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World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Chatnara/Shutterstock.com]

Blood Moon

  • Threat Level: None

There are a lot of long-told prophecies connected to Blood Moons. However, there is nothing mystical or magical regarding how they come to pass. This used to be the case hundreds to thousands of years ago. However, we know how they happen these days. Therefore, it takes a lot of the magic away.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Inhabitat

A Blood Moon is basically a Lunar Eclipse. However, the only way for the “Blood Moon” to form is if the Moon is completely eclipsed. This happens when the Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. This happens by the Earth’s atmosphere refracting any reflected light from the lunar surface. The light we then see is a reddish coloring.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: The Moscow Times

The same appearance happens during a sunrise or sunset. Because they occur the exact same way. You can see the Blood Moon from any place where it is currently night. On top of this, the Blood Moon might last up to 2 hours whereas a total solar eclipse might only last a few minutes. You also do not need any eye protection to look at a Blood Moon. While we know how they form today, they are still among the world’s strangest weather phenomena.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Stephen Hummel]

Jellyfish Lightning Sprites

  • Threat Level: Technically None

It might be odd to see something named “Jellyfish Lightning Sprites,” but they do actually exist. In fact, it is potentially possible that many of us have seen them before without really knowing it. They get their name from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the infamous story by William Shakespeare. Mostly, they are connected to the Sprite known as Puck.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Good News Network

Usually red, they are large-scale electrical discharges that will form high above thunderstorm clouds. Although quite weird to see, they are not really all that rare. They tend to occur when positive lightning gets between a thundercloud and the ground itself. These discharges of lightning will create a red lighting appearance that can be quite beautiful.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Massive Sci

Mostly, they form due to irregularities in plasma or the charged particles of gas that happen in the ionosphere. When noticed, they can be among the world’s strangest weather phenomena. However, they are harmless to most people. We would not want to be a plane in the area, however.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via The United States Antarctic Program]

Brinicles

  • Threat Level: Harmless To Look At, But Can Kill

Brinicles are really amazing to see. Images show that but you truly have to be up close and personal with them to appreciate how impressive they are. They are technically just underwater ice icicles. While this might not seem all that impressive, you have to consider how they form.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Cal Academy

They are basically hollow-tubes of ice that are enclosed in descending brine, which formed beneath developing sea ice. As the seawater freezes around them in the polar oceans, salt brine concentrates are removed from sea ice. This will create a downward flow of dense, incredibly cold, and saline water. This tends to have a low freezing point, even over the normal water around it.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Ripleys

Once they come in contact with regular ocean water, the massively cold temperature causes ice to instantly form around the flow of water. That will create our hollow icicles. Ultimately, they are among the world’s strangest weather phenomena simply due to the incredible conditions in which they form. Yet they are incredibly common in the world’s coldest waters.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Chris Tangey]

Fire Whirls

  • Threat Level: Can Be Incredibly Dangerous

If an intense fire breaks out, like something you might see in Hell itself, you can see fire whirls come about. They are often referred to as Fire Tornadoes, but they do not tend to get to such a level. While not all Fire Whirls last for a long time, it truly takes something intense to force one to occur. If we are creating one, we need a few things present.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Abc

First, you need actual flames or even ash. Second, the intensity of the fire has to be pretty big. If it does reach this, it’ll create a situation in which rising heat makes impressive flames. Sometimes, you do not need a lot of normal wind in play. The intensity of fire can actually create a type of wind on its own, funny enough.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Osnepal

If you mix it with naturally turbulent wind conditions, you can get a relatively large fire whirl. However, if they are only created by fire, most fire whirls will end up being relatively small. Yet they can become a tornado-like vortex that sucks in debris only getting a bit larger as they go. They are clearly among the world’s strangest weather phenomena.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Smit/Shutterstock.com]

Mammatus Clouds

  • Threat Level: None

Mammatus Clouds are incredible to see. When you see them, it can appear as if the world is collapsing on itself or that aliens have come to destroy us all. They are not exactly common to see but they are not uncommon either. They are actually not technically clouds. The Mammatus part of it is actually hanging underneath the base of the cloud itself.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Vic News

This makes them a secondary or supplemental part of the cloud rather than a version of clouds. Most of the time, they come along with cumulonimbus rainclouds. These are clouds that form from water vapor that will be carried by powerful upward air currents. They tend to turn into what would be a common storm-carrying cloud.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Fox 23

It could be a tornado or merely a cold front squall line that it carries. Most of the time, the mammatus forms when cold air sinks down to form pockets that work opposite from puffs of clouds, which are rising through the form of warm air. The cold and warm air mix to give us something that is among the strangest weather phenomena in the world.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Tony Campbell/Shutterstock.com]

Sun Dogs

  • Threat Level: Can Cause Problems

Sun Dogs have likely been something we have all seen at one time or another in our life. In fact, they can be incredibly common for people who wear glasses or those who operate cameras regularly. Some tend to call them lens flares when they appear on-screen, but they are not the same thing honestly. Although, it can be easy to confuse the two.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Yellow Stone Teton

A Lens Flare happens when a bit of light comes through glass and sort of takes over the lens. It usually only occurs for a few seconds, but a Sun Dog can form a halo appearance. In fact, the Halo is actually estimated to be around 22 degrees. They are caused by the refraction of sunlight via ice crystals in the atmosphere.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Photosynthesis In Nature

They tend to appear in pairs of essentially subtle color patches in Halo pattern. Sun Dogs can be seen at the left or right of the Sun too. They’ll even appear at the same altitude above the horizon of the Sun. Some are brighter or more obvious than others, but the strength tends to be dictated by how close the Sun is to the horizon. They make for some of the world’s strangest weather phenomena for sure.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via PS_Photo/Shutterstock.com]

Midnight Sun

  • Threat Level: None

While it is known to be a naturally-occurring phenomenon, it is still one of the world’s strangest weather phenomena you can experience. The Midnight Sun is exactly as one might assume, a situation in which our Sun is able to be seen at the Midnight Hour. The only people who experience this are those located in the Arctic or near the Arctic territories.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Rez Photography

You can see it happen in the Summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or even south of the Antarctic Circle. When you see it located in the Arctic, the Sun seemingly appears to move from left to right. This will differ in Antarctica, where the Sun moves from right to left.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Wiktionary

That is the only major difference between the two, yet it is clear that they are the only places that can experience such a thing. Places like Alaska might have 6 months of daylight or night time. However, they still see the Sun drop enough during their daylight months. The Arctic areas do not experience this and will see the Sun stay up constantly in the summer months.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Rose Waddell/Shutterstock.com]

Fire Rainbow

  • Threat Level: None

Fire Rainbows are not exactly rainbows of fire like some might assume. In fact, it is really uncertain why they are still referred to as “fire rainbows” honestly. Today, meteorologists will call this a “Circumhorizontal Arc.” They are actually Ice Halos formed by the refraction of Sun or Moonlight in specifically plate-shaped ice crystals.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Zme Science

The latter must be suspended in the atmosphere, usually within cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. When it is in its full arc, you’ll see a large, bright, spectrum-colored band. Red will be the top color in this, and all will run parallel to the horizon well below the Sun or Moon in the sky.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Interesting Facts

These differ heavily from 22-degree halos like Sun Dogs as the distance between the arc and Sun or Moon is twice as far. If the halo-forming clouds are smaller or even patchy, the impressive coloring won’t be present. Overall, the entire thing is actually one big optical illusion. Thereby putting them among the world’s strangest weather phenomena.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Margarita Alshina/Associated Press]

Orange Snow

  • Threat Level: “Can” Be Pretty Toxic

Orange Snow is incredibly rare, but when we refer to it…we are not discussing sectors where sand mixed with snowfall to create a sort of orange coloring. Rather, we’re discussing the snowfall itself being orange. Likely the most significant time this happened was in Siberia from late January to February of 2007. Around 27,000 people were exposed to Orange Snow.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Abc

The reasoning for it seems to be two-fold. Some like to push the idea that it formed with sand in a snowfall and sandstorm mix. This is less likely compared to the reason most people buy into, that it was caused by over-pollution put into the air by the Siberian neighboring nation of Kazakhstan. This snow was said to be oily to the touch and contained up to 4 times the normal level of iron.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Snow Forecast

Although most of the snow was orange, some of it was red or yellow. It was claimed that the snow was non-toxic, yet residents were told to not use (drink or eat) the snow nor let animals feed on it. Yet it was “non-toxic” right? Orange Snow is still among the strangest weather phenomena. Yet it’s not unheard of to see colored snowfall in or around Russia. Black, Blue, Green, and even Red have been seen in the past.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Jim Grant]

Pirate’s Green Flash Of Light

  • Threat Level: Potentially Deadly For Some Pirates/Sailors

You may have heard stories about pirates and even sailors seeing what some describe as a beautiful green light on the sea. Usually noticed off in the distance, this light has led many people astray over the years. Sometimes it resulted in ships crashing at times too. If you do see it, the green light tends to appear around the Sun as it is rising or setting.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Live Science

Apparently, the people who tend to see it are those who look at the sun through greater and greater thickness within the atmosphere as it moves lower or higher into the sky. Water vapor in the Earth’s atmosphere actually absorbs yellow and orange colors in the white sunlight. Meanwhile, air molecules will burst out and move around violet light.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Pekka Parviainen

That results in twoish remaining lights being visible, red and blue-green. When our Sun nears the horizon, the light will be bent so much it’ll appear as two discs, each possessing one of the aforementioned colors. Red is always closest to the horizon, leaving blue-green to be visible, with green being the dominant coloring. It can be among the strangest weather phenomena to experience.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Karen Maraj -Flickr]

Literal Balls Of Lightning

  • Threat Level: Potentially Extreme

To say that there is a song to go along with some of the strangest weather phenomena is odd. However, when it comes to this situation….we’re not far off. While uncommon, balls of lightning have come down from the sky. Well, more accurately, balls of lightning have appeared out of nowhere.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Dailymail

It is true that many people have witnessed seeing balls of lightning, with some hitting right in front of people. There are even stories of them hitting people and affecting them similar to being electrocuted. While they can happen all over the world, around a reported ten percent of the U.S. population has reportedly witnessed them.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Nautil

They tend to be free-floating balls that are red, orange, or yellow in color. They actually form when they are around a mile to even several yards above the ground. The balls of lightning will then hit, lighting stuff on fire and injuring some people. They even tend to leave behind the smell of sulfur. While related to thunderstorms, it is unknown what causes them to form.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via JTrott Photography/Shutterstock.com]

Blood Rain

  • Threat Level: None

While some will see this as a sign of the apocalypse or some sort of signal of God’s rage, Blood Rain is not exactly connected to anything like this. We’ve seen Blood Rain referred to in numerous literary works such as Homer’s Iliad and several books relating it to the Occult. Mostly, it is considered a “bad omen” with something bad happening during or after the rain.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Sputnik News

This was a situation in which people thought for many years that red rain was actually blood coming down from the sky. We began to examine this type of rain further beginning in the 17th Century, with more attempts ramping up in the 19th. Some thought red dust gave the water this color, while others assumed micro-organisms had a role.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: The Sun

When studies were done, everyone kept coming back to one thing that seemed to show up in all red rain collected. They found Trentepohlia Annulata, which are aerial spores of green microalgae. Similar algae are said to also be the cause of the “blood water” from the Bible’s Old Testament too.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Balate Dorin/Shutterstock.com]

Brocken Spectre

  • Threat Level: None

The infamous “Brocken Spectre” is something we likely have all seen at some point or another in our lives too. It can seem sort of angelic as if a spirit from above is about to come down to speak with you. Basically, it is a magnified & large shadow of someone cast upon clouds opposite to the Sun’s direction.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Met Office

A person’s head will be surrounded by halo-like rings of colored light, which form an optical phenomenon known as a “glory.” It will form the opposite of the Sun’s direction when similarly-sized water droplets in the clouds refract & backscatter sunlight. In some instances, they can even appear in a misty mountainside, and can even be seen from an airplane.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Scots Man

The Spectre gets its name from the Brocken Peak in the Harz Mountains within Germany. A local legend regarding it led to the name. When seen, it can be pretty amazing to experience. Yet it is clearly among the strangest weather phenomena one can see today.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Nosdois/Shutterstock.com]

Volcanic Lightning

  • Threat Level: None Unless You’re Close To The Volcano

Volcanic Lightning might be one of the scariest things one can ever experience. This occurs when an electrical discharge is caused by a volcanic eruption. Fragmented particles will collide with volcanic ash, sometimes even ice. This will generate true static electricity within the plume created by the volcano.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Engadget

Moist convection & ice formation can also lead to the eruption plume, which also triggers volcanic lightning. They also tend to occur before ice crystals have formed in the ash cloud, differing them from lightning within a normal thunderstorm. We know that this has been a long-term thing in history, with Pliny the Younger writing of the first known instance.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Pbs

He described an eruption at Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD where he claimed there was a “fitful gleam of torches at intervals obscured by the transient blaze of lightning.” The same mountain erupted in 1858, 1861, 1868, & 1872 and all resulted in sightings of volcanic lightning. They are not alone. Clearly, this deserves to be among the strangest weather phenomena in history.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Insider Paper]

Frogs & Fish Rain From The Sky

  • Threat Level: Medium

You would be forgiven for assuming a great plague has arrived when random animals fall from the sky. Yet this is not exactly what happened in Louisiana sometime in 1947. According to the Library of Congress, fish fell from the sky in a Louisiana town, but that’s not all. In 2005, a Serbian city reported thousands of frogs fell from the sky. Yet neither are one-off cases.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: The Hans India

In fact, it has been reported that this same situation happened in other cities dating back to Ancient Civilizations. This had us wondering, how could any of this occur? Clearly, it is some of the strangest weather phenomena one could experience. The answer seemed to be pretty easy to figure out. Each time this happened, it was seemingly due to tornadoes or hurricanes.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: What Dewhat

When tornadoes form over water, such as in the case of the aforementioned waterspout, there are situations when it can pick up nearby animals or those in the water. Yes, this means that Sharknadoes are “technically” possible. Cue the celebrity cameos! Once these tornadoes lose energy and slow down, the giant vortex will let go of anything it trapped. Thus, frogs & fish falling from the sky.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Simon’s Passion 4 Travel/Shutterstock.com]

Auroras (The Northern & Southern Lights)

  • Threat Level: None (so far)

Seeing an Aurora can be one of the most beautiful things one can experience. Yet most people do not know how they actually come about, especially the most notable versions. Everyone knows about the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Yet the same thing exists in the southern section of the world. There, one can see the Aurora Polaris or Polar/Southern Lights.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Jason Weingart

Mostly, they are only capable of being seen the further north or south one gets to the Arctic or Antarctic. They happen as a result of the magnetosphere being disturbed by the solar wind. Solar wind happens all the time within Space, so any Planet located near a star will likely see them. However, the Earth’s Magnetosphere protects it massively from anything like this.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Thought Co

However, sometimes they are strong enough to alter the trajectories of charged particles in solar wind & magnetospheric plasma. As a result, electrons & protons spew out in the upper atmosphere. The ionization from this gives us our beautifully colored Auroras. Still, they’re clearly among the strangest weather phenomena one can see.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Michael Dorogovich/Shutterstock.com]

Lenticular Clouds

  • Threat Level: None

While you may assume that the Aliens have arrived, that is not exactly what you’re seeing here. Lenticular Clouds form in a clearly unique way by sort of taking the form of what we assume a UFO looks like. From films or television, most people assume that a UFO looks like a flying saucer. However, keep in mind that UFO stands for “unidentified flying object.”

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Met Office

Literally, anything we are not aware of flying through the sky is going to be a UFO. Lenticular Clouds obviously do not fly around, but the interesting appearance they possess is certainly cool to see. Although, it is clear that their appearance is among the strangest weather phenomena one can see too.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Epod Usra

Lenticular Clouds are stationary and form in the Troposphere, perpendicular to the current wind direction. They actually get their name from what they used to be compared to, “a Lens.” There are three main types: The Altocumulus Standing Lenticular, Stratocumulus Standing Lenticular, & Cirrocumulus Standing Lenticular. Each will vary in altitude.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
[Image via Christianpinillo/Shutterstock.com]

Catatumbo Lightning

  • Threat Level: Incredibly High

If you ever venture to South America where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo in the nation of Venezuela, we’d recommend avoiding the peak rainy seasons. Of course, in South America, it is hard to avoid the rain. After all, the most notable rain forest on Earth is located here. Yet they do not ship packages in or out of this place for some reason.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Pinterest

In any case, if you venture to this section of the world….you’ll likely have to deal with up to 260 stormy days per year. October is the peak of the wet season here and that is when you can experience up to 30 lightning flashes every single minute. The storms here can be incredibly extreme. While lightning flashes are one thing, they can touch the ground and destroy things.

World’s Strangest Weather Phenomena And How They Happen
Photo Credit: Smart Encyclopedia

In one of the world’s strangest weather phenomena, Catatumbo’s major storms are said to be caused by a combination of mountainous terrain and wind patterns in this area. However, it is truly unknown why this specific area draws in more lightning than any other area. Several theories have been thrown out, but nothing has been proven as of yet.

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