Mother Earth throws up some pretty amazing natural developments every once in a while. From the glowing beaches of the Maldives to the gigantic crystals of Mexico, these natural phenomena offer once-in-a-lifetime travelling must-sees!
1. Glowing Beaches
It might look like something out of the Avatar movie, but this glowing, blue beach is for real! You’ll find it on Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives. Why does it seem to glow? The lights are actually caused by the bioluminences of fluorescent phytoplankton.
2. Reflective Salt Flats
In southwest Bolivia, you’ll find Salar de Uyuni – the largest salt flat in the world, which stems from a bunch of prehistoric lakes. Mirrored landscapes and hexagonal ground patterning make visiting this phenomenon a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and you really do have to see it to believe it.
3. Sucking Whirlpools
Fascinated by water when it goes down the drain? Located in the Sound of Jura, off the west coast of Scotland, the Corryvreckan whirlpool is the third-largest in the world and can reach speeds of up to 18km per hour, throwing up waves 9 metres high. It might not look like much, but trust us, you wouldn’t want to get sucked down by this natural phenomenon!
4. Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights
The mother of all natural phenomena, the Aurora Borealis shimmers in greens and reds at the northern-most poles of our planet. It can be viewed from places like Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Iceland and even Scotland.
5. Bright Pink Lakes
It’s bright pink and it’s right in our own backyard! Simply head to Middle Island in Western Australia and these incredible bubblegum-coloured bodies of water will be at your fingertips. No one really knows why these lakes are pink, but scientists suspect it has something to do with the dye created by the bacteria dwelling in the salt crusts.
Forget your regular land-bound tornadoes! Waterspouts are tornado beauties that form over water. They are just as dangerous as any regular tornado and often escorted by severe thunderstorms, high winds and lightning. You wouldn’t want to go near one, but in the past they’ve been spotted in the waters of Florida, the Netherlands, Australia, Louisiana and Qatar.
7. Gigantic Crystals
No, this is not a scene from the latest sci-fi flick. This cave of giant crystals in Chihuahua, Mexico, is quite possibly the world’s greatest natural phenomenon located underground. Unfortunately, no tourists are allowed! You can’t get into the Naica Mine unless you’re on an official scientific expedition.
8. Rain of Fish
It’s raining men… wait, we mean FISH! In Yoro, the capital city of the Honduras, it apparently rains fish at least once a year and has been doing so for about 100 years. How is this possible? Scientists speculate that the fish are actually carried by thunderstorms and waterspouts from afar and then “deposited” on the streets of the town in a bout of rain. Weird…
9. Volcanic Lightning
What could be more spectacular than seeing lighting flash against the backdrop of an erupting volcano? This phenomenon might be beautifully apocalyptic, but scientists aren’t exactly sure what causes the lightning either. One thing for sure though is that it makes for brilliant photos.
Don’t worry, if you can’t say it, you can still visit it. Penitentes are huge blade-like formations of snow and ice that only occur at very high altitudes and look kind of like enormous white grass. They can pretty much be found in the Dry Andes and can reach over 5 metres tall.