The world has no shortage of incredible sights and mind-blowing natural events that leave even the most knowledgeable scientists slack-jawed. As spectacular as these occurrences are, they almost always have an explanation behind them.
Sometimes, though, even science can’t offer a specific explanation for how or why something occurs, and that makes our natural world all the more bewildering.
Here are 10 examples of natural phenomena from around the globe that science hasn’t yet been able to explain. See if you can make heads or tails of this seriously weird stuff…
1. Star jelly: This odd gelatinous material has perplexed scientists for years. It’s a translucent substance usually found on grass and trees, and even though scientists have studied it, they still don’t truly know what it is. Some once theorized it was frog eggs that expanded due to moisture, but the jelly doesn’t contain any plant or animal DNA.
2. Morning glory clouds: These mesmerizing clouds are long and tube-shaped, and they can extend for hundreds of miles over land. They’re most often seen in the skies over Australia during the transition from the dry season to the wet one. Aboriginal people in the area claim it’s an omen meaning the bird population will increase, but other than that explanation, scientists aren’t quite sure how they form.
3. Floating city: On April 21, 2017, in Jieyang, China, dozens of citizens stood in awe and stared at what appeared to be a “floating city” in the sky above them. Six years prior to this event, the same floating cities were recorded at five different locations throughout China. A rare weather event known as Fata Morgana—during which light passes through heat waves and causes a duplication effect—might’ve been the cause, but scientists haven’t confirmed this.
4. Tabby’s Star: Nicknamed after its discoverer, Tabetha Boyajian, Tabby’s Star is one of 150,000 stars observed by the Kepler telescope. What makes Tabby’s Star so different from the rest is that its light sometimes dulls by up to 20 percent, a substantially higher amount than any other star. Explanations for this strange occurrence include passing planets, the buildup of dust and debris, and even aliens.
5. Spider rain: This strange event has puzzled anyone who has ever witnessed it—scientists included. Occasionally, flightless animals will actually fall from the sky, including frogs, worms, and even spiders! The current theory is that waterspouts or tornadoes lift thousands of these animals into the air and shower them down on the nearby towns. The event has never been witnessed in-action by scientists, however.
6. Bloody sky: In April 2016, citizens of Chalchuapa, El Salvador, saw a crimson sky above them. It only lasted a couple of minutes before dissolving into a pink hue. Many religious fanatics thought it was a sign of the apocalypse, though it could have been the reflection of stubble fires made by nearby sugarcane farmers. Still, no one knows for sure.
7. The Great Attractor: In the 1970s, NASA started studying a strange force 150 to 250 million light years away that was pulling the Milky Way galaxy and other nearby galaxies towards it. The force was dubbed “The Great Attractor” by scientists. The cause of this pull is still unknown.
8. The Taos Hum: The town of Taos in north-central New Mexico is a liberal arts community and home to several celebrities. It’s also famous for the “Taos Hum,” a noise that, apparently, can be heard by two percent of the town’s population. Each person describes it differently. Special audio equipment has never been able to pick it up, but people claim it’s real.
9. The Tunguska Event: On June 30, 1908, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia, an enormous fireball exploded six kilometers above Earth’s surface. It killed countless animals, and the resulting shockwave flattened forests for miles around. Many scientists believe it was an asteroid that blew up before it hit the ground, but because there was no crater, there was no material to analyze.
10. Japanese Atlantis: Below the waters of Yonaguni Jima, Japan, lie enormous stones that resemble the Egyptian or Aztec pyramids. They have been submerged for about 2,000 years. Scientists have theorized the rock shapes were an ancient city nearly 5,000 years old that was knocked into the ocean by some seismic event. Although this theory is generally accepted, it’s not entirely proven.
The world is full of wonder and intrigue. Can you believe that these are only a fraction of the unexplainable events that occur on our planet?
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