Friday, 20 May 2016

Off The Beaten Track

Most of us have travelled to places that are very touristy but have you ever considered doing something different? Going some place off the beaten track.

Below are some unique destinations and natural phenomenons that are mind blowing and I have added them to my bucket list.

1. Venezuela - Catatumbo Lightning

At the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Venezuela, a very unique mass of storm clouds swirls, creating the rare spectacle known as Catatumbo lightning. The storm occurs up to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day, and 280 times an hour.


2. Japan - Strange Seabed Patterns

These strange patterns are found on the seabed, rather than in fields of corn. At around 7 feet wide, they litter the Japanese sea floor, each with a unique pattern. Until recently, we had no idea how these patterns were produced, but surprisingly, tiny fish were the culprits. Male pufferfish, no more than 5 inches long, will flap their fins in the sand to produce these amazing patterns in hopes of attracting a mate.


3. Denmark - Flocks of Starlings

During spring in Denmark, flocks of more than a million European starlings gather into a single group to form amazing shapes in the sky. The bird’s communication and coordination allows the flock to move as a massive tightly packed swarm.


4. Iceland - Towers of Steam and Gas

The area of Hverir is incredibly geothermally active, so much so that ghostly towers of steam and gas rise from bodies of water and mud as they boil. During the Northern Lights, this place looks like an alien world.


5. Norway - Hessdalen Light

Hessdalen Light is an unexplained light phenomenon that occurs in Hessdalen valley of Norway. They were observed over 15 to 20 times per week from 1982 until 1984. Since then, the activity has decreased and now the lights are observed about 10 to 20 times per year.


6.  Australia - Hillier Lake

From above the lake appears a solid bubble gum pink. No-one fully knows why the lake is pink. Scientists speculate that the colour comes from a dye created by bacteria that lives in the salt crusts.


7. USA - Moving Stones of Death Valley

The mysterious moving stones of the packed-mud desert of Death Valley have been a center of scientific controversy for decades. Rocks weighing up to hundreds of pounds have been known to move up to hundreds of yards at a time. Some scientists have proposed that a combination of strong winds and surface ice account for these movements. However, this theory does not explain evidence of different rocks starting side by side and moving at different rates and in disparate directions. Moreover, the physics calculations do not fully support this theory as wind speeds of hundreds of miles per hour would be needed to move some of the stones.


8.  USA - Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring

It’s the largest hot spring in the United States. The colours of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring are caused by bacteria and microbes growing around the water’s edge.


9.  New Zealand - Glow Worms

Glow worms, which are infact insects, are bioluminescent animals common to New Zealand. A number of caves are noted for their presence.

10. China - Quartzite Sandstone Pillars

Found in the Hunan province of China, the unique views from atop the Tianzi Mountains can be accessed by cable car. These towers are naturally formed of quartzite sandstone pillars.


11. Russia - Light Pillars

Light columns are visible in extremely cold areas like Russia. They originate from natural light, like the moon or setting sun, reflecting off ice crystals, which are nearly perfectly flat and smooth.


12. Artic - Fumaroles

Fumaroles are vents that allow steam from volcanoes to escape into the open. In Arctic areas, as soon as steam leaves one of these vents, it freezes, and eventually, massive snow chimneys are formed around the volcanic vent.

13. Turkmenistan - The Gateway to Hell

The Gateway to Hell is a vent, where natural gas escapes to the surface through cracks in the rocks. The flame it produces has burned ever since it was set alight in 1971. A similar flame in Iraq has burned for for over 4,000 years and is even mentioned in the Old Testament.


14. Norway - Northern Lights

My bucket list wouldn't be complete without this stunning Nothern Lights.
The Northern Lights are actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth's atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun's atmosphere. Variations in colour are due to the type of gas particles that are colliding.