37 incredible natural phenomena around the world

gaz sulfurique ejectés

Here are the strangest phenomena to be observed on Earth!

There are thousands of strange phenomena we could list here. To prove that we still don’t know everything about our beautiful planet, here are some magnificent photos of phenomena you’ve probably never experienced!

A living rock in Chile

rocher biologique

Methane bubbles trapped under the ice

bulles methanes

Gigantic quantities of methane are trapped under frozen ground and lakes (notably in Russia). This is a potential danger if the climate warms up too much (methane contributes 28 times more to the greenhouse effect than CO2).

Giant crabs in Tasmania

crabe geant tasmanie

Flying fish

poisson volant

Gigantic crab migration on Christmas Island (Australia)

crabes migration crabes migration

The Catatumbo storm

foudre venezuela

This storm is a strange meteorological phenomenon that repeats itself in the same place around 140 days a year for 10 hours (at night). The rate of lightning strikes is around 280 per minute!

A water hole in Belize formed by erosion

trou noir belize

Hell’s Gate in Turkmenistan

trou enfer turkmenistan
trou enfer turkmenistan

This is a flaming gas exhaust that has been burning continuously since 1971. A similar hole burned for over 4,000 years in Iraq, and is even mentioned in the Old Testament!

Volcanic storms

éclairs volcan

With the extreme temperatures and gases released by the volcano, a mini thunderstorm can develop during the eruption, giving it a spectacular character!

Round boulders in New Zealand

rochers ronds

These rocky balls are a strange sight to behold on KoeKohe beach. Over tens of millions of years, these balls of sediment have rolled along the ocean floor, ending up on these beaches.

Steam tours in Iceland

Tours de vapeur à Hverir, Islande

The Hverir region is an exceptionally active geothermal zone. These steam towers are formed by the mixing of water and surrounding dust as the water boils.

Ice caverns

grotte de glace grotte de glace

Many phenomena take place beneath a glacier. The formation of ice caverns is a magnificent temporary phenomenon, thanks to the blue reflections that the ice casts on the cavern formed.

Volcanic pillow lavas

pillow lavas

When lava rises to the surface, it undergoes rapid cooling. The structure that allows the lava to cool as quickly as possible is an octagonal one. Once erosion has done its work around these structures, you can admire the masterpiece!

The Mariana Trench

fosse des mariannes animaux fosse des mariannes animaux

The Mariana Trench is the most unexplored place in the world. If Everest were plunged into the trench, we wouldn’t even be able to see the summit… Researchers are increasingly interested in this deep world and the creatures that live there…

Danxia formations in China

chine couleurs

These geological formations are fine sedimentary deposits with different mineral contents, giving them different colors. These formations are an exceptionally colorful place!

Sardine migration

bancs de sardines bancs de sardines

The sardine migration (May to July) is an impressive phenomenon. Billions of sardines are on the move. The sardine cloud is so large that it can be tracked by satellite, and is often more than 8km long and 2km wide!

Flowery Atacama Desert

désert en fleur désert en fleur

This desert (one of the driest in the world) is full of surprises! In fact, when enough rain falls, entire regions bloom! The rain actually activates bulbs buried underground for long periods.

Socotra Island, Yemen

yémen plantes yémen plantes

An exceptionally varied environment can be found on this island in Yemen. In fact, almost a third of its flora is found nowhere else on the planet!

Lenticular clouds

nuages lenticulaires

nuages lenticulaires

Often mistaken by photographers for UFOs (when small in size), these clouds form around mountains and follow their shape.

Hole lake in Canada

lac à trous lac à trous

This Canadian lake near Osoyoos, British Columbia, is a very unusual lake. When it evaporates, it leaves traces of all colors and different mini-lakes depending on the mineralization of the water. A geological phenomenon not to be missed!

Australia’s special clouds

nuages matinaux australie

These clouds are all the more rare for not knowing their origin! They form exclusively in Australia, near a small town called Burketown.

A white rainbow

arc en ciel blanc

This is a rainbow that forms in fog rather than rain, and absorbs almost all colors, giving it its pale white glow.

Fluorescent waves in the Maldives

vague fluorescentes maldives

A superb phenomenon on the beach in the Maldives! These are actually micro-organisms that populate the water on the beach, glowing like little stars in the water. A magnificent spectacle!

The Mamma cloud

nuage mamma

These are pockets of cloud that form at the base of a large cloud. It’s a rare natural phenomenon that occurs when the air and clouds are at different humidity levels.

Eruption of a geyser


Just before a geyser explodes, you can see the strange colors of the jet.

Calcifying lake

lac calcifié

lac calcifié

Some lakes are so saline that they can turn animals into stone when they die. Impressive!

Asperatus cloud

nuage asperatus

Considered the rarest clouds in the world (known since 2009). They take on an exceptional shape.

Striated glaciers

glacier à rayures
glacier à rayures

Ice flowers

glace sur l'eau glace sur l'eau

When the ambient air is colder than water, ice crystals can form, giving rise to a dazzling display of blooming ice fields.

Snow chimneys

cheminées de neige

These volcanic chimneys form in the Arctic, where they are in fact volcanic vents from which gases escape, and which are simply covered in snow!

Pillars of light in Russia

pilliers de lumiere russie

When the air is very cold (particularly in Siberia), the flat reflection of the surrounding ice can give this « pillar » shape to human light…

Rocks in motion

rochers qui bougent

This is a little-known phenomenon. It involves rocks that leave traces behind them over the years. What makes them move is still a mystery, but one geology professor has an interesting theory.

Supercell storm


These are the most dangerous and devastating thunderstorms in existence. They can last for hours and are highly localized.



A Maelstrom is a whirlpool that forms in certain places and can suck in swimmers and small boats. The most powerful known is at Saltstraumen in Norway.

Ice hair

cheveux de glace

This phenomenon occurs when a plant releases water into an icy atmosphere. The rapidly freezing water then takes on the shape of a hair…

Sulfuric eruption

gaz sulfurique ejectés

This violet effect is caused by sulfuric gases, which can sometimes escape in large quantities during an eruption.

Lake Baikal ice

glaces lac baikal

Fluorescent forest

forêt fluo

A fluorescent forest mushroom makes this forest glow in the dark!

Sources: Distractify, Emlii

What about you? Do you know of any other incredible natural phenomena around the world?