Rare Things You’d Be Lucky To See Once In Your Life
Here are some rare things you may never get the opportunity to see in person.Science
Our world is full of wonders and sights to see but some things are so rare that only a few people have ever seen them. Even so, you first need to know what to look for, to have a chance of finding these invaluable experiences.
World's Largest Termite Mound
This isn't what you think it is. It’s not a rock, and it’s not a giant dinosaur turd either. This is the world’s largest termite mound located on the Plenty Highway between Boulia and Alice Springs in Australia.
While termites usually nest underground, they can grow upward as well. In tropical areas such as Australia and Africa, these nests can get up to 30 feet high and some have been dated to be about 2000 years old.
Caterpillars on Parade
Australia has some other unusual things to find as well. Check out these caterpillars on parade. Is that a warning that the end of the Earth is coming and we should follow them?
While most of us have never seen behavior like this from an insect, it is, in fact, part of their natural life cycle. The leader of the caterpillar conga is typically a future female moth and as she progresses towards her pupation site, she's followed by a seemingly infinite number of males, each one being drawn forward by the scent of those ahead of them.
French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre experimented with them by placing them in a circle to find out how long it would take for them to correct their path. It turns out, they'll play follow the leader almost endlessly as they continued to march in a circle for over a week.
It’s most likely not the end of the world, just a bunch of disoriented caterpillars.
Massive Flock of Birds
This looks like something straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock film. Hundreds of thousands of starlings were seen here migrating over Rome, Italy. These birds migrate in December and January from much colder northern regions.
Of course, when such a huge number of birds flock up the skies, residents below are often left with a big mess. Although migrations happen annually, there's no telling how many birds you’ll see or exactly when.
One of the most beautiful birds you'll ever see is the peacock. They're colourful and majestic as they put on a proud display when trying to attract a mate. This peacock is very unusual, though, as it's completely white.
Only a handful of peacocks like this exist in the world. Most of them have a condition called leucism, which causes an overall reduction in different types of pigments. They tend to have blue eyes, although ones with albinism, by contrast, are even rarer. Albino peacocks can be told apart because they have red or pink eyes.
Birds tend to lay eggs and on rare occasions, those eggs can look wonky, just like the one below.
When an elongated egg pops out, the average person might never see it as it will be trashed before hitting the shelves. Some chickens just naturally create elongated eggs at times but it can also mean that something might be wrong with the chicken.
Beneath the surface of our oceans lies even more phenomenal creatures. So rare that even the most experienced diver or oceanographer would be surprised to find them. Like this egg case of a skate.
A skate is a fish related to a stingray or shark. These small sacks can be found at times washed up on a beach. The strange shape of their egg case enables them to wedge in the crevices of rocky sea floors, where they're protected from predators who will usually feed on them.
Below is probably the most amazing fish you've ever seen. It's so rare, it's only been photographed once by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in 2009.
Part of the reason it's hard to observe is that it lives 600-800 meters below the surface of the ocean. It's called a barreleye fish, and for good reason. What you think its eyes are, are actually its nares, which are basically just fish nostrils.
Its eyes are actually those green domes, which peer through its see-through head, helping it look out for its prey, which lives overhead. When it's about to eat its food, its eyes then turn towards its prey, so it can actually see what it's about to eat. And, even though it looks large, it's only around 15 centimetres long.
Here's a fish you'll find just above the surface. Yes, above the surface, where you may be lucky enough to see the flying fish. Stop wondering, flying fish do actually exist.
A standard-looking fish with large fins that double up as wings, these creatures take to the air to avoid predators. Getting caught in the middle of a flock of fish can be annoying though as they fly out of the water and skim across the surface. Boaters beware.
Lobsters, on the other hand, are a common sight as they can be found in many grocery stores around the world, not to mention at your favorite seafood restaurant. There are some lobsters that are so rare though, that seeing one is like winning the lottery.
The group of lobsters below is held at the New England Aquarium, including their newest addition, the golden lobster. The chances of finding a golden lobster are 1 in 30 million. The blue lobster is slightly more common with odds of catching one at 1 in 3 million, while their two-toned friend comes in at 1 in 50 million.
As lobsters change color to the bright red we associate them with only after cooking, the live bright red one in this group is found to be 1 in 10 million. The odds of seeing them all together in one photo are astronomical.
Lobsters tend to have more color variation than any other animal, and although it's commonly thought to be the result of their diet or a genetic mutation, no one really knows why for sure. Calico lobsters are also a rare find.
These yellow creatures with black spotting are 1 in 30 million. Still, nothing comes close to the rarest lobster of all: the albino lobster. This creature has no color pigment and can even look translucent. Finding one of these is a 1 in 100 million chance.
The rarest thing you'll ever see in the ocean is Migaloo. This albino humpback whale was first seen in 1991 off the east coast of Australia and was thought to be 3 to 5 years of age at the time. It was named Migaloo as it means “white fellas” in the indigenous dialect.
The Australian government protects this natural beauty by imposing a 1600-foot space requirement around the giant. Up until 2011, it was thought that Migaloo was the only all-white humpback whale in the world, until MJ, or Migaloo junior, an all-white calf was found.
These two whales are among the rarest things in the world so if you’ve ever seen one of them, consider yourself very lucky.
Sliced Loaf of Wood
Back on land, if you’re looking for a little snack here’s something to tide you over.
This tree stump looks just like a sliced loaf of bread. While it is unusual, it’s simply a matter of a tree sprouting saplings right next to it and growing together. When the tree was cut down, it resulted in a sandwich shape which looks delicious enough to bite into.
If wood isn't your thing, how about a fire opal?
While opals are not themselves rare stones, fire opals are among the rarest form. They're respected as a symbol of the warmest love possible in ancient Indian cultures. Today, they're even the national gemstone of Mexico, where the above impressive example was found.
Unless you’ve cracked open a meteorite or visited a speciality exhibit at a museum, you probably haven’t had the opportunity to see the inside of a space rock. These meteorite guts are almost never seen this way.
The photo above was created by Jeff Barton, an astronomy photographer. On his flickr, you can see his amazing images of cut-open meteorites, shaved thinly with lights shone through them to show off their very rare beauty.
Nature has a way of creating unique things that most people have never seen, like the snow rolls below.
At first glance, you'd think someone came by and had some fun but these little snow rolls are completely natural as they’re created by the wind on a steep hill if the conditions are just right. If even one required condition is off, these little wonders won’t happen.
Intact T-Rex Fossil
Some animals are rare but check out this former animal, more precisely a dinosaur that was recently unearthed.
That in itself is not rare but for rancher Randy Rees, who herds cattle in northeastern Montana, finding a T-Rex on his property almost completely intact was a fluke occurrence. Randy was offered $5,000 by two men wanting to search his land for dinosaur bones.
After about a year, the men returned and informed Randy that on his property they found the most complete T-Rex skull ever seen. One such T-Rex skull found in the Badlands of North Dakoda sold at auction for over $8.3 Million.
So you can imagine how delighted the Reese family was when they were told about their dinosaur. The funny thing is, if the dinosaur had taken two or three more steps before it died, it would have been on government property and Randy Rees would never have known.
Here’s something unusual and interesting that looks a little like a snowball. These are actually called okenite.
Okenite are small white clusters of straight fibrous crystals that are malleable but quite fragile. What makes them rare is that they're only found in some basalt geodes, which are hollow formations created out of sedimentary and volcanic rock that has been cooled quickly.
If you’ve ever seen a geode, it’s unlikely that it included okenite, as these little clusters are very rare.
This will blow your mind. It looks like a lemon-lime hybrid, but sadly, we can't call it a lime-on. It’s a lemon. Evidently, lemons are not rare but this particular lemon is very unusual and it was picked right off the tree like this.
It's simply a matter of the way it ripened on the tree that caused this almost perfect color mixing. The yellow half must have seen much more sunlight than the green half and now we have a perfect fruit for Sprite commercials.
Giant Ice Balls
Weather can be a great source of strange yet natural formations, much like the lemon-lime. Sometimes though, nature can give us something frightening. We’ve all been caught in a rainstorm but when that rain becomes ice this is what you get.
To see hail is a common occurrence but when it’s the size of a human hand it’s very uncommon. These particular giant ice balls fell from the sky in Alabama. It’s an awesome sight but the size of these is terrifying and can cause serious damage.
Cave of the Crystals
While we can see most things in this world, here’s a place we can't all visit. Naica, Mexico sits about 60 miles south of Chihuahua and is home to the cave of the crystals.
There's no other place like it that exists on earth. This giant crystal cave contains some of the largest natural crystal deposits ever found. The cave was only found by miners excavating a new tunnel in 2000. The biggest crystal documented so far is said to be 39 feet long by 13 feet wide, weighing 55 tons.
That’s a lot of chandeliers. Only a few people have ever seen the cave, for a number of reasons. Firstly, access is restricted, and secondly, you need specialist suits and equipment, because the cave is extremely hot, with air temperatures reaching up to 58 °C.
If you were amazed at these rare things you'd be really lucky to see once in your life, you might want to read about the rarest things in the universe. Thanks for reading!