While the Seven Wonders of the World are jaw-dropping man-made creations that continuously inspire architects, artists, and creative thinkers, nature has some of its own wonders that will take your breath away. Science can explain the chemical structure and formation of such creations, but nothing can truly capture and explain the magnitude and beauty that Earth's natural phenomena have left us with than simply viewing these marvels with your own eyes.
Make it a point to see these incredible, sometimes inexplicable natural wonders.
The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are one of nature's most breath-taking gifts. Located above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres, the lights glow red, yellow, green, blue and violet. They are also known by their scientific names, "aurora borealis" in the north, and the "aurora australis" in the south. The lights are caused by collisions between electrically charged particles released between the Earth and sun's atmospheres. The differences in mystical colors are derived from the type of gas particles that are colliding. No painting or photograph can truly replicate its beauty. The Northern lights can be seen throughout Norway and other Nordic regions like Iceland and Canada, but are most frequently visible above the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway, in the late autumn and winter/early spring, when days are longer.
The Catatumbo Lightning
The Catatumbo lightning over the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela is an atmospheric phenomena that has occurred for many centuries. The 5km long lightning rods are a result of heat and moisture collection across a plain located between the high mountain ridges of the Andes, the Perijá Mountains and Merida's Cordillera. Together, the heat and moisture create electrical charges fueling the world's largest single generator of tropospheric ozone where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo. The lightning occurs 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day up to 280 times per hour. Though Venezuela experienced four lightning free months in 2010 due to drought, the Catatumbo lightning has reappeared and can still be seen today.
Red tides, or algal bloom, can often be seen along coastal areas. In places like San Diego, California, there is an abundance of algae containing photosynthetic pigments that produce the reddish-brown, sometimes purple and pink, visible patches seen near the water's surface. But not all algal blooms cause water discoloration. In low concentrations, where algal bloom is less dense, the appearance of their varying color pigmentation goes unnoticed. Though red tides draw a lot of attention because of their unusualness and beauty, other red tide outbreaks are avoided because they produce natural toxins, which can be environmentally hazardous.
Nacreous clouds, sometimes referred to as mother-of-pearl clouds or stratospheric clouds because of the shimmering pigment resembling that of a seashell, appear iridescent and blazing in the sky in places like Scandinavia, Iceland, Alaska and Northern Canada. Nacreous clouds can be seen at high latitudes during the winter in the polar regions of the northern and southern hemispheres. They are produced some 9-16 miles above the tropospheric clouds where miniscule ice crystals accumulate in a thin layer of cloud to form a uniform shape and size. The sun has to be perfectly aligned with the colors in order to produce the magnificent colors. It's no wonder why they are a rare treasure to behold.