1. Rainbow eucalyptus trees
Eucalyptus deglupta, commonly known as the rainbow eucalyptus, is an ornamental tree cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates. The phenomenon is caused by patches of bark peeling off at various times, with different colors representing different ages. A newly shed outer bark reveals bright greens which darken over time into blues and purples and then orange and red tones.
2. The Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia
The largest salt flats in the world, this 4,000+ square mile landscape was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. When covered in water, it becomes the world’s largest natural mirror.
3. Tree climbing goats in Morocco
Goats in Morocco have learned to climb argan trees in search of food, which is otherwise sparse in the region.
4. Confluence of two rivers in Geneva, Switzerland
The river on the left is the Rhone, which is just exiting Lake Lehman. The river on the right is the Arve, which receives water from glaciers in the Chamonix valley. The Arve has a much higher level of silt, which accounts for the contrast.
5. Striped icebergs
Striped icebergs form when iceberg layers melt and refreeze quickly; green stripes are created by the freezing of krill and algae in the water. Brown, yellow and black striped can be created by sediment collected by the ice as it moved down a hillside towards the sea.
6. Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale, which translates to “cotton castle,” is a natural spring in Turkey. The hot springs, which can reach 200 degrees Fahrenheit, precipitate calcium carbonate at their mouths that deposits to form the alien-looking structures.
7. Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Most of the water in the so-called “spotted lake” evaporates over the summer, leaving behind all the minerals. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer. In the summer only the minerals in the lake remain, and they harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots.
8. Fire rainbows
Technically known as iridescent clouds, “fire rainbows” are a relatively rare phenomenon caused by clouds of water droplets of nearly uniform size that diffract light in a similar manner, which separates out light into different wavelengths.
9. Hutt Lagoon, Australia
The lagoon gets its unusual pink color from a carotenoid-producing algae.
- A flash flood emergency has been issued Sunday in Charleston, South Carolina. More than 16 inches of rain fell in some areas. ›
- President Obama says the U.S. has launched a full investigation into the airstrikes that killed 19 people at a hospital in Afghanistan on Saturday. ›
- More than a dozen people were killed after severe storms and flooding swept through the French Riviera on Saturday evening. ›