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Phenomena are occurrences or strange happenings that typically cannot be explained by science, for example ball lightning or the efficacy of prayer. In scientific circles, the word carries a bit of a negative connotation.

The word comes from the Greek phainomenon, the active participial form of a verb meaning "appear".

Examples of so-far-unexplained phenomena include:

On the other hand, when scientists believe they have truly explained some process, such as evolution or the Big Bang, they are rarely called phenomena anymore.