Just as a city lights up the skyline at night, nature has its own light spectacles ranging from the famous Northern lights to Yosemite’s Fire Falls and more. There is nothing more mind-blowing than spending time in the outdoors and letting nature surprise you with dazzling lights! Get away from your daily routine and explore the great outdoors at your own pace with a car hire from Auto Europe. We offer worldwide car hire at affordable rates. Find our list of amazing light spectacles below.
1. Northern & Southern Lights
After years of scientific research we now know that the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) are caused by collision between particles emitted by the sun and our atmosphere. However, in old times this natural phenomenon was believed to mean something else entirely. In local northern American mythology it is believed that the aurora is part of life. The Cree Indians believe that the auroras are the souls of deceased friends and relatives, while the Inuit in the far north believe that the auroras are the spirits of deceased tribe members that play a ball game with a walrus skull. In other parts of the world, like Iceland and Sweden, locals have completely different believes. Although sometimes visible as far south as The Netherlands, the best known places to watch this amazing sight are in Northern Europe (Norway, Finland and Iceland), Russia or Northern America (in particular in the North of Canada and Alaska). On the other side of the globe, you will find the Southern Lights. Maybe not as famous as the Northern Lights, but the Southern lights (Aurora Australis) are just as spectacular to see. You will find that the aurora comes in many different shades and colors. The main colors are pink, green, yellow, blue, violet, and occasionally orange and white. The best place to view this array of light is either at the most southern point of New Zealand, parts of Argentina or from Antarctica itself.
2. Fire Falls
Every year around the second week of February something mysterious happens in America’s Yellowstone National Park. This natural occurrence lasts only for about ten minutes and only if all conditions line up perfectly. There has to have been enough snow in the start of February but warm enough for it to melt to give Horsetail Falls a good flow. Furthermore, the sky must be clear of clouds at sunset. During sunset, the last rays of sun hit Horsetail Fall at the exact right angle to make the falls light up in orange and red. The Horsetail waterfall turns from a regular everyday waterfall into the amazing “Fire Falls”. Hundreds of hopeful spectators gather each year to see this otherworldly sight and experience nature at its best.
3. Glowworm Caves
Glow worms are typically found in New Zealand and Australia and are mainly found in unpopulated woodlands and caves. The worms use their alluring blue glow to catch unsuspecting prey. As the worms fish for food in the waters below, they create an amazing sight of glittering lights dangling from the cave ceiling. The Waitomo Glowworm cave on New Zealand’s North Island is considered as the best place in the world to watch these enticing animals at work. This limestone cave system takes visitors 150ft underground and is an amazing tourist attraction by itself. You can take a small boat into the cave to enjoy the cave to its fullest. For the adventurers there is also tubing and zip lining through the cave.
4. Blue Grotto
On the small island of Capri, Southern Italy, you can find an incredible natural wonder. A cave that is barely visible from the outside hides away one of Italy’s most amazing light spectacles. The cave is only accessible during low-tide and when the sea is calm. The cave has an entrance that is merely 5ft wide, just large enough for a small Rowing boat to pass through. Inside there is much more space, with a high cave ceiling. Only from the inside of the cave you see why tourists flock here. The sunlight comes in through the narrow cave entrance and illuminates the water with a mystical turquoise glow.
5. Phytoplankton in the Maldives
When you spend some time on the beach in the Maldives you have a chance to see an amazing natural phenomenon. When the sun goes down and all the sunbathers have gone to their hotels and you sit at the water’s edge you will find that the waves turn into something mesmerizing. The Bioluminescence Phytoplankton lights up the waves with a deep blue glow creating an otherworldly effect. Even though occurring in several countries around the globe, the Maldives are particularly perfect for viewing this natural wonder.
It’s quite incredible that such a small insect can create such an amazing light show. There are many species of fireflies and can be found in many countries on the globe. You have an increased chance of seeing them in unpopulated areas. To see such a spectacle it needs to be as dark as possible which is also why the fireflies tend to avoid populated areas. One of the best viewing areas is Nagoya City in Japan. At dawn in the nearby forest there are thousands of fireflies dancing between the trees, treating visitors to an amazing light show.