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10 Nature Photos You Won't Believe Are Real

Warning: these stunning earth pics will make you want to buy a plane ticket there ASAP.

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1. Rainbow eucalyptus trees

Flickr: thaths

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

Flickr: rocrowley

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.


4. Confluence of two rivers in Geneva, Switzerland

Flickr: statist

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

Flickr: thegodsowncountry

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

Flickr: smush12

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

Flickr: hardo

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

Flickr: rmphoto

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.

10. Dead Vlei, Namibia

Flickr: yimix

An awe-inspiring white clay pan situated in the salt deserts of Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei is home to 900-year-old tree skeletons that don't decompose because they're so dry. The area is also home to 300-400 meter tall sand dunes.