Mother Nature sure is a mystifying figure. She has the power to produce beauty so spectacular that it makes life worth living–and destruction so terrifying, you’ll wonder whose side she’s on. If you can’t personally relate to the latter, then maybe you haven’t stepped outside — or turned on the TV for that matter — in recent years.

Now, whether Mother Nature is currently your friend or your foe, we still think she should be celebrated. Here are 17 of the most awe-inspiring, head-scratching, and just plain terrifying photos that illustrate how she impacts our world. Get ready to “ohhh”, “ahhhh”, and “eeek!”

  1. Icy works of art fall from the sky

    No human could have made something quite so perfect!

  2. Two natural phenomenons converge

    Somewhere over the… lightning bolt?!

  3. A tree trunk makes a mockery of a sign

    Proof that if you try to control nature, it will laugh in your face.

  4. New colors are invented with each setting sun

    It doesn’t get much bigger or brighter than a California sunset.

  5. Waves that are as tall as skyscrapers

    That’s one brave surfer!

  6. When the air’s too cold to let the waterfall flow

    If this were summer, the photographer would be drenched!

  7. Our moon moves over our sun

    Idaho’s view of this year’s Great North American Solar Eclipse.

  8. When apples fall far from the tree

    A powerful hurricane took care of this orchard’s apple-picking.

  9. An erupting volcano makes quite the scene

    It’s scary to think that the dark cloud hovering directly above the mountain is made entirely of ash!

  10. A massive heard of sheep blends in with its snowy surroundings

    Can you count all 550 of them?

  11. A wildfire masquerades as a sunset

    Where the flames meet the waves!

  12. A view of the “world’s ugliest animal”

    We don’t quite know what Mother Nature was thinking when she made the blobfish!

  13. A rare “cyclops goat” poses for a picture

    This one-eyed kid is among one of the only goats with cyclopia to survive past birth.

  14. When clouds look like UFOs

    The sight of a lenticular cloud would make E.T. want to “phone home!”

  15. An infrared view of the devastating Hurricane Maria

    NASA lets us in on what the “calm eye” of this natural disaster looked like from space.

  16. A spider weaved a fantastic web

    Work of art or insect torture device? Our answer is both!

  17. Floating clumps of venomous red ants after Hurricane Harvey

    These nightmarish masses were spotted floating through post-hurricane floodwater. Talk about adding insult to injury!

There ain’t no messing with Mother Nature! We’d love to hear what you think about all of these heart-pumping photos. Which one is your favorite? Have you ever had a life-changing encounter with Mother Nature? Do you have an impressive photo of your own that you would like to share?