Bet You’ve Never Heard of These Most Insane Places on EarthNov 12, 2015
It is no secret that Mother Earth is a terrifying and beautiful force – but sometimes we discover things that highlight her sheer power more than others.
Below are 13 of the most incredible places on Earth that will have you second guessing whether you are in fact looking at pictures of our own planet, or of a strange fantasy world.
1. The Door To Hell, Turkmenistan
The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze, Turkmenistan, that collapsed into an underground cavern in 1971, becoming a natural gas crater. Geologists set it on fire to prevent the spread of deadly methane gas, and it has been burning continuously since then. The diameter of the crater is 69 meters, and its depth 30 meters. Quite a hole.
2. Devils Bathtub, New Zealand
Located in the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in Rotorua, The Devil’s Bathtub is an eruption crater lake that gets its bizarre green colour from sulphur deposits that float to the water’s surface.
3. Spotted Lake, Canada
Spotted Lake is located near the city of Osoyoos, in British Colombia. The body of water is extremely rich in a variety of minerals. When in the summer, most of its water evaporates, pools of minerals are left behind.
The color of the pools will vary depending on which minerals comprise them, which makes for sure a fascinating picture.
4. The Wave, Arizona, USA
This magnificent rock formation is located in Paria Canyon, Arizona. It is famous among explorers and tourists for its beautiful, undulating patterns, formed by sandstone from the jurassic age that has been eroded first by water, then by wind.
Located on the uninhabited island of Staffa in Scotland, Fingal’s Cave is formed entirely of hexagonally jointed basalt columns, which occured due to the surface cooling of lava during its formation.
The cave is renowned for its natural acoustics. Due to its shape and enormity, Fingal’s Cave has the atmosphere of a natural cathedral. Stunning!
6. Underwater Waterfall, Mauritius
Just off the coast of Mauritius, a beautiful and secluded island near Africa, an incredible and eerie natural illusion resides beneath the surface of the ocean. It appears to be an enormous waterfall existing under the surface of the water. The effect is due to local sand and silt deposits coloring the water. Spooky!
7. Underwater River, Cenote Angelita, Mexico
If that wasn’t spooky enough, get a load of this.
In Yucatan, Mexico, exists a bewildering natural wonder – an underwater river, beneath the Cenote Angelita. A cenote is a sinkhole where limestone bedrock has collapsed and exposed groundwater below or accumulated rainwater over large amounts of time. They are known for being incredibly clear because they are filled mostly by rainwater, that is naturally filtered through the rocks.
The Cenote Angelita is unique as its positioning (near the ancient Mayan city of Tulum) has meant that it has slowly collected both fresh water and salt water from the nearby sea. 100ft deep in the Angelita lies a surreal, seemingly meandering green river. This is caused by the differing densities of the salt and fresh water.
The saltwater sinks to the bottom, the freshwater floats to the top, and where the two meet is suspended a thin layer of misty hydrogen sulfate, which adds to the eerie effect.
8. Sentinels of The Arctic, Finland
In Finland, close to the Arctic Circle, photographer Niccolo Bonfadini captured the sheer power of nature. In the Finnish Lapland, where temperatures can plummet below -40 degrees Celsius, trees can be completely engulfed by solid ice, creating otherworldy statues reminiscent of alien life.
9. Dallol Volcanic Acid Pool, Ethiopia
Dallol is a volcanic crate in the centre of the Danokil desert in Ethiopia. It is one of the most remote places on earth, and lies within the hottest inhabited region on the planet.
Surrounding the volcano are acidic hot springs, mountains of sulphur, pillars of salt, small gas geysers and pools of acid isolated by salt ridges. The beautiful and dazzling colors present in Dallol are due to the strong presence of sulphur, iron oxide, salt and other minerals.
10. Abraham Lake, Canada
An artificial lake created in 1972, Abraham Lake is home to a rare phenomenon where bubbles of methane gas become frozen under the surface.
The methane comes from the plants surrounding the lake. When it rises and comes in contact with the much colder surface of the lake, it freezes in bubbles, slowly stacking up as the weather gets colder and colder.
11. Deadvlei, Namibia
The below images of Dead Vlei or “Dead Marsh” may strike you as vibrant paintings at first, when in fact they are photographs. The breathtaking scene is created by the ancient and sun scorched trees against the enormous red dunes.
The dunes owe their color to age, where the sand has rusted. The trees that remain in the arid clay pan of Dead Vlei died 600 to 700 years ago, but have not decomposed due to the immense dryness of the area. The heat of the sun has literally scorched them black.
The largest salt flat on Earth stretches a whopping 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq miles), in South West Bolivia.
13. The Tianzi Mountains, China
The fascinating peaks were formed from quartz sandstone over 400 million years ago, due to a series of geological changes.
3 billion years ago, where the Tianzi Mountains now stand, was in fact an ocean. After neotectonics movements slowly caused the bottom of the ocean to rise above the surface, nature gradually cut and eroded what we can see today.