9 Insane Natural Phenomena

  • October 14, 2010
  • 83,949
  • Science
  • Image Sources

Animal Rain

Some types of weather are freaky on a Biblical level. The occurrence of raining animals has been documented for a long time, but remained intertwined with myth and hearsay. In fact, it does happen on rare occasion. The animals cited as falling from the heavens are usually frogs or fish, which jives with the proposed explanation. Water spouts or tornadoes may suck up entire ponds, including both the water and the inhabitants, and bring them high into the atmosphere. When the weather calms, the critters are overtaken by gravity and are dropped back to the ground. Some cases report living animals, suggesting only brief flights, while others have dead, smashed or frozen animal-nauts, which indicates longer, higher trips.


St. Elmo’s Fire

While the phenomenon has been observed for some time, we’ve not understood the science behind St. Elmo’s fire until more recently... the most important part being that it isn’t fire at all. The glow associated with objects passing through charged air is actually plasma: very high energy matter. The bluish-purple color is due to our high nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, which makes it easily visible when planes and other ships with sections that come to a point pass through high voltage airspace. The cause and proliferation of crappy Brat Pack movies is still poorly understood.


Green Flash

Not the lovechild of the Green Lantern and the Flash, though almost as hard to witness. Even though you’ve probably taken the time to see a couple of sunsets in your life, possibly while embracing your lover on the beach or fighting your arch-nemesis on a mountain, you probably weren’t paying close enough attention to see a green flash. Not that we blame you, they’ve told us we’re not supposed to stare into the sun since grade school. But as the sun sets, light refraction occurs between the thin air higher up and the denser air closer to the surface. Since green-blue light curves more, you can sometimes see a flash just after the sun disappears over the horizon as those last rays curve to your eye. Some places are more obvious than others, so try not to burn your eyes out looking for it.


Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning is a scarcely seen phenomenon where balls of electricity crackle for up to minutes at a time. It was considered a hoax for a long time but new observations and theories have lead to a scientific double-take. Even nerd hero Nikola Tesla took at crack at the concept from time to time. As such, a number of causes have been proposed. Epileptic hallucinations from electromagnetism, black holes, aerosol nanobatteries and vaporized silicon are all being seriously considered, and even more whacky theories are being far less seriously considered.

Have some more awesome natural occurrances? Share the love, and the videos, below!

You can keep up with Kevin Mack's YouTube surfing habits by following him on Twitter.

Written by Kevin Mack – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com