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13 incredible weather phenomena that will blow your mind

1st June 2016

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The natural world is a photographer’s treasure trove – full of spectacular sunsets, storms and turbulent skies.

From the dazzling Northern Lights to a shelf made out of clouds, these beautiful, fascinating and – at times – eerie phenomena showcase the true range of Mother Nature.

1. This storm cloud pretending to be a wave

Looming over a beach in Sydney, Australia, this looks like a huge wave poised to crash into the sea.

2. This hole in the sky

Hole in the sky made out of a cloud
(Leesa Willmott/AP)
This strange gap in the sky over Wonthaggi, Australia, is called a fallstreak hole. It occurs when a section of the cloud freezes, and the heavy ice crystals fall out, creating a gap. The rainbow is an added bonus.

3. This eerie view of London’s tallest skyscrapers poking through a blanket of fog

Buildings poke through fog seen from the Shard
(The View from The Shard/PA)

4. These shots of the stunning Aurora Borealis

The aurora borealis
(Owen Humphreys/PA)
The aurora borealis
(Owen Humphreys/PA)
Taken over Derwentwater, near Keswick in the Lake District, these photos show the Northern Lights in all their dazzling splendour.

5. This cool sky shelf

Cloud formation over Lion's Head marina
(Richard Moccia/PA)
The tube-like storm front was captured advancing over Lion’s Head marina, in Ontario, Canada.

6. This street map made out of light

The sky seems to mirror the pattern of street lights below. Navigating by the stars never got so real.

7. These lenticular clouds stacked perfectly over Mount Fuji:

Often mistaken for UFOs, these saucer-shaped clouds are formed when air passes over obstructions at high altitudes (like mountains) and cools enough to condense.

8. These hypnotic swirls captured in a time-lapse photograph of a meteor shower

Meteors streak above the Wyoming countryside early Tuesday morning north of Cheyenne in this time-elapsed photo
(Blaline McCartney/AP)
Meteors streak above the Wyoming countryside at the peak of the 2013 Perseid Meteor Shower.

9. This eerie hailstorm in Colorado which looks like it’s been painted

While driving home this evening… – Stephen Pete Peterson | Facebook

The white streaks were created by falling hail in the distance.

10. This blazing sky

11. This well-placed rainbow

Rainbow over lighthouse
(Owen Humphreys/PA)
A beam of light rains down on Tynemouth lighthouse, Tyne and Wear.

12. These iridescent patches over Durham

Multi-coloured patches over Durham
(Jake Belder/PA)
These colourful sections of sky are known as cloud iridescence or irisation. It’s similar to the colours we sometimes see when oil lies on the surface of a puddle of water. The phenomenon is caused by tiny ice crystals or water droplets in the air which cause the light to become diffracted, creating a rainbow like effect in the clouds.

13. This picture-perfect sunrise

The sun rises over the North Sea near Whitley Bay in Northumberland
(Owen Humphreys/PA)
A perfect orb of light illuminates a fishing boat in the North Sea near Whitley Bay, Northumberland.

Weather, we are humbled.

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