Something I’ve noticed playing electric guitar is that natural harmonics are easier to achieve under heavy distortion. For the sake of disambiguation, when I use the word harmonic, I mean plucking a string at the same time as you release your finger from the string at a particular fret, producing a noise like a ringing bell.
To elaborate on the phenomena, playing harmonics on the acoustic guitar is typically hard for me unless they’re performed at the 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 ratios (12th, 7th, and 5th) fret. Still, the 12th is easier than the 7th and the 7th is easier than the 5th. Going further toward the nut is much more difficult (at least for me personally).
Playing electric guitar on a clean setting is mostly the same as the acoustic. However, as soon as gain is increased a little on the electric, the harmonics become easier. Using an effects pedal meant for playing metal music, the most intense distortion I have, the harmonics that are hardest to achieve are now easy. Playing at the second fret produces an extremely loud sound, even louder than playing a note normally.
The best attempt at an answer I have at the moment is that the distortion pedals add frequencies that could resonate with the imperfectly played harmonic (those closer to the nut are harder to achieve) and produce positive feedback to make the note ring louder. However, I tested this by playing a recording of the cleanly played harmonic into the amp, and the distortion still had the same effect. This is a contradiction because the guitar is not live in this scenario to create the positive feedback. So, this effect is plausible but negligible at best.
My other idea is that the plucking noise of a harmonic is drowned out by the pedal which produces a sort of ambient fuzz, while the note is compressed to ring loudly. However, this is just my best guess.