Our planet is a place of wonder, and most of its wonder still arises from the fact that we are still trying to figure most of the things about our planet.
95% of the ocean is still unexplored, and many of the phenomena that happen over the surface of the planet still surprise the scientists.
Take a look at the breathtaking images below. They will make you wonder whether they are real, or the stuff of brilliant photoshopping skills.
1. Lightning on Lake Catatumbo
Known as Beacon of Maracaibo, or the everlasting storm, this phenomena occurs over the lake Catacumbo in Venezuela.
An approximate count put the number of lightning strikes at thousands per minute, and after scientists took over they counted a conservative 28 a minute.
This is because that area is host to 280 stormy days a year, every year. The event is so spectacular, that is is also seen clearly from the space station –
Awesome, isn’t it?!
2. The Lake whose water is pink in color
No, the apocalypse is not here. The distinctive pink color is seen because the algae in the lake produce carotenoids – the same chemicals that give carrots its distinctive color. The lake is cut off from any fresh water source and is a saltwater lake.
Sometimes the salinity is so high, you will literally float on the surface of the lake. No, it is not toxic at all. People do swim in it –
3. Blobfish, the fish made of jelly
No, that’s not a jelly recipe gone wrong. That’s an actual fish that has literal gelatinous mass because it lives a kilometer deep under the ocean.
And normally they do not look like this, because underwater their mass is well distributed and rounded.
It was named the world’s ugliest animal in 2013.
4. The Tardigrade, a creature that can withstand a nuclear attack
This cross between the mythological creature Cyclops and a Hippo, is actually a micro animal. It is about 0.5 mm long and its body consists of just 40,000 cells.
The wondrous thing about them is they are extremely resistant to conditions that are fatal to other life forms. They can sustain a nuclear bomb, outer space vacuum, extreme freezing cold, and can go without food for 10 years.
And you thought cockroaches were badass.
5. Reflective Salt Flats in Bolivia
It is the largest salt pan in the world and has high reflectivity because it is flooded with small amounts of water.
This gives the illusion of walking on water. The salt lake shown in this picture is also completely flat. The flatness is so perfect that many satellites use its surface to calibrate their altimeters.
6. Lightning In a Volcano
Just like in a tropical thunderstorm, volcanic plumes contain ash, small pieces of rock that collide to produce static charges, which in turn give rise to thunderstorms.
It looks eerily similar to normal thunderstorms.
Did you know that volcanic eruptions also release water and this may be one of the reasons of these thunderstorms – just like regular lightning in clouds.
7. Brookesia Micra or the smallest chameleon
One of the smallest reptiles on our beautiful planet, it grows up to 3 centimeters in length. It is famous because it is so small, it can perch itself on the head of a matchstick.
But for people who are used to seeing chameleons in their full size, seeing a miniature one makes you wonder, how and why this evolution really happened.
8. Lenticular Clouds or natural UFOs
Frequently mistaken as UFOs, these clouds take the shape of a lens – hence the name lenticular.
And because they are usually solitary clouds, they look very weird and very appealing at the same time. Just like this one –
9. The place where two oceans meet
Yes, this is real. And all of that is water. From different sources though.
This is located near the gulf of Alaska, where the glaciers melt and meet the salty water of the oceans. And since the density and salinity of the seawater are different from the melted water of the glaciers, both look different at the place they meet.
Although, contrary to the popular belief, the waters do mix, from a distance it looks like they are two separate entities altogether.
Our planet is as beautiful as it is mysterious and surprising.
Do you know of any more of these unbelievable natural phenomena?
Let us know in the comments.