Epic Encounters: Aurora Borealis, Tornadoes, and the Astonishing Power of Nature

By Sophia Maddox | March 28, 2024

Glaciers Break Apart in a Process Known as Glacial Calving

Prepare to be enchanted as we explore the awe-inspiring wonders of our planet. From the spellbinding dance of the aurora borealis to the dramatic spectacle of a total solar eclipse, Earth's natural sights never fail to captivate. But amidst the beauty lies the raw power of nature, as hurricanes and tornadoes remind us of its relentless force. Yet, in the midst of chaos, there's also harmony – the gentle whispers of nacreous clouds and the ethereal glow of fogbows. Join us as we delve into the extraordinary, where every photo is a testament to the breathtaking marvels our world beholds. Let's embark on this journey together and marvel at the sheer magnificence of Earth's natural wonders!

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As glacial ice cracks due to thawing and refreezing or its motion forward, sections of the ice can sometimes crack off at the glacier's terminus. These chunks of ice can fall extremely rapidly. The cracks can travel across the surface of the ice at speeds as high as 80 miles per hour. If the ice falls off into a body of water, it can cause large, dangerous waves to form. In addition, glacial calving is the primary source of oceanic icebergs, which can be extremely dangerous to ships.

Lightning Strikes: One of the Most Powerful Forces on Earth

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Lightning is an incredibly powerful force; a single lightning strike has enough electricity to power a small town for an entire day. While it is not practical to harvest this energy, the Earth's thunderstorms generate a vast amount of electrical energy. Lightning strikes somewhere on Earth approximately eight million times per day. This lightning event pictured here was captured in rural Lancaster County, NE, in 2015.

While lightning is quite commonplace, it can also be dangerous. While human injuries caused by lightning strikes are relatively rare, it's important to remain inside during a thunderstorm. Furthermore, lightning can damage structures and cause power outages. When it occurs without rainfall, it can cause wildfires, and these strikes are a common cause of fires in the American West.

While lightning is most common in warm-weather thunderstorms, it can also occasionally occur during strong winter storms. These lightning strikes are often reported to produce a longer-lasting thunderclap than lightning that occurs during summer storms.