There is so much we know about our world already, but there’s still so much we haven’t yet explored. The planet we live on is a mysterious place, where geography and climate conditions can turn parts of earth into some of the most alien and amazing looking places: from bizarre rock formations to beautiful flower fields, unbelievable mountains and intriguing bodies of water. There are many unknown wonders around the world and with these 12 photographs, you can travel to them, venturing farther and deeper into our earth than ever before.
1. Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest), New Zealand
Image credit: itravelNZ® / CC BY 2.0
Tāne Mahuta is the world’s largest known kauri tree, located in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region, New Zealand. It is 168 feet tall in total, with a 58 foot tall and 45 foot wide trunk. Its age is unknown, but estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years.
2. Great Australian Bight
Image credit: Chris Fithall / CC BY 2.0
The Great Australian Bight is a large oceanic open bay in mainland Australia, off the central and western parts of the southern coastline. Running from Cape Pasley, Western Australia, to Cape Carnot, South Australia, it is a distance of 1,160 kilometers or 720 miles.
3. Ushuaia, Argentina
Image credit: David Stanley / CC BY 2.0
Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province, Argentina. It is commonly known as the southernmost city in the world and serves as the departure point for Antarctic explorers.
4. Oymyakon, Russia
Image credit: Maarten Takens / CC BY-SA 2.0
Oymyakon, Russia is one of the coldest known inhabited areas on Earth, with the lowest recorded temperatures in the Northern hemisphere. Oymyakon is nicknamed “Pole of Cold” given temperatures as low as -58 °F in the winter months and 14 °F or above in the summer months.
5. Socotra, Yemen
Image credit: Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0
Socotra, Yemen is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean. It is very isolated and one-third of its plant life, around 700 species of flora and fauna, is found nowhere else on earth. It is commonly described as “the most alien-looking place on Earth.”
10. Tunnel of Love, Ukraine
The the Tunnel of Love is a railway located deep in the forests of Ukraine near the town of Klevan. It is a 1.8 mile long private railroad for a train that brings wood to a local factory. The Tunnel of Love is named for being a popular romantic spot for lovers to visit.
6. Bamboo Forest, Japan
Image credit: Casey Yee / CC BY-SA 2.0
Located in Arashiyama, a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan, the Sagano Bamboo Forest is a unique forest made up of extremely tall bamboo shoots. The forest also makes a distinct sound when the wind blows against the bamboo, a sound voted by the Japanese government as one of “one hundred must-be-preserved sounds of Japan.”
7. Catedral de Marmol (the Marble Cathedral), Lago General Carrera, Patagonia, Chile
Image credit: javier / CC BY 2.0
Catedral de Marmol, also known as the Marble Cathedral is a cavern in Lago General Carrera (General Carrera Lake) of Patagonia, Chile. The lake, surrounded by the Andes mountain range, is of glacial origin and the swirl patterns on the Catedral de Marmol have been formed by waves over more than 6,000 years.
8. Lake Retba, Senegal
Image credit: Jeff Attaway / CC BY 2.0
Lake Retba or Lac Rose, meaning Pink lake, lies north of the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal and is named for its pink waters, caused by the Dunaliella salina algae. The pink hue is particularly visible during the dry season (November to June) and less visible during the rainy season (July to October). The lake is also known for its high salt content, with some sections having as much as 40%.
9. Zhangye Danxia Landform (Rainbow Mountains), China
Image credit: 达 李 / CC BY-ND 2.0
The Zhangye Danxia in China is a landform made of red-colored sandstones and rocks from the Cretaceous age. Its rainbow coloring comes from layers of landform’s sandstone and minerals being pressed together over 24 million years.
10. Cappadocia, Turkey
Image credit: Mr Hicks46 / CC BY-SA 2.0
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, Turkey with countless cone-shaped pillar rocks speckled throughout the area. The uniquely shaped rocks formed from volcanic eruptions approximately 9 to 3 million years ago.
11. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia, Africa
Image credit: i_pinz / CC BY-SA 2.0
Victoria Falls is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, classified as the largest in the world because of its height and width combined. At 108 meters or 354 feet high and 1,708 meters or 5,604 feet wide, Victoria Falls produces the largest sheet of falling water in the world. There’s also a famous feature called the “Devil’s Pool,” a naturally formed rock barrier where, between September and December, adventurous swimmers can sit at the waterfall’s edge.
12. Bigar Waterfall, Romania
Image credit: Adam Rifkin / CC BY 2.0
The Bigar Waterfall is located at the southwest end of Romania, in the south of the Anina Mountains on the upper Anina River, in the Cheile Nerei-Beușnița National Park. Protected by the law, the Bigar Waterfall is one of the most beautiful in Romania and one of the most unusual waterfalls in the world, given the water spreads and cascades off in tiny streams. It is also uniquely located exactly on the 45th parallel north, the halfway point between the Equator and North Pole.