In every corner of the globe, we are surrounded by the wonders and mysteries of nature. From the curious behaviour of the animals to the strange occurrences happening around Earth’s atmosphere, we will probably always be perplexed by what our weird world has to offer. The top scientific minds on the planet are certainly baffled, but the quest to discover and understand is what keeps scientists so fascinated. We often turn to the scientific community to answer these questions, but sometimes they can’t even produce a reason.
The British physicist Professor Brian Cox certainly relishes in the uncertainty of nature, admitting that he’s very much at home with the unknown: ‘”I don’t need answers to everything. I want to have answers to find.” Then Professor Cox and like-minded scientists should have a ball with this list! Science has been able to turn plenty of theories and legend into fact in our short time on this Earth, but there is much global phenomena that still has scientists completely baffled and some may continue to do so for generations.
Is it possible for balls of fire to rise up out of the river of their own free will? How can some animals find their way home so effectively? And are we really the only ones here? After centuries of progress, science is still struggling to explain these questions. But I say, give them break. A lot of these don’t even seem to make sense! Here are 15 world phenomena that are still utterly puzzling — even to the brightest minds.
WHY HUMPBACK WHALES SING?
For decades, the beautiful sound of whale song that male and female humpbacks communicated with was thought to be linked in some way to their mating ritual. This has since been debunked completely, which has urged some scientists to consider another theory — could whale song have more to do with friendship than courtship?
Eduardo Mercado, a neuroscientist at the University of New York believes so, theorizing that male humpbacks could be singing to help new whales find their way around the ocean. Mercado’s thinking is that when males enter a new area, they choose a song that matches those of other whales in the same area, inviting them to explore with them. Sounds plausible, but this is still just a theory. The beautiful mystery of the humpback song continues!
EARTHQUAKE WARNING LIGHTS
Earthquakes are unpredictable and can easily devastate towns and cities without warning. But if the phenomenon of ‘earthquake lights’ is to be believed, nature may have a warning system in place. Earthquake lights appear as white or blue flashes in the sky (sort of like a colourful form of lightning). These occurrences have apparently been recorded for centuries in the US, but science only started to take notice of these weird warning signs when pictures were taken of them during the Matsushiro quakes during the 1960s.
Science is flummoxed as to what causes them to appear exactly, but the brief flashes and glowing colours apparently indicate frictional heat and electrical charge. Their cause may not be scientifically set in stone yet, but this is the coolest science theory we’ve heard in a while — kind of like a life-saving rainbow.