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Thursday, 2 October 2014

15 Incredible And Curious Naturally Occurring Phenomena

15 Incredible And Curious Naturally Occurring Phenomena

Nature is wonderful! I'm lucky enough to live in an area that experiences all the seasons. Nature is about to change the leaves to vibrant colors before they drop, creating a magnificent sight as one of four wonderful seasons begins. There are gorgeous things all around us, some of which we may see on a daily basis. However, sometimes the world can be extra incredible and rare phenomena take place.

1. Fire rainbows

A circumhorizontal arc, sometimes called a fire rainbow because of its appearance, occurs because of ice crystals in cirrus clouds. If the sun is higher than 58°, these crystals act as prisms, refracting light into this beautiful rainbow.

2. Mammatus clouds

Mammatus clouds are pouches that hang beneath bigger clouds.

3. Underwater crop circles

Male pufferfish create these patterns off the coast of southern Japan to impress female pufferfish.

4. Sailing stones

These rocks "sail" thanks to thin sheets of ice that melt while it's windy out, pushing the rocks forward.

5. Waterspouts

A waterspout is a cloud connected to a body of water via a columnar vortex. They do not actually suck up water.

6. Sun dogs

Ice crystals in the atmosphere result in the appearance of two bright spots on either side of the sun.

7. Anvil clouds

An anvil cloud, more formally known as a cumulonimbus incus, indicates a severe storm and is formed by water vapor.

8. Brinicle

If very cold, saline water is exposed to ocean water, these underwater icicles form.

9. Moonbow

We've probably all seen a rainbow, but how about a moonbow? These happen when light reflects off of the moon and refracts off clouds.

10. Frost flowers

When moisture in plants freezes and expands, it is forced out to create these ice patterns.

11. Morning Glory clouds

Quite rare, Morning Glory clouds are in the shape of waves and travel low to the ground. 

12. Danxia landform

In areas of China, you can find these colorful cliffs. According to Wikipedia, "Danxia landform is formed from red-colored sandstones and conglomerates of largely Cretaceous age."

13. Red tide

A harmful bloom of algae is the cause for the red color of the tide in this naturally occurring phenomenon.

14. Naga fireballs

While villagers believe it is a mythical snake causing Thailand's Naga fireballs, it is actually flammable phosphine gas.

15. Auroras

These bright lights complement the night sky and are caused by the way solar winds interact with Earth's magnetosphere. 

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