Natural Wonders of The World
Despite all the craziness that seems to be going on in the world, from political achievements to man-made disasters. We are privileged to still have phenomenal world wonders (which have perfect scientific explanation) that take our breath away, make us ponder and remind us of all that is truly beautiful in our planet.
These wonders start from the ever blazing crater of Darvaza to the sensational bioluminescent waves of the Maldives and take us to the Indian Ocean to witness the red migration.
The Door to Hell
The Darvaza gas crater locally known as the “Door to Hell” or ”Gates of Hell” due to the fire, boiling mud, and orange flames. The large crater is 70metres (230 ft), and depth of 0 metres (98 ft). Originally thought to be a substantial oil site, a preliminary survey debunked that theory when they discovered a natural gas pocket, which led to the collapse of the drilling rig into the wide crater. To prevent the release of dangerous gases into nearby towns, the engineers thought it best to burn the gas off and the crater has been ablaze ever since.
Although there are no accurate dates on the collapse of the crater and the gases being set on fire. Local geologists say that the crater collapse happened in the 1960s, and the gases weren’t set on fire until the 1980s.
The salt and soda lake in the Arusha Region of northern Tanzania is close to the Kenyan border. It is also within the Lake Natron Basin and is fed by the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro River, which rises in central Kenya, and by mineral-rich hot springs.
The lake is a maximum of 57 kilometres (35 mi) long and 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide and the temperatures at the lake are frequently above 40 °C (104 °F). The high levels of evaporation have left behind natron (sodium carbonate decahydrate) and trona (sodium sesquicarbonate dihydrate) and the alkalinity of the lake can reach a pH of greater than 12. This chemical combination has been proven to be the reason why the dead bodies of animals have turned to ghostly statues on the lake.
For fauna, the lake is the only regular breeding area for the 2.5 million lesser flamingoes which feed on Spirulina (a blue-green algae with red pigments) and acts as a safe breeding location because of its caustic environment. It acts as a barrier against predators trying to reach their nests.
The Red Migration
The Christmas Island red crab is a species of land crab that is genuine to the Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean and are responsible for the red migration. This sensational mass migration of the crabs happens annually and is estimated that about 43 million land crabs migrate to lay their eggs in the ocean. During that process authorities close most of the island’s roads to enable this migration, which normally lasts for a week at least.
Most of the year, red crabs can be found within Christmas Islands’ forests and they migrate to the coast to mate and spawn. During that process the male crabs arrive to excavate burrows, which they must defend from other males before the females arrive.
Flammable ice bubbles
Abraham Lake is an artificial lake on North Saskatchewan River in western Alberta, Canada. Abraham Lake has a surface area of 53.7 km2 (20.7 sq mi) and a length of 32 km (20 mi). The beautiful sight of the lake shows ice bubbles that look like jewels but are actually frozen pockets of methane, a highly flammable gas trapped beneath the surface of the lake. Most of the time, methane escaping from the surface of water is relatively harmless but differs when it comes in contact with fire whenever one of the bubbles explodes.
On the coast of the Vaadhoo Island in Maldives, there is a spot that holds a concentrated population of bioluminescent phytoplankton. These species, when washed ashore by the tides go through a process by which their chemical energy is turned into light, which in turn illuminates the waves. This biological process is as old as time itself, purely natural and can be found around the world (to the delight of many natural photographers). The most common type of marine bioluminescence is generated by phytoplankton known as dinoflagellates.