The Strangest Weather Phenomena on Earth

Besides the strongest typhoons, storms, the largest whirlwinds, and most giant waves, there are many unusual weather phenomena from different regions of the Earth. We thought they only exist and can be seen in movies, but they are real, and indeed very strange.

The science behind the weather can be fascinating, odd, and at times eerie. There’s more to the typical rain, snow, sunny, and windy weather that we just know. In very rare scenarios, it can even seem almost biblical. From the rains of frogs to blood rain, weather can be the weirdest event that can happen.

Let’s find out what are the strangest and most unusual weather phenomenon that ever happened.

Frozen methane bubbles, Canada

In the frozen Lake Abraham along the David Thompson Highway southwest of Nordegg in Canada, ethereal blue orbs were found that were produced by a natural process, however, poses a threat to the lake and the living organisms because it contains dangerous greenhouse gas. They lure visitors outdoors during wintry months.

Blood Falls, Antarctica

blood falls

They aren’t real blood but are liquid bubbles from the falls pour forth from Taylor Glacier, located in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys.

Frost Flowers in the Arctic Ocean

Frost flowers are ice structures that are home to microbes that survive in the coldest of temperatures in the Arctic. Inside the frost, researchers look for clues about how life persists under harsh conditions.


Brinicles form when salt-rich water leaks out of sea ice and sinks into the sea. A study published in the American Chemical Society’s journal Langmuir implies that brinicles form in the same way as hydrothermal vents, except in reverse. Hydrothermal vents are spiny-looking towers on the ocean bottom where boiling, chemical-rich water flows out of the seafloor.

Fire Whirls/Fire Tornadoes

a fire whirl

Also called fire devil or fire tornado, it is a whirlwind produced by fire and mostly comprised of flame or ash. Initially, it’s a whirlwind, made visible by smoke, but when intense rising heat and turbulent wind conditions combine, it forms whirling eddies of air.


It is often mistaken as a circular rainbow, but this optical phenomenon consists of one or more concentric, successively dimmer rings that are red on the outside and bluish towards the center. The glory is caused by sunlight or moonlight that interacts with water droplets that compose mist or clouds.

Asperitas Clouds

Formerly known Undulatus asperatus, Asperitas is a cloud formation proposed and popularized in 2009 by Gavin Pretor-Pinney of the Cloud Appreciation Society. This type of cloud was added to the International Cloud Atlas as a supplementary feature in March 2017, and the first cloud formation was added since cirrus intortus in 1951.

Sprites, and blue jets

Brighter than a sprite, the blue jets are cones of blue light that spray upward from the tops of thunderclouds, reaching an altitude of about 25 miles at about 22,370 mph (36,000 km/h).

Belt of Venus, Dreisesselberg, Bavaria, Germany

This resembles a pinkish belt above a blue-tinted horizon. The pink glow caused by thebackscatter of red light from the rising or setting sun is the gap between the Earth’s shadow and the sky. To see it at its best in summer, go to higher ground.

Fairy Circles, Namibia

fairy circles in Namibia

In 2014, this phenomenon only occurred in the Namib desert’s arid grasslands in western parts of Southern Africa, specifically in Namibia. These are circular patches of land barren of plants, varying between 2 and 15 meters in diameter, often encircledby a stimulated grass growth ring.

Katabatic wind, Cantabrian Mountains, Spain

This wind occurs at night when the heat is radiated from the highlands and is cooled, so it becomes denser than the air at the same elevation but away from the slope. Therefore, the wind begins to flow downhill, which is also called downslope wind or gravity wind.

Dust Devils, Great Rift Valley, Kenya

These are small and brief whirlwind that usually occurs in the afternoon when the land surface is rapidly heating. It is also called sand devil, occasionally visible by the lofting of dust, leaves, or other loose matter from the surface.

Catatumbo Lightning

The lightning occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River, where it empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. It happens from storm clouds at an altitude of more than 1 km and happens from 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day, and up to 280 times per hour.


This intense columnar vortex, which usually appears as a funnel-shaped cloud, occurs over a body of water. Some are connected to certain cloud types, such as cumulus congestus cloud, cumuliform cloud, and a cumulonimbus cloud. In the ordinary form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water.

White Rainbows

It arcs like the typical rainbow we can see except that it appears whitish. It is called a fog bow and has a small amount of water droplets that cause a fog, smaller than 0.05 millimeters (0.0020 in). The fog bow has very light colors; that is why it appears white with the naked eyes, but it has a red outer edge and bluish inner edge.

Fire Rainbows

This is neither a rainbow nor has something to do with fire, but it is technically known as circumhorizontal arcs. It appears when the sun is higher than 58° above the horizon, and its light passes through high-altitude cirrus clouds made up of hexagonal plate ice crystals. When optimally aligned, the ice crystals act as a prism, and the resulting refraction is reminiscent of a rainbow.

St Elmos Fire

Sailors consider it as a good omen. The corona discharge from a sharp or pointed object in a strong electric field in the atmosphere creates a luminous plasma. The phenomenon was named after St. Erasmus of Formia, the patron saint of sailors.


Also called nieves penitents, which means “penitent-shaped snows. You can see these snow formations at high altitudes. The snow forms into an extended, thin blade of hardened snow, closely spaced and pointing towards the sun’s general direction.