Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fantastic/Rare Wonders of Nature: Sailing Stones, Columnar Basalt, Blue Holes, Red Tides, Ice Circles, Mammatus Clouds, Fire Rainbows

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Edited: 15 Aug, 2009

Watch the rare wonders of nature…….

The classical natural wonders are huge and hard to miss - vast canyons, giant mountains and the like. Many of the most fantastic natural phenomena, however, are also least easy to spot. Some are incredibly rare while others are located in hard-to-reach parts of the planet. From moving rocks to mammatus clouds and red tides to fire rainbows, here are seven of the most spectacular phenomenal wonders of the natural world.

1) Sailing Stones

2) Columnar Basalt

3) Blue Holes

4) Red Tides

5) Ice Circles

6) Mammatus Clouds

7) Fire Rainbows

Read the article here... http://webecoist.com/2009/01/18/nature-phenomena-wonders-natural-world/


Barbara said...

What can be said besides, "Wow"? And it's not even a LOUD wow. It's a soft wow, a whispered wow, a wondering wow. These are the things that are awesome. These are wowsome.


CobraStar5 said...

Sailing Stones and Ice Circles have to be the newest examples I have seen.
What a wonderful Earth day Birthday this makes !

anjali said...

I'm awestruck by the marvellous nature of this extraordinary planet and its mysteries....what a magnificent privilege to be here as a human!

HM Team said...

Thanks Barbara... 'wow' indeed!

@CobraStar5: There are so many more marvels to discover!

@anjali: a real privilege it is... also this is certainly the best time to be alive!

HM Team said...

Here are further details with links to articles for those who'd like to explore more:

Sailing Stones:

The sailing stones (also referred to as "moving", "racing", or "sliding" rocks/stones) are a geological phenomenon found in Racetrack Playa, Death Valley. The stones are assumed move to slowly across the surface of the playa, inferred from the long tracks behind them, without human or animal intervention. They have neither been seen nor filmed in motion and are not unique to The Racetrack. Similar rock travel patterns have been recorded in several other playas in the region but the number and length of travel grooves on The Racetrack are notable. The furthest moved that was recorded in data is 880.73 miles.


Columnar basalt

...the extensive fracture network that develops results in the formation of columns


Blue Hole:

A blue hole is a submarine cave or sinkhole. They are also called vertical caves.

Blue holes are roughly circular, steep-walled depressions, and so named for the dramatic contrast between the dark blue, deep waters of their depths and the lighter blue of the shallows around them. Their water circulation is poor, and they are commonly anoxic below a certain depth; this environment is unfavorable for most sea life, but nonetheless can support large numbers of bacteria.


Red Tides:

Red tide is a common name for a phenomenon more correctly known as an algal bloom.... pigments that vary in colour from green to brown to red.


Ice Circles:

An ice circle is a rare phenomenon that occurs in slow moving water in cold climates. It consists of large discs of ice that rotate slowly in the water. It is believed that they form in eddy currents.


Mammatus Clouds

Mammatus (meaning "bumpy clouds") is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. The name "mammatus" is derived from the Latin mamma (udder), due to the resemblance between the shape of these clouds and the udder of a cow.


Fire Rainbows


Lisa said...

I think it is unfair that these images have been used in a MASS email without any consent from the photographers. I for one, am the holder of the Circumhorizontal Arc (the one with the airplane) ALSO this is Not aFire Rainbow, that is insulting to the atmospheric community! This photo is copyrighted BY ME and I am trying to get to the source of this email and who constructed the montage of CHA's without any written consent from the owners. Sure I want to share this with the world, as I have. It was published in National Geographic April 2008, but where is the credit(s) to all of us who photographed these images????
Any help in tracking down where this originated from would be greatly appreciated. The one who "copied" my photo did so without my permission and that is just wrong!

Lisa Gonnelli