Top 10 most unusual places in the world that look like they're from another planet

Looking at these photos, it's hard to imagine that everything depicted is a creation of nature and located on our planet. We suggest seeing for yourself by planning a trip to one of the incredible places on our list.
06 january 2022
5 min

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1. Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale consistently appears in numerous rankings of the most beautiful places on Earth, and this is absolutely deserved. It is a series of thermal springs that have bizarrely carved "steps" into a snowy white limestone slope. Today, it attracts not only travelers eager to see this natural wonder but also those seeking wellness, who happily immerse themselves in the shallow travertine pools. The complex also features a deeper pool known as Cleopatra's Pool. According to legend, Cleopatra herself used to visit here to relax and rejuvenate.

The water in Cleopatra's Pool is carbonated and comes from thermal springs, creating the sensation of bathing in a giant champagne tub. Besides the pleasant sensations, the bath offers benefits—it's rich in radon, minerals, and has healing properties.

This attraction is located far from tourist centers, so be prepared for a long trip from the nearest resort town. It's worth noting that the fragile walls of the limestone travertines are sensitive to damage, and walking on many of them is prohibited. To walk on the others, you will need to remove your shoes. Security strictly enforces this rule.

2. Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

The Waitomo Caves in New Zealand's Waikato region are fascinating on their own: here you can see intricate limestone formations and bizarre passages created centuries ago. But what makes them truly unique and worth seeing are the "inhabitants" of the Glowworm Cave. Thousands of glowworms gather on its ceilings, creating the effect of a "starry sky".

3. Lake Retba, Senegal

When traveling to Senegal, it's important to understand that there are so many colorful attractions that it's unlikely you'll be able to visit them all at once. But the "cherry on top" of Senegal's attractions is the mysterious "pink lake" Retba, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It looks exactly like a picture from a children's book—white sandy shores and pink water. The unusual coloration is due to ancient cyanobacteria that inhabit the salty lake.

Getting there is quite easy: the lake is located just 30 km from the local capital, Dakar. Locals have long understood the place's popularity among tourists and are happy to offer transfers to it.

4. Dragon's Blood Trees on Socotra Island, Yemen

If you're a true adventurer at heart, like Indiana Jones, you need to visit one of the most unusual places in Yemen—Socotra Island. The island is notable for the trees growing there, which produce bright red sap. By making an incision in the bark, you can see the Dragon's Blood Tree "bleed".

These trees, sometimes thousands of years old, used to be quite abundant on the Canary Islands, but their numbers have significantly decreased due to the extensive harvesting of their valuable red resin. You can still see a small grove of these trees in Yemen.

5. Sơn Đoòng Cave, Vietnam

Located in Vietnam's Quảng Bình province, Sơn Đoòng Cave is considered the largest cave in the world. To see the cave, head to Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. Here, you can see passages up to 200 meters high and 150 meters wide.

Additionally, travelers are amazed by the underground river and the vegetation beneath the cave's openings, through which sunlight streams in.

6. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Mentioning the most unusual places in the world, one cannot overlook Salar de Uyuni. A natural gem of Bolivia, Uyuni is a salt flat, a dried-up salt lake. It becomes a true natural wonder during the rainy season. Covered by a thin layer of water, the salty surface turns into the largest natural mirror in the world. On a clear day, the clear Bolivian sky is reflected in this "mirror", making the place even more magical.

Locals claim that the best time to visit the salt flat is in February, but this unique place is also very beautiful in autumn and spring.

7. Glowing Water in the Maldives

You can find some of the world's most amazing places in popular vacation spots—if you know where and when to look. The Maldives is a paradise, but you might not know about one of its features. On the Maldives, a unique "starry sky" appears directly in the ocean! This happens thanks to the bioluminescent plankton inhabiting the waters around Vaadhoo Island. An incredible place!

Usually, it starts glowing during stressful situations in its plankton life, such as during the surf or at night. But note that it’s best to avoid swimming at this time because phytoplankton can release toxic substances.

8. Painted Dunes in Lassen Volcanic National Park, USA

This colorful geological formation has long been famed as one of the most beautiful places in the world. The dunes are located near the cone of an ancient dormant volcano within Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Photo author - Npca

Their unusual coloration is due to the oxidation of volcanic ash, which settled directly on lava flows during eruptions.

9. Fly Ranch Geyser, USA

The USA is rich in natural resources, which is why many of the world's most unusual places are concentrated here. The American man-made Fly Geyser is more accurately described as a continuously spouting thermal spring, since one of the characteristics of a geyser is its intermittence.

Once, a well was drilled at this site. After it ceased to function, natural reactions underground led to the creation of this wonder.

10. Giant's Causeway, Ireland

This Irish landmark also owes its existence to volcanic activity. Due to an eruption that occurred many centuries ago, 40,000 basalt columns emerged, extending into the sea like steps for a real giant.

Besides walking along the columns, it’s also interesting to climb up and take in the picturesque panorama. Additionally, there’s the option to rent a bike (or bring a rented one) and ride along a designated route in the surrounding area.

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