Nature Photos That You Have To See
Photographer captures the real-life Jaws image 🦈
Even though this photo looks like it’s a fantastic piece of graphic design it was actually captured by British filmmaker Euan Rannachan off the coast of Mexico. The 17ft shark was almost posing for the photo which helped the cage diving filmmaker capture this spellbinding shot complete with the shark’s exposed jagged teeth. Rannachan explained to the Daily Mail how the shot came together:
The shark in my image is a female and her name is Squirrel. We'd been with her for a while. We have these people on the boat called shark wranglers and they throw these two-foot chunks of tuna to get the shark close to the surface. The shark wrangles played an important and dangerous part on the acquisition of this amazing picture. A guy named Crazy Luis stood up on the boat to bring the shark to us when we sit on the surface in the shark cage. Sometimes when the wranglers play with the sharks, the sharks get [annoyed] and dive down under the boat and the bait so they can come rocketing up and get it. That's exactly what Squirrel was doing here, she was fed up probably messing around on the surface and dived back down under the boat. It was really deep there but the water clarity was amazing.
This buff monkey was four times stronger than most humans
No, this isn’t a still from a new Planet of the Apes movie, it’s a shot of an incredibly buff chimpanzee that suffers from alopecia - a condition that makes them lose their hair. Even though these animals are incredibly close to humans, sharing between 95 to 98 percent of the same DNA, when it comes to their fitness and muscles there’s no parallel between the two species. But why is this chimpanzee so buff? Researchers have noted that their muscles perform differently because their muscle fibers are closer to the bone than in humans and that makes them more dense than what can be found in humans.
This collection of 60 nature photos is not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to confront the raw power of the natural world, it is a thought-provoking and unforgettable experience. Viewer discretion is advised. Dare to look closer and see nature in a way you've never seen before.
A seriously scary odd couple...how tarantulas and frogs help each other survive 🕷️🐸
Believe it or not but these freaky looking the Colombian lesserblack tarantulas form long lasting relationships with small amphibious creatures like the doting humming frog instead of munching down on them. Rather than eating these tasty little frogs - which they totally could if they wanted to - the giant tarantulas keep their frog buddies around because they eat the ants that eat tarantula eggs. It’s a classic animal kingdom trade off. On top of getting to live, the cute little frogs get to eat the leftovers that tarantulas don’t finish and they have a giant protector that lords over them.
There is a real reason why you ALWAYS check the toilet in Australia 🐍🚽
Because bathroom plumbing is more often than not connected to the ventilation pipes on a roof, snakes can slither right into your home and make their way up through a toilet. This can happen anywhere, but in Australia there are a lot of different kinds of snakes who want to beat the down under heat. If you want to keep snakes out of your toilet the best thing to do is to cover your ventilation pipes with mesh or wire covering - even a rock if that’s your thing. That’s the easiest way to keep snakes out of your toilet, but even if they end up in the bowl don’t freak out (easier said than done) just be calm and call the pest control.
These are the most savage and powerful hunters on Earth...the Harpy Eagle stands 6 feet tall and will prey on sloths and even monkeys. It's sharp stare is one out of our darkest nightmares...and, wow, look closer at those claws 👿
In spite of their naive looking faces great harpy eagles are some of the most powerful and conniving hunters on Earth. They live at the top of the remote tropical forests in Central and South America and mostly eat sloths and monkeys. They don’t have many predators but they do have to watch out for jaguars - one of the few animals that’s happy to tangle with these large birds. Named for the gruesome Harpies of Greek mythology, these owls stay out of the open sky and fly from tree to tree in order to remain inconspicuous. Globally, the harpy eagle is considered Near Threatened by IUCN and it’s thought to be a “conservation-dependent species,” which means that it depends on a dedicated effort for captive breeding and release to the wild.
Do you see it? Look closer, the Gray Owl is hiding in plain sight 🦉
This remarkable photo of a gray owl hiding from its prey in the woods is truly amazing. It’s not just this creature’s plumage that’s fascinating, it’s the fact that this creature is one of the tallest owls in North America. It manages to hide from its prey by using its plumage to blend right in with the world surrounding it. According to the photographer who took the photo it was snapped by accident. Alan Murphy wrote on his Facebook:
While searching the forests of British Columbia for birds to photograph, I came across this guy. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. See if you can see the Great Gray Owl. Nature is amazing!! You can see how the plumage of the owl blends right into the texture of the tree bark making it almost invisible. The owl is looking away so you can't see the face rendering the bird invisible. Even though I was focused on the bird, it was still hard to see it.
Grizzly bears can weigh 1,500 pounds and their bite will easily break a bowling ball 🎳
Imagine taking in the beauty of nature, and then all of a sudden you are face to face with this. If sharks are the apex predator of the sea then grizzly bears are the apex predator of the land. Once a year at least one person dies from a grizzly attack, which is nuts when you think about how little contact we have with them on a day to day basis. These animals can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and they’re faster and more graceful than their weight would make you think.
This flying demon is full of surprises 🦇
You don’t see these mega bats all that often because… well they’re just not all that prevalent outside of the Philippines. This may look like a man in a bat suit but in reality it’s a bat with a wingspan of nearly six feet long. If you’re frightened of this man sized bat don’t worry, this endangered creature is a vegetarian who primarily eats fruit and sleeps deep inside the country’s caves - which makes a sighting of one of these things all the more rare. They’re called flying foxes because of their head’s resemblance to a little fox, aside from that they’re much more demonic. That being said, they’re as sweet as can be.
Welcome to Thunderdome...A barn funnel weaver lies in wait inside his perfectly crafted web for his food to arrive 🕸️
Can you imagine the shock of the insect that finds himself trapped in here with it's worst nightmare of a predator? Web spiders have an innate ability to tell the difference between vibrations from insect prey and vibrations from other sources (for example, a leaf falling into the web). Many species can also distinguish the vibrations of dangerous insects, such as wasps or other spiders from their preferred prey.
This majestic piece of construction is the work of a barn spider, a nocturnal creature that most readers are familiar with thanks to the children’s story Charlotte’s Web. There are nearly 200 species of these spiders in North America and even though their webs look like they could catch a human these spiders don’t want to do any harm to a person. Their webs are crafted to catch small insects and the spiders are attune to their construction which makes them able to tell the difference in vibrations made by insects or plants.
A charging Rhino is the most intimidating thing ever
To say that it would be frightening to be on the receiving end of a rhino charge is an understatement. These massive animals are built to trample, tromp, and destroy. Anyone finding themselves chased by a rhino should think their lucky stars if they survive. Photographer Theo Allofs describes being chased by one of these horned animals:
The rhino looked peacefully asleep when we were only about 300 meters away. Everything looked cool. But then suddenly it got very hot, and the wind began to change directions. The rhino quickly looked alert to our presence, no doubt inhaling the soap we had used during our last shower… I kneeled down behind my tripod. Camera and 600 mm lens ready for action… The rhino charged, head down, horns pointed forward – straight towards me. My shutter clicked. The rhino stopped… I stayed put. But the rhino didn’t, and charged again – straight towards me. The shutter clicked, but I didn’t move… I looked around, not a single big rock or tree for shelter against rhino horn.
P0rtrait of an American Buffalo
Bison, or the American buffalo as they’re more commonly known, used to be as plentiful as weeds on the plain or water in the ocean. They roamed in herds across the country but thanks to the commercial hunting boom of the 19th century and an outbreak of bovine diseases their numbers dwindled from millions to about 541 in 1889. Luckily they didn’t become extinct and by the mid 20th century numbers increased to about 31,000 - they now mostly roam in national parks, far away from hunters who would see their numbers drop back to the lows of the late 19th century.
Last Remaining Northern White Rhino Male Being Guarded, Sudan 🦏
One of the most horrific truths of the modern world is that white rhinos have been hunted into near extinction. James Mwenda is one of the men who cares for these animals who likely will no longer exist within the next few decades. He describes carrying for and watching over these animals as being in battle. He told Earther:
It’s really hard work out there on the ground, protecting the animals, it’s more like a war. We have not lost a rhino in more than 18 months to poaching. But because we now have 120 rhinos [across the reserve], it is more of a threat than a success. Everyone knows there is a big concentration of rhinos there now, so we need to invest more in security and technology expertise. It’s about being vigilant, investing, community empowerment and raising awareness.
The real Tiger King...read the oddly heroic story below and your mind will be blown 🤯
The snow covered tiger in this photo carried out a quest for vengeance unlike any that’s ever been told. In 1997 a poacher named Vladimir Marko shot and wounded a tiger before keeping a part of its skull as a trophy. The tiger, injured and exhausted tracked Markov down to his cabin and destroyed everything that carried the poacher’s smell. Then it waited near the front door until Markov returned home. The tiger waited between 12 hours to two days for Markov to return to his cabin and when he did the tiger pounced, dragging him to the bushes and eating him. It’s believed that the eating was secondary to the act of revenge.
Two lions battling for supremacy... only one can win
This amazing and well timed photo of a young lion doing battle with a mature male lion is a rare visual and must have been snapped by a brave individual. An electrifying fight like this can be brutal and it’s often carried out for supremacy. Either the young lion wants to be leader of the pack or they’re fighting over a mate. Either way they don’t back down until one of them is plainly ready to acquiesce. In many cases the lions will be related and their competition for dominance will be a regular way of life until one of the lions proves to be stronger than the rest of the pride.
This lava pit looks like it's sucking the souls of the damned into Hell
Taken in Kamokuna, Hawaii on April 1, 1996, this lava pit is no joke. The spot has been covered in so much lava flow that a solitary crust has formed over the flowing lava leaving a kind of skylight that allows you to look into what seems to be a portal to Hell. The tubes feeding into the hole form when a lava channel makes an arc that chills and crystallizes, or in some cases an insulated pahoehoe flow can have lava still running through it while outer layers freeze. You don’t want to walk over these tubes because they can fall apart and become a new lava channel before forming another tube.
This exquisitely mummified dinosaur in a museum in Canada has scientists astounded
On display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Alberta, Canada are the remains of an armor-plated nodosaur, a 3,000-pound plant-eating horned creature. It wouldn’t even be in the museum if it weren’t for its accidental discovery by miners around 2012. The remains are incredibly well intact and researchers were stunned. Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral researcher said:
We don’t just have a skeleton. We have a dinosaur as it would have been.
While Donald Henderson, curator of dinosaurs at the Royal Tyrrell Museum compared the find to the Rosetta Stone and the director of preservation and research called it a “dinosaur mummy.”
Underwater Waterfalls of Mauritius, where the sands from the shores are carried into the depths of the ocean
The spellbinding waterfalls of Mauritius can be found an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa. This tropical dream is the a vacation destination for travelers thanks to its beautiful beaches, lagoons and the amazing underwater waterfalls. They’re breathtaking and perfect for filling out your Instagram with heart stopping visuals that are sure to make your friends and followers jealous. Between December and March the beaches are packed, but the good news is that the tropical nature of the beach means that the weather’s always perfect.
Off the coast of Le Morne mountain is the island’s most famous waterfall and it’s the one pictured here. It’s an astonishing optical illusion, with sand and silt on the ocean floor running down in a way that it looks like the water is pouring down into an underwater waterfall.
The same whale found after 35 years in the west coast of Mexico
Whales aren’t just some of the biggest animals in the ocean (or the world for that matter) but they have a much longer lifespan than any other mammal. Whales of different species all have live long lives but some of them live much longer than others. Minke whales are the smallest species in the world and they live up to 50 years. The gray whale can live up to 70 years and the bowhead whale can live up to 200 years if its left undisturbed in the Arctic waters in which is lives. It’s not clear (at least not to us) what kind of whale this is but it’s cool to see that it’s been living a long and productive life.
Look closer...in the darkness stands this baby polar bears' mother and she will not hesitate to attack
We tend to think of polar bears as cute and cuddly creatures, but these creatures are some of the most deadly animals on the planet. They’re perfectly adapted to life in the Arctic. In spite of their sweet faces researchers have discerned that these bears use learned behavior to put them at the top of the icy food chain. These bears are suited to the cold because of the way that their fur perfectly shelters their thick bodies. By the age of six these bears weigh around 500 pounds and with some tonnage like that they can stay warm throughout the coldest temperatures.
The relentless march of time
This sturdy memorial to John Thomas Alexander Smith and his three children has been standing for more than 100 years and in that time a giant tree has grown in order to reclaim the cemetery and make this stone a part of the Earth. There’s no way to stop the majestic growth that his tree has started unless someone at the Nottingham cemetery wants to rip the growth and the headstone out of the ground, and that just sounds atrocious. Even though it may not be what this family intended it’s still an eerily fitting tribute to life and death.
What would you do if this was your bike?
Can you imagine the shock of finding a swarm of bees like this on the seat of your favorite bicycle? What causes something like this to occur? Bees swarm when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees - that’s how they form a new colony. When creating a new colony about 60 percent of the worker bees leave their old colony behind and move on with the queen. Swarms can contain anything from thousands to tens of thousands of bees and you’re most likely to see them during a three week period in the spring.
The krill filtering teeth of Antarctic crabeater seals
These round boys, also known as crabeater seals are found around the coast of Antarctica and they have one of the most unusual tooth shapes in existence. In spite of their incredibly descriptive name they don't eat crabs. The seals' diet is 90% Antarctic krill. Its krill-filtering teeth act like a type of sieve in order to keep the ocean gunk and seawater out of their stomachs while they eat as much krill as they can handle. In order to eat the seal will take a mouthful of water, close its jaws and squeeze the water out through its teeth. Yum.
These goats defy gravity
There’s no animal quite like the mountain goat, a creature that takes to steep cliffs and ridiculous heights like it’s nothing. They chill on mountain tops during the winter where they grow out a fluffy coat that they lose during the spring when they descend to lower elevation. These goats are actually more closely related to antelopes rather than goats and they climb to such ridiculous heights in order to escape from predators like bears, wolves, cougars, and golden eagles. These animals learn to climb from a young age and can follow their parents up a rock when they’re only days old.
A landslide in Taiwan
This horrific landslide buried multiple people on a 300 meter stretch of road in Taiwan. Thousands of people went searching for at least two motorists that were believed to be beneath the earth. One of the missing people was a 55-year-old female taxi driver who’s car disappeared from her company's global positioning system right when the landslide occurred. Basically an entire hill fell onto the road, covering the roadie rubble in 2010. No one knows what caused the landslide as there were no earthquakes or rain at the time of the destruction although the press at the time believed that a sharp incline near the road caused it.
This green snake wrapped itself around the Great White Herons beak to prevent the bird from eating it
This is definitely something you don’t see every day. Photographer Jose Garcia snapped this pic of a green snake wrapping itself around the lengthy beak of a great heron in order to avoid becoming a snack. It’s hard to say how often a tactful snake employs this kind of tactic, but it’s clear that it’s practiced at committing such an act of boldfaced slithering bravery. Unlike some moments when animals go toe to toe with one another, this ended in a draw. Garcia said, “The fight lasted for nearly 20 minutes with the heron having to release its prey.”
Even tigers love the snow
We tend to think of tigers patrolling the hot plains of Africa, but they’re not strictly warm weather creatures. According to Renée Jean from the Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary tigers love to run around in the snow. Jeri Meeker, program coordinator of the nonprofit tiger sanctuary explained:
Actually, a lot of the big cats are more active in winter than they are in summer. Summer heat makes us less active, and it’s the same for them. [On cold days] we give them all access to an indoor heated area so they will have a choice, but they’re all outside in spite of that.
Crazy bird tornado
This birdnado looks like something out of a dream but this creepy visual is all natural. The photo was taken by an amateur photographer and even though no one is exactly sure what’s making up this living tornado it’s believed that it’s caused by starlings, a bird that’s infamous for flying in thick flock formations known as murmurations. The formation helps reduce the amount of energy that the starlings need to put out in order to travel and moving in large, freaky groups like this protect them from predators. When starlings move in a group like this the entire pattern will change with one bird.
Geese have multiple rows of teeth like appendages made of cartilage
Geese were already scary but this brings an entirely new dimension to these angry little birds. While those sharp gnashers may look like teeth they’re actually made of a kind of cartilage called called tomium. This tough cartilage serves a similar function to teeth but there’s no enamel and they grow directly out of the beak. A goose’s tomium teeth are just as sharp and hard as regular teeth and they can take a good chunk out of you if you’re not careful so you should do your best to avoid seeing these bad boys up close at all cost.
Spiders cocooning themselves in trees during a flood
After a monsoon struck Pakistan in 2010, the rivers spilled up over their banks, leading insects to seek shelter however they could. One of the creepiest ways was carried out by spiders that hid in the trees and wove silky webs around the leaves and branches. Russell Watkins a multimedia editor with the U.K.'s Department for International Development photographed the event and later told National Geographic:
There wasn't a scientific analysis of this being done. Anecdotally, I think it was pretty much any kind arachnid species, possibly combined with other insects.
Locals had never seen anything like this, adding to the overt creepiness of the web covered trees.
This Black timber wolf is ready to attack
The last thing you want to see when you’re out on a hike is a face like this. Timer wolves aren’t born mean but they don’t want you running free through their territory. As scary as these canines seem they have hearts as big as anything else. According to Reader’s Digest a prospector who rescued a group of timber wolf cubs from Coho Creek in Alaska and returned them to their mother and helped nurse them back to health the animals remembered him years after the fact. After returning from World War II he saw a dark shape moving across a meadow. He said:
I could see it was a timber wolf. A chill spread through my whole body. I knew at once that familiar shape, even after four years. ‘Hello, old girl,’ I called gently. The wolf edged closer, ears erect, body tense, and stopped a few yards off, her bushy tail wagging slightly.
A snowy owl chilling with his buddy
This photo of a snowy owl resting on a duck is rare for a few different reasons. Not only is it strange that these two birds would let someone get close enough to them with a camera to snap a great shot but in many cases snowy owls have been known to eat ducks. These aren’t the friend odd fowl friends to form an unusual bond in the animal kingdom, but it’s always fascinating to see a partnership like this happen. Although it’s also entirely possible that this own is just sitting on its prey until the photographer took off so it could eat its meal in peace.
King of the ocean
You can hear it right now, can’t you? That DUN DUN, DUN DUN building faster and faster and louder and louder until it attacks. The great white shark is one of the most deadly predators on the planet and it stops at nothing to feed once it’s found its prey. Few people who’ve come face to face with one of these deep sea monsters has lived to survive, but one man, Jerry Ventouras, told the Guardian what happened when his friend Ken found himself on the receiving end of a shark attack in Perth:
I turned around and saw this enormous fin travelling on the inside of Ken. It came in behind him. It was surreal. This damn big shark – somewhere between five metres and six metres – head up out of the water, its jaws wide open surging towards Ken. Without even stopping, [it] seemed to grab him across the lower half of his body, lift him out of the water and give him a couple of shakes like a dog would shake at a bone, [and then] dropped him in the middle of the pool in a great cloud of blood. There was no sound.
Bald eagles are the masters of the sky and an apex predator
Found only in North America, the bald eagle is a majestic creature that can have a wingspan of up to seven and a half feet. An adult eagle can soar at a speed of up to 30 mph at a height of 10,000 feet. These beautiful birds live up to 30 years in the wild and around 50 captivity, out of all the birds in the sky they’re certainly most impressive. When it comes to hunting their prey they can see a creature from miles away so their dinner doesn’t even know it’s on the menu until it’s too late. They’re truly an enduring symbol of American freedom - and to think Ben Franklin wanted to use the turkey.
Cthulu or seaweed? And do you want to find out what it is?
Even though we’re much more aware of what’s in the ocean today, for a second you probably thought these waves were filled with creatures with thousands of tentacles. We know it’s seaweed but it’s hard not to freak out a little bit when you see something like this. The ocean is filled with seaweed and all manner of muck, but it’s rare to see the water pick up so much sea trash and bring it along with it in a massive wave. Can you imagine what it’s like to swim into a wave like this? Even if the water isn’t filled with a giant octopus or something it’s still got to be gross to let this kind of thing wash over you.
This central Texas town has a bird problem
As temperatures dip in the fall, birds migrate from the north to warmer climates in the south. Some go to Mexico, others Florida, and many go to Texas. Migrating birds fly at night when the air is cool and calm and when their are less predators waiting for them. Migrating birds fly together in tandem so when one bird takes a break they all take a break - this leads to small towns turning from quaint hamlets to looking downright apocalyptic. Towns in central Texas aren’t just known for being covered in birds but often in spring they’re covered in crickets.
The eye of a tokay gecko
The enchanting eye belongs to the tokay gecko, a species of lizard that’s native to Southeast Asia, and as small as it is it’s still one of the largest geckos that you’ll find. These little bad boys aren’t just cute but they’re speedy as well. They can evade capture with a fast sprint and they can climb across walls, trees, and slippery rocks thanks to the small plates on the bottom of their feet that are covered in tiny hairlike processes that are forked at the end. Some geckos are even known to have retractable claws, so make sure you don't tangle with any of these little guys... just in case.
coyote pups learning to howl
Everybody’s got to learn to howl - even coyote pups. These “barking dogs” are known as the most vocal of North America’s mammals. This animals howl includes high-pitched howls, barks, and yelps that each mean something different, giving them their own kind of language. In 1978 Philip N. Lehner wrote of their complex sounds in Coyotes: Biology, Behavior, and Management, explaining:
The vocal repertoire of the adult coyote contains eleven vocalizations, several of which are also given by pups. These vocalizations grade into one another such that their separation into eleven types is somewhat arbitrary based on their different sounds, behavior context, and physical characteristics.
The moment the rising sun made it look like this polar bar was breathing fire
Capturing the perfect photo of a polar bear can be a daunting task, especially when that task involves going out into sub freezing temperatures with a camera that could choke up at any time. To snap this shot of what looks like a polar bear breathing fire Anon spent weeks on board a ship waiting for the perfect moment. Anon explained what it was like to photograph a polar bear in the Arctic:
We stay with this bear from 10 P.M. until early the next day. This bear was a fantastic 'photo' bear, coming close to us multiple times and staying interested in us. The soft Arctic light made for beautiful pinks in the sky, and it reflected on the ice. We were happy to see that he was a big, fat healthy bear too.
The sailfish is considered by scientists to be the fastest swimming marine creature in the world
While it’s up for debate among scientists and biologists, the sailfish is believed to be one of the fastest swimming animals in the world, although some researchers disagree. What is known is that the sailfish can top out at speeds of 70 mph which means that they’re just as home on the highway as they are in the ocean. The one animal that scientists debate about going faster than the sailfish is the cheetah, which is actually wild when you think about the implications of this race. This brand of billfish are found in groups, feeding on smaller fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods.
The juvenile form of the yellow boxfish is a dazzling bright yellow, but this color fades away into adulthood
This angry aquatic block of cheese is a young yellow boxfish. When these creatures are young they shine an amazing bright yellow, although as they grow older their color fades. The yellow boxfish lives near warm water ocean reefs and when they’re attacked they release a neurotoxin called tetrodoxin that can do away with lethal predators and whatever fish are in the area. Even if a predator gets a boxfish in their mouth they’ll usually spit them out because they taste so horrible. When a boxfish gets hungry it usually munches on algae as well as microorganisms, invertebrates, mollusks and crustaceans.
The power of mother nature
When most people think of the ocean they picture rest and relaxation but those people have never felt the mighty power of the tides. The ocean is one of the most powerful and terrifying things on the planet. With the combination of the tides and weather patterns waves can break at over 75 feet high or even higher. Admittedly the waves like the one pictured aren’t what you’ll find on a normal day at the beach but rather in the middle of a hurricane or typhoon. The best thing to do if you find yourself in the thrall of huge waves like this is to hold on for dear life.
A microscopic look at a bee stinger vs a bee stinger
No one wants to choose between a bee sting and needle stick, they’re both painful but bee stingers are five times softer at the tip than the base which makes it much easier to pierce a person’s skin. Researchers have studied how to make medical needles more like bee stingers to make life easier for people. Bharat Bhushan Ohio Eminent Scholar explained:
Wasps and bees don’t want to create too much pain to start with, and we believe the softer tip makes it less likely that you’ll notice the initial insertion. If you felt the pain right away, you would react and swat the insect away before it finished injecting its venom.
Oh no oh no oh NOOOO
It’s strange to think that some fish spend their lives kept in an aquarium, watching us go throughout our lives day by day and waiting for their dinner. This fish is clearly ready for more than some nibble of a fish food, it’s ready for a taste of human flesh. Or maybe it’s just excited to see its owner get so close to the glass. Not every fish has as big a mouth as this, but this little guy is seriously freaked out after seeing its owner’s finger get so close to the glass. Who among us wouldn’t absolutely flip out if we got so close to a giant finger like that?
The breathtaking phenomenon of volcanic lightning
There’s no limit to the wonders of Mother Nature, and one of the most insane things that occurs across the world is volcanic lightning. It’s beautiful and dangerous but it doesn’t happen every time a volcano erupts - there has to be special circumstances. A volcanic eruption occurs when hot, molten rock pushes its way up through the Earth's crust. Most of the time these eruptions flow out in a slow, mannered way but sometimes it’s explosive. These explosions send large plumes of ash into the air and that’s when you’re most likely to see volcanic lightning. This rarity has been observed for ages so it’s not out of the question that you’ll see it, just stay safe when you’re on your volcano watching expedition.
A plume of smoke rises over the Australian outback
The massive fires that have nearly destroyed Australia have burned just about every part of the country but New South Wales and Victoria are the areas that have been the most affected. In 2020 the BBC reported that more than 2,000 houses in New South Wales were destroyed, forcing thousands of people to go without shelter. The island continent has always had brushfires but the fires that began in September 2019 have been the deadliest ever. Andrew Watkins, head of long-range forecasts at the bureau, blames a terrible heat wave for the fires. He told the BBC:
The key culprit of our current and expected conditions is one of the strongest positive Indian Ocean dipole events on record. A positive IOD means we have cooler than average water pooling off Indonesia, and this means we see less rain-bearing weather systems, and warmer than average temperatures for large parts of the country.
The ultimate staring contest with a giant crocodile
It seems like it’s a hat on a hat for a giant crocodile to exist in nature when regular old crocodiles and alligators are scary enough as is. One school giant crocodile is found on the Nile and he’s known as “Gustave.” This Nile crocodile is a man eater with a bodycount of as many as 300 victims who’ve suffered a horrible fate while walking the banks of the Ruzizi River. No one knows exactly how big Gustave is, but it’s believed that he’s longer than 18 feet and that he weighs more than 2,000 pounds. Attempts to capture this large fellow have been unsuccessful.
Starlings obscure the sky over Rome in dystopia viral photo
Rome is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but every autumn the skies fill with starlings. These small songbirds come to the city in huge numbers from the chilly Eastern Europe and Scandinavia and it’s believed that nearly four million of these little birds flee to Italy each year and completely cover the sky. If you notice, the horizon line of this photo shows what’s left of the sunset in a faded blue and orange trying to break through the impenetrable bird haze. There’s no way to avoid something like this, they simply come to the city and the people of Rome just have to live with it.
That'll freeze your pipes. A house encased in ice after a blizzard
There’s freezing and then there’s frozen. Harsh winter conditions in 2017 left this house in Webster, New York frozen like an igloo but it wasn’t just the cold that did it, this was caused by a combination of things. The violent winds mixed with moisture from the surrounding lakes to coat this house in ice and turn it into a frozen palace. In order to keep this from happening a home has to protect itself with a retaining wall - or you could just not live near a giant body of water where it gets down to freezing temperatures - but that’s your call.
You've heard of a waterfall but what about a sandfall?
Believed to be a myth, Middle Eastern sandfalls are actually a fairly new thing to hit places like Saudi Arabia and the cause is believed to be climate change. Sandfalls occur when sand behaves like water and pours over a cliff. Thought to be a myth, these sandfalls tend to occur over dry riverbeds that can flood after a heavy rain. The water carries a vast amount of sand with it and gives off the impression that the sand is flowing like water. Videos of these sandfalls have been popping up since about 2013 and while the catalyst for them is clearly a bad thing they’re still fascinating to see.