21 Most Remarkable Natural Phenomena

When a phenomenon is not produce by humans, it is natural. Natural is beautiful & sometime remarkable. Here are 21 unique Natural Phenomena to be found exist on earth. Many scientists are still looking for explanation on some of the occurrences.

1. Mammatus Cloud

Mammatus clouds in San Antonio, TX – 2009 [ Photo by Derrich / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
Mammatus, also known as mammatocumulus (meaning “mammary cloud” or “breast cloud”), is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. The name mammatus, derived from the Latin mamma (meaning “udder” or “breast”), refers to a resemblance between the characteristic shape of these clouds and the breast of a woman. Mammatus are most often associated with the anvil cloud that extends from a cumulonimbus, but may also be found under altocumulus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and cirrus clouds, as well as volcanic ash clouds. In the United States, sky gazers may be most familiar with the very distinct and more common cumulonimbus mammatus. When occurring in cumulonimbus, mammatus are often indicative of a particularly strong storm or maybe even a tornadic storm. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

2. Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders detail, South Island, New Zealand [ Photo by MSeses / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
They occur scattered either as isolated or clusters of boulders within a stretch of beach where they have been protected in a scientific reserve. The erosion by wave action of mudstone, comprising local bedrock and landslides, frequently exposes embedded isolated boulders. These boulders are grey-colored septarian concretions, which have been exhumed from the mudstone enclosing them and concentrated on the beach by coastal erosion. Local Māori legends explained the boulders as the remains of eel baskets, calabashes, and kumara washed ashore from the wreck of an Arai-te-uru, a large sailing canoe. This legend tells of the rocky shoals that extend seaward from Shag Point as being the petrified hull of this wreck and a nearby rocky promontory as being the body of the canoe’s captain. In 1848 W.B.D. Mantell sketched the beach and its boulders, more numerous than now. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

3. Midnight Sun

Midnight sun at Nordkapp, Norway. [ Photo by Yan Zhang / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon occurring in summer months at latitudes north and nearby to the south of the Arctic Circle, and south and nearby to the north of the Antarctic Circle where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Given fair weather, the sun is visible for a continuous 24 hours, mostly north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle. The number of days per year with potential midnight sun increases the farther poleward one goes. There are no permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle, so the countries and territories whose populations experience it are limited to the ones crossed by the Arctic Circle, e.g.. Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut), United States of America (Alaska), Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and extremities of Iceland. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

4. Polar Night

Early afternoon during the Polar Night, viewed from the upper reaches of the city centre towards the mainland side. [ Photo by Osopolar / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
The polar night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This only occurs inside the polar circles. The opposite phenomenon, when the sun stays above the horizon for a long time is called the polar day, or midnight sun. A common misconception is that the shortest day is totally dark at each point where the midnight sun occurs inside the polar circle. In places very close to the poles this is true, but in regions that are located at the inner border of the polar circles where midnight sun is experienced, this is not true. Because of twilight, these regions experience polar twilight instead of the polar night. In fact, polar regions typically get more twilight throughout the year than equatorial regions. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

5. Aurora Borealis

Aurora australis in Antarctica [ Photo by Samuel Blanc / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
Aurora Borealis, sky, polar regions, night, ionosphere, latitudes, Roman, goddess, Aurora, Greek, Boreas, Pierre Gassendi, Northern Hemisphere, North Magnetic Pole, North Magnetic Pole, Canada, equinoxes, Cree, Middle Ages, Antarctica, South America, Australasia, Latin #skip# Auroras, also known as northern and southern (polar) lights or aurorae (singular: aurora), are natural light displays in the sky, particularly in the polar regions, and usually observed at night. They typically occur in the ionosphere. They are also referred to as polar auroras. This is a misnomer however, because they are commonly visible between 65 to 72 degrees north and south latitudes, which place them a ring just within the Arctic and Antarctic circles. Aurorae do occur deeper inside the polar regions, but these are infrequent and often invisible to the naked eye. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

6. Ice circle

Ice circles in the river Llugwy at Betws-y-coed, 31.12.08. There had been no rain for two weeks, so water levels were low, and after a week of sub-zero temperatures, there was ice on the river’s edge in places. [ Photo by Hogyn Lleol / public domain ]
An ice disc/disk or ice circle is a rare natural phenomenon that occurs in slow moving water in cold climates. They are thin and perfectly circular slabs of ice that rotate slowly in the water. It is believed that they form in eddy currents. Ice discs have most frequently been observed in Scandinavia and North America, but they are occasionally recorded as far south as England and Wales. An ice disc was observed in Wales in December 2008 and another was reported in England in January 2009. Ice discs form on the outer bends in a river where the accelerating water creates a force called ‘rotational shear’, which breaks off a chunk of ice and twists it around. As the disc rotates, it grinds against surrounding ice — smoothing into a perfect circle. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

7. Algal Bloom

Aerial view of Easter Lake, looking north toward Lake Starnberg [ Photo by Michael Knall (Knami) / public domain ]
An algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in an aquatic system. Algal blooms may occur in freshwater as well as marine environments. Typically, only one or a small number of phytoplankton species are involved, and some blooms may be recognized by discoloration of the water resulting from the high density of pigmented cells. Although there is no officially recognized threshold level, algae can be considered to be blooming at concentrations of hundreds to thousands of cells per milliliter, depending on the severity. Algal bloom concentrations may reach millions of cells per milliliter. Algal blooms are often green, but they can also be other colors such as yellow-brown or red, depending on the species of algae. Bright green blooms are a result of blue-green algae, which are actually bacteria (cyanobacteria). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

8. Penitentes

Penitentes ice formations at the southern end of the Chajnantor plain in Chile. [ Photo by ESO / CC BY 3.0 ]
Penitentes, or nieves penitentes, are a snow formation found at high altitudes. They take the form of tall thin blades of hardened snow or ice closely spaced with the blades oriented towards the general direction of the sun. Penitentes can be as tall as a person. These pinnacles of snow or ice grow over all glaciated and snow covered areas in the Dry Andes above 4,000 m (Lliboutry 1954a, Lliboutry 1954b, Lliboutry 1965). They range in size from a few cm to over five metres. (Lliboutry 1965, Naruse and Leiva 1997). Penitentes were first described in the literature by Darwin in 1839. On March 22, 1835, he had to squeeze his way through snowfields covered in penitentes near the Piuquenes Pass, on the way from Santiago de Chile to the Argentinian city of Mendoza, and reported the local belief (continuing to the present day) that they were formed by the strong winds of the Andes. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

9. Columnar Basalt

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland. Hexagonal basalts. [ Photo by Chmee2 / CC BY 3.0 ]
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey. On Earth, most basalt magmas have formed by decompression melting of the mantle. Basalt has also formed on Earth’s Moon, Mars, Venus, and even on the asteroid Vesta. Source rocks for the partial melts probably include both peridotite and pyroxenite (e.g., Sobolev et al., 2007). The crustal portions of oceanic tectonic plates are composed predominantly of basalt, produced from upwelling mantle below ocean ridges. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

10. Sun Dog

Sundogs in Fargo, North Dakota. Taken February 18th, 2009. [ Photo by Gopherboy6956 / public domain ]
A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, from Greek parēlion, (παρήλιον), παρά(beside) + ήλιος(sun), “beside the sun”; also called a mock sun) is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun. The poet Aratus (Phaenomena 880-891) mentions parhelia as part of his catalogue of Weather Signs; for him, they can indicate rain, wind, or an approaching storm. Be it so, said Tubero; and since you invite me to discussion, and present the opportunity, let us first examine, before any one else arrives, what can be the nature of the parhelion, or double sun, which was mentioned in the senate. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

11. Light Pillar

Sun pillar and kitesurfing in San Francisco. [ Photo by Mila Zinkova / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
A light pillar is a visual phenomenon created by the reflection of light from ice crystals with near horizontal parallel planar surfaces. The light can come from the sun (usually at or low to the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a sun pillar or solar pillar. It can also come from the moon or from terrestrial sources such as streetlights. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

12. Catatumbo Lightning

Catatumbo Lightning at night [ Photo by Thechemicalengineer / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
The Catatumbo Lightning (Spanish Relámpago del Catatumbo) is an atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela. It occurs strictly in an area located over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Maracaibo Lake. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered by some to be the world’s largest single generator of tropospheric ozone. It originates from a mass of storm clouds that create a voltaic arc at more than 5 km of height, during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over a bog area that forms where the Catatumbo River flows into the Venezuelan lake. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

13. Circumhorizontal Arc

circumhorizontal arc / circumhorizon arc (CHA) /fire rainbow, Ravenna, Michigan [ Photo by Dehk / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
The current accepted technical names are circumhorizon arc or Lower symmetric 46° plate arc. The complete halo is a huge, multi-coloured band running parallel to the horizon with its center beneath the sun. The distance below the sun is twice as far as the common 22-degree halo. Red is the uppermost colour. Often, when the halo forming cloud is small or patchy, only fragments of the arc are seen. How often a circumhorizontal arc is seen depends on the location and the latitude. In the United States it is a relatively common halo seen several times each summer in any one place. In contrast, it is rare to non-observable in mid-latitude and northern Europe. Formation of the halo requires that the sun be very high in the sky, at an elevation of 58° or more, and that the cirrus cloud or haze contains plate-shaped ice crystals. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

14. Moonbow

Moonbow at the lower Yosemite Fall [ Photo by Mila Zinkova / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
A moonbow (also known as a lunar rainbow, lunar bow or white rainbow) is a rainbow produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon rather than from direct sunlight. Moonbows are relatively faint, due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the moon. They are always in the opposite part of the sky from the moon. It is difficult for the human eye to discern colors in a moonbow because the light is usually too faint to excite the cone color receptors in human eyes. As a result, they often appear to be white. However, the colors in a moonbow do appear in long exposure photographs. A True Moonbow appears white, and is lit from the Moon itself. A colored rainbow when the sun is setting or when it is darker out is not a Moonbow because it is still partially lit from the remaining light in the sky. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

15. Sailing Stones

stone on the Racetrack in Death Valley National Park. The winds in the valley have moved this stone. [ Photo by Jon Sullivan (pdphoto.org) / public domain ]
The sailing stones, also known as sliding rocks and moving rocks, are a geological phenomenon where rocks move in long tracks along a smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention. They have been recorded and studied in a number of places around Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, where the number and length of travel grooves are notable. The force behind their movement is not understood and is the subject of research. Racetrack stones only move every two or three years and most tracks develop over three or four years. Stones with rough bottoms leave straight striated tracks while those with smooth bottoms wander. Stones sometimes turn over, exposing another edge to the ground and leaving a different track in the stone’s wake. Sliding rock trails fluctuate in direction and length. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

16. Supercell

During the late afternoon and early evening of April 3, 2004, this supercell thunderstorm dropped 2 inch-diameter hail over Chaparral, N.M. causing widespread damage. [ Photo by Greg Lundeen / public domain ]
A supercell is a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone; a deep, continuously-rotating updraft. Of the four classifications of thunderstorms (supercell, squall line, multi-cell, and single-cell), supercells are the overall least common and have the potential to be the most severe. Supercells are often isolated from other thunderstorms, and can dominate the local climate up to 20 miles (32 km) away. Supercells are often put into two classification types: Low-precipitation (LP) and High-precipitation (HP). LP supercells are usually found in climates that are more arid, such as the high plains of the United States, and HP supercells are most often found in moist climates. Supercells can occur anywhere in the world under the right pre-existing weather conditions, but they are most common in the Great Plains of the United States. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

17. Gravity Wave

NASA satellite image (MODIS imager on board the Terra satellite) of a wave cloud forming off of Amsterdam Island in the far southern Indian Ocean. [ Photo by NASA / public domain ]
In fluid dynamics, gravity waves are waves generated in a fluid medium or at the interface between two media (e.g., the atmosphere and the ocean) which has the restoring force of gravity or buoyancy. When a fluid element is displaced on an interface or internally to a region with a different density, gravity tries to restore the parcel toward equilibrium resulting in an oscillation about the equilibrium state or wave orbit. Gravity waves on an air-sea interface are called surface gravity waves or surface waves while internal gravity waves are called internal waves. Wind-generated waves on the water surface are examples of gravity waves, and tsunamis and ocean tides are others. Wind-generated gravity waves on the free surface of the Earth’s ponds, lakes, seas and oceans have a period of between 0.3 and 30 seconds (3 Hz to 0.03 Hz). (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

18. Foxfire

The saprobe Panellus Stipticus displaying bioluminescence. [ Photo by Ylem / public domain ]
Foxfire is the term for the bioluminescence created in the right conditions by a few species of fungi that decay wood. The luminescence is often attributed to members of the genus Armillaria, the Honey mushroom, though others are reported, and as many as 71 individual species have been identified. On the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin it was used for light in the Turtle, an early submarine. In the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the characters of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer use foxfire as a source of light in order to dig a tunnel. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

19. Snow Roller

A picture of a snow roller near Cincinnati. [ Photo by Jbinder / public domain ]
A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are typically cylindrical in shape, and are often hollow since the inner layers, which are the first layers to form, are weak and thin compared to the outer layers and can easily be blown away, leaving what looks like a doughnut or Swiss roll. Snow rollers have been seen to grow as large as two feet in diameter. Because of this last condition, snow rollers are more common in hilly areas. However, the precise nature of the conditions required makes them a very rare phenomenon. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

20. Undulatus Asperatus

Clouds (Undulatus asperatus) above Tallinn [ Photo by Avjoska / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
Undulatus asperatus (or alternately, asperatus) is a cloud formation, proposed in 2009 as a separate cloud classification by the founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. If successful it will be the first cloud formation added since cirrus intortus in 1951 to the International Cloud Atlas of the World Meteorological Organization. The name translates approximately as roughened or agitated waves. Margaret LeMone, a cloud expert with the National Center for Atmospheric Research has taken photos of asperatus clouds for 30 years, and considers it a likely new cloud type. On June 20, 2006 Jane Wiggins took a picture of asperatus clouds from the window of a downtown office building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In March 2009, Chad Hedstroom took a picture of asperatus clouds from his car near Greenville Ave in Dallas, Texas. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)

21. Green Flash

Green Flash in San Francisco.That green flash was huge. As a matter of fact it is 3 green flashes that just happened to be together that is very unusual. [ Photo by Mila Zinkova / CC BY-SA 3.0 ]
Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible, usually for no more than a second or two, above the sun, or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point. Green flashes are actually a group of phenomena stemming from different causes, and some are more common than others. Green flashes can be observed from any altitude (even from an aircraft). They are usually seen at an unobstructed horizon, such as over the ocean, but are possible over cloud tops and mountain tops as well. The green flash can also be observed from the Moon and bright planets at the horizon, including Venus and Jupiter. (based on a wikipedia article / cc by-sa)


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