The world is an incredibly beautiful place. There is so much to see, and so little time to see it. We’ve compiled a few of some of the most amazing natural phenomena you absolutely have to witness for yourself. Some require the perfect timing, situation, and the universe aligning on your behalf, and some have evolved over the ages. Either way, you’ve gotta see ’em to believe ’em.

25 Natural Phenomena You Need to See Before You Kick the Bucket

#1 — Auroras

Usually seen near the North and South Poles, Auroras are electrical phenomona that streak across the sky in celestial glory.

#2 — Ball Lightning

This inexplicable phenomenon is a spherical lightning charge that often lasts longer than typical lightning.

#3 — Bioluminescent Waves in Maldives

This glow-in-the-dark beach in the Maldives is caused by phytoplankton in the water.

#4 — Bismuth Crystals

These geometric beauties are made with the compound bismuth subsalicylate, which is actually the active ingredient in Peptobismol. And catch this, you can buy bismuth metal and make these crystals in your kitchen (very, very carefully and with adult supervision).


#5 — Blood Falls

Spilling from the tongue of Taylor Glacier, this eerie phenomenon is caused by an iron oxide-tainted plume of saltwater.

#6 — Catatumbo Lightning

You can only catch this atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela, where it occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. It occurs during 260 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. Crazy.

#7 — Volcanic Columnar Basalt

Formations from Volcanic Basalt that create large columns, usually hexagonally-shaped. Check out this list of places with columnar basalt.

#8 — Door to Hell

This Darvasa Gas Crater is in Derweze, Turkmenistan, and was created when a natural gas field collapsed into an underground cavern. It’s burned continuously since 1971.


#9 — Eternal Flame Falls

Located in the Shale Creek Preserve in Western New York, a small natural gas emission is kept lit at the base of a waterfall nearly year-round. Occasionally the flame is extinguished and must be relit.

#10 — Eye of the Sahara

This deeply-eroded, inverted sphere of sedimentary rock, also known as the Richat Structure, spans approximately 25 miles (41 km). Can you imagine the helicopter ride?

#11 — Finnish Lapland

This real-life magical Winter Wonderland spans the north half of Finland. These photos are but a few of the incredible sites and attractions you can visit. Check out this site to see what else you’ll find in Lapland!

#12 — Fire Rainbows

In the same family as Ice Halos (which you’ll see in a minute), this incredibly rare optical phenomenon is created by light refracting off plate-shaped ice crystals in the atmosphere.