These photos might look like they come from an alien planet, but it turns out our own little Earth is capable of some truly weird stuff. All of these things occur naturally across the globe because of, like, science and stuff. A lot of the reasons why go over my head, but it’s all true. It’s easy to appreciate the wondrous beauty of Earth without knowing exactly how it happens. Some of these are cringe-worthy, but others make me want to buy a plane ticket. And I am definitely going to pay closer attention to sunsets from now on. Take a look at some of the cool things you didn’t realize happen on our home planet.

1. Never-ending Wave

Occurs twice a year in Brazil when the Atlantic ocean meets the mouth of the Amazon River. The resulting waves can travel 500 miles inland before slowing down.

2. Under-water Crop Circles

In Japan, male pufferfish flapping their fins create these alien-esque circles in the sand.

3. Bleeding Glacier

Also known as “Blood Falls” in Antarctica, the outflowing water resembles blood due to iron oxide.

4. Blue Lava

Due to the combustion of sulfuric gases at extremely high temperatures, this volcano in Indonesia produces the blue glowing lava.

5. Calcifying Lake

This creepy lake in Tanzania, Lake Natron, has such high pH levels that it calcifies any animal that goes into the water.

6. Cocooned Trees

During flood season in Pakistan, spiders are forced to flee to the trees where their webs create this effect.

7. Danxia Landforms

Over millions of years, the red sandstone and mineral deposits in certain areas of China have created these rainbow-like landforms.

8. Frost Flowers

In arctic areas, these floral ice formations occur when the temperature between the ocean and the atmosphere differs.

9. Green Flash

This rare occurrence when the conditions are right at the end or beginning of a sunset.

10. Hair Ice

Water escaping plants in freezing weather can have this follicle-effect due to certain bacteria presence.

11. Horsetail Falls

In Yosemite National Park, California, this waterfall looks more like lava with a bright orange glow at certain times of the day in February.

12. Lenticular Clouds

Probably mistaken for UFOs by Fox Mulder, these clouds occur when the moist air overflows a mountain.

13. Living Rocks

Not actually rocks, these sea creatures line the beaches of Chile and are completely immobile.

Swimmers and boaters be ware. Click next page below to find out why.

14. Maelstroms

Conflicting tidal waves create these whirlpools that can suck in swimmers and boats.

15. Rainbow Trees

Rainbow Trees
These Australian eucalyptus trees shed their bark to reveal vibrant colors.

16. Assembly Of Crabs

Off the coast of Australia on Christmas Island, the annual migration of nearly 120 million red crabs creates quite a sight as they make their way to the ocean.

17. Steam Towers

Occurring alongside the Northern Lights in Iceland, these geothermal formations make the area seem even more like a sci-fi movie.

18. Black Sun

Formed by the massive migration of European starlings and can be seen every spring in the skies of Denmark.

19. Ever-Lasting Storm

The mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela creates weather conditions that lead to 160 consecutive stormy nights.

20. Flowering Desert

Every few years, after a particularly heavy rain, these deserts in Chile sprout flowers.

21. Great Blue Hole

This Belize attraction was formed through erosion way back when the sea level was much lower.

22. Monarch Butterfly Migration

Every year across the United States and Mexico, the beautiful butterflies gather in droves for their migration.

23. Underwater Water Fall

On the island of Mauritius, this sudden dip in ocean depth creates the illusion of an unusual water fall.

24. Volcanic Lightening

When a volcano explodes, the amount of electrical and static charges released can sometimes lead to this firey electrical storm.

25. White Rainbows

White Rainbows
The arched fog looks like a ghost of a rainbow.

26. The Devil’s Bath, New Zealand

This lake in the Taupo Volcanic Zone gets its unique color from the sulfur deposits under the water. These deposits float when they break off. They also smell really, really, really bad. Remember the Bog of Eternal Stench from Labyrinth? This is it.

27. Love Valley, Turkey

Love Valley, Turkey

Guess why it’s called Love Valley. Go on, guess. If you guessed it’s because these naturally-occurring rock formations look like giant peens, you are totally right. They were formed over long periods of geologic activity that caused their, erm, interesting shape. The residents of the nearby town of Goreme are probably really, really sick of everyone’s sophomoric humor, though.

28. Glass Deserts, Egypt and Libya

Glass Deserts, Egypt and Libya

Yes, okay, so technically any sand desert could be considered a “pre-glass” desert, since glass is created by melting the silica that makes up sand. In Egypt and Libya, something melted the sand way far back in history to over 2,000 degrees Celsius and created lumps of yellow-green glass all over the place. It was probably a meteor or comet impact that literally melted the desert and turned it to glass. That must have looked amazing, and over the millennia, it was eventually ground back into sand, except for chunks like this. The ancient Egyptians used it for jewelry.

29. Lake Abraham, Canada

Lake Abraham, Canada

This human-made and committee-named lake is known by nature photographers everywhere for the way its bubbles freeze mid-rise in the water during the winter. Of course, the bubbles aren’t air, but methane gas, caused by bacteria eating dead organic matter on the lake floor. That means that this lake gives off flammable gas.

30. Laguna Colorada, Bolivia

This deep crimson lake appears to be filled with blood. It actually gets its color from the red algae that lives there.

31. Fogbows, Everywhere

Wikimedia Commons

First of all, “fogbow” is really fun to say. Try it. Okay, now that you’ve done so, a fogbow is even rarer than a rainbow, but they follow the same principles of light passing through water droplets. Unlike a rainbow, these are ghostly white and gray, and that’s because they’re caused by diffraction instead of refraction.

32. Iceberg Bottom, Antarctica

Under the ocean, icebergs do have a bottom. We almost never get to see them, though. Here’s an underwater shot of what it looks like underneath an iceberg. Imagine being one of these cold-water creatures and having the ice monoliths pass by over your head like frozen clouds. Trippy.

33. This Dead Horse, Nevada

This Dead Horse, Nevada

Near the almost-ghost town of Baker, Nevada, is a dead horse behind the wheel of an equally-dead car. Some weirdo propped a horse’s skeleton inside this husk of an antique car, one hoof on the wheel and left it there. Why? Are you seriously asking that? It’s unclear how long this has been out here in the desert, but the horse has been giving the rare passerby a smile for a long time.

34. The Nemophila flowers in bloom

At Hitachi Seaside Park, located in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki prefecture in Japan, there is an unusually beautiful tourist attraction: a 3.5 hectare flower park. Flowers at the park bloom all year round and change with the seasons. The best view at the park is from the “Miharashi No Oka”, a hill that offers a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

35. A Circus Tree

Formed by 6 sycamore trees that were shaped, bent and braided.

36. The Japanese Flame Tree.37. A Dragon’s Blood tree, the sap inside is blood red.

37. A Dragon’s Blood tree, the sap inside is blood red.

A Dragon's Blood tree, the sap inside is blood red.

38. An underwater mangrove tree.

39. A tropical tree in Honolulu, Hawaii.

40. This tree doesn’t let stones get in it’s way.

41. Shady beech trees in Northern Ireland.

42. A tunnel of 1,000 year old yew trees in Wales.

43. A 3,000 year old olive tree.

44. A 3,200 year old tree in the Sequoia National Park

(This photo was created by combining 126 images.)

45. Big Major Cay AKA “Pig Beach” – Nassau, Bahamas

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can swim with wild pigs at this crystal clear beach in the Bahamas.

46. Jokulsarlon Lagoon – Iceland

You wouldn’t think the northern lights could be seen from a beach…

47. Kaihalulu Beach AKA “Red Sand Beach” – Maui, Hawaii

Rust-red lava cinder cliffs are the reason why this beach has beautiful red sand.

48. Driftwood Beach – Jekyll Island, Georgia

This beach is a tree graveyard, a hauntingly beautiful spot to enjoy a sunset.

49. Jervis Bay AKA “The Beach With The Whitest Sand In The World” – New South Wales, Australia

blueriotriver

The sands on this beach hold the Guinness World Record for being the whitest in the world. Bring your sunglasses!

50. Papakolea Beach (Green Sand) – Kau, Hawaii

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lovingthebigisland

One of only FOUR green sand beaches in the world, this beach gets it’s color from the mineral olivine (which is olive green).

51. Marietas Island AKA “The Hidden Beach” – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

tripadvisor

These islands were formed by volcanic activity… and this hidden beach is just one of the many treasures here.

52. Glass Beach – MacKerricher State Park, California

design you trust

Pollution was actually the reason this beautifully unique beach was formed. Nearby residents would dump their trash in the ocean. Over time, the water wore down the various glass and plastics, creating this beach.

53. Barra Airpot – Traigh Mhor, Scotland

oddee

This beach is the only one in the world that is used as a runway for airplanes.

54. Gulpiyuri Beach (Entirely Inland) – Llanes, Spain

ovieland

This Spanish beach isn’t anywhere near a sea or ocean. It’s filled with water from a series of underground tunnels, carved by the salt water of the Cantabrian Sea.

55. Hot Water Beach – Coromandel Peninsula – New Zealand

This New Zealand beach is located over underground hot springs, which filter up through the sand.

56. Schooner Gulch AKA “Bowling Ball Beach” – Mendocino, California

ah zut

This beach is covered with bowling ball-like rocks, created via a geological phenomena known as “concretion.” The sedimentary rock is formed by a natural process, even though it looks alien.

57. Baatara Gorge, Tannourine, Lebanon.

58. Bigar Waterfall, Bozovici, Romania.

59. Kuang Si Waterfall, Luang Prabang, Laos.

60. Iguazu Falls, Misiones Province, Argentina.

Iguazu Falls, Misiones Province, Argentina.

61. Dynjandi, Westfjords, Iceland.

62. Porcupine Mountains Waterfall, Ontonagon, Michigan.

63. Jeju Island, Seoul, South Korea.

64. Cumberland Caverns, McMinnville, Tennessee.

65. Plitvice Lakes, Plitvička Jezera, Croatia.

66. Pearl Shoal Waterfall, Jiuzhaigou, China.

67. Seven Sisters Waterfall, Geirangerfjorden, Norway.

68. Kauai Waterfalls, Kauai, Hawaii.

69. Kaieteur Falls, Potaro-Siparuni, Guyana.

70. Angel Falls, La Gran Sabana, Bolivar, Venezuela.

71. Blackwater Falls, Davis, West Virginia.

72. Langfoss, Fjaera, Norway.

73. Skogafoss, Skógar, Iceland.

74. Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, New York.

75. Silver Falls State Park, Sublimity, Oregon.

76. Doringrivier Falls, Limpopo Province, South Africa

77. McWay Falls, Big Sur, Monterey, California.

78. Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

79. Wattamolla Falls, New South Wales, Australia.

80. Albion Falls, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

81. Crabtree Falls, Grassy Creek, North Carolina.

82. Oneonta Falls, Corbett, Oregon.

83. Horsetail Falls, Yosemite National Park, California.

84. Mendenhall Glacier Caves (Alaska)

85. Antelope Canyon (Arizona)

86. Oneonta Gorge (Oregon)

87. Skagit Valley Tulip Fields (Washington)

88. Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness (Colorado)

89. Dry Tortugas National Park (Florida)

90. Zion National Park (Utah)

91. Watkins Glen State Park (New York)

92. Yosemite Valley (California)

93. Grand Prismatic Spring (Wyoming)

Grand Prismatic Spring (Wyoming)

94. Haiku Stairs of Oahu (Hawaii)

Haiku Stairs of Oahu (Hawaii)

95. Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico)

Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico)

96. Whitaker Point (Arkansas)

97. Hamilton Pool (Texas)

98. Horseshoe Bend (Arizona)

99. Northern Lights (Alaska)

100. Bryce Canyon (Utah)

101. Lake Tahoe (California & Nevada)

102. Smoky Mountains (North Carolina & Tennessee)

103. Niagara Falls (New York)

104. The Wave (Arizona)

105. Sequoia National Park (California)

106. Thor’s Well (Oregon)

107. Badlands National Park (South Dakota)

108. Savannah (Georgia)

109. Palouse Falls (Washington)

110. Glacier National Park (Montana)

111. Nā Pali Coast State Park (Hawaii)

I have a feeling that double white rainbows are even more rare than the regular kind.

The world we live in is amazing.

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  These photos might look like they come from an alien planet, but it turns out our own little Earth is capable of some truly weird stuff. All of these things occur naturally across the globe because of, like, science and stuff. A lot of the reasons why go over...