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Mother Nature Loves to Play Tricks On Our Eyes...

 Mother Nature is excellent at playing tricks on our eyes, and the photos you're about to see below show how she does so perfectly. From amazing weather phenomena to landscapes that completely throw off your depth perception, be sure to enjoy these 12 stunning photos: 
 
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1. A painting... or not? 
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The answer is, of course, no. Deadvlei is a claypan dotted with many long-dead camel horn trees that are located inside Namib-Nauklift National Park in Namibia. The trees haven't decayed because of the dry climate in the area. What's more is that the barren landscape was once flooded with water from the nearby Tsauchab River, but it has long since dried up. It's now a hotspot for photographers from all over the world wanting to capture the contrast between the claypan's bleached white floor and sun-scorched trees. 
2. The "underwater waterfall" 
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Although it appears as if there's a river flowing off the coast of Mauritius, there actually isn't. What looks like water in this photo is actually sand getting pushed off an underwater shelf called the Mascarene Plateau.
3. Man in a hat 
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The world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, becomes a giant reflective surface when it gets covered in a thin layer of water, which comes from rainfall or nearby overflowing lakes. Seeing as the salt flats stretch out for miles and are completely level, it allows photographers to create illusions by playing around with depth and perspective. 
4. Horsetail Fall on fire 
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Each second week of February, the setting sun hits Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park, USA, at a particular angle. This makes it look like the waterfall itself is on fire, glowing bright orange and red. 
5. Trippy rocks 
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The Wave, a unique rock formation located in Arizona, USA, really throws off depth perception, but you need to apply to see this stunning sight in person via a permit lottery that takes place four months in advance of your intended visit. That's because The Wave is a protected piece of land. 
6. The man in the clouds 
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Can you spot the "man" that appears to be projected on the mountain's rocks? This optical phenomenon is known as a Brocken Spectre, and it's caused by an observer's shadow being cast onto the surface of clouds or thick mist. The head of the magnified figure is often surrounded by rainbow-colored rings. 
 
7. Floating on the horizon 
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Above is an example of a Fata Morgana, which is a rapidly-changing form of a superior mirage. This optical phenomenon occurs when light bends as it passes through a layer of air that is warmer than the layer below it. It's made up of several inverted and upright images stacked on top of each other, resulting in warped, unrecognizable shapes appearing to float above the horizon. 
8. Mirage in the desert 
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Inferior mirages are created when air near the earth's surface is much warmer than the air above it. This is because light passing through these layers of air bends, producing an inverted, distant mirage of an object. That's why it sometimes appears as if there's water in the desert when there, in fact, isn't any. 
9. "Wet" road in the baking sun
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The above image also shows an example of an inferior mirage. Just as sand in the desert does, roads hold on to heat and warm up the air directly above them. That's why the inferior mirage on the road can be mistaken for water when it's, in fact, nothing more than a reflection of the blue sky. 
10. Lens flare... or not? 
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Parahelia, or sundogs, are created when sunlight is refracted by ice crystals drifting through cold air. The resulting optical phenomenon makes it seem as if there are one or more bright patches located around the sun. 
11.  Cloud UFOs
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Lenticular clouds are stationary clouds that tend to form downwind from a mountain range, given that the temperature is low enough for them to do so. The right conditions result in moisture in the air condensing to form these striking shapes in the sky. 
12. Snakes' heads... or wings? 
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The Atlas Moth scares off predators by dropping to the ground and flapping its wings, which look incredibly similar to snakes' heads. 
 
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