It’s possible to produce amazing eye-tricking images on Photoshop, but Mother Nature can also rustle up incredible optical illusions, too – as these baffling images show.
In fact, the planet is brimming with mind-boggling natural phenomena.
One of the strangest is the ‘underwater vortex’ in the Indian Ocean, where water appears to flow into a gigantic hole in the seabed.
Then there’s Blood Falls in Antarctica, which appears to be the horrific aftermath of a violent battle, with a red liquid cascading over the white Taylor Glacier.
There is also a startling cloud formation that looks just like a UFO.
Even though there are scientific explanations for all these sights, it doesn’t make them any less fascinating. Here 16 Breathtaking Amazing Mother Nature Around The World.
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Dramatic: Aerial pictures appear to show an ‘underwater vortex’ in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the tropical island of Mauritius. It is really an optical illusion and is caused by a build-up of sand and silt deposits along the coast of Mauritius.
Other worldly: It may look like a UFO, but this unusual cloud formation is perfectly natural and is known as a fallstreak hole. It is created when ice particles form quickly, causing a domino effect as the water droplets connect with the crystals. These start to fall leaving a large hole in the cloud.
At first glance it looks like these two boys are jumping into an abyss, but they are actually only leaping into the crystal-clear waters of Jacob’s Well in Texas, which stretches down 30ft.
They look like impressionist masterpieces and these rare nacreous clouds have been spotted ‘painting’ skies in a rainbow of colours. Officially known as polar stratospheric clouds, they are typically seen over Norway and other polar regions when the sun is just below the horizon.
This bold image, taken in a place called Dead Vlei in Namibia, looks more like a painting than a photograph, thanks to the vivid red dunes juxtaposed with the trees.
Light fantastic: This isn’t an alien planet with three suns, but an illusion known as a ‘sundog’ or ‘phantom sun’. It’s caused by small pockets of ice suspended in the air, created when temperatures plunge below -25C.
Layers of sedimentary rock unevenly eroded away over millions of years in the Coyote Buttes of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona look like a giant painting.
This stunning capture appears to show a dead tree in the snow. However, the ‘branches’ are actually caused by a weaving river snaking its way through the desert in Mexico’s Baja California.
This hiker looks like he’s one step from certain death. Thankfully the man is actually calmly strolling along a river bed in Utah’s Glen Canyon.
On the island of Heimaey in Southern Iceland, a rock formation has taken on quite a curious shape. The basalt rock on the ocean-side cliff bears an uncanny resemblance to that of a giant elephant – complete with wrinkled skin – reaching its trunk into the sea.
You can see why this phenomenon has been called the Tornado of Fire. However, it’s not a column of flames, but mining waste flowing down the Rio Tinto in Spain.
Making a good impressionism: These rolling hills in Washington State look like a painting when captured in the right light.
This otherworldly cloud pattern is called Undulatus Asperatus. Named in 2014, the formation looks like waves crashing through the ocean.
Kaleidoscopic hills: This terrain looks like an artist’s impression of an alien planet. However, the spectacular landscape, found at the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province, China, is actually the result of red sandstone and mineral deposits being laid down over 24 million years.
Hot stuff: The Horsetail waterfall in Yosemite looks like free-flowing fire, but it’s actually an optical light illusion caused from the sun setting and hitting the mountain face at the right angle.
While this may look like the aftermath of a battle on the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica, the red colouring is caused by iron oxide tainted with salt water.