The Strangest Places On Earth
A serene bay filled with glowing plankton, shining like a field of stars. A lake so pink you wouldn't expect to find it in nature. An island filled with countless cats. Massive glyphs, sketched and left by some unknown artist. They sound like the work of science fiction, but these amazing natural geological places actually do exist.
There are so many weird places you can visit that it would take a lifetime to see them all in person, and some are so precious they're protected by their home countries. Fortunately, skilled photographers give you a glimpse into some of the strangest places on Earth – all without renewing your passport. Marked by their beauty and bizarre nature, these amazing places around the world are unforgettable.
Which locale takes your breath away? The vast fields of salt coating the surface of Argentina? The basalt pillars of Ireland? Let your imagination roam to the strangest places on Earth, beautiful reminders that the world is always bigger than you assume.
- 1592 VOTESPhoto: Aussie Oc / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Lake Hillier, located in Western Australia, is like no other body of water in the world. Sure, it's small – less than 2,000 feet in length - but it's hard to miss due to the shocking bright pink color of its waters. Scientists believe that the color comes from a specific type of algae that resides in the lake, but this has not been conclusively proven. From the lake's banks, the water does not look as pink as it does from above.
The lake has only been known to Westerners since 1802, but it's actually not the only pink lake in the world. While it is possible to swim in the lake with no ill effects, local laws prohibit tourists from visiting.
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Nazca Lines, PeruPhoto: Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons
Peru's Nazca Lines are one of the great mysteries of the world, and their murky purpose has spawned theories involving everything from holy rituals to ancient aliens. The lines themselves are approximately 2,000 years old and were constructed by the native Nazca people. The shapes range from geometric patterns to detailed images of local wildlife like spiders and monkeys, all dug into the ground. Despite their age, the lines have survived for thousands of years with little changes or damage.
No one is sure why exactly the Nazca built these strange geoglyphs, but the leading theory is that they were used as a spot to pray to the gods for rain.
- 3610 VOTESPhoto: Horacio_Fernandez / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
Few places make an impression like Easter Island. Located in the Pacific Ocean, this Chilean territory features pink sand beaches and rolling plains – oh, and all those giant statues.
There are almost 900 of these statues, called moai, dotted across the island. They're believed to have been crafted between 1100 and 1500 CE by the Rapa Nui people. And while you make think of them as merely giant heads, archaeologists discovered that they have bodies buried beneath the soil, too.
- 4581 VOTESPhoto: code poet / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Northern Ireland's coast is home to one of the most unique shorelines in the world. Giant's Causeway is considered a true wonder, and it's not hard to see why. The bizarre site is made up of 40,000 hexagon-shaped columns made out of basalt, and it's a completely natural formation. The columns are roughly 60 million years old, and are the result of ancient volcanic activity.
As for the name, it comes from a local legend. According to lore, a giant built the causeway in order to cross the sea to Scotland where a sister-shoreline bears similar geographic abnormalities.
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Spotted Lake, CanadaPhoto: AndrewEnns / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
The inspiration for Spotted Lake's name is clear: the lake, located in British Columbia, bears a distinctive polka-dot pattern. But it doesn't always look like that; each summer, Spotted Lake slowly evaporates to form those dots.
The pattern is the result of a unique mineral concentration that scientists believe is similar to the makeup of ancient Martian soil. It is incredibly salty and gets no water from any rivers or streams, which also plays a part in this lake's strange appearance. Each individual "spot" can be a different color based on what minerals are inside, so the view can be quite breathtaking.
- 6379 VOTESPhoto: Ken Lund / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Fly Geyser, located in Nevada, was actually created by accident in 1964 after a thermal drilling test went terribly wrong. Heated water has been spewing from the bore hole ever since, and the heavy minerals in the water have created the geyser's unique shell of calcium carbonate. The red and green colors come from different algae that have adapted to survive in this intense environment.
While this geyser is beautiful, the ability to view it in person is extremely limited. The geyser is technically on private property and closed off to the public, save for some small tours.