This planet is truly remarkable and is teeming with endless wonders waiting to be discovered. When considering a volcano one often pictures flaming red lava exploding from a crater yet what happens when you find a volcano that glows blue? There are so many fascinating anomalies across the globe, you could spend a lifetime tracking them all down. These 10 natural phenomena are must-sees.
10. Blood Falls, Antarctica
Flowing from the Taylor Glacier, the reason Blood Falls ran red remained a mystery until researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks discovered the truth. The deep red color long thought to be caused by algae is actually due to the high oxidized iron content from the brine water. The brine water comes from a Lake underneath Taylor Glacier, and when the iron is oxidized it turns red, much like when iron rusts.
9. Rainbow Eucalyptus, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines
Endemic to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines, these trees appear as though paint dripped down them but their incredible colors are naturally occurring. The bark sheds and underneath the tree is bright green. Over time these shedded streaks change color to blue, purple, maroon, and orange. The tree is harvested for pulp but many people grow them for aesthetic reasons. David Lee, a professor at Florida International University, has studied the tree to find out why it changes color so dramatically. His research has shown that initially, the layer under the bark is flush with green chlorophyll but over time tannins cause the green to change color and the chlorophyll diminishes.
8. Goats in Trees, Morocco
If you take a drive from Marrakech to Essaouira, you’re likely to come across a bizarre yet delightful spectacle. Plentiful in Argan trees, the goats from this region have figured out how to climb the trees to eat the argan fruit. The goats love the pulp from the argan fruit but cannot digest the nut, so they excrete the nut which is then collected for the oil contained within the shell. Argan oil is now found in many beauty products around the world.
7. Bioluminescent Waves, Maldives
As if the stars had fallen into the sea, the waters around the Maldives at night glow and twinkle blue. Marine microbes called phytoplankton are the reason behind the lights but scientists have only begun to understand why. Researchers have linked the glowing phytoplankton, specifically the dinoflagellates, bioluminescence to their cell membranes that respond to electric signals causing the blue light.
6. Spotted Lake, Canada
Spotted Lake is found in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada and is rich in deposits of minerals like calcium, sodium sulfates, and magnesium sulfate. The surrounding scenery appears to be straight out of a children’s book, with rolling green mountains and deep blue sky. Osoyoos is found in Canada’s only desert landscape, so during the hot summer months, the lake water evaporates until what is left appears to be a series of puddles. The spots are actually the mineral deposits and their colors range from blue, green, and yellow depending on their mineral makeup. The Lake is sacred to the First Nations people of the area and is known for its healing properties.
5. Eye of The Sahara, Mauritania
Found in the Western Sahara Desert of Mauritania, this geological formation was initially discovered from space. Scientists are still in the dark about what shaped this giant circle in the middle of the desert. To see this phenomenon you’ll need to get up high as the circle is 25 miles across. One theory suggests that the Eye is the lost city of Atlantis but some Canadian Geologists have the most comprehensive and believable theory to date.
4. Fairy Circles, Namibia
There are two schools of thought behind these intriguing circles deep in the Namib desert. One theory involves foraging termites and another involves plants seeking water and shade, but neither theory has been proven without a doubt. The desert floor is covered in bare circles that are ringed by vegetation. Some scientists believe that both theories working together could explain these circles but yet another group of researchers have explained that termites cannot be at play since fairy circles exist where there is no termite activity. Whatever the cause of this phenomenon, these appearances of patterned circles across one of the oldest and largest deserts in the world is an unusual sight to see.
3. Blue Volcano, Indonesia
Like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, the Kawah-Ijen volcano in Indonesia glows electric blue as if hell had frozen over. The lava is not actually blue though, what is happening is that when the sulphuric gas interacts with air above 360 degrees Celcius, it combusts. When sulfur burns it turns bright blue which gives the illusion of blue lava.
2. Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela
The lighting capital of the world, Lake Maracaibo is actually a large inlet from the Caribbean Sea and is home to a large source of petroleum. This lake sees the most lighting than any other place in the world and is truly frightening and fantastical. Sometimes there are more lightning bolts than you can count. Tourists pay local fishermen to take them out at night to see the terrifying light show.
1. Lake Natron, Tanzania
The extremely high alkaline content of this lake’s waters solidifies animals into stone as if they are statues and not living creatures. There are eerie photographs of calcified animals around the lake and the water itself glows red as if from some dystopian future world. In images, it appears as though the lake would not support any life but in actuality, there is a thriving ecosystem within the waters of Lake Natron. Flamingoes and other wetland birds feed on the tilapia and algae that live in the lake.
About the Author
Chelsie Joy writes a travel blog, Joy Adventures and is based out of Montréal, Canada. Having taught in South Korea, UAE, and Czech Republic, she has had the opportunity to travel widely and developed a passion for writing about her adventures. She specializes in writing about travel, fitness, the arts, and the environment.
Your MLA Citation
Your APA Citation
Your Chicago Citation
Your Harvard CitationRemember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.