Photos of Haboobs

A haboob is a type of intense dust storm carried on an atmospheric gravity current. Haboobs occur regularly in arid regions throughout the world.

They have been observed in the Sahara desert (typically Sudan, where they were named and described), as well as across the Arabian Peninsula, throughout Kuwait, and in the most arid regions of Iraq. African haboobs result from the northward summer shift of the inter-tropical front into North Africa, bringing moisture from the Gulf of Guinea. Haboob winds in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Kuwait, and North America are frequently created by the collapse of a thunderstorm, while haboobs in Australia may be frequently associated with cold fronts. The deserts of Central Australia, especially near Alice Springs, are particularly prone to haboobs, with sand and debris reaching several kilometers into the sky and leaving up to a foot of sand in the haboob’s path.

The arid and semiarid regions of North America—in fact, any dry region—may experience haboobs. The term haboob is not commonly used in the arid regions of the United States where these events occur. In North America the most common terms for these events is either dust storm or sandstorm. In the U.S., they frequently occur in the deserts of Arizona, including around the cities of Yuma and Phoenix—and in New Mexico and Texas.

During thunderstorm formation, winds move in a direction opposite to the storm’s travel, and they move from all directions into the thunderstorm. When the storm collapses and begins to release precipitation, wind directions reverse, gusting outward from the storm and generally gusting the strongest in the direction of the storm’s travel. When this downdraft, or downburst, reaches the ground, it blows dry, loose silt and clay (collectively, dust) up from the desert, creating a wall of sediment that precedes the storm cloud.

This wall of dust can be up to 100 km (62 mi) wide and several kilometers in elevation. At their strongest, haboob winds often travel at 35–100 km/h (~20–60 mph), and they may approach with little or no warning. Often rain does not appear at ground level as it evaporates in the hot, dry air (a phenomenon known as virga).

1. Phoenix, Arizona, 2012

2. Phoenix, Arizona, 2011

3. Indian Ocean near Onslow, Australia, 2013

4. Phoenix, Arizona, 2012

5. Khartoum, Sudan, 2007

6. Phoenix, Arizona, 2012

7. Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, 2010

8. Khartoum, Sudan

9. Al Asad, Iraq, 2005

10. Phoenix, Arizona, 2011

11. Phoenix, Arizona, 2011

12. Al Asad, Iraq, 2007

13. Phoenix, Arizona, 2012

14. Phoenix, Arizona, 2011

15. Phoenix, Arizona, 2011


Unique Waterfalls in the World

A waterfall is a place where water flows over a vertical drop in the course of a stream or river. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater drops over the edge of a tabular iceberg or ice shelf. But, all of the waterfalls don't look exactly like this. There are waterfalls that are so unusual and unique, to provoke disbelief and amazement of visitors. These wonders of nature are very rare and still largely unknown to most people.

1. Bigar Cascade Falls, Romania

This is the Bigar Cascade Falls situated in Caras-Severin, Romania. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in this country, very unique on the way the water is spread and fall, in thiny shred of water. The waterfall is exactly on 45 Paralel which is unique again.

The dramatic moss-covered falls are located in the forests of the Anina Mountains and is formed by an underground water spring that spills into the Minis River.

2. Eternal Flame Falls, USA

The Eternal Flame Falls is a small waterfall in the Shale Creek Preserve, a section of the Chestnut Ridge Park in New York.

Eternal Flame Falls is highly dependant on rainfall and melt water. It is usually only flowing in early spring, or after long bouts of heavy rain. It reaches 30 ft (9 m) high, cascading over sloping shale in two segments. A small grotto, 5 ft (1,5 m) up from the creek bed, to the right houses the natural gas spring that can be ignited to create a flame of 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) in height. When flow is high, the water pours over the grotto, covering the flame and diffusing the light like a lampshade.

Eternal Flame Falls is truly one of the most unique waterfalls in the country and one of the few remaining natural areas that we find on our planet. It is said that the falls may be the only one of its kind on the planet.

3. Asik-Asik Falls, Philippines

Located in Alamada, North Cotabato the Asik-Asik Spring falls is 60 meters (197 ft) high, and 140 meters (460 ft) wide and the waters of the fall is said to have healing powers.

Incidentally, no river or any water body exists above it and the water simply gushes out from rock formations in a cliff at the edge of a hill. A great portion of the cliff is covered with grasses resembling large green curtains.

The clean and fresh water that falls from Asik-asik down to a river below is so cold that visitors could drink from it. The provincial government has constructed a road network towards the site of the spring falls, where compared before, vehicles can now reach the camp site.

4. Horizontal Falls, Australia

The Horizontal Falls or Horizontal Waterfalls (nicknamed the "Horries") is the name given to a natural phenomenon on the coast of the Kimberley region in Western Australia.

Despite their name, the Horizontal Falls are a fast-moving tidal flow through two narrow, closely aligned gorges of the McLarty Range, located in Talbot Bay. The direction of the flow reverses with each change of tide. As tides in the Kimberley can reach 10 metres (33 ft), a peak tide gives rise to a significant difference in the sea level on either side of each gorge.

The northern, most seaward gorge is 20 metres (66 ft) wide and the southern, more inland gorge is 12 metres (40 ft). Above each of the gorges are natural reservoirs between six and eight kilometres (4-5 mi) long which fill and empty with seawater through the gorge openings. The inner gorge is also partly fed by fresh water from Poulton Creek.

5. Blood Falls, Antarctica

Blood Falls was discovered in 1911. The Antarctica pioneers first attributed the red color to red algae, but later it was proven to be due only to iron oxides. This chemical compound in the water is a result of metabolism observed in unique microorganisms.

Salty water rich in iron leaves a small fissure at the Taylor Glacier. The Blood Waterfall takes its water from a nearby lake covered with a layer of ice which is 400 meters (1,300 ft) deep. Salt content in the water 4 times exceeds the one in the ocean. That's why the water in the fall never freezes even if the temperature is below -10 °C (14 °F).

6. Svartifoss, Iceland

Svartifoss (Black Fall) is a waterfall in Skaftafell National Park in Iceland, and is one of the most popular sights in the park. It is surrounded by dark lava columns, which gave rise to its name.

Other well-known columnar jointing formations are seen at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, Devil's Tower in Wyoming, USA and on the island of Staffa in Scotland.

The base of this waterfall is noteworthy for its sharp rocks. New hexagonal column sections break off faster than the falling water wears down the edges. These basalt columns have provided inspiration for Icelandic architects, most visibly in the Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík, and also the National Theatre.

7. Baatara Gorge Waterfall, Lebanon

The Baatara gorge waterfall (Balaa gorge waterfall) is a waterfall in the Tannourine, Lebanon. The waterfall drops 255 metres (837 ft) into the Baatara Pothole, a cave of Jurassic limestone located on the Lebanon Mountain Trail. Discovered in 1952 by French bio-speleologist Henri Coiffait, the waterfall and accompanying sinkhole were fully mapped in the 1980s by the Spéléo club du Liban. The cave is also known as the "Cave of the Three Bridges."

Traveling from Laklouk to Tannourine one passes the village of Balaa, and the "Three Bridges Chasm" is a five-minute journey into the valley below where one sees three natural bridges, rising one above the other and overhanging a chasm descending into Mount Lebanon. During the spring snow melt, a 90–100-metre (300–330 ft) cascade falls behind the three bridges and then down into the 250-metre (820 ft) chasm. A 1988 fluorescent dye test demonstrated that the water emerged at the spring of Dalleh in Mgharet al-Ghaouaghir.

8. Hierve el Agua, Mexico

Hierve el Agua is set of natural rock formations in the Mexican state of Oaxaca that look like waterfalls. The site consists of two rock shelves or cliffs which rise between fifty and ninety metres from the valley below, from which extend nearly white rock formations which look like waterfalls.

The falls are formed by relatively small amounts of water which is oversaturated with calcium carbonate and comes to the surface through cracks or figures on the mountainside. The water has a temperature of 22 to 27°C (70-80 °F). As the water runs down the rock face, it forms large stalactites similar to those found in caves. The flow of water from the spring varies significantly between the dry and rainy seasons.

One of the cliffs, called the "cascada chica" (small waterfall) or the Amphitheatre, contains two large artificial pools for swimming as well as a number of small natural pools. One of the artificial pools is very near the edge of the cliff. The waters, with their high mineral content, are reputed to have healing qualities.

Bonus: Labasin Waterfall Restaurant, Philippines

The Labassin Waterfall Restaurant is a truly singular and memorable experience. Located at the Villa Escudero Resort in the Philippines, guests can enjoy lunch while the water flows under their feet.

Besides enjoying the authentic local cuisine, you can enjoy the almost untouched nature of the region formerly occupied by a farm and coconut plantations.

Labasin Falls is a not a natural waterfall. It is actually a spillway of the Labasin Dam – the country’s first working hydroelectric plant – built by Don Arsenio Escudero in 1929