This decade has seen a myriad of weather anomalies and unusual encounters. From the strange red dust that descended on Australia’s capital cities, to the bizarre balls of ice that piled up along the Siberian coast, what are the decade’s strangest things?
Giant Snow Balls Appear on Russian Beach
Last year residents of North West Siberia were greeted with an unusual site. Giant cylindrical ice piled along the beach. The 18km stretch of coast was covered in the giant snow balls, prompting an influx of people taking selfies in the area.
The balls in question, which range from tennis ball sized to around 1m in diameter are a rare environmental occurrence. The balls are formed by the rolling action of wind and waves on ice crystals in the ocean.
Min Min Lights
Image: National Geographic
First reported in Boulia, May 1918, the eerie Min Min lights have been said to reduce men to tears. Described as fluorescent, hovering balls, the lights appear just above the horizon. Although sightings are rare, the mysterious outback lights attract many visitors. The town’s folk of Boulia have lived with the mystery for over a century, stimulating some rather terrifying folklore. Parents tell their children to behave otherwise the Min Min lights would and steal them away, Indigenous Australians consider the lights to be spirits and some locals believe that if the Min Min lights ever catch up with you, you will disappear inside them forever.
Tasmania’s Glowing Coast
#bioluminescence has been making a big 'splash' on the North West Coast over the last few days! ??#rockycape #discovertasmania #cradlecoasttasmania #instatasmania #tasmania #tasmaniagram #tassiegram #fujifilm_xseries #fujifilmxt10 #aussiephotos #thisistassie #SeeAustralia #Australia_shotz #tassiepics #ig_discover_australia #tasmaniasnorthernexposure #tassieshots
Preservation Bay near the town of Penguin was invaded by the bioluminescent phytoplankton – or “Sea Sparkle” early 2017. As the name suggests - Sea Sparkle are a type of microalgae that excrete glowing fluid as a defence mechanism.
Green Balls Discovered on an Aussie Beach
Image:Nina Mathews Photography
They might look like something from outer space, but these strange balls are a natural phenomenon right here on Earth.
In September of 2014, locals descended on Dee Why beach for a morning swim and were confronted with a strange sight. Hundreds of green balls had washed ashore overnight. Around the size of golf balls, the green spheres were most likely living balls of algae commonly known as lake balls. Scientists say bountiful sunshine and rough currents combinedto create the perfect conditions for something known as 'aegagropilious' to take place, this is the tendency of free living algae to agglomerate into spheres.
The species itself is called Aegagropila Linnaei, and is in fact widespread.It is only in this particular form - as lake balls - that the algae is rarely seen.
When Spiderweb Covered New Zealand
A field in New Zealand has been covered in a 30-metre weave spider web. The Bay of Plenty was blanketed by the natural phenomena fondly known as “spider bum parachutes.”
The web appeared after heavy bouts of rain flooded the area. Parents discovered the strange ribbons of web when dropping their kids off for sport.
The rally of high-flying spiders, known as a mass ballooning event, occurs when spiders crawl to the highest points of their habitat—say a fence pole, or a tall plant—and send out silk strands that allow them to be lifted on air currents.
They land and occupy the surrounding area. This astounding event is a huge evolutionary breakthrough and just one example of why spiders have been a successful group.
Lead Image: Nina Mathews Photography