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My Top Awe-Inspiring Natural Phenomena You Have to See

This post was contributed by Hayley Jones

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photo by Beverly

Our world does some incredible things, from crazy weather phenomena to strange animal behaviors. Of course, you could just look at these amazing occurrences in photos and videos. But I think there’s no fun in that when you could go and see them for yourself. A trip to somewhere new is always exciting. But it’s even more fantastic when you get to experience one of those once-in-a-lifetime sights.  Here are some of the natural phenomena I think everyone should try to see at least once. They range from freak lightning in Venezuela to migrating crabs on Christmas Island.

» Catatumbo Lightning

A lot of people can’t stand thunder and lightning. It’s understandable, in a way. Lightning can be dangerous if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. If happy to watch it light up the sky, you’ll love what happens at the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela. You’ll find a thunderstorm over Lake Maracaibo, where the river empties into it. This is no ordinary storm, however. It takes place on between 140 and 160 nights a year, for 10 hours a day and up to 280 times each hour. You can find Venezuelan tours that include a visit to the lake.

» Aurora Borealis

The aurora borealis is perhaps better known (and easier to say) as the Northern Lights. They’re so called because you can see them in the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere. They create sheets of greens, blues, reds and purples across the sky. You have a lot of choices for where to see them. Find some examples on The Aurora Zone website, where you can look at several tours. Whether you pick Iceland, Sweden, Canada or even Greenland, you have to get the right conditions to experience the lights. They’re caused by solar wind, cosmic rays, and magnetospheric plasma. If that’s too much science for you, all you need to know is they look beautiful.

» Bioluminescent Waves

For another glowing phenomenon, try bioluminescent waves. When phytoplankton are washed ashore, they create beautiful sparkling blue waves. Other things can cause bioluminescence in the water too, such as algae. You can see this happen in lots of different places, including Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives. You can visit Cairns in Australia to catch this occurring. It happens at both Mission Bay and Torrey Pines Beach in San Diego, California too.

» Red Crabs on Christmas Island

Some of the best natural events to witness involve animals. People often gather to watch turtles laying their eggs or to watch the hatched babies struggle to the sea. If you want another migration to enjoy, Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean has a very colorful one. Every year, red crabs lay their eggs in the sea, and you can see them all making their way there. There are an estimated 43.7 million red crabs on the island.

The world has so many incredible sights to offer, and many of them are all down to nature. Even though exploring a city is fun, it’s the natural occurrences that are really awe-inspiring.

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