The world’s strangest places
Some things just have to be seen to be believed. And, even then, you’re left wondering how Mother Nature could come up with natural phenomena so awe-inspiring that they’d be more at home in a fantasy film.
These are five locations from around the world that show us the brilliance and beauty resulting from millions of years of earth’s formation.
Thor’s Well, USA
Thor’s Well, also known as Spouting Horn, can be found on the Oregon coast in the US. It’s a bit unnerving as you watch water rush into the sinkhole where you can’t see the bottom as if it’s going straight to hell. In fact, it’s all the work of underground caves, which periodically shoot water with great force from the abyss.
Insider tip: Stay back during high tide, or at least bring along a change of clothes, because you’ll get a soaking.
THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, NORTHERN IRELAND
The Giant’s Causeway spans 3 miles along the cliffs in the county of Antrim in Northern Ireland. It is made up of basalt columns believed to have formed after a huge volcanic eruption sixty million years ago; when the mass of molten basalt cooled, solidified and contracted, it created the thought-to-be 37,000 polygon columns.
Insider tip: Local legend says the World Heritage Site was built by the giant Fionn mac Cumhaill to stretch across to Scotland so he could fight his rival Benandonner.
LAKE HILLIER, AUSTRALIA
The deep pink colored Lake Hillier was discovered back in 1802 on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago of Western Australia. Scientists speculate that its startling appearance is attributable to a combination of high salinity, an algae species known as Dunaliella salina and the pink bacteria halobacteria. All we know is that algae never looked so good.
Insider tip: The lake is about 2,000 feet long and the water is harmless to human skin, but its remoteness makes it difficult to access for tourists.
SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA
In the south-west of Bolivia is a place where you can feel like you are literally walking on cloud nine. That’s because it’s home to the largest salt flat in the world, spanning 4,500 square miles. The Salar de Uyuni is a truly awe-inspiring natural wonder and one you simply have to experience.
Insider tip: Sitting at an altitude of 12,000 feet, the plains become a giant mirror reflecting the sky when it rains.
HIDDEN BEACH, MEXICO
The story of how the Hidden Beach in Mexico came to be is surprising: it is the result of the Mexican Government using the small group of uninhabited Marieta Islands in Puerto Vallarta as a military test site. From bomb explosions, Mother Nature revealed beautiful caves and rock formations, and in one of these places, you will find an isolated sandy beach. It’s officially called Playa De Amor, or the ‘Beach of Love’.
Insider tip: The Hidden Beach is not visible from the outside, and can only be reached through a tunnel in the water.