The world is full of things that make you stop dead in your tracks. The events that take your breath away as you look on in awe. Not all of them occur naturally. Quite a lot of the ‘beauty’ around us is man made. We often take natural phenomena for granted just because we’ve become overexposed to it. Even simple things like a walk through the park doesn’t quite evoke the emotions that it should.
So, sometimes, you need something spectacular to remind you that the world is actually an incredible place. It isn’t something we’ll ever be able to comprehend fully, but at least it’s something we can observe and admire. Here are some of our favourite natural phenomena that you need to visit if you get the chance.
Where else can we begin a list of this nature than with the incredulous Northern Lights? The Aurora itself is often quite confusing. Not many people understand where to go to see it. Or when. Or how. Where can you see the Northern Lights? Well, the truth is that the Aurora Borealis is very unpredictable.
The lights are the result of collisions between electrical particles from the sun as they enter Earth’s atmosphere. The Aurora also occurs in the Southern Hemisphere and, unbelievably, is almost a mirror image of the Northern Lights. Its most common colour is green, but it may vary depending on the gases it comes in contact with.
You might know it best for the role it plays in Greek Mythology, but Mount Olympus is certainly a real mountain. In actuality, it’s the highest mountain point in all of Greece. It has the prestige of being the first national park to open in Greece, where wildlife and unusual forestry is can be observed.
Where things start to get a little bit weird is when a lenticular cloud gathered around the top of the mountain. In the shape of a lens or disc, the clouds covered the whole of Mount Olympus in shadow and was mistaken by locals as a UFO. The actual explanation isn’t anywhere near as remarkable. It’s just an alignment of clouds thanks to the wind. But still, Mount Olympus is definitely a place to check out if you’re visiting Greece. If only for its role in mythology.
The Door to Hell
The not at all sinister sounding Door to Hell can be found in the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan. It is a direct result of a natural gas field collapsing into itself and forming a crater that was then accidentally ignited by scientists. Its fire has burned on a constant basis ever since.
Around ten thousand people visit the tourist attraction every year, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a fiery pit; the size of a football field. The desert area around it has become a hotspot for camping, too. In recent times, the president of Turkmenistan has expressed a desire to see the hole covered up. So, you might want to cross this one off the bucket list while you still can.