more than a few minutes.

5. A rare tubular cloud formation: Northern Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria

wonders of the natural world  CarpentariaA rare tubular cloud formation occurs with regularity only one place on Earth: Northern Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria. What causes these long, strange clouds? No one is sure.  Here, ultra-long “roll clouds” form regularly in fall months, can stretch 1,000 kilometers long and occur at altitudes up to two kilometers high. The phenomenon even has its own, geographically specific name, the Morning Glory cloud. Elsewhere in the world, roll clouds pop up only very occasionally, usually associated with sea winds or sometimes thunderstorm downdrafts.

6. River Over a River: Magdeburg Water Bridge in Germany

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena Germany

7. Eternal lightning: Catatumbo River in Venezuela.

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena Venezuela

Clear skies rarely prevail at the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela. Here, it storms on average every other night, as moist, warm winds meet the nearby ridges of the Andes and explode into electrifying tempests. The lightning is so consistent that sailors have been known to navigate by its glow, which even reportedly saved the city of Maracaibo from attack by the English pirate Sir Francis Drake in 1595. According to a 1597 poem, the lightning illuminated Drake’s fleet, alerting the city to the pirate’s presence.

8. Coral that Grows Like Mushrooms: Abrolhos Marine National Park, Brazil

wonders of the natural world Brazil

The only place to find this strange structure is along the northeastern coast of Brazil, in and around Abrolhos Marine National Park. This is the only spot on Earth to see chapeiroes, isolated coral columns that grow on the seafloor and have a mushroomlike structure. Chapeiroes come in different shapes and sizes, but the giant and mature chapeiroes of the Abrolhos Bank can reach more than 65 feet (20 meters) tall and 165 feet (50 meters) in diameter at their tops. According to Conservation International, an environmental group that works in the region, climate change threatens these unique reefs, so researchers are working to understand how the coral responds to changing conditions.

9. Where Tectonic Plates Meet: Iceland

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena Iceland

Deep in the ocean, underwater mountains form as tectonic plates spread apart, with the boundary between these spreading plates forming a mid-ocean ridge as molten rock from below rises up to fill in the gap. To see a mid-ocean ridge with your own eyes, though, travel to Iceland, the only place where the mid-Atlantic ridge runs on land. This geologically active spot, also known as the Reykjanes Ridge, marks a rather fuzzy boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Because of unusually active volcanism at the ridge below Iceland, the area is like a blister on the top of this gash, oozing (and sometimes erupting) lava to the surface, which hardens into new crust.

10. The Sailing Stones: Death Valley, California

wonders of the natural world California

Found in the dusty, dried out plains of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, California, the Sailing Stones have defied scientific explanation to this day. No conclusion has yet been offered as to explain why these mysterious stones leave long, stretching, tracks every two or three years, although it is popularly believed that the unique weather conditions which occur here in March every year play a vital role.

11. Moeraki Boulders: Moeraki, New Zealand

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena New ZealandFound on the Otago coast along Koekohe Beach near Moeraki, New Zealand, the Moeraki Boulders were originally formed on the ancient sea floor roughly 60 million years ago. Numbering near 50, the diameter of the boulders range between half a metre (1.6 ft) and approx 2.2 metres (7.3 ft). According to Maori legend, the boulders are the remnants of eel baskets which washed ashore after  legendary canoe, Araiteuru, was ship-wrecked.

12. Black Sun: Denmark
wonders of the natural world Denmark
During spring in Denmark, about one half hour before dusk, more than 1 million Sturnus Vulgaris (kind of bird) gathered from all over to join and form a remarkable collection of the air. Until making the sky looks dark. This phenomenon is called Black Sun, and can be seen in early spring in the western Denmark.

13. Snow  Like Knives: Dry Andes of Chile and Argentina

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena  Argentina

These sharp snow formations make the white stuff look uninviting. They’re called penitentes, and although they can form at high altitudes anywhere, there’s no place better to see them than in the Dry Andes of Chile and Argentina, way up past 13,000 feet (about 4,000 meters).

Penitentes, named after pointy hats worn by people doing penance for their sins in Christian traditions, form in very cold, dry air, where the water in snow sublimates, or turns directly into vapor without melting first. Sublimation randomly occurs faster in some areas than in others; once uneven pock-marks form in the snow, they focus the sunlight, causing those areas to sublimate ever faster. Spiky penitentes get left behind, unmelted. The tallest penitentes can reach 12 feet (4 meters) high.

14. Where the Life Is Very Old: Shark Bay, Australia

rare and Incredible Natural Phenomena Australia

To get a sense of how life on Earth used to be, visit Shark Bay, Australia, one of the very few places on the planet where you can see living stromatolites. These structures are rounded towers of sediment built over thousands of years by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. The stromatolites at Shark Bay are a few thousand years old, but they’re nearly identical to the life that thrived on Earth 3.5 billion years ago, when oxygen made up just 1 percent of the atmosphere. Though they’re found in a few extra-salty bodies of water around the world, stromatolites are at their most diverse and most abundant at Shark Bay.

15. Rain of Fishes: Honduras

wonders of the natural world  Honduras

The Rain of Fishes is described in Honduran Folklore. However, It really happen in the Departamento de Yoro, between May and July. Witnesses said that this phenomenon began with dark clouds in the sky, followed by lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy rain for 2 – 3 hours. After the rain stopped, hundreds of fish found living in the land. People take the fish and cook it. Since 1998, Rain of Fish Festival is celebrated every year in the city of Yoro.

via: caspost, perierga, oddee, mysteriousuniverse

16. Incredible Tree-Climbing Goats: Morocco 

unusual things  Morocco

Νo, these were not created by a bored geek in Photoshop. Amazingly, these uncanny animals are actually real: they climb the Argan trees of Morocco in search of food, which is otherwise sparse in the region. Over time they have become not only able to climb trees but downright adept at the art – the traipse across trees with a sure-footedness that is hard to imagine from a hoofed animal.

via: webecoist.momtastic

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