Where there’s nature, there’s an inexhaustible source of energy and mightiness; and sometimes, we all fail to understand it completely. Every time we visit an unknown distant place, we tend to believe that we don’t just explore it, we claim and conquer it. But realistically, the mankind is like a grain of sand in the desert when compared to the true power of nature; and ultimately, you never know what is to come next when nature decides to stretch out a hand and do as it wishes. Below you’ll find a list of unusual and mysterious places that serve as legitimate proof of nature’s indomitable character and spirit.

From glowing caves to weirdly shaped trees that resemble an alien’s features, we’ve ranked the world’s most extraordinary locations. Admittedly, the scale of nature’s beauty is so unreachable that you may even doubt the actual existence of these places. But much to your surprise, the following locations are not only as real as a snowy day in winter, but are still shrouded in complete mystery. By the time you reach the end of the article, you’ll surely have figured out why nature’s dominance and power can never be conquered.

21 Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

Beneath the evergreen hills of Waitomo resides a labyrinth of glowworm caves, sinkholes, and rivers flowing quietly through the cave system. Scientifically known as Arachnocampa Luminosa, these glowworms are, hands down, New Zealand’s most visited tourist attraction, and rightly so. These world-renowned caves are not only an out-of-this-world location but boast over a hundred years of cultural heritage, www.waitomo.com says. Here, travelers can take advantage of the scenic boat rides while passing by thousands of glowworms. For years, these beautiful tiny features have lived inside the caves, radiating their luminescent light which cannot be mistaken for anything else.

20 Deadvlei, Namibia

The Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia can easily be mistaken for a world-class painting that costs a whole fortune. This unique place is, indeed, the dream of any photographer. But in reality, it’s neither a painting, nor an amazing photograph, but a clay pan characterized by dead marsh and camel thorn trees contrasting against the white pan floor. This Deadvlei, www.sossusvlei.org details, is made up of orange dunes and dead black trees, casting shadows all over the place. As a matter of fact, when the Tsauchab River came and flooded the area, it allowed these camel thorn trees to grow and become as unique as they look in this picture.

19 Pamukkale, Turkey

 Situated north of Denizli, Pamukkale translates as “cotton castle” in English, and happens to be yet another fantastic creation of Mother Nature. This surreal site has been around for thousands of years. It features hot calcium-laden water rising up from beneath the ground and eventually cascading over a cliff. This exceptional Cotton Fortress has actually been a “Spa Site” since the Roman Empire, www.turkeytravelplanner.com proudly explains. Even the Antique Pool is still “alive” there; only it’s a bit littered with marble columns belonging to the Roman Temple of Apollo. But best of all, tourists can actually swim in there for free.

18 Abraham Lake, Canada

With a surface area of over 50 km2, the lake lines the David Thompson Highway right between Nordegg and the River Crossing. In a nutshell, this beautiful lake in Alberta, Canada, became known for its unique bubbles made of frozen methane gas, www.avenlylanetravel.com says. So, theoretically, it takes a match to put on a light show right up there. But besides being quite a fantastic place, the area also surprises its visitors with the perfect blue color of the nearby glacial lakes in the Rocky Mountains as well. Last but not least, the area offers professional guides and transportation to the double waterfall at Crescent Falls. By the way, these ice bubbles on the surface of the lake are particularly beautiful at nightfall.

17 White Sand Dunes, Yemen

Nestled up against the coastal bluffs of Socotra, these sand dunes in Yemen have to be seen to be believed. Well, you can always take a look at the Google Earth images to get an idea of what they are; however, it really has to be witnessed first-hand. These brilliantly white sand dunes, located on the Socotra island, rise a few hundred meters towards a cliff with caves, www.360cities.net explains. Frankly, first-time visitors often mistake the white sand dunes for snow; however, the particularly high temperature there will surely make them go home asap. Besides, these fine-grained, dazzlingly white sands aren't as walkable as we wish they were anyway.

16 Sea of Stars, Maldives

Forget about the night sky dotted with thousands of stars - the Maldives has got something spectacular for us all. The world-known sparkling Sea of Stars is caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton, living in its waters, www.avenlylanetravel.com shares. Interestingly, the plankton doesn’t give off light all the time – only under the right conditions. The Maldives has long built a reputation for its top-notch resorts, gorgeous beaches, and surreal landscapes. But when it comes to the Sea of Stars, it certainly meets no comparison whatsoever. Admittedly, the glowing Sea of Stars is yet another proof of how powerful and magical nature truly is.

15 Vietnamese Terraced Rice Paddy Fields

For centuries, the Vietnamese have been building such terraced rice fields right into the hillside – thus creating as much space for farming as possible. These rice terraces are not only a century-long tradition in Vietnam but they also provide essential goods for the locals, www. trulyvietnamtour.com details. In Vietnam, such terraced rice fields usually appear within the Highlands district, which is home to most ethnic groups. Generally, this unique form of rice cultivation on sloping terrain helps most families keep the wolf from the door. But apart from it, the terracing is also quite a marvelous sight to see in this part of the world.

14 Cappadocia, Turkey

 No trip to Turkey can be complete without a visit to the magical land of Cappadocia. This beautiful region is densely packed with geological significance. This exotic moonscape, lying southwest of Ankara, has earned its place on today’s list thanks to its hot-air balloon flights and fairy chimneys. The surreal region of Cappadocia provides such romantic flights on an actual hot-air balloon. In the process, the tourists will be floating over spectacular buildings and structures carved out of rocks, www.cappadociaturkey.net/ shares. For those interested in such an oriental hot-air balloon journey, Cappadocia offers special tour packages, starting from $140 per person.

13 Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is easily one of the world’s largest salt flats and is also referred to as a pretty extreme location. Salar de Uyuni is situated at the crux of three countries, namely Bolivia, Chile and Argentina and stretches across 4,050 square miles of the Altiplano. As quite a unique salt flat, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni was most certainly left behind by some prehistoric lakes, www.nationalgeographic.com notes. As a matter of fact, Salar de Uyuni also offers exotic tours as most of them originate from Uyuni and Topiza in Bolivia, and San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.

12  Ik Kil Cenote, Mexico


Located near the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, along the highway to the area of Valladolid, Ik Kil is a unique cenote in Mexico. In fact, locals believe that the Mayans had a special purpose for it in their rituals. This cenote – a sinkhole that fills up with water – is arguably one of the most interesting and unique places within the area. Those interested in visiting the cenote of Mexico will have to climb down over 26 meters to reach it ( the water is about 40 m deep).  When compared to other cenotes, discovered in Mexico, Ik Kil definitely stands out as a pretty much modern site, packed with cozy cottages, allowing for a few days of relaxation, cenotesmexico.org/cenote-ik-kil/ shares.

11 The Fiery Pit Dubbed "The Door To Hell", North Of Turkmenistan

Although we wouldn’t dare to say that this Door-To-Hell place is a sought-after location, we can hardly deny its unique appearance.  The area has been oozing natural gas for over three decades. As a result, a group of scientists tried to do something about it to prevent the door-to-hell from emitting dangerous substances; however, they might have failed since the natural gas crater has since been active regardless of the attempts. This vast molten cavity, now dubbed “The Door To Hell”, opened up in the desert, north of Turkmenistan and has since bewildered both explorers and scientists. There was even one Canadian explorer, G. Kourounis, who made an attempt to slip inside the fiery pit to search for any signs of life, www.theguardian.com reveals.

10 Antelope Canyon, USA

Situated in northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon was created by erosion of sandstone, mainly due to some flash flooding, www.avenlylanetravel.com details. By the way, this pretty unique location is also locally known as “the place where water flows through rocks.” All in all, the slot canyon is made up of two individual sections, known as “Upper Antelope Canyon” (or “The Crack”), and “Lower Antelope Canyon” (or also known as “The Corkscrew”). Today, the Antelope Canyon is quite popular with professional photographers, enthusiastic travelers, and sightseers. But most importantly, tourists' interest in the canyons stabilizes the tourism in this part of the globe, www.avenlylanetravel.com shares.

9 Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

 Nestled in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park is a Unesco-listed World Heritage site, and one of Croatia’s largest national parks. But the area is also famous for something else. The beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park boasts fantastic cascading lakes that shine with every shade of blue and green imaginable. The protected area, www.intrepidtravel.com reveals, extends over 300 sq.km, as 90% of it is part of Lika-Senj County while the rest belongs to the Karlovac County. Today, this lush and pristine valley draws roughly 1,2 million visitors per year who come here to explore the dazzling terraced lakes and beautiful waterfalls.

8 Lake Baikal, Russia

Lake Baikal is easily one of Russia’s most exotic natural gems that are simply not to be missed. These giant shards of turquoise ice are certainly the best-looking ice cubes we’ve ever seen. But all jokes aside now – this rift lake in Russia, sitting between Irkutsk Oblast and the Buryat Republic, is the world’s oldest and deepest lake with crystal-clear transparent water. According to www.russia.com, there are currently no active volcanoes within the area, only mind-blown visitors (over 2 million every year). As the most ancient lake on the planet, it’s also listed as another UNESCO heritage site, so it's totally worth seeing.

7 Ait Benhaddou, Morocco

Aït Benhaddou is quite a perfect example of how different and unique Moroccan architecture is. The Ksar of Ait Benhaddou is an ighrem (a fortified city in English), located along the former caravan route between Marrakech and Sahara, www.avenlylanetravel.com adds. Ait Benhaddou is quite an impressive fortified city, surrounded by lots of kasbahs (structures made from mud and straw). Generally, this group of buildings serves as a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. Most of the small houses and structures are crowded together and reinforced with corner towers and defensive walls. By the way, the oldest structures are believed to be from the 17th century, whc.unesco.org notes.

6 Panjin Red Beach, China

The name of this unique location may include the word “beach”; however, you’ll soon realize that Panjin Red Beach is actually something else. This place is more or less a protected nature reserve, known for its crimson-colored seepweeds. In fact, this can easily explain why the area of Panjin gives the illusion of a red beach, www.worldatlas.com explains. Also, the area is known for its alkaline-saline soil, so it may also contribute to the unusual red color of the beach. These seepweeds sprout in spring and explode into a whole myriad of shades in the peak of summer. Therefore, the best time to visit and explore their beauty is from August to October.

5 Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

The Los Glaciares National Park, situated in Argentina’s Austral Andes, is another unique place that surely deserves to be explored. Similarly to the other wonderful locations, this national park is somehow hidden from the eyes of the world. As unique as Los Glaciares seems to be, it's enclosed by rugged, towering mountains and beautiful glacial lakes, such as the famous Lake Argentino (it’s almost 160 km long).

At the farthest end, the glacial lakes throw the effluvia right into the water, allowing for huge igloo icebergs to fall into it with thunderous splashes, whc.unesco.org explains.

4 Dallol Volcano, Ethiopia

Best known as one of the hottest places on Earth, Dallol is also considered the world’s lowest subaerial volcanic area. According to www.volcanodiscovery.com, Dallol can reach a temperature of over 41 degrees Celsius. But aside from its characteristics, this remote place in Ethiopia offers quite a spectacular landscape. Thanks to the endless area of uplifted thick salt deposits, mostly caused by volcanic activity as well, Dallol is globally admired for its bright colors making the whole place look quite phenomenal. The unique coloring is most likely linked to the presence of mineral substances, steemkr.com reveals.

3 Mount Ijen, Banyuwangi, Indonesia

Kawah Ijen is, in fact, the only Indonesian crater that offers the so-called natural phenomenon “Blue Fire”. Ijen crater lake, sitting on the border between Bondowoso regencies and Banyuwangi, occurs in the wee hours of the day, somewhere between 2-4 am. As the largest acidic water lake in the world, Ijen covers an area of 5,466 hectares, steemkr.com reveals. But before going there, note that the area is both pretty unique and pretty dangerous. As you trek up to the lip of the crater, be ready to catch the smell of sulfur. The higher you get, the thicker it gets, tripsavvy.com says.

2 The Seven Colored Earth of Chamarel, Mauritius

The remarkable volcanic formation, known as The Seven Coloured Earths, is easily one of Mauritius’ most renowned locations. This fantastic geological treasure, discovered in the area of Chamarel, rises hundreds of meters above sea level, www.tourism-mauritius.mu explains. Nearby is a scenic route, surrounded by lush tropical forest that eventually leads to it. Gladly for the tourists, the area boasts a whole plethora of spots from where they can admire the beautiful view of the 7-colored earth. For instance, one of these locales is the 83-m high waterfall. Indeed, this surreal place will surely make you feel as though you’re in a state of delusion.