Neil Armstrong once rightly observed, “Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” We most often associate the word ‘mystery’, with the unknown, the bewildering, and the bizarre. When we are unable to describe certain incidents or natural occurrences, we find them alien to our understanding and logic. The same extends to certain places around the world as well. They look and feel strange, unearthly and preternatural, and we look at them in wonder and awe, because they defy logic. However, not everything needs to be dissected and explained to be enjoyed. Occasionally, not knowing why something happens, or why it exists, is a seductive and hypnotizing experience in itself. As it is believed by many, some things are better left unsaid. Similarly, some places are better left untarnished by scientific explanations. These places exude beauty and brilliance despite being otherworldly. Having said that, the following are the twenty most alien, bizarre, weird and mysterious places on earth.
1. Mount Roraima, Brazil
Yes, Mount Roraima, unlike its appearance, is actually a mountain. Instead of having a towering peak, covered by those dreamy clouds, the top of Mount Roraima is actually flat, resembling the structure of a sprawling plateau. Geologists and geographers attribute this phenomenon to the forces of nature, such as rain and wind. What’s makes this place stranger and even more mysterious is the fact that the vegetation and wildlife visible in abundance here, a factor not seen anywhere else in the world.
2. Fly Geyser, United States
The Nevada Desert in the United States is another place that boasts of a weird phenomenon, famously known as the Fly Geyser. In 1916, a well had been drilled into the ground, which served its purpose well for more than 45 years. However, in the 1960s, hot water began shooting out of the well. The dissolved salts gradually built up into huge, colorful mounds that keep gushing out water that reaches five feet high. This however is not a tourist spot and is not open to public, hence making the Fly Geyser even more bizarre.
3. The Bermuda Triangle, Atlantic Ocean
No list is complete without the baffling mystery of the Bermuda Triangle in the Atlantic Ocean. This three-cornered area lying between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan is highly infamous for numerous cases of disappearances of people, water vessels and aircrafts that try to cross this point. Why? No one knows for sure, but many theories have evolved over the years. While some say it could be the weather playing tricks, other give more bizarre explanations of aliens and monsters abducting people.
4. Blood Falls, Antarctica
There is a region in Antarctica, which not many people have been fortunate enough to visit, but it has been deemed by many experts as one of the most alien, bizarre, weird and mysterious places on earth. True to its name, the Blood Falls refer to a waterfall that flows from the Taylor Glacier, baffling most microbiologists and glaciologist because of its blood-red hue. Researchers have found unusually large quantities of iron oxide in West Lake Bonney located in the area. It is this path breaking discovery that has been inferred as the reason for the color of the falls. It is even more peculiar that amidst all that iron, microorganisms are able to survive at a depth of 1300 feet under the ice.
5. Travertine Pools Of Pamukkale, Turkey
Well, do not be deceived by the appearance of Pamukkale in Turkey. It looks snow-covered, no doubt, but is actually a group of small pools that result from calcium carbonate deposits. These deposits are the bi-products of seventeen natural hot springs. And yes, these travertine pools arranged in the form of terraces are anything but cold, with a temperature that might go up to 100-degrees Fahrenheit. Whatever the scientific explanation may be, these pools in Turkey are definitely an ethereal but bizarre sight to watch.
6. Richat Structure, Mauritania
Also called the “Eye of the Sahara”, the Richat Structure in Mauritania is a strange circular feature found in the desert. Though it is barely noticeable when you stand inside it, the view becomes prominent when viewed from above. There are several theories provided by scholars. While some say it was created by asteroids, others believe it was a result of a volcanic eruption. The most recent idea is that a large rock that weathered down gradually has caused this feature to come about. However, the perfect sphere and the equidistant rings are still subjects of speculation.
7. Magnetic Hill—Moncton, New Brunswick & Ladakh, India
On certain rare occasions you might find your car going uphill without your driving it. What causes this scary phenomenon? Is it a haunting? Or is it a magnetic force underneath the surface of the earth? The reason behind this is still a mystery, but there are at least two famous Magnetic Hills such as the ones in Moncton, New Brunswick as well as in Ladakh, India.
8. Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand
New Zealand’s Koekohe Beach on South Island is a rare sight to watch, owing to the numerous mammoth boulders scattered around the place. These spherical rocks, which sometimes grow as big as 12-feet in circumference, are the results of a plethora of minerals and sediments accumulating and solidifying around a fossil as its central element. Though there are other examples of septarian concretions, like the ones found in North Island of New Zealand, these remain the weirdest owing to their humungous size.
9. Caño Cristales, Colombia
If you think you know everything about rivers, the Caño Cristales is going to bust your delusion. This river has been named as “The Most Beautiful River in the World”. This is because for two months between September and November, the otherwise unassuming river displays myriad shades of colors such as yellow, pink, red, green and blue. This phenomenon is caused by the millions of plants growing under the water.
10. Aokighara, Japan
The Aokighara is a forest, stretching across 3500-hectares of land, located at the foothills of Mount Fuji in Japan. Other than the fact that it is one of the most enchanting forests in the world, what make the Aokighara stand apart are the several cases of hauntings and apparitions. It is also a well-known suicide spot, with more than 500-people taking their lives in the last 65 years.
11. Christ Of The Abyss At San Fruttuoso, Italy Near Portofino
The Christ of the Abyss is found on the bed of the San Fruttuoso bay in Italy. It is a statue of Jesus Christ, standing with open arms facing upwards as a symbol of peace. The 2.50 meters tall bronze statue was sculpted by Guido Galletti and was placed on the bed of the bay on August 22, 1950. Though the origin of the statue is known, this area in Portofino still remains as strange as ever because of the striking sight a diver is met with under waters.
12. Longyearbyen, Norway
This is what would seem like any other settlement of Norway, except for the fact that each year, from April 20 to August 23, the residents do not get a chance to see the stars come out at night. That is because, during these months, there is no night. The sun doesn’t set over the Svalbard archipelago, and it is always hard to tell the time.
13. Eternal Flame Falls, Orchard Park, New York
Visit the Shale Creek Preserve section of Chestnut Ridge Park, Buffalo, New York, and you will notice a tiny waterfall, with a flickering flame inside. You might discard it as a figment of your imagination, much like a mirage, but hold on….it is in fact a flame. In this region, each day a lot of methane gas escapes from under the ground, thus enabling an inflammable surface. Some visitors had the idea to light it and see the magic unfold, and since then this flame has been alight in this waterfall. In case sometimes the flame gets extinguished by the water, there will always be a Samaritan ready to light it again.
14. The Skeleton Lake of Roopkund, Uttarakhand, India
Uttarakhand in India is famous for its scenic beauty, pleasant weather and multifarious trekking options. However, there is one such tourist spot that has a made a name as a mysterious, strange place and that is the glacial lake in Roopkund. This lake is located in the Himalayas at a height of 5,029 meters, and has earned the name of ‘Skeleton Lake’, owing to the hundreds of skeletal remains that are revealed when the snow melts in the region. Archaeologists have come to the conclusion that these remains belong to pilgrims from 850 AD.
15. Stonehenge, England
This site in England’s Wiltshire dates back to around 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Here, several ‘menhirs’ are found, placed in the form of a circle, and the Stonehenge is one of the oldest examples of architecture from the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. Research suggests that these stones were individually brought from various other places, and then designed artificially to resemble the structure found today. What makes it strange is the fact that each of these standing stones weighs tons and it is a mystery as to how people in ancient times transported them.
16. The Stone Forest – Shilin Stone Forest, China
The Shilin Stone Forest in the Yunnan Province of China isn’t only famous because of the tall trees growing in the area. Instead, there are multitudinous towering limestone formations over an area of 96,000 acres, giving it the feel of a forest made of grey stones, which make this region look bizarre and yet enthralling.
17. Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
This Bolivian wonder is truly bewitching with its 10,583 square kilometers of flat surface made of salts double up as a clear reflective mirror when it is covered with water. Walk on this natural wonder, and you would feel as if you are walking on the clouds. The Salar de Uyuni is also famous for the numerous flamingoes that thrive in this place.
18. Ship Rock, New Mexico
The Ship Rock is an inselberg, or a single rocky hill, standing tall at a height of about 2,187.5 meters above sea level, in the otherwise barren desert land of Navajo Nation, San Juan County, New Mexico, USA. The reason it is called the Ship Rock is because of its proximity to the eponymous town. This structure consists of black dikes of igneous rock called “minette” and broken down volcanic breccia.
19. Sailing Stones Of Death Valley, California
A sailing rock is one which can slide or move in a particular track without the help of animals or humans. These sailing rocks have been found in abundance at California’s Death Valley. What makes it eerie is the lack of an explanation behind this geological occurrence. It becomes even stranger when some rocks slide in a straight line while other move across curved or circular tracks.
20. Glass Beach, California, USA
This sea beach was once a dumping ground for the entire Fort Bragg’s garbage. However, once the shores of the sea were cleared up, innumerable pebbles made of glass were revealed. These rounded smooth glass pieces were formed due to years of garbage accumulation. The beach in Northern California is now the Mecca for ardent glass collectors.