Stunning Photos Capture The Incredible Power And Beauty Of Mother Nature
Nature is majestically beautiful and mysteriously menacing. She has the ability to make life as well as take it. Through wind, water, or wave power, Momma Nature will never truly let us forget her place at the top.
Check out this list, which shows how much power our Mother Earth is capable of wielding. Read on and discover why nature should be worshiped, praised, or both.
Calm Before The Twist
Audra Thomas will never forget 1989, when she was up close and personal with the twister that ripped through their family farm in Beaver City, Nebraska. Her bravery was unforgettable.
It was her mother who seemed to have given her the blessing to pose while that monster wove around in the background. Though selfies weren’t a thing yet at the time, Audra definitely got the idea down pat.
Lonely Brown Panda
Though Qizai is a cute and adorable panda, he is the only brown panda left in the world. As a result, he was abandoned by his own mother and left to fend for himself in the forests of China. He was also bullied by other pandas because of his fur color.
The cause of his unique fur color is a genetic mutation. Qizai currently resides in Foping Panda Valley. At seven years old, he is being cared for by staff. They are also looking for his possible mate.
Gravity-defying goats of Morocco
These Moroccan goats can be considered the greatest gravity defiers of all time due to their ability to climb trees. Their skills also apply when it comes to steep cliffs and narrow ledges.
These goats literally hang around the Argania tree as it produces delectable nuts. Being herd animals, one goat on a tree will prompt other goats to follow suit.
Are Mermaids Real?
Sailors lost at sea have reported mermaid sightings for centuries. However, it is unlikely they saw an actual half-human and half-sea creature lurking underneath the waters.
In all likelihood, they saw beluga whales, as these creatures are usually present in Arctic waters. Their anatomical features make them look like humans due to their absent dorsal fin. They also appear to have human knees.
Hair-raising Aquarium Sculpture
The Oregon Undersea Gardens produced a life-like sculpture that many people found scary. It proudly displayed an octopus and a scuba diver battling each other.
Who do you think would win? This undersea fight has been compared to a horror movie that is as scary as Jaws.
The Lightning Storms of Lake Michigan
Situated off Chicago’s shoreline is Lake Michigan, considered one of the five Great Lakes. Specifically, it is the second largest. It is so big that it can alter weather patterns within the local area.
For example, Lake Michigan’s large body of water can create thunderstorms. Check out this image, in which a talented photographer captured a series of lightning strikes over the water.
Circa 1996’s Steve And Terri Irwin
Animal advocate Steve Irwin lost his life in the Batt Reef of Australia in an accident during diving. On the 4th of September, 2006, the barbed tail of a stingray pierced his heart. Alas, the world lost a much beloved Crocodile Hunter and animal expert.
This 1996 image features Steve along with Terri, his wife. His children have inherited his courage. While putting his life on the line as they are making sure to continue the legacy he began.
Giant Prehistoric Sharks
Thanks to evolution (or a comet), these large Megalodons are no longer on the face of the earth. Due to their size, they have been dubbed “killing machines” because of their ferocity. Their length could reach 60 feet while their weight could go to as much as 40,000 pounds.
Can you picture these creatures swimming around your boat? Their fossilized remains rest on this wall, giving onlookers a chance to compare their size to that of the great white shark—one of the ocean’s biggest predators. It is believed Megalodons were wiped out during the Pliocene era.
Hungry Polar Bears Fed By Soviet Soldiers
Kindness knows no bounds. Taken in 1950, this picture shows a Soviet soldier handing cans of condensed milk to a hungry polar bear and its baby. It is not easy to feed a bear, but this Soviet soldier found it more important to relieve the animal’s hunger than worry for his life.
If you’re thinking this image has to be fake, we can confirm that you are wrong – as surprising as it is, this is 100% real! Shot in the Chukchi Peninsula in 25-degree below zero weather, this polar bear and her famished cubs were starving. Soldiers proceeded to open cans of condensed milk. The mommy bear licked the milk from the cans and fed it to her cubs.
The Power Of A Volcanic Eruption
This image is of Mount Vesuvius spewing rock and ash in March 1944 during America’s WW2 campaign. This is the same volcano that erupted in 79 AD and which buried the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
The 1944 eruption caused the destruction of four villages. This picture was taken by flying B-25 bombers from the United States Air Force stationed in Terzigno. The aircrafts’ timing and position allowed them to get a perfect view of an erupting Mount Vesuvius. The image was later colorized.
That’ll Do Pig, That’ll Do
It was unclear if this pig escaped so it could be an extra in the Babe movies or if it was just determined to avoid becoming bacon. Either way, its efforts are applause-worthy. The pig may have taken advantage of overcrowding in the truck to climb up on its comrades and jump out.
We hope the pig was able to roll himself to safety and free himself from the shackles of the bacon industry. We like to think he achieved freedom and was not tenderized by an oncoming truck on the highway.
Skunk Vs. Dog
This dog knows how to pick its battles. Instead of messing with the skunk and being subjected to its stink, he begrudgingly let the creature eat his food. The dog is wise enough to know there’s a lot more where that food came from. He also decided that being sprayed by the skunk’s potent liquid would not be worth it.
The skunk’s stinky weapon comes from a gland located near its anus. Though there may be shampoos that can remove skunk odor from dog fur, the dog was wise enough to back off and save himself the hassle.
Antarctica’s 50-ft Ice Castle
Some initially thought that this picture was a frozen tsunami wave. But that is not true. This is actually blue ice – a natural phenomenon where ice becomes so thick that when light passes through it, its red wavelengths are automatically filtered out. What remains is seen by the eye as a blue-colored reflection.
Blue ice is made up of compressed crystals filled with small air bubbles. This icy monolith is located in Antarctica and remains frozen throughout the year. Though some of its surface pieces melt during the summer, additional layers are added during the winter months.
A Crab In A Skull
This hermit crab doesn’t want to live alone. Instead, he wants to live inside a skull. Since these crabs do not have their own shells, they look for homes they can call their own by scavenging on the ocean floor. In this case, it appears that this crab decided a skull would do.
As hermit crabs get bigger, they need larger homes. To comemorate this natural phenomenon of hermit crabs scavenging for their own shells, artist Josh Keyes created this stunning sculpture. He titled the work “Migratory Soul.”
A Star Is Born
The star-like features of this mole are actually part of its nose. This is why it is referred to as the star-nosed mole. The tentacle-like features are actually very sensitive to sensory stimulation. Referred to as Elmer’s organs, they can easily detect touch, vibrations, smells, and changes in temperature.
The star-nosed mole spends most of its life underground, so over the course of its evolution, it developed this incredible sense organ that isn’t reliant on light. If you want to see such a mole, you can go to North America’s northern regions. They usually prefer to live in wet lowland areas.
A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed
Good friends are hard to come by. When you find friends who are willing to risk their lives to save you from a predator, you have found your best friends forever. This image of a seagull being clutched by a hungry bald eagle is dramatic enough as it is.
However, when another seagull enters the picture to save his friend’s life, the scene becomes truly nail-biting. It is unclear if this moment resulted in a happy-ever-after ending. Either way, there’s no denying the fact that bald eagles are majestic creatures. They are one of nature’s most powerful predators, so we’re sure this one got a meal that day, even if this one got away.
The 1976 movie Rocky was a hit not just because people loved the fight scenes or Sylvester Stallone’s swagger. One of its most popular scenes involves Rocky giving two small turtles to his girlfriend, Adrian. The turtles were named Cuff and Link.
Fast forward more than forty years later, and you will be pleased to discover that Cuff and Link are still alive and well. Sylvester Stallone kept the turtles after the shoot and has taken care of them for all these years. They enjoyed cameo roles in the movie Creed II.
There’s No Business Like Show Business
This tiger is actually an actor. Specifically, this animal is on the set of the 1981 movie Roar, which starred Noel Noel Marshall and Tippi Hedren. The two were a couple in real life. They included their daughter, Melanie Griffith, in the movie too.
Considered one of the most terrifying movies ever made, 70 of its cast and crew members suffered injuries from the animals on the set. Most got away with broken bones and scratches, but some experienced life-threatening injuries.
Marshmallow-like Mammatus Clouds
Mammatus clouds will always make us crave marshmallows. However, they got their name because they also look like the udders of cows. Also known as mammary clouds, these are formed when cold air drops down and creates pouches within warm air convections.
Such clouds usually appear alongside cirrus, anvil, and cumulonimbus clouds. They are also usually seen after thunderstorms. This picture was taken in 1894 by William Clement Lay. Pilots are warned against mammatus clouds because they can cause downdrafts.
What A Cell Tower Looks Like After A Snowstorm
This picture captures the cold and hazardous consequences of a snowstorm. The presence of ice spears is due to high winds blowing across an open space. Once the cold winds meet a structure, the air is frozen into horizontal icy tentacles.
These icicles are beautiful yet destructive. They are usually seen on fences, lighthouses, and cell towers like this one. Due to the ice’s weight, the physical structure they are resting on could be damaged. The man captured in this image might have been given the responsibility of chiseling off the ice – a very difficult and scary job.
Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs?
This kitty cat is doing its best to stay inconspicuous. Will the two Dobermans find out? Though these dogs may look scary, they are actually playful with kids and cats. Hollywood movies portray them as aggressive, but this characterization is far from the truth.
Dobermans were developed in the late 1800s in Germany to guard tax collectors who had to carry large amounts of cash. They are efficient guard dogs, but they can be gentle giants who only want to protect their humans and feline friends.
Photoshop Circa 1908
This picture of President Theodore Roosevelt riding a moose while crossing a river is jaw-dropping. It is also fake. This is an example of one of the precursors to Photoshop. The image was for a political advertisement for the presidential campaign of Teddy Roosevelt for the Progressive Party. It was published in the New York Tribune on September 8, 1912.
The mascot of the Progressive Party was a moose. The photo was created by Underwood and Underwood – a photography firm that edited an image of Roosevelt riding a horse and superimposed it on a moose that was crossing a river.
Three decades ago, a woman was out camping when she heard noises outside her tent. This picture shows what her camera captured that dark night. Though it looks menacing, this is actually just an adorable troop of raccoons! These creatures generally keep to themselves. They are nocturnal and have dexterous paws that look very much like tiny human hands.
They are also very hungry animals and are attracted to open food boxes, coolers, and trash cans. The woman probably had some food laying around her campsite – this would explain the presence of so many opportunistic eaters. The lesson here is to secure food items carefully when camping!
The storm clouds combined with the gorgeous sunset make this image beautiful as well as terrifying. Set in Moscow, the picture has an apocalyptic vibe. But science can explain the way water vapor is collected by clouds, creating majestic billows.
Nature is capable of some incredible things. In the wake of a passing storm, beauty takes a moment to shine through. The light and colors of this majestic image adds some drama to the scene. It’s a sunset lovers dream.
The mouth of Venezuela’s Catatumbo River regularly hosts an odd but beautiful atmospheric phenomenon. For 140 to 160 nights in a year, sharp lightning is seen for at least ten hours in this area. An average of 250 strikes occur each hour.
The lightning results from storms and winds blowing across the bog as well as from Maracaibo Lake. Mountains located on the sides of the area also force air masses to climb and pick up an electrical charge.
Sunset Over Ancient Egypt
Seeing a magnificent sunset is one thing, but being able to capture the colorful display at the perfect time is another. This photo depicts a beautiful blend between the natural, ancient, and modern world. When seeing a scene like this, it becomes unsurprising why ancient Egyptians deemed Giza as such a special and spiritual location.
The Giza Plateau depicted here is a well-known location as it is home to the Great Pyramid of Giza as well as the Great Sphinx. In this image, nature reminds us of her presence as sunbeams shine through the clouds and create a colorful and magical atmosphere.
Mother And Her Children
Mothers know what’s best for their kids. This spider mommy looks very busy, carrying all her little babies via a silky bundle fastened around her abdomen. No wonder her face looks a bit exhausted. She’s staring off into the distance, eyes glazed, thinking about everything on her to-do list for the day.
This wolf spider is actually the only species in the world that carries her eggs in this way. Once the eggs hatch, the spiderlings continue to cling to their mother’s back until they are big enough to look for their own food.
Gorgeous Lens-Shaped Clouds
These clouds are often mistaken for UFOs due to their saucer-like shape. Also called lenticular clouds, these are common atmospheric formations that occur when air traverses over a mountain.
The disruption in airflow causes water vapor present in the clouds to condense. As a result, flat and round clouds are produced. Sometimes, they appear to stack up on top of each other. It is easy for people to think that these naturally-occurring formations are other-worldly, but they are works of nature, not flying saucers.
Look Again, This is One Photo
First you see the beautiful shape of a mountain looming above some clouds. Then you see a separate photo of a winding wooded road with a gorgeous lake in the distance. However, it’s incredible to realize that this is actually one photo. The perfectly horizontal division between the lake and mountain create a compelling optical illusion.
Now as we take in the scene all at once, it truly is magnificent. Imagine traveling down this road to get a scenic view of mountains, forest, and lake water all in one spot. Seems like such a peaceful route to take. Nature truly is captivating.
Croc Hunter Down Under
This is a picture of a 28-foot crocodile that was captured in Queensland in 1957. It was taken down by a crocodile hunter named Krystina Pawlowski. She was originally from Poland and immigrated to Australia.
She was a beauty-obsessed croc hunter, who paired red lipstick with her outback khakis. She achieved fame when she used a single ammunition to defeat the crocodile. Pawlowski was later given the nickname, One-Shot. The feat also earned her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Tornado Circa 1898
This terrifying tornado was captured in Oklahoma City in 1898. Clearly, the photographer who took this image was prepared to face the consequences of being in the middle of a twister. At least, that appears to be the case. The truth is that this image isn’t what it seems.
In 1938, the first storm chaser, David Hoadley, was officially recognized. He began his storm-chasing career in North Dakota in 1956. He also founded a magazine called Storm Track. All that is true, but the picture you see above is fake.
Jaguar Is The New Black
Black jaguars used to be classified under a category different from standard jaguars because of their color. Now, biologists consider them to be part of the same species. Their fur is a rich, golden-black hue.
When two black-spotted jaguar parents have an offspring, their cubs have the same colored fur. Jaguars are also related to leopards and panthers. They all belong to the feline family, which includes tigers and lions.
Ben Franklin's Theory
This is a picture of lightning striking a tree. It was taken by Darren Pearson. According to him, he used a long exposure to capture the way electricity moved as lightning passed through the tree and into the ground.
The image is a very good illustration of Ben Franklin’s theory about electricity. The color changes are due to the lightning’s electrical intensity. However, online critics believe that the image was Photoshopped. Whether it was edited or not, the photo is striking.
A Family Of Tasmanian Tigers
Sadly, Australia’s Tasmanian tigers are now extinct. This picture shows some of the last remaining members of the species. It was taken at Hobart’s Beaumaris Zoo in 1910. Also known as a thylacine and Tasmanian wolf, these animals are actually not wolves or tigers. They are marsupials.
Considered the largest marsupials to ever live, these creatures were native to New Guinea and Australia. Though they are predators, they are shy and nocturnal. They became extinct during the 20th century due to hunting and disease.
Two Sides of The Ocean
This remarkable image was taken in the Gulf of Alaska. The clear divide in the ocean waters is incredibly captivating and there is a scientific reason behind such contrast. Water is not always under the same exact conditions. The contrast of the two waters in the image below has to do with water density, water temperature, and salinity.
The right side represents fresh water from glacial melt. On the left is the typical salty water that the Gulf of Alaska is known for. Different types of water have trouble mixing with each other. Thus the stark differences in density and salinity of the two waters cause this line to form.
Adorable Baby Elephant
Despite being a baby, this elephant is actually massive in size. This adorable baby elephant doesn’t know what to do after falling into a manhole. Elephants take a long time to mature. In fact, 15 to 20 years is required before elephants reach adulthood. As you probably noticed, this is about the same time human babies take to grow into adults.
An elephant’s pregnancy is also the longest among all mammals. They carry their young for a year and a half prior to giving birth. We hope this baby elephant was saved and pulled out of this manhole.
The sea stars and crab in this picture are enjoying a seafood feast. A squid carcass found at the bottom of the ocean became dinner for these creatures. Nature clearly doesn’t let anything go to waste. We could learn a thing or two from these ocean critters!
The picture shows the animals enjoying a scrumptious meal. Though the sea star looks harmless and peaceful, it is actually a carnivore that can consume snails, sea urchins, clams, and barnacles. Apparently, it also has an appetite for squid!
This Interesting Amphibian
This is a picture of a snake called Atretochoana eiselti. Its resemblance to a male organ has earned it many nicknames over the years, all of which are not safe for the workplace, so we won’t mention them here! In reality, this creature is not a snake at all. It is actually an amphibian that has no limbs.
It also has no lungs and is the biggest tetrapod in the world. It is able to breathe through its skin via small capillaries spread out on the surface. It was first discovered by Sir Graham Hales in the late 19th century in the rainforest of Brazil. It was rediscovered in 2011.
Endurance Did Not Endure
The 1915 return voyage and survival story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew on Endurance was immortalized in a 2002 movie. The film told the story of how they were able to withstand the harshness of Antarctica’s frigid ice.
The purpose of the exploration was to be the first crew to race to the South Pole. However, they were beaten to it in 1911 by Roald Amundsen. This image shows how Endurance was trapped in ice and slowly crushed. Fortunately, the entire crew survived by camping on the ice for 497 days. They later set sail to the open sea on life rafts and were able to reach a populated island.
Honduran White Bats Hang in Large Leaves
When you think of bats, dark and creepy creatures might come to mind, and they’re hanging upside down in a cave. However, have you heard of Honduran white bats? This fluffy creatures seen below seem absolutely adorable and non-threatening. There are only six bat species currently known that are all white in appearance.
While bats may be known for hanging in dark places like caves, the Honduran white bat trades the cave life for a large leaf. These animals create their own shelter using plants and leaves to form tent-like structures. Moreover, these fluff balls are frugivores as their diet only consists of fruit. How cute!