Image source – Wikimedia

Natural phenomena can sometimes be inexplicable and mysterious. At times, it may require exhaustive and comprehensive study to understand and get to the bottom of an occurrence. In most cases, a scientific study reveals the wonders of nature that man has yet to explore. A few natural phenomena occurring around the world are as follows:

1. Fire rainbows:

Image source – Pixabay

Fire rainbows or Circum-horizontal arcs are more commonly see in the mid-latitudes. A Fire Rainbow usually occurs when the sun is placed highest from the earth at an angle of 58 degrees in the sky. Another essential for a Fire Rainbow to manifest is the Cirrus Cloud. Cirrus Clouds are thin but fluffy clouds that are located at high altitudes. The altitude makes Cirrus Clouds consist of ice crystals. Sunlight travels through these crystals as light travels through a prism causing the phenomena call Fire Rainbows. Light from the sun has color, namely , red, orange, yellow, green and blue penetrating water particles and in turn producing the Fire Rainbow.

2. Volcanic Lightning:

Image source – Pexels

Similar to a lightning occurring from a thunderstorm, Volcanic Lightning occurs when an electric discharge transpires during a volcanic eruption. It is said that volcanic ash collides against each other, generating static electricity and is discharged within a volcanic plume. However, a volcanic lightning is as unpredictable as a thunderstorm lightning. There are a combination of variable factors that need to work in tandem for a successful volcanic lightning to happen. For example the height of the ash plume has a say in a lightning to occur. You have a better chance to witness this rare phenomenon if the height of the ash plum extends to somewhere between 7 and 12 kms. Longer plumes accommodate larger concentrations of water vapor that may lead to Volcanic Lightnings

Spherules: Geologists are particularly interested in Volcanic Spherules. Volcanic lightning produces or creates a by-product called Volcanic Spherules. When a cloud to ground lighting occurs, it produces high temperatures to the tune of 30,000 degree Celsius. The lightning bolt hit ash particles in the plume effecting either of 2 actions. The first possibility would be that the ash present in the plume is vaporized on impact. The second possibility is that the lightning bolt hits the ash in the plume, reducing it to melt and subsequent succession quickly solidify. This solidified material is called Volcanic Spherules. The presence of Volcanic Spherules provide ample evidence that volcanic evidence does occur inside a plume.

3. Salar De Uyuni:

Image source – Pixabay

In Bolivia, located at an elevation of almost 12,000 feet, lies the worlds largest salt flat. The flat stretches far and wide to about 10,000 . The square kilometers. Salar is said to have formed unnatural transformation of prehistoric lakes.

The surface of the flat consists of a thick crust of salt while below is a solution of brine which has high contents of lithium in it. And the world’s need for lithium in mobile batteries is sourced from the Salar De Uyuni area. In the event of rain, a thin layer of water covers the surface of the flat, helping it to transform into the world’s largest mirror. One might think that these salt flat lands cannot support any form of life. On the contrary there is a significant presence of flora and fauna in the area. Migratory Flamingos. Other birds like the Andean goose and the Hillstar can be spotted in these areas.

Tourism: The Salar De Uyuni attracts tourists from all over the world. Being very far away from cities and civilization, transporting building material for erecting infrastructure in the area was next to impossible. Thus, blocks of salt were carved out of the flats, to be used as building blocks for hotels and tourist homes.

4. Giant Holes in Siberia:

Image source – Wikimedia

Northern Russia where temperatures plummet to sub zero levels have been witnessing a strange phenomena lately. Huge natural explosions are taking place that leave craters more than 100 feet deep. These explosions are so loud that residents living as far as 70kms away have heard them distinctly.

Many ideas and theories ranging from aliens to ghost floated among the local population. Scientists, however, have come up with an answer that should get the world worried – Climate Change. Scientists went on to explain the situation as follows:

Methane Gas : It is common knowledge that lower parts of the earth contain methane gas. A combination of methane and water freeze together into a material called methane hydrate and stay pressurized underground. The snow and frost maintained by the weather and sub- zero temperatures keep methane hydrate bottled up. Climate change however, has been slowly thawing the ground. The thaw releases methane as gas and tends to rise, building up pressure which eventually results in a huge explosion, leaving a huge crater in the ground.

5. The Polar Stratospheric cloud:

Image source – Wikimedia

These clouds are some of most beautiful cloud formations found. They are usual observed at altitudes as high as 25,000 meters. Some of these Polar Stratospheric clouds play a role in the formation of the ozone layer. There are two types of polar stratospheric cloud. One of them consists of water and nitric acid, supercooled, fundamentally because the exists so high in the stratosphere. The other main type of the polar stratospheric cloud consists of plain ice crystals.

Types of Polar Stratospheric Cloud: They are basically divided into two types:

Type 1 or Cirrostratus Clouds: Cirrostratus Clouds are thin clouds that cover large areas and very high in the stratosphere. Their characteristics include rings that look white and sometimes colored. They are also found as spots and arcs. Cirrostratus clouds bring about pleasant weather in the areas they are found. 12 hours after you spot a Cirrostratus Cloud, one can be almost sure of rain. The chemical combination of the Type 1 cloud can contribute to depletion of the ozone layer. The content of the cloud includes water, nitric acid and sulphuric acid. Thus, a chemical reaction takes place, producing chlorine that accelerates the depletion of the ozone layer.

Type 2 Clouds: Type 2 Clouds supercooled stratiform acid water.