Have you ever looked at a scene in a science-fiction movie and wondered how the creators and graphic designers come up with such exquisite and mind-blowing illustrations? I am sure you have. Many of us prefer going to a cinema or watching a movie as a means to escape the tedious monotony of real-life and its expected normality.

What if I say that the world you reside in is far more mysterious and strange than you could have ever imagined. A walk around the planet shows that planet Earth is a fascinating mystery in itself, for it contains, to the surprise of its inhabitants, an array of wondrous and mind-boggling sights. So, the next time you are planning a trip overseas or looking for a strange yet fascinating sight to explore, don’t forget to go through our list of the strangest places round the globe. 

The Rainbow Mountains: 

Zhangye Danxia
View from the Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park(By- Wikimedia Commons- NoGhost )

Declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, the Rainbow Mountains of China, which are located in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, can be regarded as nothing short of a geological marvel. What makes these mountains unique is how they mimic an artist’s pallet by displaying an alluring array of rainbow-covered mountain tops.

This National Park covers an area of 200 square miles with multi-colored mountain tops spreading as far as the eye can see. Curious to know the magical secret behind this strange display? Well…the magic is in the chemistry of the minerals that lay atop the mountains. These mountains are cretaceous sandstones and siltstones retrospectively deposited in the region way before the Himalayan Mountains formed themselves.

The sand as well as the silt was deposited along with iron and trace minerals, and this gradual deposition ultimately formed the multi-colored array of extravagance that we know as the Rainbow Mountains of China.

The Door to Hell:

Darvasa gas crater panorama crop
Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan (By Wikimedia Commons- Tormod Sandtorv)

A fiery hole in the middle of a desert is a basket-case nightmarish scenario which seems like something that only happens while you are having a bad dream. However, there is a place in Derweze, Turkmenistan, where raging fire has been bursting out of the ground since 1971. Sounds scary, right?? Don’t be alarmed, for there is a perfectly logical explanation behind this mystery.

The Door to Hell, also called the Gates of Hell, is a pseudonym given to the Darvaza gas crater, a natural gas crater that collapsed into a cavern while were undertaking the drilling of a natural gas field in the northern Turkmenistan desert in the year 1971. In order to prevent the spread of natural gas, the scientists made the decision of setting the gas on fire and, interestingly enough, the gas crater is still burning to this day.

Had there not been an accidental crater fall, this natural gas reserve would have been one of the world’s largest. With its depth of 98 feet, it covers an area of 5,350-meter square and displays a fiery display that is a sight worth seeing. The fact that this hellish crater has been on fire for over fifty years in the middle of the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan makes you utter. What the Hell?

Lake Hillier:

Lake Hillier (By-Wikimedia Commons- Kurioziteti123)

Let me tell you the story of a water body which is the strangest lake in the world due to the vibrantly colored pink water. You guessed it right. The strange place we are about to mention is Lake Hillier, a saline lake present on the edge of Middle Island of the Recherche Archipelago in the Goldfields-Esperance region, that lies off the south coast of Western Australia. We are quite familiar with pink salt but pink lake?? That’s a novelty for sure.

The baby pink colored Lake Hillier is, in contrast to the bluish ambiance of the Pacific, portrays an utterly surreal picture of natural beauty which itself is a strangely satisfying sight for onlookers. The 600 meters long lake, with a width of 250 m width, is a sight for sore eyes as it is surrounded by a rim of sand and woodland of eucalyptus trees, which, with the pink water of the lake, presents a novel illustration.

There are several theories regarding the uniqueness of the lake’s texture. While some attribute it to the salinity in the water, others consider the presence of the organism Dunaliella salina to be the most prominent causative factor. Whatever the ultimate reason may be, the pinkish water body display of the lake is a strange yet fascinating feature. 

The Nazca Lines:

Nazca Lines - Condor
Aerial view of Nazca Lines (By Wikimedia Commons- Paul Williams)

Huge glyphs with extra-terrestrial looking markings and shapes seem like an episode out of science-fiction movies; however, there is a strange location in an arid coastal area of Peru called the Nazca Lines that actually hosts such enormous geoglyphs. These prehistoric markings, shaped like spiders, monkeys, figures, and flora, are determined by the archeologists to be from the Nazca culture of around 500 BC.

There are several theories regarding their motive behind crafting these markings. For instance, some believe these creative graphics to be part of a religious ritual or ceremonial proceedings while others theorize that their creation was, in fact, out of the preconceived notion that the glyphs linked up to constellations in the sky. The discovery of these lines is an interesting tale in itself. In 1927, Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe came across these lines during his travels on foot.

As time went by, air travel increased in the 1930s, and the strange demarcations became even better known. Spread over an estimated 170 square miles, these strange markings can be best visualized through a bird’s eye view aboard a helicopter or a plane. An aerial view of the demarcations is a sight worth seeing.

The Eye of Africa:

Eye Of The Sahara Mauritania
(By Wikimedia Commons- Axelspace Corporation)

This strange circular feature is located in the Sahara’s Adrar Plateau, near Ouadane, west-central Mauritania in the Northwestern region of Africa. It takes the form of an eroded dome that exposes sedimentary rock in the form of layers. These layers appear as concentric rings. These rings appear as seemingly swirling and twisting constructions that seem like a cyclone in the very heart of the mighty Sahara Desert. Commonly known as the great Richat Structure in the depths of Mauritania, this eye-like pattern is something indeed out of a mystery novel.

For years, the perfectly circular design of the rings has been a mystery for even the most proficient of scientists. As usual, the mystery of the Richat Structure, like any other strange place on Earth, is surrounded by several theories regarding its causative factors. Some say that the reason behind these circles was an asteroid impact in the olden days, while others believe it as the outcome of a simple process of natural geological attrition and erosion. Some emotional Sci-Fi enthusiasts go a step further to regard these concentric circles as the creation of extra-terrestrials, who, while their usual evening strolls round the galaxy, passed this way and marked a feasible landing point for their future visits to earth.


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