Spectacular Natural Phenomena in Europe: The natural world is full of breathtaking wonders. The best part is that you don’t have to travel far to see them. We’ve rounded up seven of the most amazing natural phenomena you can see in Europe. All you have to do is be in the right place at the right time.
Seven Spectacular Natural Phenomena You Can See in Europe
Polar day. Norway, Russia
In the summer, you can have an amazing experience by heading north of the Arctic Circle. This is due to the angle at which the Earth rotates on its axis relative to the Sun. In places like Tromsø, Svalbard, Murmansk, etc. between about mid-May and the end of July, instead of setting below the horizon, the sun simply hovered above the horizon before rising higher again. This results in a delightful combination of sunset and sunrise that envelops the land and gives you the opportunity to go hiking or kayaking in the middle of the night.
The dramatic opposite of the midnight sun, the polar night, is when the sun does not rise above the horizon all day. You can see it in the same latitudes as with the polar day. It most often does not envelop the world in complete darkness, the lighting during the day is approximately at the level of the late evening. The sky is often tinted with gorgeous navy blues and pinks. Combined with the light of the moon reflecting off the pure white snow, the effect is stunning. Such a night also provides an excellent opportunity for stargazing.
Black Sun, Denmark
The name may sound ominous, but the black sun (“sort sol” in Danish) is a breathtaking sight that sends up to a million migrating starlings into the sky. It occurs during sunset in spring and autumn. The phenomenon got its name because there are so many birds in the sky that they practically cover the sun. The phenomenon usually lasts about 20 minutes and Wadden Sea National Park is one of the best places to see it.
Frozen trees, Finland.
For a true winter wonderland, head to the Riisitunturi National Park in northern Finland. Here, temperatures can drop to a chilling -40°C, causing drops of water in the air to freeze on the trees. This turns the forest into a sea of natural ice sculptures of the strangest shapes. In order to immerse yourself in this environment, you will need to wear snowshoes and warm clothes, because there are no roads there.
Sea lights, Wales
Sea lights are an extraterrestrial phenomenon caused by bioluminescent plankton. Although it is more common in tropical places such as the Maldives, it can also be seen along the Welsh coast. These tiny creatures emit light as a defense mechanism when disturbed, lighting up the water in blue. They usually appear in warm shallow waters such as Penmon Point on Anglesey. But it is still impossible to predict exactly when and where they will appear next. Dark nights are the best time to fully appreciate this mesmerizing phenomenon.
Northern lights, Iceland
This list would not be complete without the Northern Lights. Possibly the world’s most amazing light show, it’s dancing colored glows are the result of electrically charged solar particles colliding with the Earth’s magnetic field. There are several countries that offer the opportunity to catch the Northern Lights, but Iceland is one of the best. There is no guarantee that you will see it, but to increase your chances, come from September to April, and look for it on a dark, cloudless night. Increase your chances by heading to the north of the country, where the nights are longer and the skies are clearer.
Ice bubbles and black ice, Switzerland
Swiss Lago Bianco (White Lake) – a reservoir on the Bernina Pass with a height of 2234 meters in the Swiss Alps. As the temperature drops sharply in winter, sometimes two different but equally fascinating rare natural phenomena can be seen in its waters. The first is frozen methane bubbles that get stuck in the lake when it freezes very quickly and forms columnar cavities with the gas rising to the top. The second is black ice when the surface of the lake turns into a perfectly transparent, glass-like ice that allows you to see everything down to the darkest depths of the lake.