Alaska February 20, 2017
The World’s Most Beautiful Forces Of Nature Happen Right Here In Alaska, And It’s Magical
Although the Last Frontier is notably filled with more natural beauty than just about anywhere else in the world, sometimes it’s what happens when Mother Nature and Father Time collide that really brings us to our knees in utter amazement. Lucky for us, many of these rare and unusual forces of nature are something that we get to enjoy on a regular basis. But no matter how many times we witness the magic happen right before our very eyes, we never take these enchanting experiences for granted.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
There is no denying that the Aurora Borealis (aka the Northern Lights) is the most mind-blowing force of nature that happens frequently in Alaska.
In the clear night sky, the Aurora Borealis forms when charged particles emitted from the sun during a solar flare penetrate the earth's magnetic shield and then quickly following they collide with various atoms and molecules in our atmosphere.
The blood moon that appears reddish in color during a lunar eclipse is always a spectacle to witness in the Last Frontier.
This happens because the moon reflects light from the sun and then the sunlight to the moon is essentially blocked by the earth's shadow. As the eclipse begins to peak, light from the sun is refracted around the edges of earth and the entire atmosphere.
Mammatus clouds are low hanging clouds that are usually associated with extreme weather patterns.
This is a beautiful force of nature that we seem to witness on a weekly basis in Alaska.
Creek beds being painted a deep orange color because of the rich natural minerals.
Natural minerals in Anaktok Creek near Noorvik coat every rock the water touches.
Fire Rainbows are a force of nature that is caused by the refraction of light from the sun through ice crystals in cirrus clouds. This process only happens when the speed of light is reduced inside a slower medium - such as a cloud.
Fire rainbows are also known as circumhoriztonal arcs.
The 'golden hour' also known as the 'magic hour' is a force of nature that is known for being a photographers' dream in Alaska.
Simply put, this is a brief period of time that happens shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky.
When the changing of the season paints tundra and entire mountainsides bright orange, there is no denying the force of nature behind our brilliant fall foliage.
Denali National Park & Preserve continues to be one of the most epic places to soak in fall foliage in Alaska. Be sure to sign up for the Road Lottery so you don't miss it!
Altocumulus clouds are formed at a height of 6,000 to 20,000 feet up in the air. To really put this into perspective, we love viewing this force of nature around Denali, the tallest mountain in North America sitting 20,320 above sea level.
These are actually the second highest cloud formation with the highest being the Cirrocumulus which can be seen above the Altocumulus clouds.
Alpenglows are stunning forces of nature that occur in Alaska. In fact, they're so incredibly beautiful that we've
written about them before.
This stunning natural phenomenon occurs when the mountains are still illuminated after the sun has set below the horizon.
Volcanic eruptions are fascinating forces of nature to observe from a very safe distance.
Alaska is home to 130 named volcanoes and volcanic fields that have been active in the last two million years.
In addition to volcanoes, the lava flow emitted from an eruption is another phenomenal force of nature that Alaska has been home to.
Pictured here is the Lost Jim Lava Flow in the southern portion of the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve which remains from a volcanic eruption that occurred thousands of years ago.
The largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century has formed into brilliant caves and valleys filled with barren ash in southern Alaska.
Shown here at the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park & Preserve is an incredible example of how lava flow shaped a massive wide-span area in an isolated section of Alaska.
With over 100,000 total glaciers in Alaska it's no surprise that beautiful glacial fed rivers with the most incredibly colored water exist in the Last Frontier.
Even in the dead of winter, glacial fed water such as that of the Kenai River is still brilliantly shining with bright turquoise-blue colors.
Lunar rainbows (also known as moonbows) most commonly appear when the near-full moon is at less than 42 degrees in the sky.
What is really interesting about this force of nature is that the colors of the lunar rainbow are so faint that the human eye cannot even see them. Instead, they only appear as white arcs - that is until they are caught on camera. The end result? Pretty freaking phenomenal if you ask us.
If you thought those were amazing, be sure to check out
this absolutely magical natural phenomenon that happens just once a year in Alaska. Also, we are sure that you’ll be able to relate to this frustrating natural phenomenon that everyone in Alaska has to worry about each winter.