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Twenty Awesomely Surreal Places to See While You're Still Alive

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 03/14/2018 - 21:45

The most amazing places on Earth will stun you with their majestic variety. From deep underground caves and waterfalls, through unique trees and other life forms, the planet packs a powerful punch. Here are the twenty most wonderful places in the world to see while you still can.

Imagine stepping foot on an alien planet, replete with exotic scenes ranging from underground waterfalls to bizarre trees and mysterious glowing circles. Guess what? You're already standing there! Earth hosts many surreal scenes -- which you have to see to believe.

1. Pamukkale Travertine Terraces, Turkey

Pamukkale 56.jpg
By Antoine Taveneaux - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The "cotton castle" in Turkey's Aegean region consists of mineral build-up in the shape of pools. Ancient civilizations, from the Greeks and Romans onward, have built cities atop the natural formations. People also use the pools for bathing, although hotel tourism now risks eroding away the delicate structures.

2. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The largest salt flat on the planet sits in the Andes of Bolivia. Over ten thousand square kilometers, the entire area is so flat that its average variation in height is less than a meter. The ecologically unique zone stores more than half of all known lithium, while connecting the tropics with the desert.

Salar uyuni 200701.jpg
By The original uploader was Chechevere at English Wikipedia - Picture Ezequiel Cabrera; Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY 3.0, Link

3. Great Blue Hole, Belize
The immense sinkhole sits 70 km away from the coast of Belize. A cave submerged in water collapsed, yielding the intriguing circle. Famous explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau made the site into a popular diving destination. The 124 m deep hole belongs to the Belize Barrier Reef, and hosts a stunning diversity of life including sharks and coral.

Great Blue Hole.jpg
By U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - Source: [1], fetched September 2006. Caption on this USGS web page was, "Blue Hole: Aerial view of the 400-ft-deep oceanic blue hole (Lighthouse Reef Atoll Blue Hole) located east of Belize.", Public Domain, Link

4. Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia

Turquoise #Ice, Northern Lake Baikal, #Russia

Lake Baikal, in the Siberian portion of Russia, features turquoise ice like a sparkling gem. The enormous lake, which is the deepest and oldest on the planet, divides the continent into two separate future continents. As the spring ice forms into chunks and split apart, the different forces result in the elegant beauty.

5. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, USA
The largest hot spring in the US produces an amazing rainbow of colors.

Grand Prismatic Spring and Midway Geyser Basin from above.jpg
By Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

6. The Richat Structure, Sahara Desert, Mauritania
The eye has intrigued space scientists since seeing it from a satellite.

richat-structure

7. Sea of Stars, Vadhoo Island, Maldives
Bioluminescent particles illuminate the ocean in brilliant light.

The Sea of Stars, a stretch of beach twinkling in blue light, lies on the Vaadhoo Island in the Maldives. The bioluminescent microbes absorb impacts and emit light. The stellar sight reflects the sky, and can look like a sparkling blue sand.

8. Lake Hillier, Australia
The pink lake water holds its color even when taken in a container.

Lake Hillier 2 Middle Island Recherche Archipelago NR IV-2011.JPG
By Aussie Oc - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Lake Hillier, a pink lake in Australia, holds its unusual color even when the water is taken away in a container. The bubblegum color surprised an early explorer. Scientists still speculate as to what gives the water its color. The wild lake is difficult to access. The pink contrasts attractively against the blue Pacific Ocean nearby.

9. Aogashima, Japan
The active volcanic island has occasional eruptions, as well as earthquakes.

aogashima-volcano-japan

Aogashima, a volcanic island, belongs to Japan. While administered by Tokyo, the volcano itself hosts just over a hundred people. Half of the population died in the previous eruption. The underwater volcano rose up several hundred meters, with rocky cliffs isolating the island. In the middle of the island there is a natural sauna.

10. Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
The natural passageway lets through trains, and couples.

Green Mile Tunnel, Rivne.jpg
By serhei - https://www.panoramio.com/photo/39997602, CC BY 3.0, Link

The Tunnel of Love, an actively used railorad track, runs through Ukraine. Trees grow in an arch, along a stretch of three kilometers. Lovers take romantic walks along the tracks, when the trains are absent. The privately owned rail line delivers wood to a nearby factory.

11. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

USA Antelope-Canyon.jpg
By Lucas Löffler - Own work, Public Domain, Link

Antelope Canyon, a gorgeous land formation, stands on Navajo land in Arizona. Rainwater falling over many years carved out a hole in the stone that allows sunlight into the deep caverns. A photograph of the canyon has sold for $6.5 million.

12. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
A Maori chief and an English surveyor discovered the unique glowworms while rafting through the caves.

Glow worm cave in New Zealand

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are on the North Island of New Zealand. A unique species of tiny glowworms congregate here, giving the caves an eerily beautiful luminosity. A Maori chief and an English surveyor first discovered the unique glowworms while rafting through the caves.

13. Deadvlei, Namibia

Dead Vlei 4.jpg
By Ikiwaner - Own work, GFDL 1.2, Link

Deadvleli, a clay pan, highlights its stark white sands and orange dunes with blue sky and the black silhouettes of dead camel thorn trees. The trees have been dead for hundreds of years. A river once flooded the area with water. Now, the dry area preserves the remains.

14. Giant Crystal Cave, Mexico

Cristales cueva de Naica.JPG
By Alexander Van Driessche - Gaianauta received this from Alexander Van Driessche via Email., CC BY 3.0, Link

Giant Crystal Cave, a selenite cave connected with a mine, resides in Chihuahua, Mexico. Its immense crystals, dozens of feet long, weigh up to 55 tons each. The cave has an extreme environment, at around 50 deg C and 100% humidity. The cave was first discovered in the year 2000, by accident.

15. Reed Flute Cave, China

Reed flute cave.jpg
By Dariusz Jemielniak - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Reed Flute Cave, an ancient formation, is a famous site in China. Reeds growing in the region are made into flutes. Rocky shapes give the cave its distinct look. Over hundreds of years, many poets and travelers have carved inscriptions in the caves. The cave was lost for some time, then rediscovered by Chinese refugees during warfare.

16. Mount Roraima, South America

View from Mt. Roraima "Window"

Mount Roraima, a gorgeous lost world, is a high plateau in South America. The remote land features waterfalls above the clouds, crystal-floored valleys, and unique species. The exotic scene looks prehistoric, and has inspired famous books and legends. Its origins date back billions of years.

17. Wulingyuan, China
This important place in China sits on the Yangtze river.

1 zhangjiajie huangshizhai wulingyuan panorama 2012.jpg
By chensiyuan - chensiyuan, GFDL, Link

Wulingyuan, an area of scenic and historic importance in China, sits in the Hunan Province. More than three thousand quarts sandstone pillars, each hundreds of feet high, stretches over many thousands of acres. Streams and waterfalls course through the towering rocks.

18. Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Miami Beach is an immensely long stretch of beach! It hosts luxury condominiums and resorts, and is a great place to travel.

19. Chittor Fort, India

Chittorgarh fort.JPG
By Ssjoshi111 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Chittor Fort in Chittorgarh, India, is one of the country's largest forts. It has hosted different dynasties over the centuries.

20. Yuanyang Rice Terrace, China

Terrace field yunnan china denoised

1 yuanyang rice terrace laohuzhui 2012.jpg
By chensiyuan - chensiyuan, GFDL, Link

Yuanyang Rice Terrace, a remote and traditional rice growing region, rests among the mountains of Yunnan Province. While the terraces are regarded as on par with the Great Wall of China, it is much simpler, and the traditional farmers maintain the fields with hoes. The clever arrangement ensures equal water flow to the different plots on the mountain.

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