strange natural wonders of the world
Split Apple Rock New Zealand
. A popular tourist destination in the Tasman Bay off the northern coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Split Apple Rock is a geological rock formation, made of granite and in the shape of an apple which has been cut in half. The cleft to produce two sides of the apple was a natural occurrence, but it is not known when this happened.
Marble Caves Chile
. The Marble Caves (Cuevas de Marmol) are located on a peninsula of solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera, a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile Argentina border, according to Atlas Obscura. The patterns that give the marbleized effect were caused by 6000 years of wave erosion.
Eye of the Sahara Mauritania
. The Richat Structure, also known as the Eye of the Sahara, is a prominent geological circular feature in the Sahara desert in Mauritaniae. Visible from space, it has a diameter of almost 30 miles, and has become a landmark for shuttle crews. Initially interpreted as a meteorite impact structure, it is now argued to be a highly symmetrical and deeply eroded geologic dome that collapsed.
Moreaki Boulders New Zealand
. The Moreaki boulders are huge spherical boulders scattered along Koekohe Beach in New Zealand. According to Maori legend, the boulders are eel baskets washed up from an enormous, sunken canoe. Scientists explain the boulders as calcite concretions formed about 65 million years ago.
Chocolate Hills Philippines
. The Chocolate Hills are an unusual geological formation in Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines. According to a survey, there are 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 20 sq. mi. covered by green grass that turns brown (resembling chocolates) during the dry season.
Cave of Crystals Mexico
. Massive beams of selenite dwarf explorers in the Cave of Crystals in Naica, Chihuahua, Mexico, March 18, 2008. Some single gypsum crystals in this cave are 36 feet long and weigh 121,200 pounds, some of the largest natural crystals ever found.
Spotted Lake Canada
. Located northwest of Osoyoos in British Columbia in Canada, Spotted Lake contains extremely high concentrations of minerals. Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, leaving behind all the minerals in spots.
Hierve el Agua Mexico
. A petrified waterfall? The Hierve el Agua, located in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, are actually natural mineral formations that have built up over thousands of years as a result of the mineral laden water. As the water scurries over the cliffs, the excess minerals are deposited, much in the same manner that stalactites are formed in caves.
Thor s Well Oregon
. Gateway to the underworld? Located in Florence, Oregon near Cape Perpetua, Thors Well is a gaping sinkhole in Cooks Chasm with waves that can reach a height of 20 feet. While beautiful, the natural wonder can be dangerous. Sharp rocks are everywhere and a strong surge of water could suck you down into the abyss.
Lencois Maranhenses National Park Brazil
. Is it a desert? Comprised of large, white, sweeping dunes, Len
Champagne Pool New Zealand
. Located in the Waiotapu geothermal area in the North Island of New Zealand, Champagne Pool s a 900 year old hot spring that bubbles with carbon dioxide like a glass of sparkling wine. The bubbles are carbon dioxide. The distinctive orange color around the edge is caused by the minerals orpiment and realgar, both sulfides of arsenic.
Red Beach China
. At Red Beach in Panjin (about 300 miles northeast of Beijing), China, a unique variety of alkali tolerant seaweed will turn from green to a vibrant crimson red in the fall, to the delight of tourists who flock to the wetland.
Great Blue Hole Belize
. A large submarine vertical cave measuring 984 feet in diameter and 407 feet deep, the Great Blue Hole (also known as Lighthouse Reef) is believed to be the largest of its kind. Made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world, the site draws divers from all over.
Avenue of the Baobabs Madagascar
. Near the city of Morondava in western Madagascar lies a surreal forest of majestic baobab trees, jewels of the island countrys landscape. Tourists flock to this famed road, a protected zone, where the baobab, often called the upside down tree, reaches a height of up to 80 feet tall and are up to 800 years old.
7 Giants Russia
. The Manpupuner rock formations (Man Pupu Nyer; ???? ???? ???) or the Seven Strong Men Rock Formations or Poles of the Komi Republic are a set of 7 gigantic abnormally shaped stone pillars located west of the Ural mountains in the Troitsko Pechorsky District of the Komi Republic. These monoliths are around 30 to 42 m high and jut out of a hilly plateau formed through the weathering effects of ice and winds.
Bungle Bungles Australia
. The main feature of the Purnululu National Park in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia, the Bungle Bungles are distinctive beehive shaped karst sandstone domes that have been eroded by the combined effects of wind and rainfall over a period of 20 million years. The spectacular range was only discovered by a film team in 1983.
Devils Tower Wyoming
. Devils Tower is a geologic feature that protrudes more than 1,200 feet above the surrounding prairie plains near the Black Hills. Geologists believe it formed from an intrusion of igneous material, which is the forcible entry of magma into or between other rock formations, according to the National Park Service, although there is disagreement about how that process took place.
Spider Rock Arizona
. The 800 foot Spider Rock is the most distinctive geologic feature at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Ariz. and one of the tallest freestanding spires in the world. It is considered a sacred site by the Navajo people and is off limits to climbers and visitors.
Fingal s Cave Scotland
. Located on the uninhabited island of Staffa, Fingals Cave has a unique, cathedral like structure and hexagonal columns, according to the National Trust for Scotland. The cave was immortalized by Mendelssohn in his Hebrides Overture, after he visited the island in 1829.
Puerto Princesa Underground River Philippines
. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranea River National Park in the Philippines features a spectacular limestone karst landscape with an underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers.
Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan
. It is estimated that 300 of the planets estimated 700 mud volcanoes are found in Gobustan, Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea. These mysterious gurgling wonders are unpredictable: a buildup of pressurized gas in the cone can be released without warning, triggering a jet of fire, and drawing a torrent of fast flowing mud from the volcano, according to Slate.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves New Zealand
. Naturally illuminated by thousands of glowworms, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are accessible to visitors via a boat ride.
Devils Postpile California
. The Devils Postpile formation, located in extreme northeastern Madera County in eastern California, is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the worlds finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60 feet high and display an unusual symmetry.
Hornocal Mountains Argentina
. The Hornocal Mountains in northern Argentina are known for their vibrant colors, part of the limestone formation called Yacoraite that extends from Peru to Salta, through Bolivia and the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Though beautiful, the mountains retain an air of mystery. Not many tourists visit because the narrow, gravel road that leads to the area is inaccessible by bus.
Danakil Depression Ethiopia
. Called the gateway to Hell because it is one of the hottest and harshest places on Earth, the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is a vast desert basin, characterized by two active volcanoes, the bubbling Erta Ale living lava lake (one of only four in the world), geysers, acid ponds and impressive expanses of yellow mounds of sulfur, salt and mineral deposits.
Zhangjiajie National Park China
. A general view of the Tianzi Mountain at Zhangjiajie national park in Zhangjiajie, China. Zhangjiajie is home to striking sandstone and quartz cliffs and its mountain formations are famously known for as the inspiration for the fictional world Pandora in the film, Avatar.
Bisti De Na Zin Wilderness New Mexico
. The 41,170 acre Bisti/De Na Zin Wilderness is a remote desolate area of steeply eroded badlands in San Juan County in New Mexico, and features some of the most unusual scenery found in the region, including strange rock formations and fossils.
Valley of Geysers Russia
. The Valley of Geysers is a massive geyser field in Kamchatka, Russia, and has the second largest concentration of geysers in the world. Discovered only in 1941, the site consists of at least 20 big geysers, some gushing every 10 12 minutes, others erupting once every 4 5 hours.
Crooked Forest Poland
. A fairy tale forest? Approximately 400 pine trees with mysteriously bent trunks populate this surreal grove outside Nowe Czarnowo, West Pomerania, Poland.
Door to Hell Turkmenistan
. The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze, Turkmenistan and is known for its natural gas fire which has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet petrochemical scientists in 1971.
Shiprock New Mexico
. Rising 1,583 feet above the high desert plain on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mex., Shiprock is an icon of the volcanic Southwest. The formation is sacred to the Navajo people, and climbing it has been illegal since 1970.
Antelope Canyon Arizona
. Located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona, Antelope Canyon is the most photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. It features sculptural, pastel colored shapes of sandstone, created by forces of water, wind, and climate extremes over millions of years.
Giants Causeway Ireland
. The Giants Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea.
Salar de Uyuni Bolivia
. Located in Potosi, Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni is the worlds largest salt flat. In the dry season, the salt plains are a completely flat expanse of dry salt, but in the wet season, it is covered with a thin sheet of water that is still drivable.
. Located in Namib Naukluft National Park in Namibia, Deadvlei (or Dead Marsh) is home to a forest of 900 year old dead trees, blackened but not decomposed because of the dry conditions.
The White Desert Egypt
. An off road vehicle moves among chalk Inselbergs at sunrise in the Egyptian White Desert. The desert in the Farafra Depression is known worldwide for its alien like, wind eroded rock formations called Inselbergs.
Blood Falls Antarctica
. The eerie, mysterious blood red waterfall in Taylor Glacier, Antarctica looks straight out of a horror film, but the red flow is actually caused by a subterranean lake rich in iron.
Tri Colored Crater Lakes of Kelimutu Indonesia
. The three crater lakes of Kelimutu volcano in Indonesia are seen in a satellite photo. The three lakes periodically vary in color independent of each other. Geologists believe the three lakes change color as a result of chemical reactions between the minerals in the lakes and volcanic gas.
Cano Cristales Colombia
. Located east of the Andes in Colombia, the Cano Cristales river (sometimes called the Liquid Rainbow) bursts into vibrant colors for a few weeks between September and November. This is caused by an aquatic plant, called Macarenia clavigera, which turns the river red, pink, yellow, orange, green and blue.
The Wave Arizona
. The Wave is a tumult of striped, fossilized dunes that look like petrified surf hidden away in Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, near the Arizona Utah border. It is famous among hikers and photographers for its colorful, undulating forms, and the rugged, trackless hike required to reach it.
Shilin Stone Forest China
. Part of the South China Karst, Shilin (or Stone Forest) is a remarkable set of limestone formations in Yunnan Province, believed to be more than 270 million years old. Towering peaks and rocks rise from the ground, many looking like petrified trees and creating the illusion of a forest made of stone.
Sailing Stones of Death Valley California
. The Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park is home to a mysterious geological phenomenon: hundreds of rocks scattered along the ground many weighing up to several hundred pounds seem to move all on their own, inscribing visible tracks as they slide across the playa surface, without human or animal intervention.
Dragon s Blood Trees Socotra
. Located in the northwest Indian Ocean, Socotra features a vast, craggy and alien like landscape and is home to unique flora and fauna found nowhere else. The archipelago is especially known as the home to dragons blood trees (Dracaena cinnabari), trees looks like an upturned umbrella.
Jellyfish Lake Palau
. The Jellyfish Lake, located on Eil Malk island in the Pacific country of Palau, is home to more than ten million jellyfish.
Goreme Cappadocia Turkey
. A town in the historic Capaddocia region of Turkey, G
Old Man of Hoy Scotland
. Perhaps Orkneys most famous landmark, the Old Man of Hoy is a 450ft sea stack on the island of Hoy. It was formed from Old Red Sandstone and was first climbed in 1966, according to Visit Scotland. Created by the erosion of a cliff sometime after 1750, it is said to resemble a human figure.
. The monolith of Uluru (Ayers Rock) rises 340 metres above the ochre plain in the World Hertage listed Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru, the largest single rock in the world.
Lake Myvatn Iceland
. A lava island in Lake Myvatn, a shallow eutrophic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland. Located not far from Krafla volcano, the lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms.
Sounding Sands Desert Mongolia
. Forbidding conditions dont stop tourists from coming to a remote stretch of dunes in the Xiangshawan Desert in Inner Mongolian. Naturalists and curious travelers flock here to experience the deserts sounding sands, a phenomenon that occurs when wind pushes sand down dunes and creates a sound like the humming of a car engine.
Crescent Lake China
. Yueyaquan is a crescent shaped lake in an oasis, south of the city of Dunhuang in Gansu Province, China. The depth of the lake, a popular tourist spot, had decreased over the years as sand encroached on the site but in 2006, the government started to fill the lake and restore its depth.