Mother Nature has decorated the globe with extraordinary sights, some more strange than others; but many of us are too busy going through the motions of our mundane, daily routines to even notice the allure of our surroundings. We rush to work, we rush home; we’re always on the go and rarely fully present.
Popping on an episode of Blue Planet won’t even begin to cover all the amazing sights you’re missing out on. That’s why these amazing nature shots will have you doing double takes! Keep your third eye open, and don’t take Earth for granted — she has a lot to offer.
1. You probably imagine bees as little black-and-yellow-striped bugs hovering over flowers. But this fuzzy fella doesn’t have any black stripes; he’s just got the yellow paint.
2. Rocks can be found resting atop large ice patches on Russia’s Lake Baikal…until the sun’s hot rays melt the ice beneath said rocks. But when the ice doesn’t disintegrate completely, the remaining stumpy mound balances the stone, creating the illusion of levitation.
Savva_25 / Shutterstock
3. We have no doubt in our minds that this cat belongs to some Pagan witch. Her amber eyes will stare deep into your soul and bring forth good luck… or something like that. Either way, this kitty is a beaut.
4. We appreciate when people are completely transparent with us, and we guess that goes for the rest of the animal kingdom as well! This guy was found in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and his colorless wings definitely suit him.
5. Whether it be blistering heat, or frigid winds, tulips can handle a large range of temperatures. The tulips seen here in Qitai County, located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, are clearly thriving in the snow.
@XHNews / Twitter
6. This curly-haired boy is a Bashkir Curly Horse, and the species’ origin is an enigma to this day. Though they’re a mystery, it’s suspected that these crimped creatures have been around for millennia, as they’ve been depicted in Chinese art as far back as 161 AD.
7. No, this isn’t a panorama shot gone wrong. This gorgeous mutant flower has got several heads, and loads of petals, swirling and twisting into an S shape. Embrace your differences, y’all.
8. Oh, to be a teeny, tiny frog on a copper penny. When a Reddit user stumbled upon this little dude, he couldn’t help but take a pic. He’ll probably never get that opportunity ever again. Ribbit, ribbit.
look-a-lurker / Reddit
9. Believe it or not, this split lobster harvests both male and female sex characteristics, which makes it a gynandromorph. The cobalt blue side is female, while the rust brown side is male. Nature is wild.
10. This sunny also has a dual personality! And not just that, take a look at those metallic green bees. They’re from the genus Agapostemon, which is a group of Western Hemisphere sweat bees. These little guys are actually attracted to human sweat. Swipe on some deodorant.
VonClawde / Reddit
11. You likely grew up learning that grass is green, bananas are yellow, and oranges are, well, orange. This is all true… for the most part. The Blue Java Banana is, you guessed it, blue! They’re known for their creamy texture and saccharine vanilla ice cream flavor.
A One Stop Garden Shop
12. When embarking on a romantic beach stroll, you don’t typically think of what the sand between your toes looks like. “The secrets of nature are visible everywhere. Yet, they remain secrets until they are revealed,” said Gary Greenberg, the scientist and photographer who snagged this sand closeup.
13. This snail’s home looks as though it’s made of glass. With that said, he shouldn’t go throwing stones. And albeit he’s got no privacy, that shell sure is shiny!
14. We’d like to introduce you to the blue carpenter bee, AKA Xylocopa caerulea. If you’ve never seen these cerulean beauties before, it’s most likely because they’re spread throughout Southeast Asia, India, and Southern China. Look at that blue peach fuzz!
E’s Bees Wildflower Honey
15. This kitty has got some extraterrestrial-looking peepers. According to Reddit, his name is Soren, and he’s blind, which clearly caused his eyes to feature stunning shades of blue and teal. One Reddit user commented “Soren isn’t blind. Soren just sees on other planes of existence.” We agree.
DemonreachDaycare / Reddit
16. Take a gander at this green, slimy sea slug! She’s a special one. Her official name is Elysia cholorotica, and you can find her along the US East Coast. These slugs take photosynthetic plastids from algae and survive via sun bathing. They’re basically animal-plant hybrids.
17. This icy house must belong to the White Witch of Narnia; well, if Narnia was located in Ohio. When your home is sitting on the shore of Lake Eerie, a blizzard can easily turn it into a majestic, frosty castle.
insanezane777 / Reddit
18. Seeing this magenta guy hoppin’ in your garden would only make its color palette more vibrant. Because they don’t camouflage into vegetation as well as green grasshoppers, these colorful hoppers rarely make it to adulthood. Their pinkish color is due to erythrism, which is a genetic mutation.
chris smith / Flickr
19. We’ve got another bilateral gynandromorph on our list! Though this is not always the case, it’s usually caused by a happening in mitosis during early growth. This flutterby refuses to conform, and we support them.
20. Whether these are stunning beams of light, or a perfectly executed shower, some higher power must’ve created this celestial sight. One Reddit user commented on the photo, saying “This is the picture my wife has in her head when she says she wants to remodel the bathroom.”
Bandolerow / Reddit
21. If you’re afraid of lightning and thunder, add this to your list of places you’ll never want to visit! At the mouth of the Rio Catatumbo in Venezuela, thunder and lightning flash upwards of 160 days a year! That is about 159 storms too many.
22. Christmas Island, which is located in the Indian Ocean, is home to more than 120 million crabs. In late autumn, they all migrate from the woods all the way to beach where they mate and reproduce. People visiting the island love to snap photos, like this one.
23. Tourists visiting Christmas Island during the great crab migration can’t seem to get enough of these wacky little creatures. They even go so far as to pose their children amidst the sea of crabs. This little girl’s face says it all!
24. If you were pass this strange lump on the beach, you would probably just think it was an interesting-looking rock and keep going. But these marine creatures found off the coast of Chile are hiding an incredible secret…
25. It turns out this is no rock at all, but a pyura chilensis! This strange sea creature is a member of the sea squirt family. It might not look that pretty, but it is actually a main source of food for marine life in the Chilean region.
26. In Pakistan, rising flood waters make it difficult for spiders to maintain their nests on the ground level. When the waters rise, the spiders climb to the tops of trees and almost completely wrap the trees up in their webs to build homes that keep them safe from storms.
27. It’s an ingenious way for these spiders to keep their homes safe, even if it does cause damage to the trees over time. Check out the ghostly appearance! It almost looks like netting, but those leaves are bound up in spiderwebs. It’s spooky, but it’s also very cool.
28. This image of beautiful layered swaths of clouds over this mountain might look like it has been Photoshopped, but it’s entirely real! The truth is that this is a naturally occurring cloud formation is created when the clouds are affected by the strong wind currents coming off the mountain.
29. If you were to stumble across this strange sight while hiking you might think that someone’s granddad was missing his hairpiece! However, what you are seeing are actually very thin needles of ice infected by a bacterium called pseudomonas syringae. The bacterium gives the ice its odd appearance.
30. The Northern Lights are one of the great wonders of the natural world. They occur when wind particles increase their velocity and escape into the atmosphere through the magnetic field. Once freed, they come into contact with gas atoms, which is what creates this stunning dance of light.
31. These photos taken in Mexico might not look very exceptional… until you realize that they were all taken underwater! Dense matter sinks to the bottom of the river, creating an underwater flow or a river inside of another river.
32. One plucky diver decided to take the ultimate photograph and got a friend to snap an image of him “fishing” in the second river. If only his flippers and other diving gear didn’t totally spoil the illusion! Still, it’s a pretty darn cool idea.
33. While it might look like this beach is dotted with LED lights, the beautifully starry appearance is actually triggered by the plankton that live inside the water. A light is emitted whenever they move, which is what causes this stunning show on the beach.
34. How intense is this next image? This natural gas crater in Turkmenistan is also known by another name: the “Gate to Hell.” Flames were first spotted inside of this crater in 1971, and since then, they have never gone out. Does this look supernatural or what?
35. While the first photo of this so-called “hell gate” kind of looks like a fire pit that just got out control, this second image shows you just how intense the fires beneath this pit really are. Can you imagine walking anywhere near that thing?
36. When a volcano erupts, people expect to see smoke, ash, and piping hot liquid magma. But what about something like the electrical storm pictured during the eruption below? Apparently, when volcanoes give off too much energy, it can result in storms like this one.
37. In Death Valley, California, these giant rocks glide through the sand even though no one touches them. How do they do it? Here’s the secret: the desert gets so cold at night that it forms a layer of frost. This is what makes the rocks slip and slide across the sand on their own.
38. You aren’t dreaming—this is an actual tree! This tree is calld a rainbow eucalyptus. It grows in the Philippines and Indonesia, and when its bark dies, portions of it do so at a different rate. The bark then turns different colors creating this amazing effect.
39. Here’s another rainbow tree that almost doesn’t even seem like it’s real! It looks closer to a sculpture or a painting you might find in a museum than something naturally occurring. Can you imagine what it must be like to see something like this in real life? Talk about a memorable sight.
40. This volcano on the Indonesian island of Java might look like its lava is blue, but it is actually caused by a chemical reaction between the sulfur of the volcano and the oxygen as it immediately ignites the magma. So you see, it isn’t blue at all—it’s simply covered in flames.
41. The salt content of this lake in Australia is so high that, when animals sit in it or near to it, they almost immediately turn into calcified versions of themselves. Birds are the most common victims of the lake. It is a macabre, albeit unspeakably captivating, sight to behold.
42. Look at this eerie image of a bird frozen on the lake, transformed into a veritable pillar of salt. While there’s nothing remotely cute about what this lake can do to living creatures, there is no denying the tragic beauty of what it leaves behind.