We are inhabitants of a dying planet, and we are witnessing unprecedented pollution in diverse forms such as land desertification, polar ice-caps melting, fauna and flora disappearance, diminishing of water resources, the influx of toxic waste in rivers and oceans across the Dantean’s landscape, and the negative impact of human activities. According to Keats, the earth’s poetry is never dead despite the intentional destruction and decay. Several natural endowments exist in the earth that you should have a look at and enjoy its bliss. These are top twenty natural wonders you need to see before your last breath.

GLOWING BEACHES

A visit to the bright beaches situated on the Mudhdhoo and Vaadhoo Islands in the Maldives Islands will make you appreciate these three amazing works of nature. The fascinating glowing beaches offer blue light to the Indian Ocean’s night waters, and you would marvel at the enticing light released by the miniature ostracod crustaceans. The third natural nature’s wonder is the magnificent Maldives Islands, another earth’s paradise which also holds the reputation as the third most imperiled nation on earth as a result of the climate change.

SALT FLATS

There are traces of flourishing lakes left behind after their existence as they have ceased to exist. The appearance of salt flats is the aftermath of the death of these lakes which are rich in minerals such as magnesium, lithium, potassium, and sodium. They are commonly found in arid locations and deserts where large lakes have ceased to exist more than thousands of years. This leaves behind other minerals and the salts in the place. Various salt flats are found across the globe, but notable examples are the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and California’s Death Valley National Park. Amongst all, the Salar de Uyuni holds the record as the largest salt flat in the world with a distance of 4.086 square miles (10,852 sq km) and stands at an elevation of 11,995 feet (3,656 m). Its utilization as a breeding place for various types of flamingoes and other wild animals has eclipsed its importance as a store of minerals. It is strange viewing the white expanse of Uyuni, marked with pink birds, high in the Andean altiplano against the southern blue.

GIANT SUCKING VORTICES

When there is a clash of two contrary currents, and there is a creation of whirlpool where the downward spiraling and other strong water swirls are capable of drowning you. The intense water swirls are known as “maelstroms” while the lingo for a downward whirlpool is also known as “vortex.” Three large maelstroms exist in the world namely: The Saltstraumen in Norway, which climax at a speed of 23 mph (37km per hour); there is the Moskstraumen, which is a strong tidal current in the Lofoten Islands off the coast of Norway with an average speed of 17.3 mph (27.8 km/hour). The last one is the Corryvreckan in Scotland has the reputation as the third biggest whirlpool in the world with an average speed of 11 mph (18km/h). Its waters create waves of more than thirty feet and its sounds can be overheard ten miles away.

AURORA BOREALIS

The Northern Lights are the stunning light displays that hover around the Antarctic and the Arctic Circle. These lights change their appearances and could be pink, yellow, green, red, or blue, and they are triggered by the collision of particles electrically charged from the rays of the sunlight that comes into the atmosphere. Several lights appear in different forms which range from scattered clouds of light, streamers, arcs, patches, and rippling curtains or shooting rays that lighten the sky with a paranormal radiance. These sights can be viewed from Canada, Alaska, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Scotland, Russia, and Greenland.

PINK LAKES

If you are not satisfied with the soft turquoise of the Indian Ocean or the deep blue Caribbean waters, a calming pink lake will melt your heart. The pink color of some lakes is triggered by algae that create carotenoids, the natural pigments commonly seen in some plants, fungi, and bacteria. Examples of these lakes are Lake Retba located in Senegal, Pink Lake in Canada, Pink Lake, Hutt Lagoon and Lake Hillier located in Western Australia.

WATERSPOUTS

When tornadoes glide over land swirling debris and dust at instantaneous speed, the result is the exhibition of majestic powers, but when you view this feat at the seaside, you will achieve a waterspout. Waterspouts are commonly found off the warm tropical waters off the coast of Florida. Waterspouts are visibly seen in countries like Australia, Qatar, the Netherlands, but Florida has the highest number of waterspouts in the world. Relatively known to be accompanied by high winds, thunderstorms, and lightning, waterspouts can cause irrevocable damage to individuals and boats.

RAIN OF FISH

The ancient small town of Yoro in Honduras has earned a fantastic reputation which has stuck with it for more than hundred years with the rain of fish incident. Popularly known as the “aguacero de Pescado” in Yoro, the occurrence made the small town of Yoro popular as tourists and scientists from different parts of the world thronged the town to witness the miracle. At the beginning of the rainy season in May, the residents often hold a festival to celebrate the “rain of fish.” As expected, the scientists opined that strong wings are capable of taking small fish and sweeps them about miles away. However, the town of Yoro is about 200km from the sea location, but the inhabitants chose to ignore the scientists’ theory and embraced their storyline. According to the story believed by the locals, a Spanish priest once visited the town in 1855 and saw the level of impoverishment in the land and offered prayers to the Lord on behalf of the community. He was reported to have prayed for three days and three nights for a miracle and the prayers were answered as dark clouds hovered over the town of Yoro and rained a significant number of fishes which are sufficient for the consumption of the residents.

VOLCANIC LIGHTNING

Most people will find the combination of the scorching lightning crack and volcano eruption roar unthinkable, but the fact is that it is real and possible. Known as the “dirty thunderstorm” created when there is a collision of ice particles, ash, and rock splinters in a volcanic plume thereby creating still charges which result to electrical charges just like the regular lightning is made from a thunderstorm. Examples of these abound in Alaska’s Mount Augustine volcano, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, and Chile’s Chaiten Volcano.

GIGANTIC CRYSTALS

The Naica mine based in Chuhuahua, Mexico is not a regular mine. When miners were on a drilling exercise for silver, zinc, and lead, they noticed a chamber measured about 1000 feet (300m) underneath the surface that comprises of hefty selenite crystals with a measurement of four feet (1.2m) in diameter and fifty feet long (15m). The humungous crystals, formed by hydrothermal fluids emanating from the magma chambers below, jut out of the ground in different directions forming what appears to be a kaleidoscopic crisscrossing of beams to support the cavern ceiling. The cave is not accessible to the members of the public.

PENITENTES

Most visitors to Spain during the Easter period who have witnessed the traditional Procession of Penance with participants marching through the streets with the penitents adorning their long robes and conical hats for the concealment of their faces are usually awe-struck by the event’s solemnity and penitents’ formation symmetry, colors, and the spiky tips of their hats approaching the sky. The same shapes, colors, formations are also available in the high Andes where tall, thin blades of reinforced snow or ice, penitents points towards the sun shoot from the ground to create their procession. There is no need for atoning for these penitents; their sizes vary and are usually between a few inches to more than sixteen feet (5 meters). The first person to offer a vivid science description of them is Charles Darwin while he was crossing the Andes from Santiago de Chile to Mendoza in Argentina. This made scientists to have a firm belief that penitents could be on Europa, a Jupiter’s satellite.

FROST FLOWERS

Like frost flowers, the cold can also make beautiful sculptures from the elements. With the reduction in the temperature, there is an expansion of the plants’ sap which causes their stem to crack and leak its crucial liquid. As soon as the sap leaks, it freezes and subsequent flow appends thinner and delicate ice to the sculpture as there is an outward extension and produces new slumping shapes. Despite that these ice configurations are lovely sights to behold, they are fragile and can be broken easily when touched.

COLUMNAR BASALT

The geometric columns at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland are a perfect example of this natural spectacle that creates stimulating shapes in specific terrains. Columnar basalts are rock developments formed from the hastily cooling basaltic lava uncovered at the earth’s surface.
Their almost flawless shapes and sizes make them appear contrived, but ancient volcanic action generates them. Giant’s Causeway is sixty million years old, and these remarkable and phenomenal geometric walkways can also be found in various locations across the globe.

SNOW DONUTS

It is rare to find uniformity in every case, even in natural settings, but when there is a coincidence of several elements, there can be a surprising impact. A perfect example of this scenario is the snow donut. Snow donuts are created by a meticulous blend of wind, temperature, moisture, snow, and ice at the same time to create these ostensibly unnatural snow sculptures. They are commonly seen in the prairies of the United States and the United Kingdom.

SUNDOGS

Bending light can bring astounding and lovely effects, and sun dogs are part of it as they are the halo of light around the sun that we have witnessed at a specific point in our lives. A sundog usually possesses two bright spots on either side of the low sun and gives an impression that there are three suns. This spectacle occurs when there is a refraction of the sunlight through the ice crystals in high, cold cirrus clouds, and the thin flimsy clouds that contain water vapor. These crystals serve as prisms, facilitating a bend of the light rays transiting through them with a minimum deflection of 22°. Sundogs have been a source of fascination for men for a long time, and their appearances have been recorded by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and other individuals.

FIRE RAINBOWS

Despite not having anything to do with rainbows or fire, circum-horizontal arcs just like sundogs are also produced by the sunlight that passed through the plate-shaped ice crystals in circus clouds. They are usually large, and their full sizes are not visible as there are patches of yellows and reds that offer the cloud an appearance of something lit on fire. Fire rainbows are commonly seen in the summertime and the mid-latitude locations such as Western Europe and the United States. You will see them if you are patient to check them out.

SUPERCELLS

It is not a super-bacterium that wants to ensure the human race goes into extinction but a scary and threatening storm that resembles an atomic mushroom cloud with a potent updraft that can suck you right up. We have four categories of storms, and these are the single-cell, multi-cell, squall line, and the Supercell.
The super cells are the scarcest and deadliest among these four, and they can control the weather of a distance of 20 miles away. They are common in places such as the Great Plains of the Central United States and Southern Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Bangladesh, Eastern India, South Africa, Australia, and Northern Mexico. Supercell storms have caused devastating damage to several victims and the best place to see its impact is a Natural Geographic documentary.

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