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.
Puerto Mosquito, Puerto Rico
There is nothing quite as ethereally beautiful as the bright glow of Puerto Mosquito, a place brimming with bioluminescent plankton that causes the water to shine like stars. Located in a cove on the southern shore of Vieques, a small island off the east coast of Puerto Rico, Puerto Mosquito has become an international tourist attraction for its amazing natural light show. In fact, it's the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world.
The shimmering blue light comes from a dinoflagellate known as Pyrodinium bahamense. These tiny creatures discharge a luminous chemical cocktail whenever they are disturbed, whether by the waves or a swimmer's body. The bay was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and for a time it seemed like the lights might have been put out for good. Luckily, the bay has been slowly recovering and the precious plankton have returned to their home.
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.
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.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
How would you like to be freezing and boiling at the same time? The Blue Lagoon in Iceland invites you to escape from freezing temperatures by taking a dip in a natural hot spring surrounded by snow and volcanic rock. Iceland is a volcanic island with many geothermal hotspots, but the Blue Lagoon stands out as one of the island's greatest tourist attractions. People from all over the world travel to Iceland just to enjoy the lagoon, so much so that a luxury spa has been built around it.
The water holds a temperature of about 100° year round, and it has an attractive baby blue coloration that comes from the high levels of silica in the water. The salty water is said to work wonders for the skin, too.