Incredible Locations That Are Actually Real!.
Many people acknowledge that our planet is teeming with extraordinary destinations. However, there are specific places that are so breathtaking and one-of-a-kind, they resemble something from distant galaxies far beyond the boundaries of the Milky Way.
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From rainbow mountains, to ice caves lifted straight out of a fairy tale, let's explore some places whose appearances are truly unbelievable.
Number 15, Tunnel of Love, Ukraine: This three-mile-long stretch of industrial railway near Klevan, Ukraine is surrounded by arches of woodland greenery. A freight train runs through it three times daily, and occasional military transport trains pass through. The trains themselves are what keep the tunnel so well-trimmed, simply by moving through regularly. The tunnel was reportedly constructed during the Cold War, with trees being planted to conceal the transport of military hardware. While the tunnel is greenest and lushest during the spring and summer, views of the snow-covered branches during winter are just as awe-inspiring. The Tunnel of Love is a popular stop for couples, hence its name. But if you take the apple of your eye there, make sure you have an escape route ready if the train approaches, or they could end up as apple sauce instead.
Number 14, Glass Beach, California: With a history even more intriguing than its appearance, the Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California, possesses a curious collection of unusual pebbles. From the early 1900s, several coastal areas around Fort Bragg were used as garbage dumps, a practice which continued until the late 60s. In the decades since, the biodegradable parts of the waste have slowly disappeared, leaving only the solid parts like glass and stoneware. For decades, waves have weathered the shards, which came from everything from beer bottles to windows, into round, smooth, colorful pieces. Tourists often take shards home, proving that one man's trash is another man's treasure.
Number 13, Spotted Lake, Canada: Northwest of Osoyoos, British Columbia, is a very unique body of water called Kliluk, or the Spotted Lake. This lake is rich in minerals like calcium, sodium sulfate, magnesium sulfate and traces of silver and titanium. In the summer, most of the water evaporates, forming between 300 and 400 colorful pools. Each pool contains a slightly different mixture of minerals which, alongside the rate of evaporation, determines the coloration. While it's technically possible to walk on the dry sections in summer, the lakes on private property and is considered sacred, so trespassing is frowned upon. But lucky for would-be-visitors, this unbelievable phenomenon can be spotted a mile away.
Number 12, Glow worm caves, New Zealand: These glow worm caves, found throughout New Zealand, are like something out of a fantasy tale. The light-bringing glow worms are the larvae of the Arachnocampa luminosa, a species of gnat unique to New Zealand. The glow worms' tails are bioluminescent, meaning enzymes in their body react with other molecules to create light. They use this unique ability to gather food, as their prey is attracted to the light. Visitors can witness the spectacular views on guided boat rides through the caves for a taste of a mystical, alien world unlike anywhere else on earth.
Number 11, Tulip fields, Netherlands: In Holland, tulips start blooming from the middle of March till the beginning of May, and the Dutch take their iconic national plant very seriously. Incredible arrangements of color-coordinated tulip fields can be found throughout Holland, but the ultimate experience can be found in Keukenhof Gardens. These gardens are said to have 7 million bulbs of 800 varieties of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, and the plants are presented in incredibly striking ways. These glorious fields take already-striking species of flowers and craft them into something truly unbelievable.
Number 10, Pamuk kale, Turkey: In the Denizli Province in southwest Turkey there lies a remarkable geological site known as Pamuk kale. It's been a popular tourist destination for thousands of years thanks to the bright white terraces that resemble a giant's water-flooded staircase. Indeed, Pamuk kale means Cotton Castle in Turkish, spanning from an ancient legend claiming the formations are made of solidified cotton that giants left out to dry. In reality, these unusual steps are formed by the gradual accumulation of calcium carbonate materials from the flowing water of geothermal springs. While there are other similar sites around the world, Pamuk kale has a unique feature of historical significance. The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was built at the top of the structure, and expands out beyond it, containing some of the best-preserved Roman architecture in the world. This means you can do as the Romans did and bathe in the mineral-rich, warm, milky pools before a trip to the amphitheater. The picturesque site has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and is Turkey's most popular attraction, just don't forget to bring a towel.
Number 9, Fingal's Cave, Scotland: Often dubbed as one of the most spectacular sea caves in the world, Fingal's Cave can be found on the uninhabited island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Staffa is located in an area that once experienced high volcanic activity, and Fingal's Cave was created as lava flows cooled. But what's with those strange pillars? Occasionally, when lava cools to form basalt, it cracks into hexagonal, geometric columns that look perplexingly man-made. Even more fascinating is that age-old myths told of a hero building a bridge from Fingal's cave to the similarly-structured Northern-Irish site known as the Giant's Causeway. Intriguingly, geologists have since confirmed that the two sites were both formed over 50 million years ago by the very same lava flow. It's an impressive connection to make so far in the past, and quite unusual. After all, science usually debunks myths rather than confirming them.
Number 8, Marble Cathedral, Chile: This natural wonder in Patagonia was created by the deformation of marble by flowing waters over thousands of years, making this cave look like an immaculate cathedral. The caves' patterns are reflected in the waters, and vice versa, creating a mesmerizing spectacle. Depending on the time of year, the color of the water can vary from turquoise to deep blue. This is due to the varying levels of silt in the glaciers feeding the body of water as they melt over the course of the year. In winter, some parts of the cave that are usually below the surface are revealed, meaning the experience can be totally different depending on when you visit. That said, it's an arduous journey to reach this remote area. You have to fly 800 miles from Santiago to Coyhaique, drive over 200 miles of dirt roads and then take a small boat to get to the Marble Cathedral. But if you ask me, this marvel of marble is definitely worth it.
Number 7, Zhangye National Geopark: The Rainbow Mountains within the Zhangye Landform Geological Park, China is such an incredible sight to behold, it's genuinely hard to believe they exist here on our planet. Covering 124 square miles, the sand and silt that make up the mountains include varying levels of iron and other trace minerals. Weathering and erosion over the course of millions of years revealed the underlying formations with different compositions. Today the mountains are a huge attraction for visitors and stand proud as one of China's most mind-blowing landforms.
Number 6, Tianzi Mountain, China: With pillars of stone that seem to defy the laws of nature, Tianzi Mountain is found in Zhangjiajie, China. With a peak almost 4,000 feet above sea level, the mountain covers an area of 21 square miles. Rather than being a single, hulking mass, this mountain is composed of a series of bizarrely-narrow towers. These were formed by rising and falling layers of the earth's crust, as well as the erosive forces of a sea that once covered the area. Over time, water wore the pillars into the impossibly thin marvels we see today. The range is often topped by a sea of clouds, providing an endless series of awe-inspiring sights. In fact, the location was a direct inspiration for the sublime landscape of Pandora in James Cameron's "Avatar". But who needs movies when you've got a real place like this?
Number 5, Dallol, Ethiopia: Nope, that's not a close-up of a well-used cotton bud, it's actually a volcano. The Dallol volcano is a cinder cone volcano in the Danakil Depression in northeast Ethiopia, characterized by the vibrant spectacles it produces. The groundwater flowing in the surrounding areas is heated up by hot magma underground, causing it to rise to the surface. On its ascent, salt, potash and other minerals are dissolved into the water, which then emerges on the ground of the region as hot springs. The high temperatures evaporate the water, leaving behind peculiar mineral formations. These can be white, yellow, brown, orange or green depending on the makeup of sulfur, iron, mud and algae within the water. Many tourists frequent this wonder, but doing so can be dangerous, due to the hot, acidic water and frequent releases of toxic gases. So, unless you want to experience a nasty earth belch that might melt your face off, best to stick to nature documentaries for this one.
Number 4, Kamchatka Ice Cave, Russia: This icy wonderland is also, surprisingly, the result of a volcano. While it may look like deceptive Photoshop trickery, the light show is quite real, and can only exist under the specific conditions it does. This long tunnel of ice on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia was created by a hot water spring flowing under the glacial ice fields near the Mutnansky volcano. Because of the continuous melting, the roof of the cave is thin enough for sunlight to shine through. The uneven thickness of the ice allows for an ethereal array of colors to be projected into the cave, creating one of nature's greatest light shows. You probably won't be able to throw a killer party here though, as the constant covering of snow in the surrounding area makes the cave's entrance almost impossible to locate.
Number 3, Algae lake, China: Known as China's Dead Sea, this inland Salt Lake in Yuncheng, China has a colorful history spanning 500 million years and 46 square miles. Thanks to the chemicals released by microscopic algae that occupy the lake, it undergoes drastic changes in color on a regular basis. The water turns green on one side of the road that divides the lake, and pink on the other. Other regions of the lake have even been known to become orange. The algae species, known as Dunaliella salina, are halophiles, meaning they thrive in salty conditions. The algae usually appear green but can turn red, or in this case pink, thanks to additional protective cells produced when salinity and light intensity are both particularly high. China's Dead Sea Lake is saltier than a sore loser, making it the perfect home for these microscopic marvels. It's pretty amazing to think that those giant blocks of color are caused by unfathomable numbers of tiny organisms that are, individually, invisible to the naked eye.
Number 2, Crater lakes, Mount Kelimutu: These incredible lakes in Indonesia take things up another notch on the color wheel. Lying in the Kelimutu National Park in the islands of Flores, these three volcanic crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu undergo annual color changes that would make a Tumblr addict blush. The western-most lake is usually blue, while the other lakes are usually green and red. However, the color changes can be erratic, even turning a menacing shade of black. Like in November 2009, when the lakes were black, turquoise and brown. The cause of the changes is up to speculation, some theorize it might be certain species of bacteria, while others attribute it to the interaction of minerals with volcanic gas. Whichever explanation scientists eventually find to be true; it remains an amazing marvel.
Number 1, Sand bridge, India: In August 2018, the Indian state of Kerala was struck with heavy rains and flooding. But when the flood waters receded along the coastline, something very surprising happened. A narrow sand-bed formed across the sea on a beach in the Ponnani municipality, creating a spectacle that was strangely Biblical in appearance. The narrow sand strip, formed by the deposits caused by the heavy rains, essentially parted the sea into two, and locals soon flocked to explore the new ocean path.
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