We’ve all witnessed the awe-inspiring visuals on nature-oriented shows while growing up, especially due to our notorious TV-watching sessions post school hours. Bio-luminescent red tide, volcanic rocks, Fox fire, nacreous clouds, you name it.
It’s true. We travel for experiences that inspire us and challenge our perspectives. Admiring these natural phenomena around the world is particularly powerful, as the sense of awe in some ways connects us to humanity.
So we did some digging and came up with a few rather intriguing things we can witness around the world, sights worth scheduling into your holiday routes this year.
Be ready to add extra punch to your holiday memories by witnessing these 10 spectacular natural phenomena. We are sure these magical occurrences will make your trip even more memorable.
1) Singing Sand Dunes
Singing Sand Dunes also known as evil desert spirit or singing sands, is a mystery for many researchers. With its magical sound and unexplained phenomena, the unreal sand dunes can be heard and felt across 35 destinations around the world including Eureka Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California, Atlantic Sahara in Morocco, Oman.
2) Murmuration, United Kingdom
Murmuration, also described as The Black Sun is one of the most spectacular natural phenomena known to man. It’s about flocking starlings – thousands of these tiny birds collectively flying and swirling about. This mesmerising act is seen at the beginning of winter, right before dusk, as the birds look for a place to roost for the night. The beauty lies in their survival function, as each bird tries to imitate the bird next to it, which results in a stunning formation. You need to travel to Somerset, United Kingdom to see the amazing Starling Murmurations.
3) Sardine Run, South Africa
This sardine run sight alone would make any diver celebrate, but this dive has more. In the Sardine Run, millions of sardines travel up the east coast of South Africa, from May to July. Starting in May, millions of small, shiny fish make the one-way journey from the cold waters of the Cape to the warmer tides of Kwa Zulu-Natal, coloring the shoreline silver as they convene close to the coast. The Sardine Run is an energetic, adrenaline-pumping experience.
4) The Wandering Stones of Death Valley
Stones can’t move…right? Well, in California’s Death Valley, they do. Death Valley National Park in California is a strange place full of mysteries. Famously known for being the hottest place on earth, Death Valley also sits at the driest and lowest elevation in North America. Its strangest feature of all is the mysterious Racetrack Playa. It has stones that seem to move on their own, when no one is looking. Stones only move once every two or three years and most tracks last for three or four years.
5) Bioluminescent Waves, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives
In today’s polluted world, the beauty of the night can all-too-often be obscured by the glare of businesses that surround the beaches of the world. But if you look closely, beyond that man-made light, you might see something special: the quiet glow of bioluminescence. The Maldives is home to one of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful islands known in the world, Vaadhoo Island. Located on the Raa Atoll, this natural phenomenon is known to the world as the Sea of Stars because of the way the luminescent blue waves drift across the water. Vaadhoo Island is not the only place you’ll catch the vibrant show. You can also catch them in Australia, San Diego(US), Japan and Maldives, among other places.
6) Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
One of the world’s most famous outdoor alleys, the Avenue of the Baobabs is Madagascar’s most prevailing natural wonder. The fairytale trees are found in the Menabe region, lining an old dirt road, and are one of the continent’s most impressive sights. Madagascar, one of Africa’s island countries, a place laden with rainforests, deserts, beaches, and fantastic wildlife. Best known as the “upside down tree,” baobabs are also called bottle trees, boab trees, and boaboa trees, some of which are more than 800 years old. Though most of the largest baobabs are located in Madagascar, they can also be found in other parts of the continent. However, Madagascar’s are the most remarkable.
7) Wisteria Tunnel, Japan
Just six hours travel from Tokyo, is the city of Kitakyushu where the Kawachi Fuji Garden wows visitors. Swaths of gorgeous Wisteria, spanning more than 20 unique species, flower here between April and May. This is one of the only places you can stroll through fabulous gardens and then move on to stroll through a tunnel of variegated purples, plums, whites, and lilacs, all vibrantly bursting with color, creating a spectacular natural setting. The dreamlike setting hits its peak in April, the best time to go, but it’s still extraordinary anytime during season (the garden itself is private and requires an entry fee). The tunnel is blanketed in the different Wisteria species, which are trained over a large, arching trellis while underneath the grass is lush emerald, creating a passage completely enveloped in flora. If this doesn’t feel like a fairytale setting, nothing will.
8) Frozen Air Bubbles, Canada
Like clouds perched in the sky on a windless day, the white and billowy bubbles in the frozen blue waters of Alberta, Canada’s Abraham Lake are as picturesque a scene as anything you can see on Earth. But they are hiding a dangerous secret. These buoyant bubbles aren’t air, they’re methane and they’re trapped inside the frigid lake. They’re often referred to as ice bubbles or frozen bubbles. This has made the lake famous among photographers.
9) Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia – The World’s Largest Natural Mirror
Salar de Uyuni is a gigantic salt flat found in southwest Bolivia. Measuring over 4,000 square miles (10,000+ square km), it’s the world’s largest salt flat. As one of the flattest places on earth, during the rainy season, the water at Salar de Uyuni creates a mirror image of the sky. Tourists lucky enough to visit Salar de Uyuni salt flat during rainy season make the most of its photogenic possibilities. During the daytime the mirror effect creates the impression of cars driving through a highway of clouds across the salt flat.
10) Aurora Australis
New Zealand is known for a lot of natural wonders, and Aurora Australis (The Southern Lights) has to be one of the most wonderful of all. With the right conditions and the right location, the Aurora Australis will give you a night to remember. Aurora Australis may be lesser known than Aurora Borealis (The Northern Lights), but it is just as impressive! Only a few of us have had the privilege to see the electric phenomenon because we struggle to get far enough south. So if you have chosen New Zealand as your work and travel destination, then here’s yet another reason you have made the right decision! In New Zealand, you can see the aurora activity as a green and pink hue over the horizon and even dancing green veils lighting up the sky. To increase your chances of seeing the Southern Lights on your travels, you need a combination of the best time, the best weather conditions, and being in the right place. Although auroras happen all year round, the best time to see them in New Zealand is during the winter months (March to September). The widest part of the aurora is when the sun is on the opposite side of the Earth to where you are, so around midnight is best.