Nature can be extremely beautiful, with its oceans and forests, and amazing phenomena. but at the same time, it can also be terrifying as we can see with all the natural disasters.
After all, nature gives us tigers, lightning, tsunamis, and volcanoes — not to mention oceans so deep, we can’t reach the bottom. In fact, we’ve explored more of outer space than we have of the ocean. All of this just goes to show that nature is beautiful, but it can also be incredibly dangerous.
Weather is a prime example of this. From dust storms traveling thousands of miles to flaming tornadoes, extreme weather can be deadly. After looking at these pictures, you may feel grateful that you live in a time and place where you have shelter, heat, and other modern necessities. We can only imagine how our ancestors felt living out in the open at the mercy of storms, freezes, snow, and heat.
Here are 29 photos that show just how beautiful and scary Mother Nature can be.
1. This flower froze during an ice storm.
An ice storm hit this area suddenly, perfectly capturing this flower in ice. It’s an amazing comparison of summer and winter, with the green petals and bright blossoms encapsulated behind a wall of ice.
2. These fire ants banded together to weather Hurricane Harvey.
Ants are amazingly adaptive creatures. A local resident spotted these fire ants working together in the wake of a hurricane to save their colony. Even if the sight of that nest gives you the creepy-crawlies, you can’t deny that these are some smart little ants.
3. The path of a tornado from above
Seeing the damage of a tornado from street level is frightening enough. They’re so strong, they throw cars and rip houses from their foundations. Seeing it from above is an even more frightening experience.
4. A car gets completely covered under snow
For people who are lucky enough to have a warm home, winter is mostly an inconvenience. It’s so annoying to have to shovel your car out from under the snow. But sometimes even for people who have shelter, there’s a reminder of what Mother Nature can really do.
5. Getting too close to a tornado for comfort
Even the bravest daredevil knows better than to get too close to an active tornado. This person had an experience they’re not likely to ever forget – they got up close and personal with this windstorm.
6. Dust from the Sahara turns the sky in England dark at 2:30 p.m.
Take a look at a map and you’ll see that the Sahara isn’t exactly close to the United Kingdom. Yet the winds of a dust storm were strong enough to blow across Africa and Europe to darken the entire sky. That’s a lot of dust traveling a long way.
7. A storm produces a double rainbow
Sometimes, even the most frightening parts of nature can produce something beautiful. Just look at this breathtaking double rainbow left over from a violent storm that washed over the region.
8. A fire tornado EXISTS
This terrifying phenomenon happened when a tornado passed over a fire and the flames were sucked up into the powerful winds. The person taking this video probably their life at risk trying to catch it for posterity.
9. Hurricane Ophelia does this to an Irish apple orchard
Hurricanes don’t just happen in the Florida Keys, the American South, or the Caribbean. They can happen off of any coast. Just look at the devastation wrought to an Irish apple orchard after Hurricane Ophelia struck.
10. Winter turns a car wash into an ice cave
There’s nothing like seeing nature encroach on civilization to remind us all how close we get to the wild weather. During this freezing winter, a car wash completely froze. It looks like a man-made cave full of stalactites and stalagmites.
11. A dust storm in Jordan blocks out the sky
These dust storms are nothing to sneer at. When they strike, they send dust flying for hundreds or even thousands of miles. If you underestimate the amount of damage a bit of wind can cause, look at some of these pictures!
12. A storm whips through a yard
A storm with strong winds tore through the grass in this yard, resulting in something that doesn’t quite look real. The original poster called it their own Van Gogh painting. Sometimes, the weather can have eerie, otherworldly effects.
13. Ice pouring down a building in Russia
Thinking about taking a trip to Russia? Take a look at some pictures like this first. The harsh winter temperature turned the side of the building into a solid wall of ice. So, you might want to book that plane ticket for August.
14. Flooding brings swans up to the window in Ireland
The floods in this Irish town were so severe, these swans lost the distinction of lake vs. regular ground. Can you imagine looking out your window to see this? Consider that swans are known for their aggression, let’s hope that the window has a strong seal.
15. Snowed in up to the roof
Talk about a legitimate excuse for your boss. When it snows so much you can’t even see out your front door, you have a good reason to miss work. Hopefully, they have a shovel somewhere inside the house.
16. The sky after Hurricane Ophelia
This may have been posted by an Instagram account called filtersfordayz, but this photo is untouched. It shows the unbelievable aftereffects of Hurricane Ophelia after it blew through Ireland. The intimidating sky is a good indicator of just how fearsome that storm really was.
17. This is what rain looks like from above
This might not be extreme weather, but even regular rain looks amazing when seen from the sky. It really shows just how small we are compared to the hugeness of nature and its elements!
18. A bird’s eye view of just a bit of snow
This streak of snow is just a dusting across Ohio. It might have been barely noticeable from the ground, but from the sky, it stands out. It’s such a fascinating and different perspective from how we normally see things!
19. The only thing more amazing than an erupting volcano is a volcano plus lightning
A volcano is a pretty awe-inspiring (or even terrifying) thing on its own. It doesn’t need anything to make it more amazing. However, this volcano is upping the ante just a little bit: it has its own lightning, too. How is that for terrifying?
20. A tornado looms over Colorado
This photographer risked getting dangerously close to a supercell in Colorado just to capture this picture. It takes some dedication to art to do that — most people would be driving in the other direction as fast as possible.
21. Lightning strikes Berlin
Lightning strikes a television tower located in the middle of the capital city of Berlin where three and a half million people live. Can you imagine seeing that from down on the street?
22. Winter overtakes a bench
Here’s yet another example of Mother Nature encroaching on civilization. This park bench is probably a pleasant place to sit in the summer. During winter, it’s overcome by a thick layer of ice.
23. A blizzard buries a street of cars
Winters have been pretty harsh in recent years, with huge snowfalls and serious cold snaps. These poor drivers faced having to dig their cars out of snowbanks. I don’t know about you, but I think I would just take the bus.
24. Waves overwhelm a pier during a storm
The ocean is beautiful, full of amazing animal and plant life. But it’s also a terrifying force, especially during a storm. Just look at the size of this wave crashing over the pier and imagine watching it from the beach.
25. A breathtaking rainbow over a valley
Of course, nature isn’t always terrifying. But even when it’s beautiful, it still has the capacity to fill us with awe. Just look at this unbelievable rainbow stretching over a mountain valley and say you’re not amazed.
26. A river churns in Oregon
Even rivers have the capacity to be dangerous. This roaring river in Oregon is the very definition of white water, which means it’s flowing fast and strong. Sometimes, even simple things can be powerful.
27. A dangerous waterfall in Serbia
You wouldn’t want to go over this waterfall in Serbia. Even though it’s beautiful, the drop of that water is seriously terrifying. Just look at the force of the splash as it reaches the ground.
28. Immense flooding following Cyclone Idai
Cyclone Idai tore through Mozambique in early 2019, wrecking thousands of homes and killing hundreds. It’s been called one of the worst natural disasters to hit that part of Africa.
29. A volcano burns in Hawaii
It’s impossible to look at a volcano and not be struck with awe. That red-hot lava has been boiling away for longer than we can even imagine!
30. Ireland caught in a polar vortex
A polar vortex is a phenomenon that causes temperatures to drop dangerously cold, often combined with heavy snowfall. Here’s the aftereffect of one vortex that ripped through Ireland, leaving behind enormous snowdrifts.
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