What do you like to look at when you’re stressed, because I’ve always found that beautiful natural sights can instantly relax and rejuvenate me. From the Northern lights to the stars at night, there’s something so breath-taking and utterly amazing that I just can’t help but admire it. Here are my top beautiful natural sights – do you agree?
1. Electrical Storms at the Catatumbo
The Catatumbo River in Venezuela is the site of stunning electrical storms most nights. They are so intense that the archs flash three miles into the sky, and you can view the storm from over 250 miles away. The storm lasts for up to ten hours at a time, and has around 1.1 million electrical discharges each year. It’s thought to be the biggest creator of ozone in the planet. Nothing will make you feel calmer; it's one of the most beautiful natural sights!
2. The Red Tide
Bioluminescent bays might not be the prettiest sight in the day, but during the night they come into their own. The phenomenon is caused by ocean algae populations, which reproduce at such a rate that they color the water. Phytoplankton emit a blue glow that lights up the ocean during the night, giving it an eerie other-world feel that you won’t find anywhere else. There are three biobays in Puerto Rico, with Vieques biobay considered the best on Earth.
3. Lluvia De Peces
Lluvia de Peces, or the rain of fish, is a regular occurrence in Honduras. It’s happened for centuries, and although nobody quite understands why, it’s thought that waterspouts are behind it. These small tornadoes are powerful enough to lift fish, frogs and other small water animals from their homes before throwing them somewhere else. Honduras is so used to it that they hold an annual festival, the Festival de la Lluvia de Peces, which takes place in May or June.
Love animals? This is likely to be right up your street. It’s sure to be one of nature’s most impressive acts, and it’s replicated across several documentaries and films – the wildebeest migration. Every year, two million antelope make a round trip across the Serengeti in East Africa, a journey of over 2000 miles. Nearly 10% of the animals don’t make it, usually due to a predator, dehydration or exhaustion, making it a truly bittersweet experience. While rainfall patterns do dictate when the migration takes place, it typically happens in April, with the antelope returning in the Spring to birth calves.
Antelope aren’t the only animal with an amazing migration – sardines have an equally impressive one. The Kwazulu Natal coastline, in South Africa, becomes a huge feast every year when massive sardine shoals move north. The shoals can measure up to four miles long and one mile wide, making them easy for predators such as birds, whales, dolphins and sharks to spot – and attracting them all in a gripping fight. The local community gets involved, with radio stations reporting on the exact locations of shoals, and locals trying to catch the sardines in tubs and nets. It’s an amazing opportunity to see some of the best marine life on offer.
6. Old Faithful
As its name would suggest, Old Faithful is said to be the most predictable geographical feature on Earth. It was discovered in 1870, and erupts every hour with a 185 foot jet of 30,000 liters of scalding hot water. The eruption can last up to five minutes before Old Faithful settles back down, so it’s no wonder he attracts thousands of visitors per year. Located in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, this is on my must-see list.
7. The Black Sun
Want to see a European migration? The Black Sun, or Sort Sol, occurs over the Danish marshlands between March and April. Millions of European starlings take flight all together, completely obscuring the sun, and turning the sky black. The starlings gather food during the day, forming huge aerial formations in the sky, before hiding in the reeds at night. It’s a breathtaking experience.
8. Naga Fire
This is one which should be on every bucket list. Between 200 and 800 basketball-sized orbs explode over the Mekong river in Thailand every year, before drifting off into the dark nights sky. The locals believe it’s caused by the fiery breath of a mystical serpent living in the river, and call it Bung Fai Paya Nak, which translates as Naga Fireballs. Scientists believe it’s caused by a build-up of methane gas from the riverbed, whilst many think the whole act is a hoax. It occurs just once a year, at the end of Buddhist Lent in October, and the town of Phon Phisai holds a festival immediately afterwards. Thousands flock to the 150 mile river to watch the fireballs, and it’s said to be an amazing sight.
So, which of these would you most love to see? I’d love to capture my own photographs of these amazing events – and some of them must be utterly amazing to experience. What beautiful natural sights have I missed? Let me know!