15 Craziest Natural Phenomena on Earth

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From oceans of blood to colossal blue holes filling the ocean floor, we count 15 of the most mysterious and beautiful natural phenomena ever to grace our planet.

15 – Penitentes

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  • Narrow ice formations in the Andes mountains – curiously they mostly point towards the sun ranging between 2 and 5 meters height
  • They’ve been known about since the early 1800s, and though they were initially thought to have been formed by the wind, they are in fact created from dimples in the snow surface that sunlight reflects off, increasing the localised sublimation, which forms troughs, which forms these ice sculptures
  • They’ve even been known to form on dirt and rugged land

14 – Fire Whirls

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  • These are tornadoes, but covered in fire – they get that way because they might pick up heat from a destroyed building which heats up the tornadoes centre, leading to a vortex of fire to ignite
  • These are especially dangerous when they pick up debris, light them on fire and shoot them off in all directions leading to forest fires and the like
  • There was a big fire whirl in Tokyo, 1920s, and it lead nearly 40,000 people to tragically burn to death

13 – Brinicles

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  • Known widely as the “ice finger of death” and discovered only 3 years ago, it’s a flow of cold salty water that freezes at the bottom of deep ocean, which forms a white trail
  • Any sea creature that touches this trail gets frozen in a web of ice, leading to corpses strewn everywhere
  • The phenomenon is caused by cold sinking brine, more dense than the rest of the sea water
  • The one discovered was underneath the Mount Erebus volcano

12 – Snow Rollers

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  • These are found in North America and the UK – chunks of snow that have broken off a hill and started rolling
  • As they roll like tumbleweeds, just like any other snowball they collect ice and get bigger, but the inner section is so weak and less compact than the rest that the wind blows a hole through it – forming a type of doughnut
  • They’re pretty rare to find though since the conditions are so hard to produce and they usually make headlines when found

11 – Lucid Dreaming

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  • Made popular by the film Inception, it’s the idea of becoming self-aware while asleep to be able to control your dream – like you’d control objects in a VR simulation
  • Greek philosopher Aristotle observed: “often when one is asleep, there is something in the consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream”
  • A lot of people have experienced this one, and there are even guides on Google about how to achieve it, though it may take a while

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