It’s a funny old world we live in with many stunning locations, some of them mysterious, some even unexplored. From the man-made to Mother Nature’s very own creations, let’s take a look at some of the weirdest, astonishing and sometimes most beautiful places on Earth.
- First stop: the ‘Door to Hell’ in Turkmenistan. Now don’t be alarmed by the startling name. This giant hole of fire in the heart of the Karakum Desert has been burning for forty years since Soviet geologists ignited natural gases. They were drilling at the site in 1971 when the ground beneath the drill collapsed, creating this seventy metre wide hole. The team set the crater alight, to burn up potentially poisonous gases. Little did they know it would still be burning today, earning the site its biblical nickname. Sending spectacular flames into the sky, it resembles a set from a horror movie. The Door to Hell can be found near the village of Derweze, (population 350) and is an awe-inspiring sight.
- Sometimes, man-made attractions are abandoned, closed down and left to rot creating something quite eerie in its wake. In Japan, such places are called haikyoand are considered to be rather uncanny as nature claims them back. Especially the theme parks. Nara Dreamland (from 1961) and Takakanonuma Greenland (opened in the seventies) are amongst the creepiest. There is just something so sinister about these silent locations and hulking metal structures. They have become unofficial tourist attractions and have gained popularity online.
- Socotra Archipelago, Yemen, is one if the most isolated landforms on the planet. It is famous for its jaw-dropping fauna – which look like something out of Alice in Wonderland. With enormous trees that come in bizarre shapes: from umbrellas that bleed red sap (the dragon blood tree) to bottle shapes, and ones bearing smelly, poisonous cucumbers, there is no place on Earth quite like it. Mother Nature got real creative at this World Heritage Site. Make sure to pick up a strange souvenir before you leave!
Honourable Mentions (the places that make you say “I know that one!”):
- Easter Island: If you’re fed up of average beach holidays, then why not pay a trip to Easter Island?This isolated Polynesian Island is famous for its mysterious statues, known as Moai which are dotted around the coastline. No one knows for sure how, or why, these statues were created. Carved out of rock, there are 887 in total. They are enigmatic, with overly large heads and deep-set features. How they were made and transported around the island is a mystery… They weigh a tonne. It must have taken extreme manpower and committed creativity, rather like Stone Henge. People can create anything when they work together.
- The Bermuda Triangle: No weird and wonderful guide would be complete without this location would it? Also known as the Devil’s Triangle (another Satan reference – sorry!), it is the region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where countless vessels have disappeared in mysterious circumstances. Spooky. While explanations have ranged from fabrication to tropical storms, human error to the supernatural, it is clear we’ll never really know the answers behind this anomaly.
What a funny, beautiful and occasionally bizarre world that we live in.
Let us know if you have ever visited any strange places and what you thought of them.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Laura Stone is a Journalism and English graduate with a slight addiction to blogging. She specialises in social media and writing film and literary reviews. She is also an enthusiastic travel blogger and currently writes for Hotelopia.