21 Unbelievable Places in the World That Really Exist
Three weeks ago, we listed surreal places around the world that you wouldn’t believe existed. Now we’re back with even more unbelievable places, just as mysterious, bizarre and beautiful. From South America to Asia, Africa to Europe, here are photographs of 26 more exciting and unreal travel spots to explore on your future adventures.
1. Skaftafell Ice Caves, Iceland
The Skaftafell Ice Caves in Iceland are temporary formations that take shape when water melts holes into the edge of glaciers. The ice is so tightly packed that there are almost no air bubbles, causing the ice caves to absorb all wavelengths of light except for blue, giving the caves their unique color.
2. Deadvlei, Namibia
Image credit: Santiago Medem / CC BY-SA 2.0
Trees from a once blooming forest in the “dead valley” in Deadvlei, Namibia, stand next to the highest sand dunes in the world. With the dunes in the background, the trees almost look alive, figures captured in a photograph or painting.
3. Glowworm Caves, Waitomo, New Zealand
4. Pamukkale Hot Springs, Turkey
The hot springs in Pamukkale, Turkey, have been shaping the landscape for millions of years. The terraces of the springs are limestone, but the color of the stone makes them look as though they are made of ice and snow.
5. Fingal’s Cave, Scotland
Fingal’s Cave in Scotland was formed by millions of years of lava cooling and fracturing, resulting naturally in the cave’s rectangular prisms. Together the formations could almost be confused for a city skyline.
6. Underwater River, Cenote Angelita, Mexico
In Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, sinkholes called cenotes opened up long ago in the region’s limestone bedrock. The Cenote Angelita is a sinkhole filled with freshwater down to a certain depth. Beneath that, however, is a layer of hydrogen sulfate and then much heavier salt water. The salt water flowing beneath the freshwater looks like an aboveground river.
7. Shibazakura Flowers, Takinoue Park, Japan
Image credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) / CC BY 2.0
The Takinoue Park in Japan, famous for its Shibazakura flowers or Pink Moss, attracts thousands of visitors every year between May and June when the flowers are in full bloom.
8. Cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
Formed during the ice age, the cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula were once held sacred by the Mayans.
9. The Eye of Africa, Mauritania
10. Highlands, Iceland
From glaciers to craters, lakes to geysers, the highlands of Iceland have a spectacular diversity of natural attractions. At night, the highlands becomes one of the best places to see the aurora borealis.
11. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Image credit: 芳蘭 徐芳蘭 / CC BY 2.0
Plitvice Lakes, located in Plitvice National Park, consists of natural dams, lakes, caves and waterfalls that were created by water flowing over limestone and chalk for thousands upon thousands of years.
12. The swing at the “End of the World” in Baños, Ecuador
Image credit: Rinaldo Wurglitsch / CC BY 2.0
In Baños, Ecuador, there is a rickety tree house called “casa del árbol” that sits on the edge of a cliff near an active volcano. The tree house has a swing without any harnesses, which lets brave and adventurous risk-takers swing over the edge for one amazing view.
13. The Great Blue Hole in Belize
14. Tulip fields in the Netherlands
The tulip fields in the Netherlands are located just outside of Keukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe, and are also mostly privately owned.
15. Trolltunga in Hordaland, Norway
Located in Hordaland, Norway, Trolltunga is a rock outcropping which protrudes out of the mountain approximately 2,000 feet up in the air. In English, Trolltunga means “troll’s tongue.”
16. Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island, Australia
Image credit: Ma L / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The Whitehaven Beach at Whitsunday Island in Australia is known for its gorgeous white sands and clear blue water. The sand is also very fine, which makes the beach feel softer underfoot.
17. Enchanted Well at Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil
Image credit: Explora 4×4 / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
The Enchanted Well, located in Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park, is 120 feet deep with waters clear enough to see the rocks and ancient tree trunks on its bottom.
18. To Sua Ocean Trench, Upolu, Samoa
Image credit: Dave Lonsdale / CC BY 2.0
Near the village of Lotofaga on the south coast of Samoa’s Upolu island ocean water flows inland through a lava-tube tunnel. It collects in a deep hole known at the To Sua Ocean Trench that is perfect for swimming.
19. Volcanoes of Kamchatka, Russia
A large chain of volcanoes, 19 of which are still active, on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia has (fittingly) come to be known as the Volcanoes of Kamchatka. The highest volcano, Klyuchevskaya Sopka, stands at 16,000 feet.
20. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Volcanic activity from 50 to 60 million years ago formed a lava plateau in Northern Ireland. With the passage of time, the lava cooled and fractured, creating the perfectly shaped columns that became Giant’s Causeway.
21. Kelimutu crater lakes in Flores Island, Indonesia
Image credit: Michael Day / CC BY 2.0
The Kelimutu crater lakes in Flores Island, Indonesia, are three lakes which sit inside the volcano. The westernmost lake, called the Lake of Old People, is usually blue and the other two, the Lake of Young Men and Maidens and the Bewitched or Enchanted Lake, are typically green and red, respectively.