The photos are from New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
Fly Geyser, also known as Fly Ranch Geyser or the Green Geyser is a man-made small geothermal geyser located in Washoe County, Nevada approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of Gerlach. Fly Geyser is located near the edge of Fly Reservoir and is only about 5 feet (1.5 m) high, by 12 feet (3.7 m) wide, counting the mound on which it sits.
Fly Geyser is located on the private Fly Ranch in Hualapai Flat, about 0.3 miles (0.48 km) from State Route 34. The ranch is currently owned by Todd Jaksick. There is a high fence and a locked gate topped with spikes to exclude trespassers. The only access is a dirt road, but it is large enough to be seen from the road.
Looks like something from a science fiction movie set
Fly Geyser is not an entirely natural phenomenon; it was accidentally created by well drilling in 1964 exploring for sources of geothermal energy. The well may not have been capped correctly, or left unplugged, but either way dissolved minerals started rising and accumulating, creating the travertine mound on which the geyser sits and continues growing. Water is constantly released, reaching 5 feet (1.5 m) in the air. The geyser contains several terraces discharging water into 30 to 40 pools over an area of 74 acres (30 ha). The geyser is made up of a series of different minerals, but its brilliant colors are due to thermophilic algae.
The geyser in 1975
Ice and wind transform these high altitude fir trees of into real-life White Walkers
Along with death and taxes, finding shapes in clouds is one of the most universal human experiences. Most can recall at least one lazy summer day spent lying in the grass, spotting the many dogs and dragons formed by the cottony white clumps of frozen water droplets in the sky.
A more obscure and much colder version of this pastime takes place every winter in Japan’s northern Tohoku region. Intense, relentless Siberian winds blow clouds and fog over the region’s native Maries’ fir trees, enveloping them in a thick, granular coating of ice called rime. The result: Once-verdant forests are transformed into throngs of “snow monsters,” or “juhyo,” as they’re called in Japan.
The anthropomorphic suggestions in the crags, mounds and limbs of the ice-entombed trees allow the imagination to run wild. In this frozen world, icy bears and bobcats cohabitate with frosty witches, skeletons and a few rogue Yeti.
Juhyo experience their peak from late January to early March, and areas featuring the natural phenomenon can be reached in under two hours by bullet train from Tokyo. A trek into these mystical mountains isn’t for the cold-blooded, though. The mountains accumulate up to 10 feet of snow by the end of the season, and visitors can expect to be greeted by freezing temperatures and fixed strong winds. After all, who ever heard of a snow monster living in a warm, welcoming environment?
Enduring the conditions is worth it, though, to see these majestic formations up close. The Zao Onsen ski resort is one of the best places to go to walk among the giants. Visitors can hike through the mountains and pose for pictures with their new, 23-foot-tall friends, or encounter them in passing as they tear through the powder on the slopes.
For the truly cold-averse, there is a third, and arguably superior, viewing option. Enclosed cable cars run up the mountain allowing passengers to see the full scope of the monster invasion in relative warmth. At night, colorful lights illuminate the surreal scene casting eerie shadows over the landscape and allowing the imagination to wander. Perhaps it’s an army of White Walkers that even Jon Snow couldn’t manage.
I was listening to a science show the other day and came across this weirdness. The scientist said most people have witnessed this. Not sure where he was coming from, but I have never seen one, or even heard about them.
Sun Pillar over Antarctica
A light pillar is an atmospheric optical phenomenon in the form of a vertical band of light which appears to extend above and/or below a light source. The effect is created by the reflection of light from numerous tiny ice crystal suspended in the atmosphere or clouds. The light can come from the Sun (usually when it is near or even below the horizon) in which case the phenomenon is called a sun pillar or solar pillar. It can also come from the Moon or from terrestrial sources such as streetlights.
Light Pillars over North Bay, Ontario
Since they are caused by the interaction of light with ice crystals, light pillars belong to the family of halos. The crystals responsible for light pillars usually consist of flat, hexagonal plates, which tend to orient themselves more or less horizontally as they fall through the air. Their collective surfaces act as a giant mirror, which reflects the light source upwards and/or downwards into a virtual image. As the crystals are disturbed by turbulence, the angle of their surfaces deviates some degrees from the horizontal orientation, causing the reflection (i.e. the light pillar) to become elongated into a column. The larger the crystals, the more pronounced this effect becomes. More rarely, column-shaped crystals can cause light pillars as well. In very cold weather, the ice crystals can be suspended near the ground, in which case they are referred to as diamond dust.
Unlike a light beam, a light pillar is not physically located above or below the light source. Its appearance of a vertical column is an optical illusion, resulting from the collective reflection off the ice crystals, only those of which that appear to lie in a vertical line direct the light rays towards the observer (similar to the reflection of a light source in a body of water).
Sun Pillar over Ohio
Light Pillars over Cambridge Bay, Canada
Source: Wikipedia, Google and CBC Quirks and Quarks
Some of these critters are very hard to spot.