Everything is illuminated! No, I’m not talking about the movie with Elijah Wood, I’m talking about the bioluminescence, the Northern Lights, a freaky glowing mushroom forest in the heart of the New-York City and other crazy-looking natural wonders around you that can be seen only at night. Some of these phenomena are still scientific mysteries, and we’ve only just slowly uncovering the secrets of our home planet.
1. Atlantic Rainforest, Sao Paulo
First thing on your mind when you see these pictures is probably: “Is this from the new Avatar movie?” And I can’t blame you because this rainforest jungle in Sao Paulo does look all glowy and trippy. All because of the fungi species Mycena Luxaeterna a.k.a. “eternal light mushrooms”. Unfortunately, they are extremely rare, so the scientists still don’t have any definitive answers except for “they look pretty”. Scientists aren’t good at describing their feelings.
2. Horsetail Fall
Ever wanted to see a lava fall? It’s just like a waterfall but with lava instead of water. Horsetail Fall will deliver on that if you decide to visit California’s Yosemite National Park in either winter or early spring. Now, full disclosure? It’s not actual lava. For a few days every year, as the sun sets behind the horizon, the last rays of sunlight will bounce off of the Horsetail Fall at just the right angle, creating a short-lived, yet unforgettable illusion of literal lava pouring down.
3. Eastern Coast, Australia
Meet the Clusterwink snail. It’s usually found along the Australian coast, living in small colonies. They’re famous for their protection mechanism that is pretty flashy (pun intended). When agitated by any outside stimuli like other animals or just curious divers poking them with GoPRO’s on a selfie stick, these fellas light up like Christmas trees to make themselves look bigger and scarier. While this may be effective against fish, humans won’t get fooled that easily!