‘Dragon Eye’ lake – Striking natural phenomenon in Japan

The Kagami Numa, the “Dragon Eye lake” in Japan hides a truly mind-blowing phenomenon. Most of the time it’s pretty ordinary looking, but if you go there from late May through early June you might be lucky to witness its transformation into a “dragon eye” shape.
In the late spring, a great amount of snow melts and pours into the pond, and a ring of open water forms around the edge, leaving a white disk in the middle. Next, a pool of water gathers in the center of the white disk, making the pond look rather like a huge eye.

Grüner See – Alpine park that turns into a lake in the summer

Grüner See (Green Lake) is a lake in Styria, Austria, surrounded by the Hochschwab Mountains and forests. The name “Green Lake” originated because of its emerald-green water. During winter, the lake is only 1–2 m (3–7 ft) deep and the surrounding area is used as a county park. However, in spring, when the temperature rises and snow melts, the basin of land below the mountains fills with water. The lake reaches its maximum depth of around 12 m (39 ft). The waters are at their highest in June when it becomes a destination for divers keen to explore the rare phenomenon. A bridge and a bench could also be found underwater, as well as trails and trees.
info wikipedia

By Herzi Pinki (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Penitentes – Spikey Snow Formations in the Andes resembling to praying folk

Penitentes are snow formations found at high altitudes. They take the form of elongated, thin blades of hardened snow or ice, closely spaced and pointing towards the direction of the sun.
The name comes from the resemblance of a field of penitentes to a crowd of kneeling people doing penance. The formation evokes the tall, pointed habits and hoods worn by brothers of religious orders in the Processions of Penance during Spanish Holy Week. In particular the brothers’ hats are tall, narrow, and white, with a pointed top.
These spires of snow and ice grow over all glaciated and snow-covered areas in the Dry Andes above 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) and range in length from a few centimeters to over 5 meters (16 ft).
info: wikipedia

By ESO/B. Tafreshi (twanight.org) – CC BY 4.0, Link

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Blackchurch Rock – Striking rock with a double arch

The impressive Blackchurch rock  is a large arch stack found at Mouthmill Cove, on the North Devon coast, UK. Has to be seen at low tide to get the full effect.

© Copyright Stuart Fiddes and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. (via)

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Adrspach-Teplice Rocks – Massive sandstone rocks that take the shape of pillars, columns and labyrinths

The Adršpach-Teplice Rocks comprise some of the most popular rock formations in the Czech Republic. A sandstone rock town with many bizarre formations up to 300ft high open to the public since the middle of 18th century.
The Adršpach-Teplice Rocks are an unusual set of sandstone formations covering 17 km2 in northeastern Bohemia. The rocks have been protected as a national nature reserve since 1933, and since 1991 the whole adjacent region of Broumovsko has enjoyed the status of protected landscape area. Tourists may visit the rocks via a number of marked trails. The area is a popular destination for rock climbers.

Andrzej Nowak, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Desert Rose — Rose-like formation of crystal clusters

Desert rose is the colloquial name given to rose-like formations of crystal clusters of gypsum or baryte which include sand grains. The ‘petals’ are crystals fanning open in radiating flattened crystal clusters. The rosette crystal habit tends to occur when the crystals form in arid sandy conditions, such as the evaporation of a shallow salt basin. The crystals form a circular array of flat plates, giving the rock a shape similar to a rose blossom.
info: wikipedia

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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King of Wings rock formation

King of Wings, a rock formation in the remote part of the badlands of San Juan Basin of northwestern New Mexico, seems to defy the laws of physics and gravity.  A piece of sandstone jutting out ten feet into the air that sits atop a column of stone hoodoo is a spectacle to see.

John Fowler/FLICKR (CC BY 2.0)

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Hair Ice – Fungus shapes a strange kind of ice that is found on rotting logs

Hair ice, also known as ice wool or frost beard, is a type of ice that forms on dead wood and takes the shape of fine, silky hair. It is somewhat uncommon, and has been reported mostly at latitudes between 45–55 °N in broad leaf forests. Hair ice forms on moist, rotting wood from broad leaf trees when temperatures are slightly under 0 °C (32 °F) and the air is humid. Each of the smooth, silky hairs has a diameter of about 0.02 mm (0.0008 in) and a length of up to 20 cm (8 in). The hairs are brittle, but take the shape of curls and waves. They can maintain their shape for hours and sometimes days. A piece of wood that produces hair ice once may continue to produce it over several years.
In the year 2015, German and Swiss scientists identified the fungus Exidiopsis effusa as key to the formation of hair ice. The fungus was found on every hair ice sample examined by the researchers, and disabling the fungus with fungicide or hot water prevented hair ice formation.
info: wikipedia

Des Colhoun / A mystery of Nature on Altyre Estate

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