During the cooling of a thick lava flow, contractional joints or fractures form. If a flow cools relatively rapidly, significant contraction forces build up. While a flow can shrink in the vertical dimension without fracturing, it can’t easily accommodate shrinking in the horizontal direction unless cracks form; the extensive fracture network that develops results in the formation of columns. Continue reading for more.
5. Dead Sea Cubes
The Dead Sea is popular with tourists from all over the world for its reputed therapeutic effects. The water of the Dead Sea has a salt content of 29%, compared to 4% in the oceans, and is consequently substantially denser. This allows anyone to easily float on Dead Sea water because of its greater density. Its mineral composition is also different from ocean water since only 12-18% of Dead Sea salt is sodium chloride. A 2006 analysis of a commercial Dead Sea Salt product measured a 2.5% sodium chloride content; by comparison, 85% of the salt in normal ocean water is sodium chloride.
4. Blue Lava
It may appear to be blue lava, but the substance you see spewing from the Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia is actually the result of sulfuric gas emerging from cracks in the volcano. Escaping volcanic gasses are channeled through a network of ceramic pipes, resulting in condensation of molten sulfur. Hundreds of domestic and foreign tourists are trekking to Ijen Caldera everyday to see coffee and cocoa plantations.
3. Cappuccino Coast
This amazing sight was recorded in Australia, and according to scientists, the cappuccino-like foam you see is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed. All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles. These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore. As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam. The foam “surfs” towards shore until the wave “crashes”, tossing the foam into the air.
2. Ice Shove
An ice shove, or shoreline ice pileup, is a surge of ice from an ocean or large lake onto the shore. They are caused by ocean currents, strong winds, or temperature differences pushing ice onto the shore, creating piles up to 12 meters (40 feet) high. Some have described them as ‘ice tsunamis’, but the phenomenon works like an ice berg. Witnesses have described the shove’s sound as being like that of a train or thunder. Ice shoves can damage buildings and plants that are near to the body of water.
1. Snow Roller
A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made. Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are typically cylindrical in shape, and are often hollow since the inner layers, which are the first layers to form, are weak and thin compared to the outer layers and can easily be blown away, leaving what looks like a doughnut or Swiss roll. Snow rollers have been seen to grow as large as two feet in diameter.
Bonus – Pink Sand Beach
Harbour Island is an island and administrative district in the Bahamas and is located off the northeast coast of Eleuthera Island. Harbour Island is famous for its pink sand beaches, which are found all along the east side of the island. The island is accessible by airplane through North Eleuthera Airport, followed by a short water taxi ride from neighbouring North Eleuthera.