These photos might look like they come from an alien planet, but it turns out our own little Earth is capable of some truly weird stuff. All of these things occur naturally across the globe because of, like, science and stuff. A lot of the reasons why go over my head, but it’s all true. It’s easy to appreciate the wondrous beauty of Earth without knowing exactly how it happens. Some of these are cringe-worthy, but others make me want to buy a plane ticket. And I am definitely going to pay closer attention to sunsets from now on. Take a look at some of the cool things you didn’t realize happen on our home planet.
1. Never-ending Wave: Occurs twice a year in Brazil when the Atlantic ocean meets the mouth of the Amazon River. The resulting waves can travel 500 miles inland before slowing down.
2. Under-water Crop Circles: In Japan, male pufferfish flapping their fins create these alien-esque circles in the sand.
3. Bleeding Glacier: Also known as “Blood Falls” in Antarctica, the outflowing water resembles blood due to iron oxide.
4. Blue Lava: Due to the combustion of sulfuric gases at extremely high temperatures, this volcano in Indonesia produces the blue glowing lava.
5. Calcifying Lake: This creepy lake in Tanzania, Lake Natron, has such high pH levels that it calcifies any animal that goes into the water.
6. Cocooned Trees: During flood season in Pakistan, spiders are forced to flee to the trees where their webs create this effect.
7. Danxia Landforms: Over millions of years, the red sandstone and mineral deposits in certain areas of China have created these rainbow-like landforms.
8. Frost Flowers: In arctic areas, these floral ice formations occur when the temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere differs.
9. Green Flash: This rare occurrence when the conditions are right at the end or beginning of a sunset.
10. Hair Ice: Water escaping plants in freezing weather can have this follicle-effect due to certain bacteria presence.
11. Horsetail Falls: In Yosemite National Park, California, this waterfall looks more like lava with a bright orange glow at certain times of the day in February.
12. Lenticular Clouds: Probably mistaken for UFOs by Fox Mulder, these clouds occur when the moist air overflows a mountain.
13. Living Rocks: Not actually rocks, these sea creatures line the beaches of Chile and are completely immobile.
14. Maelstroms: Conflicting tidal waves create these whirlpools that can suck in swimmers and boats.
15. Rainbow Trees: These Australian eucalyptus trees shed their bark to reveal vibrant colors.
16. Assembly Of Crabs: Off the coast of Australia on Christmas Island, the annual migration of nearly 120 million red crabs creates quite a sight as they make their way to the ocean.
17. Steam Towers: Occurring alongside the Northern Lights, these geothermal formations make the area seem even more like a sci-fi movie.
18. Black Sun: Formed by the massive migration of European starlings and can be seen every spring in the skies of Denmark.
19. Ever-Lasting Storm: The mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela creates weather conditions that lead to 160 consecutive stormy nights.
20. Flowering Desert: Every few years, after a particularly heavy rain, these deserts in Chile sprout flowers.
21. Great Blue Hole: This Belize attraction was formed through erosion way back when the sea level was much lower.
22. Monarch Butterfly Migration: Every year across the United States and Mexico, the beautiful butterflies gather in droves for their migration.
23. Underwater Water Fall: On the island of Mauritius, this sudden dip in ocean depth creates the illusion of an unusual water fall.