Apart from the Northern and Southern lights, which are common at higher altitudes, there is immense activity happening on this thrumming, spinning, evolving planet we call our home.

If you are someone in love with light, here are a few places for you to explore:

Light pillars

A natural phenomenon caused when light is refracted by ice crystals in the atmosphere, light pillars can look supernatural and stunning in the sky. Any source of light can create a light pillar and the pillar takes on the color of the light source.

Light pillars are usually found in well-lit cities but even the light of the moon or sun can create this phenomenon. The weather conditions need to be perfect for ice crystals to form and be suspended in the air.

This would happen in very cold weather where there is no wind. Light pillars have been spotted in some countries like Finland, America, Canada and Russia. 


Different kinds of algae and some crustaceans glow fiercely to defend themselves from predators in the sea.

This natural defense mechanism is so beautiful that travellers find themselves staring mesmerised at shimmering blue waters on dark nights. Bioluminescent waters can be found all over the world, from the Tusan beach in Malaysia and Toyama Bay in Japan to Tasmania in Australia and Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico.

Bioluminescent plankton © Dave Miner/Flickr

Take your cameras along but hope for a night with little moonlight so your pictures capture all the glamour of the glittering sea. 

Sun dogs

A sun dog — or mock sun —  is a concentrated patch of sunlight seen about 22 degrees to the left or right of the sun. Sun dogs are also seen on both sides of the sun when sunlight refracts through icy clouds containing hexagonal plate crystals aligned with their large, flat faces parallel to the ground.

Sun dog © Amber Cottreau/Flickr

They are visible when the sun is near the horizon. Some of them are red on the inside and blue around the outer rims. Sun dogs appear regardless of the season or place, but they are not always bright. You got to be lucky to see one!

Glowworm Caves

From Te Anau Caves and Waitomo Glowworm Grotto to Paparoa National Park and Waipu Caves, New Zealand shares with its travellers its natural history brought alive by glowworms.

Hundreds of dazzling beetles sit on the shores of some lakes here too. Take a boat tour to see them. You can also go climb up caves or take a train trip in Paparoa to witness this spectacle.