The world is filled with natural wonders of all types, and many people travel near and far to take in these sights. Something to add to that adventurous bucket list would be these phenomena! There are bodies of water with unique colors. There are displays that light up the sky. That are expansive holes that just look super cool. And we would love to see all of them!
If anyone is looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation destination, we would suggest any of the natural phenomena that are found on the list below. They are sure to impress one and all.
10 The Eternal Flame Falls In New York
Within the Shale Creek Preserve in New York, people can find The Eternal Flame Falls. How did it get this name? Well, there is a grotto that emits natural gas, and that can be lit, creating a small flame. It can be seen almost all the time, though it does sometimes have to be re-lit.
When researchers studied this phenomenon, it was discovered that the “macro seep” here had higher concentrations of ethane and propane than compared to other seeps of natural gas. Those who travel to this waterfall must remember Mother Earth, though, since, over the years, there has been an increase of litter, pollution, and vandalism in this area.
9 The Richat Structure In The Sahara
Known as the Eye of the Sahara, this is a circular structure that is very eroded. Over the years, it has been hypothesized that this phenomenon came about due to anything from a laccolithic thrust or an impact to terrestrial processes. The most recent studies on this structure show that carbonates here were created by hydrothermal waters.
Scientific jargon aside, this is one cool-looking spot! Seeing the Sahara Desert at all would be a super amazing experience, and walking up to erosion like this would make it even more memorable and crazy.
8 Blood Falls In Antarctica
In Antarctica, there is a red waterfall. This phenomenon is called Blood Falls, and it is created by iron oxide in the saltwater. It flows out onto the icy West Lake Bonney, and it was first discovered in the year 1911 by a man named Griffith Taylor, who was an Australian geologist.
The first thoughts were that the water was red due to algae, but now, we know it is iron oxides. This is another breathtaking locale, with mountains, valleys, glaciers, coves, ponds, and gullies, and this unique waterfall is like a true cherry on top of the Arctic region.
7 Salar de Uyuni In Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world… and the largest mirror in the world. Located in Bolivia, this phenomenon came about due to the transformations between prehistoric lakes, which resulted in a few meters of salt that is on top of a pool of brine.
This pool contains 50 percent to 70 percent of the lithium in the world. And the coolest part is that, after a rain, water collects on the surface and creates a reflective area like no other. A fun fact is that several types of flamingos also breed in this region, too!
6 Penitentes In The Andes
The Dry Andes is a section of the Andes Mountains, and here, people can find penitentes. Penitentes translates in Spanish to "penitent-shaped snows," and these are, indeed, formations of snow found at high altitudes. They are long, thin, hard, close together and point upwards.
Charles Darwin talked about these in 1839, and he believed that they came about because of the strong winds from the Andes, which is still an idea that is accepted today. These formations have even been seen in space, as reported by the Daily Mail (like on Pluto!). More details can be found via Glaciers of the Dry Andes by Louis Lliboutry.
5 The Great Blue Hole In Belize
Next up is a marine sinkhole located in the Lighthouse Reef of Belize. This hole - called "The Great Blue Hole" - formed after a series of glacial and interglacial periods that started over two and a half million years ago and is still happening. During these periods, ice sheets appear, expanding and contracting.
This area is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which is a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In short, this very blue, very round hole is almost too gorgeous!
4 Darvaza Gas Crater In Turkmenistan
The Darvaza gas crater is also known as the "Gates of Hell" or the "Door to Hell," and it is easy to see why. This phenomenon is caused by a collapsed natural gas field that is found in Turkmenistan. Apparently, this spot has been burning since the year 1971, and the same article suggests that geologists did this on purpose so that methane gas wouldn't spread.
In 2010, the President of Turkmenistan wanted this gas crater to be closed down. He must have realized its draw, though, because a couple of years later, it became a nature reserve that the government hopes will bring in more tourists.
3 Abraham Lake In Alberta
Abraham Lake is the largest reservoir in Alberta, Canada. It is an artificial lake that came about when the Bighorn Dam was being built, and it has the same clear, blue color that is seen in other glacial lakes. It has something that most bodies of water do not, though: frozen bubbles.
Yes, these appear under the ice because of trapped methane from decaying plants. This gorgeous phenomenon brings in many people, who enjoy taking in this sight, as reported by lakelubbers.com. This makes sense, judging by this super cool photo of this lake!
2 Lake Hillier In Australia
Lake Hillier is a lake in Australia… and it is pink! Why? Well, there is an organism in this water called Dunaliella salina, and according to Wikipedia, this micro-algae has antioxidant properties, as it makes yellow, red, and orange pigments created in plants, algae, bacteria, and fungi.
The best way to see this pink water is by plane, so just imagine flying over the Australian landscape and then seeing this bright and bubbly pink landmark! This lake is often seen online, and it makes sense that so many people want to show it off on social media.
1 Aurora Borealis In The Arctic & Antarctic
And of course, there is the Aurora, the polar lights, the southern and northern lights, the phenomenon that can be viewed in the high-latitude regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. These happen because of disturbances in the magnetosphere and because of solar wind, and it all results in a display of different-colored lights in the sky.
These lights have been referenced by everyone from a Greek explorer in the 4th century BC and in Norse mythology to Benjamin Franklin and in Native American myths. But a Norwegian scientist named Kristian Birkeland is credited with the foundational knowledge we have about geomagnetism and polar auroras.