When travelling, a good rule of thumb is, don’t be afraid to look up, or look down, because you might just find some of the best attractions or crazy places on Earth if you are willing to travel up high or down low. From the highest points on the Earth, you will get a picture of the landscape like you would never see before. It’s not just a skyline, it’s a look at the curve in the Earth, or looking so far down that you can’t see the ground, or you’re so high up that you’re above the clouds.
Or you can head down low and see what is under the surface of the Earth, at the lowest points below sea level. It’s not just darkness, as would be expected from things that are underground, and you will be surprised to find out some of the crazy things people have created in the lowest areas on Earth. It’s proof that you can’t just see what’s in front of you so make sure to look under every rock to ensure you’re not missing out. Check out this list and see some of the craziest pictures from the highest points on Earth, that touch the clouds, and then from the lowest points, that live under the ground.
30 Highest: Mount Everest
When anyone speaks of the highest points on earth, the place they should think of is Mount Everest. With a height of 29,029 feet, it offers an amazing view of the Himalayas, where many of the world's tallest mountains are located. In this photo, you can see what it's like to be on top of the world when you reach the summit. The trek that people take to get a few minutes on top to see this amazing view is just incredible.
29 Lowest: Antarctica
Most maps have Antarctica at the lowest point on the map, considering it’s the south pole. So far it’s crazy to think that this diver is actually diving under the Antarctic ice in what was the deepest dive ever under the massive ice continent. According to National Geographic, who conducted plenty of dives under the ice surface, there is plenty of life under one of the coldest places on Earth, as penguins, scallops, and many different species survive and thrive deep under the ice. The tendrils in this photo are actually ice-covered brine. It’s crazy to think you can put on a wetsuit and dive under an entire continent.
28 Highest: Mount Chimborazo
Mount Chimborazo is currently an inactive volcano that is sitting in the highest mountain in Ecuador. It is the highest peak near the equator. Although it may not be the highest mountain on earth it is the farthest point on earth with it being located on the equatorial bulge. According to the Earth's Centre, the summit of the Chimborazo is the fixed point on earth that is the utmost distance from the centre of the Earth because of the way the shape of the earth is.
27 Lowest: Salina Turda Salt Mine
The Salina Turda salt mine isn’t even the lowest salt mine in Romania, but it definitely is the most amazing looking. The mine is 112 meters below the surface and even includes an underground lake. But it’s the new use the mine has that makes it the craziest, as according to CNN, the salt mine has stopped mining salt since 1932 and is now a theme park. Over two million people come to it every year to enjoy the experience of this crazy low point in the world.
26 Highest: The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world and is the centrepiece of Dubai. At 2,717 feet tall, this 163 story building offers one of the craziest views you will get from any structure on Earth. In this photo, I hope you don’t mind looking down, as it’s a long way down from the observation decks on the Burj Khalifa. When you consider that other skyscrapers beside it look like miniatures, or look far away compared to it, you really start to understand just how crazy high this building is.
25 Lowest: Kola Superdeep Borehole
It’s probably best this man isn’t looking down, because he’s scaling down the deepest artificial hole point on Earth. The Kola Superdeep Borehole was a project taken on by the Russians to see how deep they could dig into the Earth’s crust. According to the Smithsonian, they reached 40,230 feet deep. That’s deeper than Mount Everest is tall. The site is now in ruin because it was abandoned, but that hasn’t stopped sightseers from visiting to get a crazy experience.
24 Highest: Willis Tower
Formerly known as the Sears Tower, Willis Tower is Chicago's tallest building and the second tallest building in the United States. Standing at 1,450 feet tall, the city of Chicago has a completely new meaning when you are looking down on from the highest point of the building. According to Tourism Chicago, the famous tower that gave the city of Chicago its nickname ¨the windy city¨ is considered to be the 16th tallest building in the world and gets over one million visitors each year.
23 Highest: Zifeng Tower
The Zifeng Tower located in Nanjing, China is tied for the 18th tallest building in the world at 1,476 feet. Its spire rises to that level and is where a few people have decided to climb to get some amazing photos, such as this one, that show that nothing rivals it nearby. What’s even scarier is that someone in that photo seems to be climbing the ledge to try and get to the highest point. Either way, it’s still an amazing photo showing the point the building comes to, as opposed to a giant rooftop.
22 Lowest: Bingham Canyon Open-Pit Mine
This photo is of the Bingham Canyon Mine in Salt Lake City, which is the largest man-made excavation in the world, according to Deseret News, and it is said that this mine alone has produced more copper than any other mine in history. It’s so crazy big that it has actually been designated a National Historic Landmark. It’s simply amazing to look at, especially when you consider it's dug into a mountain range and could swallow some of those mountains in the background without much issue.
21 Highest: Empire State Building
New York City is considered the city that never sleeps but also it’s home to the 42nd tallest building in the world; The Empire State Building. Coming in at 1,250 feet tall, this amazing building will get you the most incredible view from their highest point of their building. Getting this awesome view from the Empire State Building is something special. According to Bridal Magazine, it is also one of the top ten places to be engaged. So why not say ¨I DO¨ at the highest point of the Empire State building.
20 Lowest: Mariana Trench
This photo is crazy because it’s from the lowest known point on Earth, the Challenger Deep at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. It’s 36,201 feet below the surface of the water, which would make it bigger than Mount Everest if it were a mountain. According to National Geographic, this photo is from famed director James Cameron, who made the record dive in an unmanned research vessel that could withstand the pressure. It’s crazy to see this low on Earth because the sun doesn’t reach there so it has to be all unnatural light in order to see it.
19 Highest: CN Tower
It's hard to believe that 32 years ago, The CN Tower was the world's tallest free-standing structure before it was beat out in 2007 by The Burj Khalifa. This tower is one of those towers that will get you stunning views from their sky pod, which is at their highest point. According to the World Federation of Great Towers, this iconic Toronto tower has recently renovated panoramic views and it gives stunning views of city and crystal blue water from a distance.
18 Lowest: Radhuset Metro Station
This train station in Sweden looks like it belongs in one of Dante’s lowest levels of hell, but this is, in fact, Radhuset Metro Station and the fire-like paint job isn’t paint, but is rather the exposed bedrock which remains unsculptured, making it look like a natural cave system. The entire transit line is like this, and according to CNN, over 90 subway stations in the city are decorated by over 150 artists to give each station a unique look and feel.
17 Highest: K2
If you really wanted to see what it’s like being at the second highest point on earth, then why not go and climb the second highest mountain which is K2. Located on the China-Pakistan border and standing at 28,251 feet tall, this other famous mountain is just falling behind from Mount Everest. Many climbers who have climbed this mountain have said that the view is just extraordinary and that you will have to take a few moments to take it all in.
16 Lowest: Darvaza Gas Crater
The Darvaza Gas Crater only goes down 100 feet, but the craziest part about it is that it is constantly on fire. That’s because, when an oil and gas rig collapsed on the original spot, scientist thought they could just burn off the methane gas by lighting it on fire. They believed it would just burn up after a few weeks, but decades later, the fire is still going strong. According to CTV, over 50,000 people have gone to the gas crater to experience the intense heat and fire from perhaps the world’s largest fire pit.
15 Highest: Les Houches
This beautiful mountain lies in a small community of Les Houches, which is located in the Alps region in France. This mountain is literally the dream come true to all skiers as they can ski from the highest point of the mountain, which is 1,900 meters. Les Houches hasn't been shy to host international events and demonstrates the beauty of their ski village. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the mountain is approximately 15,700 feet high and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence.
14 Lowest: Cave Of The Crystals
Crystals are formed in the Earth under intense pressure and heat, but normally it is too hot to go see them and they are too deep down. That’s what makes the Cave of the Crystals in Mexico such an interesting experience if you can withstand the heat. According to the BCC, temperatures can reach as hot as 58 degrees Celsius, with 90 to 99 percent humidity, and water pumps to keep the cave clear of water have failed which has flooded the cave. According to National Geographic, even with the best protection, people could only stay for 10 minutes in the caverns.
13 Highest: Princess Tower
The Princess Tower has been known to be the highest selfie location in the world. The tower is considered the 29th highest building in the world and has over 101 floors. This simply amazing scene will give visitors a feeling like they on the highest point on earth. The Princess Tower is the third highest building in Dubai and offers a stunning view of the coastline. This man-made island in the background on the far right is the seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab.
12 Highest: Banff
Not only is Canada best known for their amazing hospitality but also for their amazing views of their Canadian Rockies. So why not look at the highest peak in Banff National Park. Banff is placed inside the Canadian Rockies mountain range and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. According to Parks Canada, Banff is the most visited destinations in all of Canada and the view from the highest peak speaks for itself on why people come to see the gorgeous mountains.
11 Highest: Great Smoky Mountain
Located along the Tennessee and North Carolina border, the Great Smoky Mountains are commonly known as the ¨Smokies¨. The Great Smoky Mountain gives instant peace of mind in this photo, as the fog just lays on top of the highest peaks, really bringing the smoky feeling out of the mountains. According to NASA, the chemicals they release have a high vapour pressure and easily form vapours at normal temperature and pressure, giving the mountain range the smoky look. With perfect sunlight, these mountains can be breathtaking.
10 Highest: Gangtok
This beautiful Himalayan Mountain is every climber’s dream to climb. Gangtok is located in the lower Himalayan mountains between two rivers. According to Gangtok municipal corporations, the mountain generates $500 million from tourists each year. Many of these tourists are eco-tourists and they have played an important role in economic activities in the region which includes trekking, mountaineering, river rafting and other-oriented activities. Rivers divide the natural drainage into two parts, the eastern and western parts. Both streams do meet in Ranipool and eventually will join the Teesta River at Singtam.
9 Highest: Ojos del Salado
Ojos del Salado is the highest active volcano in the world. Hitting at an estimated 22,615 feet high, it’s considered to be the second highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemisphere. According to Peak list, many people come from far and wide to come and hike this gigantic volcano and that the final summit is difficult to scramble as hikers require ropes to get through the enormous deposits of salt that forms into the lagoons. The highest point of the volcano can be seen from Chile and Argentina.
8 Highest: Mount Elbert
Mount Elbert is the highest point of the Rocky Mountain range in North America. It's hard to believe how tall this mountain actually is from the rest of the mountain range. According to the National Park Services, Mount Elbert has an elevation of 14,440 feet, making it the second highest peak in the United States. Heading towards the top of this mountain is not an easy trip as there are three main routes but it's easy to see why climbers would admire this gorgeous mountain.
7 Lowest: Dead Sea Luxury
Who would guess that at the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea, you could find yourself a luxury resort. But that is exactly what you find, as the Movenpick Dead Sea is 400 meters under sea level and offers one of the largest spas in the area. According to Oi Magazine, the hotel has won several prizes and their staff is made up of highly qualified physicians. It’s pretty much the perfect relax place to go along with the sea that you can float in due to the water being so salty.
6 Lowest: Gotthard Base Tunnel
This is what the inside of the world’s longest and deepest tunnel looks like. The Gotthard Base Tunnel is nearly 100 miles long under the Alpine mountains, helping to connect two cities across the Alps. According to Business Insider, the tunnel is as long as 21 Golden Gate Bridges, passes under 1.4 miles of solid rock, which make it the deepest, and according to CNN, over 2,000 miles of copper cable were required to build the tunnel. It’s simply a crazy feat of engineering.
5 Lowest: Baku, Azerbaijan
This amazing photo is showing the Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan. The towers are 597 feet high, but it’s the fact that Baku, which is the capital and largest city in Azerbaijan is located 92 feet below sea level, which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world, according to the National Geographic. Even when at the lowest, some cities still aim high, and build some pretty crazy towers, like flames coming out of the Earth. Always reach for the sky, even when the lowest city.
4 Lowest: Slate Caverns
This former slate quarry now has a unique function of being a trampoline park, mountain biking course and Zipline playground. The former Llechwedd Slate Caverns, which travelled over 500 feet underground was first made for railway cars and slate production. According to the Telegraph, in 2015, Zip World Caverns wire coursed opened with the caves giving it new life. According to CNN, the trampoline park cost over $920,000 and is now called Bounce Below. Pretty crazy what people can do with any open space they can find.
3 Lowest: Salt Cathedral
On this rock I will build my church is what St. Peter said, but I don’t think he had a salt rock in mind when he said it. But that didn’t stop Columbia from turning one of their underground salt mines into a church. According to CNN, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is located 660 feet below the ground and was built in 1950. No surprise, the church was dedicated to the saint of miners, Our Lady of Rosary, and over 3,000 people attend service on Sunday’s. Although, they have no bishop, so they aren’t considered an official cathedral.
2 Lowest: Coober Pedy
This motel room looks like any other motel room, with bed, television and desk. But this hotel room is part of the Underground Motel in Coober Pedy, better known as the Desert Cave Hotel. Located in the Australian outback, the city of Coober Pedy is so hot that residents had to build everything underground to stay cool, including their hotels. According to CNN, it can reach 125 Degrees Fahrenheit, so the town of 1,695 people moved to the lowest point they could think of, under the Earth, to get away from the desert sun.
1 Lowest: Ithaa Undersea Restaurant
In this restaurant, you don’t eat the fish, but rather admire them from inside this glass restaurant. It a reversal in the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, as the people are the ones in the bowl, as this restaurant is underwater. According to Atlas Obscura, the restaurant is five meters below sea level and it only seats 14 people at one time, so make sure to book well ahead to get one of the craziest seats in a restaurant you will ever experience. And it’s pricey as well, as lunch goes for $120 USD for hotel guests, so it’s definitely an experience that will lower your wallet balance.