Travelling allows us to see some of the most beautiful natural wonders in all their glory. Fortunately, we don't have to travel to the other side of the world to experience them. Check out this six incredible natural phenomena that can be witnessed in Europe.
1. Midnight Sun in Norway
This natural phenomenon, which occurs north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, can be experienced during the summer months, when the sun is visible 24 hours a day, staying above the horizon all the time. The midnight sun (or polar day) is typical of all Scandinavian countries, but lasts longest in northern Norway, from May to August.
The most popular tourist destination for midnight sun watching is the North Cape on the coast of Magerøy Island, where you can enjoy the many events and activities on offer.
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2. The Polar night in Sweden
The dramatic opposite of the midnight sun is the Polar night, when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all, which means that the night lasts for 24 hours. The dark sky is often coloured with beautiful deep blues and pinks during polar night, and when combined with moonlight and a white landscape covered in snow, the effect is breathtaking.
This phenomenon can be experienced in the north of Sweden, in places like Kiruna, where the polar night lasts for about 28 days from the beginning of December.
3. The “black sun” in Denmark
The phenomenon of the ‘black sun’ (‘sort sol’ in Danish) actually has nothing to do with the sun. It is the breathtaking spectacle during which up to a million migrating starlings and other migratory birds stop in the south-western marshlands of Denmark from mid-March to mid-April and from August to the end of October to rest on their long journey southwards.
During their landing, the birds perform a mesmerising 'aerial dance', which usually lasts about 20 minutes and can be observed in various places in Europe, but is best seen in the Wadden Sea National Park in Denmark.
4. The magical sea sparkle
The blue and green glow often seen in pictures of destinations such as the Maldives, Puerto Rico and others can also be seen in Europe. It is a phenomenon called bioluminescence, which occurs when a living organism emits visible light. Bioluminescent planktons emit light when in contact with oxygen, brightening up the sea with an unusual glow.
Although it is not possible to predict exactly when and where it will occur, this phenomenon can also be seen along the Welsh coast, in Zeebrugge in Belgium and in several places in the Netherlands.
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5. Frozen lake in Switzerland
Switzerland’s Lago Bianco (White Lake) is a reservoir at the Bernina Pass in the Swiss Alps located at an altitude of 2234 meters above sea level. In winter, two different but equally enchanting rare natural phenomena can be seen on this lake. The first are the frozen methane bubbles that get trapped in the lake when it solidifies too quickly and form unusual columns of circles that rise to the very surface. Another phenomenon is black ice, a perfectly transparent glass-like ice that allows you to see all the way down into the lake’s dark depths.
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6. Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights
It would be impossible to complete this list without one of the most amazing phenomena in the world - the Northern Lights. This phenomenon occurs throughout the year, however, in order to enjoy its sight you need as dark a sky as possible. Therefore, the most popular period for hunting the Northern Lights is from December to March, when the nights are long and dark, but also cold. However, the light is visible already at the end of August, so both September and October are suitable, especially for those who want to avoid extreme cold.