11 Photos That Will Change the Way You See 'Mother Earth'

RealClear Staff

            

Earthly wonders seem limitless, and here's a sampling of actual photos of places you can visit that prove the point.

1. The Underwater Waterfall

This is a real scene off the coast of Mauritius, about 1,500 miles offshore form Africa. Wave patterns create the optical illusion that a waterfall is flowing underwater!

2. The Reflective Mural

Although man-made and not natural, this is still pretty cool: The artist painted a mural upside down, so that when reflected off the water, it appears as if a pair of boaters is rowing across the water!

3. The Blue Glowing Sea

Hong Kong is already pretty exotic, but check out this magnificent blue glowing phenomenon that have dazzled residents and tourists alike with its beauty.  But its beauty is rooted in ugliness: The glow is from a harmful algal bloom, nicknamed Sea Sparkle, that is in fact a single-celled organism that can function as both animal and plant. These blooms are triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries.

4. Inside Alaska's Glacier Caves

They’re found in Southeastern Alaska’s rainy Tongass National Forest, but once you arrive you might think you’ve somehow traveled beyond Alaska and ended up in a fantasy land far, far away.

5. The Aurora Borealis

In Norway, you can appear like a Norse God if the camera catches you at the proper moment....

6. Waves That Look Solid

OK, that is from a well-timed still photo. Featuring some of the purest waves on the planet, Hawaii's uncharted beaches can contain many illusions.

7. Rocks that Look Like Waves

Kind of the flip side of Hawaii's solid-looking waves, Wave Rock is a natural formation in southwestern Australia that is shaped like a tall breaking ocean wave. The "wave" is about 45 feet high and around 350 feet long.

8. Lenticular Clouds

They look like UFOs -- and have often been mistaken for them -- but lenticular clouds are are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form in the troposphere, normally in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction, and are almost always form around high elevational protrusions, such as Washington state's Mt. Ranier (above).

9. Pakistan's Sphinx Riddle

Believe it or not, this rock formation in Pakistan's Hingol National Park is all natural and organic.

10. A Jellyfish Blue Man Group

Or so it seems off the coast of Australia.

11. Midnight on Disko Bay

Disko Bay is on the western coast of Greenland. In the Northern Hemisphere's summer there are spectacular shows at night -- when daylight still rules. 

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