If you have ever seen a friend post pictures of strange and unknown places on Instagram or Facebook, then you can relate to this topic. As much as we love sight-seeing popular places like Westminster Abbey in London, the Vatican in Rome, and Eiffel Tower in Paris, there are still some places that are off the radar. Most times these strange places are found by exploring them on your own, online, or if you are adventurous enough, through the locals in that particular country.

Mysteries surround the earth. Some are quite interesting and based on actual facts, while some are more of conspiracy theories, formulated to propagate a popular belief or reveal to the population what has hitherto been hidden. But forget about those. What really excites most adventurous people are the truly hidden places that are spread all across the globe.

The mystery and beauty of these unique places are not all that science fiction. Most of the phenomena seen in these iconic places can be explained through either science or history. The funny part is that one could be a regular traveler, traveling all over the world and still not see any of these remarkable sites that truly exist. And unlike the common hotspots, these hidden destinations offer a more sensational feeling without being as popular as the other ones.

So, which places are these? We have done some research and came up with 20 images of strange places that exist in the world today but are sort of kept in secrecy. If you want to know these places, keep reading. You’ll be amazed.

20 Reed Flute Caves, China

If you’ve ever visited China before, we’re ninety percent sure that you probably may not have heard about the Reed Flutes Caves – even though you combed through the country. Well, the Reed Flute Cave is not a regular place an average tourist visits. However, it’s gradually becoming a popular place, especially among locals.

One striking feature about the Reed Flute Caves is its multicolored paintings which make the 240-meter-long cave have a unique and beautiful feel. This cave has been in existence for over 1,200 years. For something with an as rich history as that, it’s one place to visit when you’re in China.

19 Red Beach, China

The first thing that comes to mind when you mention the beach is water and sand. However, it’s a different case for the Panjin Red beach in China. The Panjin Red beach, as it’s called, is a large mass of area covered in red, because of the seaweed called “Sueda” which resides there.

The surprising thing about the Panjin Red beach is that you’d hardly see any grain of sand, thanks to the “Sueda”. The seaweed that gives the beach its red color starts growing from April. It stays green all through summer and turns red at the beginning of autumn.

The beach is a wetland that houses over 260 species of birds and 399 species of animals. It’s simply hard to believe such kind of a place exists.

18 The Gates of Hell

The Gates of Hell is a Darvaza deep gas crater that is located in the wilderness of Turkmenistan. It’s one of those strange places that have been off the radar for a long time until social media broke them off the surface. According to reports, some scientists visited the location some time ago and posted it on their social media page. Somehow, the picture of the gas crater became a bit viral, and most people ended up knowing about it.

However, it’s still a discrete location that many tourists don’t know about and haven’t visited yet. The place came into existence over 40 years ago when some geologists drilling for oil discovered natural gas. They set the place on fire as a way to stop the natural gas from being a potential bomb, but the fire never stopped burning. Rather, it’s continuous smoldering formed what it is today.

17 Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

We won’t fault you if you assume that this picture is some photography trick. After all, it looks like one. But what you’re seeing is absolutely real. It does exist, and it’s called the Antelope Canyon. It’s located somewhere in Arizona, USA.

According to some scientists, it appears that water carved out of the crevices over a million years ago. The water that came out refracted the lights which struck upon every wall of the crevices. The result is what you see today. Thanks to the refraction, the rocks assumed various colors, which produced an astounding sight.

16 Vatnajokull Glacier Caves

If you’d like to see the Vatnajokull glacier face to face, then you have to be ready to travel down to Iceland – because that’s where this beauty lives. One suprising thing about the Vatnajokull glacier is the fact that the caves literally grow to a particular size and then disappear after a while, thanks to meltdown – which seems like magic, but it’s truly one wonder of nature.

Inside the Vatnajokull ice glacier caves, a lot of things go on every season. The ice found in the caves take different shapes every year. It changes its form from super large teeth bulging from the ice to large waves held up in a suspended maze of continuously linked chambers. It makes the cave generate a phantasmagoria of multiple colors depending on the light shade.

15 Lake Of Blood

The first thing that comes to mind when anyone hears the name “Lake of Blood,” is that there are some carnivorous aquatic animals like the Piranha and Sharks, living in the lake, which is extremely sensitive to any warm-blooded animal that comes close. Well, that only happens in horror movies.

Far from what you may think, the lake of blood has got nothing to do with carnivorous aquatic animals or even actual blood flow at the very least. Rather, it’s a shallow saltwater lake located in Bolivia. It’s originally called Laguna Colorada, and it’s surrounded by an island called Borax. The reddish color of the lake comes from red pigmentations produced by the red algae growing around the lake. It’s a sight to see.

14 Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola in Tropea, Italy

If you are looking for something different and unusual during your next vacation, then the Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola in Tropea, Italy, could be the perfect secret getaway you may need. And for the record, you should know that Italy is a very beautiful country to spend your vacation – especially if you’d be going with a loved one.

The Monastery of Santa Maria dell’Isola was first built far back in the 12th century. It’s the perfect go-to vacation place for anyone that wants to get the best of privacy and secrecy – ask any Italian! That’s why a lot of travelers don’t know about it.

13 The Inga Stone

The Inga Stone is one of the most interesting places to visit anytime you find the space to go on vacation. The Inga Stone site is located in South America, Brazil. If you are a historian, you’d love the Inga Stone site because it has a lot of history and story behind it.

Most historians and experts refer to the Inga Stone as a truly ancient monumental site. It’s the perfect place to go to if you want to learn a lot about human civilization, history and all that kind of stuff. According to historians, the Inga Stone has numerous numbers of symbols and a special star map which represents the collection of Orion. Visiting the site would surely be an awesome experience.

12 The Boiling River

Have you ever come across a picture or any information about the Boiling River and you doubted its existence? You might just have to rethink that decision. The Boiling River does exist, and it’s located in another South American country – Peru. The Boiling River was first discovered by a scientist, Andres Ruzo. His colleagues didn’t believe him at first when he told them that the Boiling River existed until he took them there and they saw it themselves.

Ever since then, the Boiling River became a tourist attraction. However, it’s one place that’s not yet fully explored by many people. Probably this is because the Boiling River is surrounded by the Amazon Jungle in Peru. You can take your coffee right there with you when you visit this place because you’d not need a coffee maker to get the job done.

11 Oasis Surrounded by Dunes in Huacachina, Peru

There’s a small town in Southwestern Peru that’s surrounded by two things – enormous dunes that are located in the most infertile places on earth and a small lake. There are only 96 residents in this oasis. And if you love a good place that gives you the opportunity to explore a town’s rural shops and catch the sunset, this oasis is the place to settle. You can also treat yourself to some sandboarding if it’s your thing.

Taking a tour to the middle of the vast desert in Peru would marvel you. The reason why the experience would be amazing is that this oasis that has a green lagoon at its center. It is believed that the oasis also has therapeutic properties.

10 Psychedelic Salt Mines in Yekaterinburg, Russia

There’s a caution that’s attached to the psychedelic mines. So, you must not be deceived upon stepping into the salt mines. According to reports, you might think that you’re drugged into seeing things in a different form when you visit the mines.

The reason for this is that the salt mines have psychedelic boggling patterns on its walls. The patterns would not only provide an illusion but also leave your mind baffled on how these patterns were formed in the first place.

According to scientists, a carnallite is responsible for the patterns you see. This carnallite is a mineral that produces colorful swirls. With this piece of information, you’d probably choose to create a house made out of rock and add some carnallite.

9 The Inverted Tower in Quinta De Regaleira, Portugal

Portugal graces us with an unusual and majestic site – the inverted tower. The inverted tower, as people call it, is a 27-inch deep well. In case you’re wondering where exactly in Portugal the tower is located, it’s in an estate called Sintra.

One look at the estate from the outside and all you’d see is a beauty. The amazing part is that the beauty doesn’t end outside but extends inside as well. The only issue with this place is the fact that there’s always confusion when explorers visit it for the first time. Explorers aren’t sure if it’s an inverted tower or a well. What’s your opinion on this?

8 Zhangye Danxia Landform, China

If by any chance you happen to be in China, it would be a great idea to feed your eyes with a wonderful site like the Zhangye Danxia landform. The Danxia is a geological structure that took more than six million years to form. It took shape as a result of the erosion of red sandstone.

One look at this and you’d wonder where it has been all your life. The Danxia’s special geological structure is as a result of the combination of some factors. These factors include freeze-thaw peeling, water erosion, long-term weathering, and wind erosion.

7 Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

Have you ever thought of dining underwater and feeding your eyes to spectacular sea life at the same time? Well, it’s possible in the Maldives, thanks to a simple yet amazing undersea restaurant called Ithaca.

The translation of the word is mother-of-pearl in Dhivehi. The feeling of being in this restaurant is best experienced than explained – from the point where you make your way down a spiral staircase to where you sit below the Indian ocean to enjoy the view of sharks, and other colorful fishes pass while you enjoy a sumptuous meal.

Most of the menu in this restaurant is contemporary European. You can also treat yourself to their fish as long as you don’t mind eating it as you watch them swim since they catch them locally. The restaurant is located below the Indian Ocean, and the brain behind the design of the place is a New Zealand design firm.

6 St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, England

Have you considered taking a trip to England? If your answer is yes, then there’s somewhere you should add to your list of places to visit. The place is in Cornwall, and it’s home to a magnificent sight called the St. Michael’s Mount. Cornwall is a mainland that gives you the feeling of stepping back into medieval times, with the St. Michael’s Mount being just about 500 meters from here.

When there’s low tide, you can take a tour across the cobbled causeway. The cobbled causeway would lead you to a medieval church and castle. On locating the church and castle, you can allow your imaginations to run wild as you discover its history. The beautiful gardens that surround the castle, which emerges from the waters of Mount’s Bay are something to remember.

5 Kakslauttanen Hotel, Finland

Most times, when a person or company sets out to build hotels, there’s a lot of intention on making it an attraction. That is the similar case in Finland where one company outdid itself and built what is one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. To put this into proper perspective, ask yourself this – have you ever imagined or even heard about sleeping in a glass igloo with the view of the magical Northern Lights in Finland?

Well, don’t imagine it anymore because you can make it happen. All it takes is to find your way to Finnish Lapland and locate the Kakslauttanen hotel. The magical hotel is about 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The wonderful thing about this hotel is that it makes you forget that you’re in a cold region due to its warmth thus you can focus on the beautiful view outside like the bright starry sky and amazing Northern Lights.

4 The Ruins of San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

The name of this place could be quite misleading, but it’s an unusual and beautiful place that hasn’t gained any popularity, yet – which is why it’s on this list. You can find the ruins in the Argentine rainforest. The ruins were built in the early 17th century, as part of the Jesuit mission.

The construction precisely dates as far back as 1666, when the ruins were constructed in Spanish Baroque style. The complex was furnished with a large stone church that has a wooden interior, a hospital, dormitories, and a school. Presently, most of the structures that existed have been destroyed and the only things left for visitors to see are the complex details of the ruins. Visitors also get to see the Guarani styles and Spanish baroque that still exist from the walls to the arches of the church.

3 Isola Bella, Italy

Are you a big fan of islands? Then the Isola Bella would interest you. It is a fifty-acre island located on Lake Maggiore in North Italy. What’s even more interesting is that there is a beautiful palace on the island. It also has a small fishing village that has wonderful gardens as well. Even though this island is a natural treasure, very few tourists are aware of its existence.

When you go to this island, some of the things you’d notice are statues, beautiful Italian styled gardens full of exotic flowers, ponds, and beautiful Baroque Palace. You’d also see souvenir shops and a village with restaurants. There’s no denying that Isola Bella is a charming place.

2 The Cave Of Saint Marcel D’ardeche, France

You too can have a fair share of fairy-tale in reality as long as you have a heart for exploring caves. When you explore the cave of Saint Marcel, you’d feel like you’ve been transported to another world. The reason for this is the magical experience you’d encounter on your journey through the cave.

While you’re in the cave, you’ll find some treasures that may be of interest to you such as the cathedrals, impressive waterfall of rimstones, and concretions in magical shapes in the cave chambers. You may also see huge chambers like the water basins, Fountain of the Virgin, the King’s Table, and the Painter’s gallery if you travel along the 600-meter path. What of the pools? They are illuminated and captivating.

1 The Plitvice Lakes in Croatia

The reason why we compiled this list is that we want you to be aware of beautiful places that exist in different parts of the world. Thus, if you’re having a tough time choosing where your next European vacation should be, Croatia is a fantastic idea. I know you weren’t expecting Croatia, but it has the Plitvice Lakes National Park that may be of great interest to you.

Even if you get to spend just 24 hours there, it would be worth your time. The features that make the place stand out are the crystal clear waters that flow across different lakes, and the series of waterfalls made up of different terraced limestone lakes. The Velki Slap is a view you should look out for as well.

References: opodo.co.uk; ancient-code.com; express.co.uk