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We live in a strange universe, but you don't have to travel far to find space-like oddities.

7 times the weather made Earth look like an alien planet

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, March 30, 2018, 12:41 PM - We live in a strange universe, but you don't have to travel far to find space-like oddities.

Sometimes, the elements can do strange things to a landscape.

Here are seven examples.

1. Cheltenhan Badlands, Caledon, Ontario


Photo courtesy of Joe DeSousa/Flickr

At first glance this image could be mistaken for something beamed back to Earth by the Mars Curiosity Rover.

But, in reality, the Cheltehan badlands are located about 45 minutes outside of Toronto, Ont.

This formation is the result of environmentally-unfriendly farming practices that took places in the 1930s, causing the soil to erode and expose the shale rock underneath.

Iron oxide deposits are what give the land its reddish hue. Green streaks can be contributed to an interaction with ground water, turning the red iron oxide green.

This area was acquired by the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 2000 and is currently managed by the Bruce Trail Association.

2.  The Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.


Discovered by geologists in 1871, Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring the third-largest hot spring in the world with a diameter of 90 metres and a depth of 50 metres.

The colourful spectrum is the result of pigmented bacteria in microbial mats that form around the edges of the spring, and the amount of colour the bacteria produces depends on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids present and the temperature of the water, which varies with the seasons.

3. Pamukkale, Turkey

Photo courtesy

Pamukkale, which translates to "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site containing hot springs, travertines and carbon terraces in southwestern Turkey.

Located in an area that has a temperate climate for most of the year, Pamukkale is a huge tourist draw.

In fact, it has been attracting crowds for thousands of years.

4. Magnificent molten lava


This spectacular image was submitted to The Weather Network by a viewer visiting Hilo, Hawaii. It's a perfect example of how lava -- which can reach temperatures as high as 1,200C -- can transform a landscape.

See more examples of how lava can alter the land here.

5. Ice boulders


Though not common, ice boulders aren't out of the ordinary, and can sometimes be seen on the shores of the Great Lakes or other large bodies of water.

They can weigh in excess of 50 lbs. and are the result of chilly temperatures, heavy snow and strong winds.

 Ice boulders form when chunks of ice flow through waves created by strong winds.

Eventually, they take on a sphere-like shape.

6. Shelf clouds


Photo courtesy: James Fisher


Shelf clouds are a common sight in parts of Canada, especially during the summer.

Shelf, or arcus, clouds form when cool air from a storm's downdraft pushes warm air upward, creating a cloud that rolls ahead of the storm. Still, it's important to note that not all arcus clouds are associated with thunderstorms.

7. The northern lights


Photo courtesy: Scott Currie

Northern lights -- or aurora borealis -- occur when solar particles collide with the Earth's atmosphere. Their colour variety results from the presence of different types of gas particles, and the colour of an aurora is dependent on the wavelength of light that's emitted.

Two of the most common elements in the Earth's atmosphere -- oxygen and nitrogen -- create different types of northern lights.

Oxygen is responsible for green and yellowish-green auroras.

Blue, purple and reddish purple auroras are rare in comparison. They're created with the help of nitrogen.

WATH BELOW: Brad Phipps took this time-lapse video earlier this month while on a flight to see the aurora australis, also known as the southern lights, over New Zealand.

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