Earth is full of miracles. There is so much bizarre stuff happening around us. It is not easy to get hold of those miracles. 

Excluding the enchanting bioluminescence shores of Malaysia, let’s dive right into ten of the strangest natural phenomenon around us, along with the scientific reasoning behind those activities.

The logic will make us apprehend that those are not miracles but driven by scientific laws.

1. Volcanic lightning

lightning at Sakurajima volcano - natural phenomenon
Lightning at Sakurajima volcano, Japan| Photo by Marc Szeglat

On February 5, 2016, Volcanic lightning was seen at an eruption of Mount Sakurajima from Tarumizu city in southwestern Japan.

Volcanic lightning is not like any thunderstorm caused by storm clouds in the sky but an electrical discharge caused by a volcanic eruption.

When the fragmenting particles from combustion collide, friction generates the static energy within the volcanic plume, causing the thunderstorm.

The bizarre phenomenon is known as a “dirty thunderstorm.” Volcanic thunderstorms can also occur before any ice crystals have formed in the ash cloud. 

The first-ever volcanic lightning was recorded in Mount Vesuvius during 79 AD. The first studies on volcanic lightning were also done in Mount Vesuvius during 1858, 1861, 1868, and 1872 AD.

Similar phenomena occurred in Alaska’s Mount Augustine volcano, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, and mount etna Sicily, Italy. 

The latest volcanic lightning recorded is in Taal volcano of the Philippines amidst the pandemic. 

2. Blood falls

Front view of blood falls - natural phenomenon
Front view of Blood falls| Photo from Mpora

Australian geologist Griffith Taylor during his expedition in Antarctica happened to stumble upon the blood fall.

Initially, the traveler thought the water was red because of red algae. But, his speculation was incorrect. 

The red color of this fall was a mystery for centuries. Finally, after years of research, scientists deduced its hidden reason.

The liquid is rich in iron, so when it breaches the surface and oxidizes, the iron rusts changing its color to a reddish hue

3. Eyes of Sahara 

eyes of Sahara - a natural phenomenon
Circular geological feature, eyes of sahara| Photo by The Planetary Society

The eyes of the Sahara, widely popular as the Richat structure, is a prominent circular geological feature in the Sahara’s Adrar Plateau. 

With 40 kilometers in diameter, the design is an eroded geological dome exposing sedimentary rocks in layers that appear as concentric rings. 

The formation of this structure is still a mystery. There is speculation that it may have formed when magma pushed up towards the surface of the earth that created a bulge.

Every ring is made up of a different type of rock that erodes at a different speed. Astronauts are the ones who discovered it since the formation is unrecognizable when you walk over it. 

4. Bright red lake natron

bright red lake Natron - a natural phenomenon
Bright red lake Natron of Tanzania| Photo from Sid Martin

Lake Natron, a salt or alkaline lake located in Africa’s great rift valley, emanates a warning sign with its red color.

The world’s caustic body of water for so many species is home to some endemic species of fish that thrive in excessive alkaline.

The alkalinity of the lake can exceed a pH value of 12. The lesser flamingos use the river as the nursery for their eggs as no animal will dare to get into the harsh environment of lake natron.

The beauty and uniqueness of the lake were recognized and enlisted in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance on July 4, 2001. 

5. Clonal tree groves 

pando_trees_colony
Pando tree colony| Photo by Zambell

It looks like a forest. Except that it is not a forest; it’s a single tree. Pando, the trembling giant, is a clonal colony of an individual male quaking aspen assumed to have one massive underground root system determined to be a single living organism by identical genetic markers

Located in the Fremont River Ranger District of the Fishlake National Forest, and was identified by Jerry Kemperman in 1976. 

Habitat modeling suggests that the root system is 14000 years old, making it one of the oldest known living organisms. 

Scientists are unknown about the reason for its long-term survival. Research is going on with the help of the United States Forest service.

6. Eternal flame falls

eternal flame falls in the US - a natural phenomenon
Eternal Flame Falls in Chestnut Ridge County Park| Photo from World Atlas

Near the Canadian border, the eternal fall flames are located in upstate New York. A small waterfall hides a small surprise: a tiny flame is produced, eight inches tall.

The Flame can be seen every day of the year. Although it could extinguish some time, it is possible to re-lit the fire again. 

The place was once portrayed as mystical by the media, attracting legions of visitors. However, excessive visitors became a problem to the site causing vandalism pollution, impacting the surrounding. 

In 2013, Geologists from Indiana University Bloomington and Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology studied eternal fall flames to understand better how natural gas emitted from naturally occurring hydrocarbon seeps contribute to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

Research showed that the micro-steep at eternal flames had a higher concentration of ethane and propane that contains a more significant proportion of methane; the seep in eternal flames emits one kilogram of methane per day, rendering infinite burning flames.

7. Sailing stones

death valley floating rocks - Natural phenomenon
Death valley floating rocks| Photo by Geology In

Death Valley National park is located on the border of California and Nevada. A park is a strange place by any parameters.

The place is the hottest place on earth, and the site sits at the driest and lowest elevation in North America.

The place is home to the strangest phenomena in the world. It has rocks that move along the desert ground with no gravitational cause.

There are no witnesses that have seen rocks moving from a place. However, the trails behind the stones and periodic changes in their locations make it abundantly clear that they do.

There may have been scientific theory on the moving of the rocks in the valley. The stones are generally made up of dolomite and syenite, the same materials that make up the surrounding.

It is believed that the rocks tumble down due to the forces of erosion coming to rest on the parched ground below. The stones move that leave traces behind them.

8. Fire rainbows

fire rainbow - a natural phenomenon
Fire rainbow| Photo by Raymond Lam

Though used often, the fire rainbow is a misnomer for the phenomena. The appropriate name is circumhorizontal arc. 

The circumhorizontal arc is an optical phenomenon formed by the refraction of sunlight or moonlight in plate-shaped ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. 

When the sunlight enters horizontal-oriented, flat, hexagonal ice crystals through a vertical side face and leaves through the near horizontal bottom face, then the halo is formed. 

The well-separated spectral colors are produced at ninety degrees of inclination between ray entrance and exit faces. 

9. Goats in trees

goats on tree morocco - Natural phenomenon
Goats on tree Morocco| Photo by Jochen Gabrisch

Have you ever watched a goat climb a tree? You probably haven’t. What if I tell you that a goat has a hidden talent to climb a tree. 

You would be amused to know that goats in Morocco climb trees are searching for food. Food is scarce in these areas. The argan trees grow a fruit that is particularly appealing to the goats. 

Without a hint of fear, the goats can climb to the top of 30 feet tall trees. Climbing is the quality that the goats adapted according to their requirement. 

10. Lake Maracaibo

Lightning over Lake Maracaibo - Natural Phenomenon
Lightning over Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela| Photo from Geology

Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela suffers from more lightning strikes than anywhere else on earth. According to a recent NASA report, there is at least one lightning in 300 days out of 365 days.

Lightning in Maracaibo is a phenomenon that occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River, where it empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela.

The cause is a mass of storm clouds at an altitude of more than 1 km. Lightning occurs during 130 to 160 nights a year, nine hours per day, and from 16 to 40 times per minute. 

The frequency changes in lightning and the storms result from winds blowing across Lake Maracaibo and the swampy plains.

The heat and humidity collected across the plains create electrical charges and, as the mountain ridges destabilize the air masses, result in thunderstorm activity. 

(Last Updated on January 28, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Saurav Khadka, with his A levels in computer science from Saipal Academy, owns a keen desire to know more about the environment. He wants to preach his knowledge to others by learning through his hobbies; reading, writing, traveling, and watching movies. He believes sharing his insight regarding a sustainable environment will undoubtedly generate positive perceptions in the people.