10+ photos that will completely change the way you look at Earth

Despite all of the fantastic accomplishments humans have made in their tenure on earth, Mother Earth still takes the top place for her displays of jaw-dropping creations that don't look like they should really exist. From stunning light shows to impossible works of art, nature really knows how to put on a show.
Check out these 16 photos that may just put you in a little more awe of this beautiful planet we get to call home:
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1. Auroras
Best seen at locations near the North and South poles, Auroras are the result of a solar storm (a burst of energy emitted from the sun), coming into contact with atmospheric gasses. When the sun particles hit Oxygen, it glows green and red. The particles hitting nitrogen produce blue and purple hues, according to NASA.
2. Bioluminescent Waves
This stunning view can be in the presence of bioluminescence marine life, the most common type being phytoplankton, according to National Geographic. Scientists believe that a specific cell membrane in the dinoflagellate phytoplankton produces the glow in response to electrical signals.
3. Blue Lava
When most people think of volcanic lava, they probably picture a red liquid. But, in one Indonesian volcano, the lava actually appears blue. While the lava here is actually red, it appears blue because of the pockets of sulfur that flow along the crevices. When sulfur is heated it produces a lilac color. The high temperatures of the lava (more than 1100 degrees Fahrenheit) combined with the burning sulfur, create this beautiful hue, according to IFL Science.
4.Calcifying Lake
Despite the eerie appearances of these photos, the bird was actually dead before an odd mixture of natural chemicals in Lake Natron, located in Tanzania, preserved them in a calcified state. The lake has a very high pH level of 10.5 (it can actually burn skin and eyes). A mixture of sodium and carbonate and other minerals that flow into the lake, the water essentially mummified the dead animals (which photographer Nick Brandt posed into living positions). Surprisingly the stagnant body of water is home to lesser flamingos, according to Discover Magazine.
5. Christmas Island Crabs
Every year (usually October to December), 10s of millions of crabs head to the water on Christmas Island for spawning and egg-laying purposes. This trek involves so many crabs that road barriers, underpasses, and special bridges have been erected to protect the animals as they make their way to the beach. Sometimes the crabs get around the barriers actually causing road closures! Check out more about this fascinating event at The Christmas Island website.
6.Danxia Landforms
This "eye candy" may look photoshopped, but the bright colors are actually natural.Located in Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, the formation is a result of the erosion of red sandstone and desert conditions. Colors range from orange and yellow to blues and greens. This park is recognized as a UNESCO heritage site.
7. Door to Hell
This crater looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie, but it's very real. Just 150 miles from the capital of Turkmenistan, this "door to hell" has been burning for almost 50 years. The crater is actually a result of drilling by Soviet geologists in the 1970s. While drilling, the ground actually collapsed releasing toxic methane gas (that was killing off wildlife). In an attempt to burn off the dangerous gas, scientists set the methane gas on fire, hoping to burn off the toxic fumes. Nearly fifty years later the flames are still burning, according to the Smithsonian Magazine.
8. Lenticular Clouds
Most commonly found near mountainous areas, these unique cloud formations, lenticular clouds, are formed by air cooling as it moves over mountains. A lenticular cloud doesn't move (unlike other types of clouds). Accuweather says the clouds are continuously reformed by new air.
9. Volcanic Lightning
While there is some debate in the science community about exactly how this type of lightning occurs, Geology.com suggests that in an ideal case the following occurs: Air particles become charged then the particles separate (via a collision of some sort). When the charged separation becomes too great, electricity flows. Lighting during a traditional storm is typically attributed to ice crystals colliding. Some scientists believe that volcanic lightning could be caused by static electricity, according to Live Science.
10. Rainbow Eucalyptus
This stunning tree is indigenous to the Northern Hemispheres and grows in places like Indonesia and New Guinea. In a natural environment (with plenty of rain) the Rainbow Eucalyptus can grow up to 250 feet tall! This tree can be found in parts of the United States like Texas and Hawaii where frost isn't a concern. The striping colors are a result of the tree shedding bark from the year before, according to Gardening Know How.
11. Supercell
While these storm systems make for stunning photos, they can also be terrifyingly destructive. This type of storm is unique because it contains a mesocyclone (persistent rotating updraft) that can cause the storm to last for hours. This type of storm is most common in the central United States, but they do occur elsewhere as well, according to the National Weather Service.
12. Underwater Rivers
This seemingly impossible natural phenomenon is quite bizarre and almost impossible to wrap the mind around, the underwater river. Located in the Yucatan, this river is located at the bottom of what appears to be a swimming hole. These rivers are formed when a top layer of fresh water meets up with salty underground water. The differing densities layer, creating a truly unique environment, according to Ripley's.
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Have you ever seen any of these wonders in real life? Make sure to share these stunning images with your friends on Facebook.
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