World Earth Day is an annual celebration marked on April 22 with earth day games, activities, events and more. The first earth day was celebrated in 1970 and today it is celebrated globally by the Earth Day Network. Earth Day brings attention to several concerns that require our attention such as soil corruption, nuclear issues, depletion of the Earth’s natural resource, energy conservation, deforestation of rainforests, depletion of the ozone layer and more. Mother Earth has always been kind and we have always underestimated the wonders it offers. A close look at the mother nature will leave you awestruck. It always creates mesmerizing moments of natural beauty which are utterly elusive and never fails to mesmerize us. On the occasion of World Earth Day, let’s take a whirl through the rare and gorgeous natural phenomena that occur on Earth. These phenomena are truly magical – along with the science behind them.
Sailing Stones, Death Valley
Also known as walking rocks, moving stones, and rolling stones, Sailing Stones are a phenomenon where rocks move along smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention. These rocks are found at Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park in California and Little Bonnie Claire Playa in Nevada. According to the journal Plos One, Richard D. Norris and his cousin James M. Norris said that the movement comes from very thin windowpane ice that sometimes covers the dry lake bed. After the ice melts in the sun, it may break up under light winds. Floating ice panels may then push the rocks, causing them to move and leave tracks on the desert floor.
Hair Ice, Wales
Also known as ice wool or frost beard, Hair Ice forms on the dead wood and a glance at them will make you believe it to be silky hair or candy floss. It is usually spotted in broadleaf forests that has latitudes between 45-55 degree N. A fungus called Exidiopsis Effusa is believed to be the key to its formation.
Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, China
Located in Gansu, China, Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park is spread across 322 square kilometers. The park was initially called ‘Zhangye Danxia Geopark’ and was formally designated as ‘Zhangye National Geopark’ by the Ministry of Land and Resources on June 16, 2016. The park is known for its colourful rock formations with different shapes and sizes. It is believed to be the results of deposits of sandstone and other minerals that occurred over 24 million years.
Glowing Ocean Neon, Indian Ocean
The bright blue glow in the Indian ocean at night is believed to be Noctiluca Scintillans, commonly called sea sparkle. This bioluminescent plankton moves under the surface of the water and gets the bright glow when in touch with other particles.
Frozen Methane Bubbles, Alaska
These bubbles look like jewels and are frozen pouches of methane – a highly flammable gas. Methane bubbles form in water bodies when dead organic matter falls into the water and sinks to the bottom and meets the bacteria. These bacteria get in touch with the dead matter and release methane that looks like white floating blobs after it comes in contact with frozen water. Scientists are worried about the phenomena as methane is stronger than carbon dioxide.
Aurora Borealis, Norway
These beautiful green glow are visible only on dark nights between September and March. Green lights and scarlet streaks are visible across the sky. These lights are electrically charged particles from the sun that crashes into Earth’s magnetic field. They further move to the magnetic poles of the Northern and Southern hemisphere and create a horseshoe-shape of green particles.
Frozen Waves’ in Antarctica
Frozen waves are a beautiful sight. They were first visible in Antarctica when the ice was compressed and the trapped bubbles were released. Melting and re-freezing give the waves the blue colour.
Spotted Lake, Canada
Located in the Eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, the saline endorheic alkali lake is richly concentrated with various minerals including calcium, sodium sulfates and magnesium sulfate. It also includes eight other minerals and lower amount of silver and titanium. The lake is visited by a lot of travellers who are allowed to view it from the fence that is erected for protection.
Turquoise Ice Laka Baikal, Russia
Located in Siberia, Laka Baikal is one of the largest freshwater lakes by volume in the world, comprising of 20 percent of the Earth’s freshwater. The lake is 25 million years old and is home to over two thousand varieties of flora and fauna. During Winter when the lake freezes, large shards of ice form on the surface of the lake giving it a gorgeous look of turquoise ice.
Crooked Forest, Poland
The oddly-shaped pine trees located in Poland is a grove of around 100 pine trees planted around 1930. Each tree bends to the North above the ground level and curves back upright. It was also said that the trees got the specific shape due to some form of tool or technique to get a naturally curved timber in furniture or making boats. While others believe that the shape is due a snowstorm. Well, nobody actually knew what really happened.