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Best Place and Time to view Northern Lights and other most Colorful Natural Phenomena

Frozen methane bubbles - Abraham Lake, Canada
By Julius Choudhury, dearJulius.com

Take a look at the vibrant and vivid spectacles of nature at display only in select areas around the globe:


Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis


Where: Norway and Iceland

Best time to view: October to March

The dancing light display is seen in polar regions and is caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun in the earth's atmosphere. Although green displays are easier to spot, a glimpse of red is rare.



Monarch butterfly migration


Where: Mexico

Best time to view: January to March, on calm, warm days

Millions of these butterflies migrate south from Canada and parts of the U.S. to Mexico during winter. They then hibernate in oyamel fir trees, making them look like natural art installations.




Red crab migration


Where: Christmas Island, Australia

Best time to view: October to December (wet season)

Millions of red crabs and occasional orange and purple ones begin their annual mass migration from the forest to breed and lay eggs into the sea, thus creating stunning sights on the coast.




Caño Cristales


Where: Colombia

Best time to view: June to November

Located in the Serranía de la Macarena province, the Caño Cristales river is also called the “river of five colors” or the “liquid rainbow” owing to the weed that sticks to underwater surfaces. Aided by the sun and lack of nutrients, the weed matures and appears in bright and vivid hues through the crystal-clear water.



Synchronous fireflies


Where: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, U.S.

Best time to view: May to June

The mating display of this species of fireflies results in a flashing symphony of lights by males and females trying to attract each other. While most species generate a greenish-yellow flash, one produces a shade of blue.




Flowering desert


Where: Atacama Desert, Chile

Best time to view: September to November (during heavy rainfall)

Every five to seven years, the desert blooms with flowers if the region sees a substantial rainfall. The process prompts the seeds in the ground to germinate, resulting in a blanket of almost 200 types of flowers.




Frozen methane bubbles


Where: Abraham Lake, Canada

Best time to view: Mid-December to late January

Highly flammable methane gas bubbles are trapped in this Alberta lake. The gas is caused due to the decomposition of plants, animals and microbes, and begins to surge up in warmer months, floating closer to the surface.



Fairy circles


Where: Namibia

These circles are made by termites under the soil that clear vegetation in the area around their nests, creating water traps below the surface for sustenance. Another theory suggests that the circles are a result of self-organizing plants.




The Great Blue Hole


Where: Belize

The submarine sinkhole was formed during quaternary glaciation, about 2.58 million years ago, when sea levels were much lower. It is 410 feet (125 meters) deep and over 984 feet (300 meters) wide.




The Black Sun


Where: Denmark and England

Best time to view: Mid-March to mid-April and then in autumn

Hundreds of thousands of European starlings gather in the sky, sometimes entirely eclipsing the sun as it sets. The ballet usually lasts for 20 minutes. This phenomenon is called murmuration and the starlings do this to stay safe from predators and exchange information.



Lake Natron


Where: Tanzania

Best time to view: September to December.

This is a salt lake fed by mineral-rich hot springs, and the pigment in the cyanobacteria present in the lake causes its color to range from deep red to orange. Microorganisms also cause the salt crust to go red or pink.




Spotted Lake


Where: Canada

Best time to view: June to September

It is also known as the "Polkadot Lake" and lies in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. As the water evaporates during summer, the lake dons a leopard print made of minerals.




Frost flowers


Where: Canada

Best time to view: December to February.

This is a phenomenon wherein thin layers of ice are formed into patterns that resemble flowers in very cold temperatures at Graveyard Flats in the Canadian Rockies.




Polar stratospheric clouds


Where: Antarctica and Arctic Circle

Also known as nacreous clouds, these are formed in the winter polar stratosphere of polar regions. A pearly white appearance is caused by forward-scattering of sunlight, while particles in the clouds produce vivid hues.

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Home Magazine: Best Place and Time to view Northern Lights and other most Colorful Natural Phenomena
Best Place and Time to view Northern Lights and other most Colorful Natural Phenomena
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