From liquid arc to ice spikes known as penitentes, there are many amazing natural phenomena around the world. Whether it’s in the sky, on land or in the water – there is beauty and wonder in what the natural world can produce. Here are five of the most interesting natural phenomena.
1. Blood falls
(Credit: National Science Foundation/Peter Reichek, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
The McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica are known as the driest place on Earth. The area hasn’t had rain in millions of years. But while there may be no rain, this extreme desert has a five-story waterfall that looks like flowing blood.
The aptly named “Blood falls” is the result of an underground saltwater lake trapped by a glacier millions of years ago. The large amounts of iron in water turn it red when exposed to air. The water is twice as salty as seawater, which prevents it from freezing. And although the water of Blood Falls contains almost no oxygen, it has almost 20 species microorganisms.
2. Moon rainbows
A moon rainbow is a rare lunar rainbow that appears a few hours before or after sunset. They occur only about 10 percent as often as rainbows, and the conditions have to be right. On the one hand, there must be a full (or nearly) moon, a dark sky, a moon that is less than 42 degrees above the horizon, and a source of water droplets in the air – a waterfall or rain – in the opposite direction of the moon.
Two places where moonbows are more common are Cumberland Falls, Kentucky and Victoria Falls, in South Africa. You are more likely to see them during the summer months. They used to be seen at Niagara Falls, but can no longer be seen due to the bright lights of nearby cities.
3. Lake Hillier
Lake Hillier is located in an archipelago off the south coast of Australia. Although it is not very big, this salt lake has a remarkable characteristic – it is pink. The unusual color is due to the presence of microorganisms, which consist of bacteria and algae.
It was first discovered in 1802 by a navigator Matthew Flinders, which mapped most of Australia’s coastline. There are other pink lakes around the world, but they change color depending on factors such as temperature. However, Lake Hillier remains pink throughout, even when the water is removed and bottled. The lake has a high salt content similar to that of the Dead Sea. The only way to see Lake Hillier is by helicopter, plane or boat tour.
4. Thor’s Well
Known as the “Pacific Drainage Pipe”, Thor is fine of coastal Oregon looks like a bottomless pit. But it’s actually a 20-foot-deep hole in the rocks that looks like draining ocean water.
First it is thought to be a hole, it was formed by a sea cave when erosion caused the cave to collapse. This creates holes at the bottom and top, allowing ocean water to move through the holes. The tide pushes water out of the lower hole and sends it through the upper one, reaching a height of 40 feet (at high tide). Thor’s Well is easily accessible and attracts many visitors each year, but visitors are warned not to get too close.
5. Lake Baikal
(Credit: Sergey Pesterev/Shutterstock)
Lake Baikal it is found in Siberia and has many things that make it extremely unusual. But nothing compares to the breathtaking turquoise ice that forms in March every year. Formed by a combination of meteorological factors, the ice cracks and pieces of turquoise color jutting across the top of the lake.
Known as the “Galapagos of Russia” for its impressive biodiversity, Lake Baikal has thousands of species of plants and animals. It is also the deepest and oldest freshwater lake in the world. At least 25 million years old, this lake contains 20 percent of the world’s freshwater supply. Incredibly clear, some sections of the lake can have over 100 feet of clarity in the winter.