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20 Stunning Nature Photos That Will Leave You Speechless

20 Stunning Nature Photos That Will Leave You Speechless

Maybe you have seen dramatic photos of natural phenomena that leave you breathless, amazed or even frightened. They can be anything from freak weather to astronomical mysteries or weird rock formations and landscapes.

Here are my top 20 favorite stunning nature photos of all time.

1. Danxia, China

Danxia

    Colorful sandstone and minerals deposited over millions of years give us the incredibly varied landscape in this stunning nature photo. Wind and rain have sculpted the rocks into valleys, gulleys, and rolling hillsides.

    2. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

    Bondi icebergs NSW

      Stormy weather meant that there were not many swimmers around at the famous Bondi Icebergs swimming club at Bondi Beach when this photo was taken.

      3. Mammatus clouds

      Mammaryclouds

        These clouds are known as mammary clouds, due to their resemblance to cows’ udders. They are rare because they form in sinking air. Most clouds are made in rising air.

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        4. Bioluminescent waves

        bioluminiscentwaves

          These waves glow at night because the water is full of phytoplankton, which is luminous and gives off a weird blue light.

          5. Light pillars over Ruka ski slopes, Finland

          lightpillars

            These pillars are formed by the reflection of ice crystals in the moonlight.

            6. Volcanic lightning, Iceland

            volcanic lightning

              A spectacular show is caused by the volcanic eruption which tosses positively charged debris into the air, which is full of negative charges. The result is lightning. It is rare to see these two phenomena present together.

              7. Fire rainbows over Albuquerque, New Mexico

              firerainbows

                This is a fairly rare phenomenon. The sun must be 58 degrees above the horizon when there are some cirrus clouds which contain ice crystals.

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                8. Aurora, Lapland

                auroras

                  These strange colorful effects occur when particles from a solar flare are released. They then penetrate the earth’s magnetic field, colliding with atoms in the atmosphere. These bursts of light and color are the result of the collisions.

                  9. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

                  Giant'scauseway

                    About 65 million years ago, there was intense volcanic activity in this area. In the cooling process, perpendicular basalt blocks and a pavement-like structure were created.

                    10. Waterspouts

                    waterspouts

                      These are tornados that form over the water’s surface.

                      11. Hessdalen lights, Norway

                      Hessdalen lights

                        An unexplained phenomenon and loved by UFO enthusiasts! The most likely explanation is that air turns to plasma and produces these effects. There are copper-rich rocks on one side of the valley and iron-rich strata on the other side.

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                        12. Storms at Catatumbo, Venezuela

                        Catatumbo

                          It’s no surprise to learn that the storms here are so frequent that they are known as the everlasting storm. They happen on average once every two days and can last as long as 10 hours each. The lightning displays are unbelievable.

                          13. The Gateway to Hell, Darvaze, Turkmenistan

                          Gatewaytohell

                            This all happened by chance. Gas drillers had an accident in 1971 which caused a crater to open up. It then caught fire because of the released gas and it has been burning ever since. But that’s nothing compared to a similar flame which has been burning in Iraq for 4,000 years and is even mentioned in the Old Testament!

                            14. Steam vents in Hevrir, Iceland

                            steamtowers

                              The Hevrir area in Iceland is geothermally active and releases vast quantities of steam and gas, often forming towers.

                              15. Pororoca tidal wave, River Amazon

                              Pororoca

                                The longest tidal wave in the world! Fancy a bit of surfing on this tidal wave which can travel up to 500 miles along the Amazon? One Brazilian surfer actually managed to surf it for about 8 miles. It took him 37 minutes. This wave only happens every six months when the Atlantic tides reach as far as the mouth of the River Amazon.

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                                16. Starling murmurations over Gretna, Scotland

                                murmurations

                                  These huge flocks of starlings fly in beautiful and fascinating formations, usually at twilight in winter. A superb example of teamwork and co-ordination, without any GPS devices!

                                  17. Flowering desert, Atacama, Chile

                                  Floweringdesert

                                    A barren landscape regenerated by infrequent heavy rains which have transformed long dormant seeds and bulbs into a beautiful garden.

                                    18. Dragon blood trees, Socotra, Yemen

                                    Socotra

                                      These rare, umbrella-shaped dragon blood trees get their name from their dark red resin. Socotra has unique flora and fauna, a third of which are found nowhere else on the planet!

                                      19. Frozen methane bubbles, Alberta, Canada

                                      methanebubbles

                                        These methane bubbles are found in Abraham Lake. If they melt, just don’t light a match nearby.

                                        20. Asperatus clouds, Lofoten Islands, Norway

                                        Asperatus
                                          ©Ragnhild M Hansen http://www.viewbug.com/photo/11072531

                                          You might be forgiven for thinking this is a Van Gogh painting, but it is not—it’s the last of our stunning nature photos! These asperatus clouds are new guys on the block. They are so mysterious that they were only classified for the first time in 2009.

                                          Featured photo credit: Jiroj Amaralikit via ink361.com

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                                          Robert Locke

                                          Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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                                          Last Updated on December 2, 2019

                                          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                                          10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                                          Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

                                          In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

                                          These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

                                          1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

                                          Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

                                          But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

                                          Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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                                          2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

                                          You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

                                          The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

                                          3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

                                          If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

                                          Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

                                          If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

                                          4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

                                          Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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                                          To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

                                          In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

                                          5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

                                          We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

                                          If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

                                          Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

                                          “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

                                          6. Give for the Joy of Giving

                                          When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

                                          One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

                                          So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

                                          7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

                                          Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

                                          Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                          8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

                                          When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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                                          So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

                                          9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

                                          Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

                                          It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

                                          It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

                                          10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

                                          There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

                                          But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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                                          Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

                                          More About Living a Fulfilling Life

                                          Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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