October 21, 2019

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Seriously weird places around the world

By Rachel Mills From Rough guides

 Cat Island, Japan

The world is a weird (and wonderful) place. And from a rose-coloured lake to a Japanese island ruled by cats.

1. Spotted Lake, British ColumbiaCanada

Spotted Lake has long been revered by the native Okanagan (Syilx) people and it’s easy to see why they think of it as sacred. In the summer the water of the lake evaporates and small mineral pools are left behind, each one different in colour to the next. The unique lake can be viewed on Highway 3, northwest of the small town of Osoyoos, although visitors are asked not to trespass on tribal land.

Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada

2. The Giant’s CausewayNorthern Ireland

Sixty million years ago a huge volcanic eruption spewed out a mass of molten basalt, which then solidified and contracted as it cooled, creating the cracks that can be seen today. There are an estimated 37,000 polygon columns at this World Heritage Site, so geometrically perfect that local legend has it they were created by a giant.

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

© Kanuman/Shutterstock

3. Thor’s Well, OregonUSA

In rough conditions at Thor’s Well, also known as Spouting Horn, the surf rushes into the gaping sinkhole and then shoots upwards with great force. It can be viewed by taking the Captain Cook Trail from the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area visitor centre – but for your own safety stay well back, especially at high tide or during winter storms.

20 seriously weird places around the world: Thor's Well, Oregon, USA.

© Mike Trachtenberg/Shutterstock

4. PamukkaleTurkey

A remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Turkey, a visit to Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) also takes in the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, the once great city that was built around it. Water cascades from natural springs and down the white travertine terraces and forms stunning thermal pools perfect for a quick dip.

Pamukkale, Turkey

5. Lake Hillier, Western Australia

This remarkable lake was discovered in 1802 on the largest of the islands in Western Australia’s Recherche Archipelago. The lake keeps its deep pink colour year-round, which some scientists say is down to high salinity combined with the presence of a salt-loving algae species known as Dunaliella salina and pink bacteria known as halobacteria.

Lake Hillier, Western Australia

6. Badab-e-Surt, Iran

These beautiful travertine terraces in northern Iran are an incredible natural phenomenon that developed over thousands of years. Travertine is a type of limestone formed from the calcium deposit in flowing water, and in this case it’s two hot springs with different mineral properties. The unusual reddish colour of the terraces is down to the high content of iron oxide in one of the springs.

Badab-e-Surt, Iran

7. The Tianzi mountains, China

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Found in the northwest of Hunan Province in China, these staggering limestone pinnacles are covered in lush greenery and often shrouded in mist. A cable car goes as far as Huangshi village and from here there are plenty of trails to take in the breathtaking views of Tianzi (‘son of heaven’); unsurprisingly the inspiration for the floating mountains in the blockbuster movie Avatar.

The Tianzi mountains, China

8. The Nasca LinesPeru

The animal figures and geometric shapes etched by the ancient Nasca into Peru’s barren Pampa de San José are one of South America’s great mysteries. Visible only from the air or from a metal viewing tower beside the highway, some of the unexplained shapes are up to 200m in length and each one is executed in a single continuous line.

The Nazca Lines, Peru

9. The Triangle,

Long shrouded in myth and mystery, the infamous 500,000 square miles also dubbed the Devil’s Triangle is roughly the area between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico. Although the US Coastguard disputes any such area exists, conspiracy theories thrive on stories about unusual magnetic readings and ships, planes and people who have disappeared here without a trace.

20 seriously weird places around the world: Shipwreck at the Bermuda Triangle.

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10. Socotra Island, Yemen

Separated from mainland Africa more than six million years ago, this remote island looks like the set of a sci-fi film. Socotra’s incredible and unique biodiversity means that there are plants and trees here not found anywhere else in the world – particularly bizarre are the ancient and twisted dragon’s blood tree and the bulbous bottle tree.

Socotra Island, Yemen

For more on this story go to: https://www.roughguides.com/gallery/20-seriously-weird-places-around-the-world/

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