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Rare Times When Mother Nature Completely Wowed Us


Nature is filled with the most incredible things. It’s often easy to forget that sometimes if you don’t spend much time in the outside world. Thankfully, plenty of photographs exist to remind us of how stunning, surprising, and unconventional nature can be.

From unexpected animal behavior to unbelievable natural phenomena, some of the stuff out there truly needs to be seen to be believed. If you think you’ve seen everything that the world has to offer, it seems there might be more to the story thanks to the time nature amazed us with its beauty.

As astonishing nature photographs go, a fungus that looks like a hand is certainly up there.

You'd probably make a double take if you saw a hand emerge from the earth. Are zombies real? Fortunately, if you saw this image while out on a walk, there's no need to fear. While it resembles a hand, it is actually a saprobic fungus called xylaria polymorpha. There's nothing frightening about the name.

This fungus frequently resembles fingers emerging from the ground, although it seldom takes on the shape of a hand. The fact that there are five stalks - no more, no fewer - all growing in this shape makes for a very unusual sight, which is why this is one of our favorite astonishing nature photographs.

Shards of ice on Lake Michigan make for some beautiful nature shots.

It is commonly understood that when the temperature falls below a particular threshold, water freezes. We've seen this happen several times on the surface of lakes in the midst of winter. In other circumstances, though, you get more than simply a flat layer of ice on top of the water. One of these gorgeous nature photographs shows Lake Michigan as confirmation of that.

What you see here is ice shelves forming on the water at temperatures of -23 degrees Fahrenheit. The shards of ice are being pushed up by warmer water circulating below, resulting in a phenomenon that looks too incredible to be real. There’s no Photoshop at work here, though. What you see is proof that nature can take your breath away.

The rarity of albino and melanistic alligators creates some amazing nature images.

Albinism and melanism are not uncommon among humans. However, humans are not the only ones whose skin may be extremely black or very light. These pigmentation changes are observed in a wide variety of animals, including alligators. That's how we get magnificent nature images like this one, which shows the two extremes of skin coloring.

As you might expect, alligators of these natures are few and far between compared to those with normal pigmentation. Biologists reportedly estimate that only around 100 albino alligators exist, although that’s not a definitive number. With these creatures being such a rarity, amazing photos of nature like this become incredibly special. You don’t get many photo opportunities like this.

Pink lakes, created by some algae, serve as the backdrop for several breathtaking nature photographs.

If the water is not blue, you might be hesitant to trust it. After all, a distinct color typically indicates that food is contaminated and hazardous to consume. Of course, it might just be a hint that specific algae are in the water, causing the shift. That certainly applies in Australia, where there are several pink lakes.

Dunaliella salina is reportedly present in these lakes and is believed to be responsible for the distinctive pink hue you see across the country. This algae contains beta carotene, the pigment that impacts the color change, which is also present in carrots. We guess that’s what we have to thank for such stunning nature photos of Australia’s lakes.

You can't always trust your eyes when it comes to unexpected nature images.

A snow-covered woodland may be a really mysterious location. You never know what you'll find beyond the next tree, as if you've entered C.S. Lewis' 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.' Although the book may be a work of fancy, these breathtaking nature photographs demonstrate the existence of magic. Sort of.

Here, a simple tree appears to take the form of a person hunched over and walking through the forest. The sight might be enough to make people pause for thought, thinking they’ve encountered an unknown creature in the forest. The reality, though, is that they’ve just stumbled across an upturned tree that managed to run wild with their imagination.

A fortuitous nesting place produced for some stunning photographs of nature.

Nature's beauty and magnificence might be easy to overlook since it is not always apparent. Certain items rarely get our attention because they avoid humans. Fortunately, there are workarounds, as demonstrated by one of these beautiful nature photos. Just look at the nest of red squirrels.

Normally, you’re lucky to glimpse these creatures. However, because this lot made their nest on the other side of a window, the sight became less of a rarity. Someone was able to snap some stunning nature photos that showed a side to squirrels people aren’t that familiar with. It really does just leave you speechless seeing something so special.

This photograph demonstrates that the capybara is one of the world's friendliest creatures.

Animals, like humans, do not always coexist peacefully. Some creatures feed on others, therefore it's rare to find photographs of diverse animals living together. However, this does not imply that such pictures do not exist. We have some wonderful wildlife photos to prove it, like this one of a capybara and their companions.

The capybara is often considered to be one of the nicest animals in the world, and it’s great to see proof of that in this photo. The presence of ducks and tortoises isn’t a deterrent for the creature. Instead, they simply lie back and let the others do what they want, even offering a seat for their feathered friends.

The fossilized bones of crinoids emit a lot of strange emotions.

When you're familiar with a creature's appearance, it might be difficult to determine their skeleton. When you remove everything else, what you're left with doesn't always match what's on the surface. That means it's not difficult to be caught off guard when you discover one of their skeletons beneath.

At first glance, these fossilized remains might look like something from outer space. Apparently, though, they belong to crinoids, creatures similar to starfish and sea urchins. It’s quite something seeing them all together like they’re part of an alien burial site. It makes the imagination wonder what other amazing and unearthly secrets you might find around here.

Mushrooms may create amazing nature shots when they're as bold as this.

Mushrooms do not always have the finest reputation. While deadly mushrooms exist, they should not all be treated the same. After all, fungus are among nature's most amazing creations. Consider mycena interrupta, for example. It's commonly referred to as the pixie's parasol and is a sight to behold due to its stunning coloration.

There aren’t many things in nature that are bright blue, let alone mushrooms. However, this one stands out from the crowd and makes for some stunning nature photos. It’s something you’d probably expect to see more of in a cartoon like ‘The Smurfs’ rather than in the real world. So, it’s worth marveling at when you have the chance.

This is one of those breathtaking nature photographs that feels chilly to the touch.

Have you ever wondered whether water may have a life of its own? If you haven't decided yet, this shot could persuade you. It's one of the most incredible nature photos out there since it's difficult to imagine how it came to be. It's a mystery, for sure.

Regardless of how it happened, we love that it exists. For the ice to form into such a perfectly crafted hand really blows the mind. We kind of wish the temperature here stayed below freezing forever so that this masterpiece couldn’t disappear. Unfortunately, just as nature can give us such phenomenal gifts, it can also take them away.

Amazing photographs of nature allow us to watch pollination in action.

We have a lot to thank bees for. These critters are responsible for pollinating many flowers, which is why we have so many. It's a rarely seen procedure, yet the proof is right there in nature. Perhaps it would be more clear if more bees resembled this?

This is one flower that definitely isn’t short of pollen, and this bee is having a field day as a result. It’s amazing to see such an essential process in action, and it might make you wonder how long it took to get all this pollen off. We reckon this honeybee ate well after their job was done.

These breathtaking photographs of nature demonstrate how inventive birds can be.

Nests are crucial to species such as birds. They are the equivalent of the houses that many of us live in, therefore they must give shelter, warmth, and security. As a result, certain birds, such as the hummingbird identified by Bianca Soares in Paraguay, become inventive with their nests. The nest is simply wonderful.

Although the nest is quite small, it’s perfectly sized for the bird and the two chicks it later gave birth to. The leaf that hangs overhead is also incredibly convenient because it offers some protection from the elements and keeps the bird hidden from potential predators. Plus, it makes for some stunning nature photos, as Soares has shown.

The hickory horned devil might look spooky, but it’s really nice

When people think of caterpillars, their minds usually conjure up something small and harmless – unless you’re an avid gardener, of course. However, nature loves to surprise us, as evidenced by how big some caterpillars can grow to be. The hickory horned devil, for instance, can measure as long as six inches before becoming a regal moth.

This caterpillar is quite something to behold, and not just because of its size. Its green coloring and plethora of horns and spikes also make it stand out. However, despite the creature’s devilish name, it’s nothing to have nightmares about. It’s completely harmless and deserves to be celebrated for being another example of the incredible ways nature can surprise us.

Snapdragon seed pods can cause a phenomenon known as facial pareidolia

People don’t tend to take much notice of seed pods after their insides have sprouted. After all, there isn’t much to look at once they’ve done their job. At least, that’s how it is with most seed pods. It’s a different story for snapdragons, though. One look at their remains will make your mind go to all sorts of places.

There’s a phenomenon known as facial pareidolia that causes people to see faces in inanimate objects, and this is an example of that. To many, these seed pods appear to resemble a face with two eye holes and a mouth. It’s remarkable how we can see such bizarre things in nature, but that’s what makes the outside world so magical.

Fog is something that will always help create the most stunning nature photos

Fog is one of those natural phenomena that can instantly create an atmosphere. The world always looks so different when it’s partially obscured by fog, and that’s just amazing. It can sometimes be seen as quite spooky, which is why it’s often prominent at Halloween. However, it’s also quite thrilling because it creates the most incredible nature photos.

This is one of those stunning pictures of nature that would look exceptionally different if there wasn’t fog present. In a normal environment, there might not be anything particularly noteworthy about this moose. However, when there’s fog around, it becomes almost otherworldly. It makes you wonder if the animal will disappear when it walks into the fog.

These amazing pictures of nature will have you believing that mythical creatures do exist

It would be quite exciting if certain mythical creatures existed. Maybe things wouldn’t be great if there were dragons roaming around, causing chaos everywhere, but not all of these beings mean harm? The phoenix, for example, isn’t really known for being violent and bringing destruction with it wherever it goes. So, we’d be okay seeing them flying around.

Of course, a glance at some of these stunning nature photos, and you might think these creatures do exist in our world. It certainly looks that way, but unfortunately, it’s just a case of nature misleading us. If it weren’t the middle of the night, you’d see that the fiery bird is actually just lava spilling out of a volcano.

Floodwater is no match for fire ants, as these stunning nature pictures show

Flooding is a natural disaster that seems to be all too common these days. These events have been known to take lives, although some creatures know how to keep themselves safe during such a tragedy. In cases of flooding, fire ants create rafts out of their own bodies to stay atop the water until they find solid ground again.

It’s a genius survival tactic for such a small creature. You’d think that something as tiny as a fire ant wouldn’t stand a chance against several feet of floodwater. Yet, these amazing nature photos prove that such a devastating event can’t take them down. It’s actually quite incredible to see how big these life rafts can grow in desperate times.

Sunsets at the beach always make for some unbelievable nature photos

Sometimes, the most amazing nature pictures are the ones that are the simplest. When you look at this image, you won’t see much. It’s simply a shot of the horizon, where the ocean and the sky meet. However, it’s still such a breathtaking sight to see because of the wonderful colors captured in the photo.

Nature is full of color, often more than people realize, and stunning nature photos like this really demonstrate that. The glorious clear blue water and the vibrant fiery sunset are truly a match made in heaven. If you were relaxing on a beach and had this as your breathtaking view, you probably wouldn’t feel disappointed.

You can rely on the Northern Lights to create amazing photos of nature

The Northern Lights are truly something special. You might have to travel north or to another country to see them, but it’s well worth the trip. Few natural phenomena in this world are quite as special as this beautiful display in the night sky. It’s perhaps no surprise that the Aurora Borealis always make for some amazing nature photos.


Of course, this picture, in particular, is a little more unique than your standard shot of the phenomenon. The caribou running across the snow underneath add that special touch that gives this image a very mystical vibe. If someone were to say this was a shot from a fantasy movie rather than real life, we’d believe them.

Stunning nature photos allow us to appreciate an owl’s feathers for hours on end

Photography is a real asset to our world. Thanks to cameras, we’re able to document things we might only ever have a split second to appreciate in real life. Certain animals, for instance. Not all creatures want to stick around when they see people. However, if you’re quick with a camera, that doesn’t really matter.

Could you imagine a wild owl normally giving you the time of day to appreciate their feathers before flying away? Probably not. Fortunately, we have these stunning nature photos that let us appreciate the beauty and detail of their wings for as long as we want. That just makes us even more grateful for the many wonders of nature.

Goats in trees is one of those unbelievable nature photos you thought you’d never see

Wild animals make use of nature in different ways. For instance, small creatures like birds rely on trees for shelter and protection. That’s something larger animals can’t do because they’re simply too big. At least, that’s how it is in most cases. Things are a little different when it comes to goats and argan trees, though.


Miraculously, these animals are apparently nimble enough that they can not only climb the trees but stand on their branches. Sometimes, as many as a dozen can perch atop these trees without causing it to collapse. It’s a wonder of nature that makes for some unbelievable nature photos if you have your camera out at the right time.

Nature’s loss can also be nature’s gain in the right circumstances

They say that when one life ends, another begins. It’s quite a comforting thought and one that’s seemingly true, judging by these amazing pictures of nature. The leaf in this photo has fallen from its tree and reached the end of the line, gradually losing its beautiful color. As you can see, though, its passing isn’t entirely a bad thing.

Along the edge of the leaf, tiny mushrooms have started popping up, undoubtedly benefitting from the decaying material below them. The fact that they’re growing in almost perfect alignment is quite a wonder to behold, especially with those bursts of blue. The leaf might be gone, but as is always the case in nature, life continues.

A natural disaster in Pakistan prompted spiders to create some unbelievable nature photos

Spiders might not be to everyone’s liking, but they are remarkable creatures. The webs they can create are truly one of nature’s wonders, especially in situations like this. It’s not often you see whole trees covered in their silk, which is why these are such amazing photos of nature. There’s a good reason these web-covered trees exist, too.

It seems that floods in Pakistan in 2010 drove millions of arachnids into the trees, which is where they then created their webs. The sheer number of spiders in each tree meant that they ended up producing enough silk to cover all the leaves and branches. It’s a breathtaking sight that emerged from such a devastating time for Pakistan.

Leopards know how to pose for amazing pictures of nature

Most have heard of dogs chasing their tails, right? The sight of these animals spinning round in circles and never managing to claim their prize is something that has been popularized in cartoons. However, did you ever consider that maybe dogs aren’t the only creatures that try to do this? Perhaps other animals in nature do the exact same thing?

What about leopards? It’s hard to say whether this creature is trying to grab its own tail or taking an interest in that of another. Either way, the framing of this shot makes for something truly special. It’s like the animals have perfectly posed for the camera as though they want to be at the center of amazing nature photos.

Rocks can make for stunning nature pictures if you photograph the right ones

It’s easy to hear the word “rock” and conjure up something gray and dull. However, it’s important to remember that rocks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, meaning there are some pretty special discoveries waiting out there. Agate is such a perfect example of this because it’s a common rock formation, but its appearance rarely disappoints.

This stuff makes for some stunning nature photos, especially when the agate in question is quite rare. The rock in this picture certainly meets that criteria because it’s a Patagonian crater agate that you can only see in Argentina. If that isn’t enough to make this image special, those beautiful sunset colors ought to do the trick.

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