Lake Eyre is located at the deepest point in elevation in Australia, like our Death Valley. Normally it is bone dry except for a few times each century when rains comes so hard and fast it takes a while to drain or evaporate. While it’s here, the locals have a yacht club that holds regattas when the water level is deep enough. Greenery has already started returning to the area transforming the desert into a popular tourist destination. While we wait to see how many people get their boat stranded in the middle of the arid landscape, let’s look at other strange natural phenomena around the world.
Ball lightning is still unexplained but science does believe in it. So should you with photographic evidence. Reports say it lasts longer than regular lightning and disappears in an explosion leaving behind an odor of sulphur and has sometimes been fatal. Sounds like the Devil to me.
The Aurora Borealis is one the most well-known phenomena. But, it is still worth looking at every time you get a chance to glimpse the remarkable color show in the sky. These only happen around the poles due to the solar wind hitting the magnetic forces swirling down toward the Earth’s surface. What is it known as around the South Pole? The Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights.
Light Poles, as they are known, are not related to the more well-known Aurora Borealis though their colors can be as striking. Here, the conditions need to be at least -20 degrees Celsius or lower and have plenty of ice crystals suspended in the sky with very little wind. For some reason, these only appear in the skies above large cities and their ground-based colorful lights. Must be the nightlife.
When Lake Abraham, located in Alberta, Canada, freezes over in the winter, these strange shapes appear in the ice cap. What are they? Frozen bubbles of methane. Methane is created in many arctic lakes. It happens with the decomposition of biological matter that has fallen into the lake and been digested by bacteria. But the strange, natural phenomena is increasing with the loss of the permafrost decreasing each year. The weird thing about these bubbles is they are dangerous. When they thaw and the bubbles burst, any nearby flame (like a cigarette) will cause the methane to explode. Could give you a real hot foot.
They are called “Sailing Stones” and they seem to travel under their own power at night when no one is looking. First reported in 1948, these stones travel the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley. Tourists have come in the early morning to find these snail tracks left behind the rocks. Speculation has gone on for decades but scientists finally caught the rocks in the act in 2014. Death Valley is known for being very arid but it does get some moisture. Sometimes, enough moisture to cover the desert ground with small sheets of ice or ‘sleds’. The night winds blow the various rocks around and then melt away in the early morning sun before they can be discovered. These rocks can sit still for over a decade at a time so how did the scientists discover the playful rocks’ locomotion? They equipped fifteen of the rocks with their own motion-activated GPS units and installed cameras that activate when it detects a measurable wind gust. Almost feels like cheating but they got the job done.