All over the world, we are treated to several places which no one, in spite of hundreds of years’ worth of research, can ever explain. For the tourist that enjoys something different, these places are worthy of their time. From time to time, it is nice to have our reasons challenged, and just stare in wonder.
Sure, travel guidebooks abound, and every corner of the earth has been scoured, but these places somehow remain untouched because of their ability to defy reason. Furthermore, these places will challenge your perspectives, and change them. In a world that’s becoming familiar too fast, a trip to these natural wonders—or enigmas—will prove that some things are just beyond our grasp, and will prove to be refreshing. So if you’re a seasoned traveler who thinks you’ve seen them all, think again as you look at this list of the strangest places in the world.
Blood Falls in Antarctica
South of New Zealand is Victoria Land, where the 35-mile long Taylor Glacier’s white face is marred with what looks like blood stains. Rest assured, however, that this is not actual blood but a result of a community of sulfur-eating bacteria, which stays underneath the glacier in underground lakes. Their iron-oxide excretions are the color of red, and these dye the ice, creating an illusion of a waterfall of blood. What seem to complete the sordid picture are the corpses of lost penguins and seals scattered in the area, which never decompose.
Eye of the Sahara in Mauritania
In the town of Ouadane is a thirty-mile-wide series of concentric rings, which remind you of crop circles. Unlike their famous counterparts though, we know how these circles came about—the natural erosion of the upwelling of the sedimentary rock has created a rippled pond. It’s not quite easy to travel to Mauritania, as the roads are bad and banditry abound. It is also not easy to see the shape at ground level, so in order to have a great view of the place, hop inside a charter flight from Morocco. The Eye of the
Sahara can be seen from space.
Socotra Archipelago in Yemen
At the junction of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean is the Socotra Archipelago, a place that has enjoyed its relative isolation since breaking away from Gondwana a hundred million years ago. This has let Mother Nature evolve in different ways. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to interesting flora—trees with blood-red sap, some with smelly, poisonous cucumbers, others that are bottle-shaped—nearly two hundred exotic birds, and seven hundred unique plants and animals found only in this archipelago. And to top it all off, the local language called Socotri, spoken by some 40,000 people living there, is as unique as the species found there.
The Wave Arizona
The Wave is a sandstone formation on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, located in northern portion of the U.S. state of Arizona. The Beautiful sandstone formation is famous among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms, and the rugged.
Due to the fragile nature of the formation and the large number of people wishing to visit it, a daily lottery system is used to dispense only ten next–day permits in person at the Kanab visitor center. Additionally, ten online permits for each date are available four months in advance of a planned trip. A map and information about the hike is supplied to those who have obtained permits.
Cenote, Underground Natural Spring in Mexico.
Nature creates wonders, sometimes it’s really hard to believe, this underground natural spring in Mexico is one of them. Known as Cenote, is a natural pit, or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.
The Yucatan Peninsula is quite rare in its construction and distinctive, with its porous limestone shelving creating large tunnels and sinkholes reaching to the depths of the Earth.
These natural underground tunnels are called cenotes, and the Yucatan Peninsula is home to two thousand of them, often linked by underground rivers.
In ancient times, these cenotes were the primary water source, and were also symbolically significant as they were seen as passageways to the underworld.
The Ghost Trees in Pakistan.
The eye-catching phenomenon is an unexpected side-effect of the flooding in parts of Pakistan. Millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters, shrouding them with their silky webs. Because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water has taken so long to recede, many trees have become cocooned in ghostly spiders webs.