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From Antarctica to Turkmenistan, passing through Italy, the common denominator of these places is an extravagance.
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In our top 10 there are surely many unjustified absent, but this time we decided to replace it with “colleagues” much less known. So let’s get on the road, the road is full of surprises.
10. Blood Waterfalls, Antarctica
The group of geologists who arrived in this remote land in 1911, was definitely surprised at the sight of this phenomenon: a red tongue lying on the Taylor Glacier, a very unusual event that immediately struck the experts who were on the spot. The first explanation that they gave was the presence of some “coloring” algae.
More recently it was discovered, rejecting the previous argument, that the red color is due to oxidation of a particular microbial community populating a basin located 400 meters below the ice sheet some millions of years ago.
Trapped in Antarctic depths in the company of iron and sulfur, these organisms not able to use photosynthesis, evolved reaching characteristics different for similar species. These microbes only use the minerals trapped with them and when the water leaks from the depths, the iron generated by the metabolism of these microorganisms, oxidizes with the surrounding oxygen giving origin to these typical red color.
9. Up and down from the Castelli Romani (Italy)
We continue with the ranking of the most unusual places on the planet. Surely many will know this authentic geological puzzle near Rome, we are at the Castelli Romani in a street between Rocca di Papa and Ariccia: bring a bottle of water, lay it on the pavement and do not be surprised if, instead of slide down the slope, takes the opposite direction and moving uphill!
Try it with balloons, liquids, and even with a car with pulled handbrake. Scientists are still questioning the causes of this phenomenon, but there are many who believe that it is a simple optical effect.
8.Caño Cristales River, Colombia
Colombia, south of the Meta department, here flows a unique river in the world, able to enchant the view of the observer in the months from September to November. The Caño Cristales is located within the National Park Serrania de la Macarena and its magnificent colors are due to the lowering of the water level in the interval between the wet and the dry season.
Thanks to the particular climatic conditions of this period the algae and mosses along the riverbed can get enough sunlight to unleash their tone. The green of the moss, shades ranging from pink to magenta of the algae, the blue of the river, and above all the red of the Macarenia Clavigera (a type of seaweed), give to this stream the title of “most beautiful river of the world”.
7. Stars’ Sea, Maldives
We continue our journey of the world’s most unusual places landing for the first time on a beach. In the night, strolling on this magnificent atoll in the Indian Ocean, it might happen suddenly to notice the presence of some luminescence from the bluish hue: a breathtaking spectacle that arouses curiosity and wonder.
What would seem the stars reflected on the water, in reality, is the synthesis of phytoplankton activity aimed at getting organic substances from inorganic substances dissolved in the water. Sunlight is the engine of this process and the energy that comes out is a pleasure for the eyes.
This chemical process can actually be formed in many parts of the globe, but to be clearly visible is no need for large amounts of phytoplankton. The island of Vaadhoo, surrounded by the Huvadhu Atoll, it is a good example of this extraordinary phenomenon.
6. Racetrack Playa, California
Halfway through our trip, so far we have described a mix of charming places and mysterious places, but from now begin the true “oddities”. Can you imagine a stone move in different directions in a deserted area? Yes, you read right, move without that no one is there to move it.
It is what is happening in the Racetrack Playa, the first-class attraction of California. These stones move in a circle, zigzag, and returning back, but always and exclusively without external forces that move them. Why?
The winds in this area, which is called the Death Valley, near Yosemite and the Monument Valley, are really very strong during the winter and come to reach 145 km/h. These stones glide along with the arid dried mud thanks to the ice that covers their lower part, if it is smooth the stones can vary its trajectory, otherwise continue along a straight line. To solve this mystery has not been enough the NASA, but are still many who believe in the mystical properties of this area.
Also known by the name of Jukai, this forest covers an area of 35 square kilometers at the feet of Mount Fuji, in Japan. Positioned on a base of lava flows, the dense frond of the trees makes Aokigahara incredibly silent.
Get lost among the thousands of oaks, cypress, and Japanese snow flowers is simple and that is why this place is chosen by many as a place for suicide. Many people every year come into these woods, never to return: the most common means to end their lives are hanging and drug overdose; only in 2010 they were found 54 lifeless bodies.
This phenomenon has led the local police to affix a special sign near the forest, with an invitation to avoid thoughtless gestures accompanied by thoughtful advice to go to a specialist.
4. Principality of Sealand
We are approaching the top of our ranking, so it is worth mentioning one of the most unusual places on the planet: we are talking about the smallest state in the world, the Principality of Sealand. Its territory? A platform in the sea pulled off Great Britain during World War II.
This is constituted by two pylons with a bridge placed on them and was occupied by Paddy Roy Bates in 1966, in order to maintain active its radio declared illegal on the mainland. This is why Bates proclaimed the independence of Sealand, a status not recognized internationally but which now includes a written constitution and a 1300 square meters.
The monarchy of Sealand requires that the power is transmitted through inheritance and that is why today, died Roy Bates, the ruler of this micro-state turns out to be the former Prince Michael Bates. The population of this strange place to 2002 numbered as many as 22 people and now it is even possible to purchase certificates for noble titles on the principality’s website (the choice is between lord and baron).
3. Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
And here we finally arrived at the top three of the most unusual places in the world. In the third position is this incredible cave system: the Maori were aware of their existence, but they were able to immerse themselves in these caves only in the last century, thanks to the use of rafts.
A peculiar characteristic of this must-see site is the presence of thousands of luminescent insects that are exclusively in New Zealand; the light emitted from these tiny creatures creates incredible games of fluorescent lights on the various limestone formations inside the cave. Since 1916 this site is owned by New Zealand and is located near the city of Waitomo.
2. Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
In the second position of our top-ten of the most unusual places on the planet we could not choose this strange twist “of nature”.
In 1971 a group of geologists did start some drilling near the village of Darzava, in the Karakum desert. Confident that under the ground is concealed a large oil field crew started digging but soon discovered that they were above an underground cave full of natural gas. So, seeing to collapse all the equipment and the surrounding land, for fear they committed a big mistake: the scientists decided to set fire, certain that the field would eventually run out within a few days. Well, we are in 2020 and that place today bears the name of the gate of hell, complete with guided tours wearing gas masks.
1. Kawah Ijen Volcano, Indonesia
This Indonesian volcano, of which we already spoke, deserves the top spot on our list. By day, its lava assumes normal orange-reddish complexion that we all know.
At night, however, what happens is pure magic: in a superb setting, you can watch blue lava jets as high as 5 meters. The night color of the flames is due to combustion and the temperature of 500° C of the sulfur present within the crater. It is possible to make guided tours reaching the edge of the crater after a hike of 45 minutes.
Have you visited any of these places? Would you add some other place? Comment below!
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