Many people wonder what it’s like to travel to Mars, let alone the most remote places! However, when it comes to space travel, humanity is curious about the far reaches of space, with many wondering: what will space travel look like in the future? Unfortunately, many people may not have the privilege to travel to space in their lifetime, but there is a second-best option: traveling to places on earth that make one feel like they stepped unto another planet. Check out these 8 places on earth that will make travelers feel like they are out of this world!
8 Deadvlei, Namibia
Meaning “dead marsh,” this clay pan was once a site of flowing waters from the Tsauchab River and was formed thousands of years ago. However, the changing climate brought drought to the area, causing the lush vegetation to simply dry out. That’s why visitors who check out the Deadvlei will notice rows upon rows of blackened tree trunks, which are ancient “plant bones” that are centuries old. Besides the dry, dead trees, tourists can see some of the world’s largest sand dunes at Deadvlei. Paired with the clear blue skies, wandering the valley in the Namib-Naukluft Park will make visitors feel like they have stepped into a different planet.
7 Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland
The Vatnajokull Glacier is so massive that it covers about 8% of Iceland’s landmass! What’s more, this immense beauty is considered the second-largest glacier in Europe. Located in the Vatnajokull National Park, this incredible natural phenomenon is a popular site for glacier hiking and ice cave tours. Travelers who are lucky enough to explore this massive beauty will feel like they have stepped foot on an icy planet. The crystal clear ice and the glaciers hovering over the valley make it a must-visit destination, making it a thrill-seeking adventure in Iceland.
6 Fly Geyser, Nevada, USA
Located nearby the Fly Reservoir in the Hualapai Geothermal Flats, Fly Geyser may seem like a natural marvel made by Mother Nature herself. However, this landmark was created by accident! The geysers were formed in 1916 and the 1960s when wells were made by drilling the earth. These wells were abandoned due to the high temperatures of the geothermal waters, as they were not suited for human use. Fast-forward to today, where this beautiful attraction is a sight for sore eyes. The waters spewing from Fly Geyser look incredible, but they’re incredibly hot, which can reach well over 200°F or 93°C!
5 Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
What happens when 3 tectonic plates diverge from one another? Then, one would get the formation of the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia! Located in the Afar Triangle, the bright yellow-red hues of the Danakil Depression are remarkably breathtaking. What’s more, its white salty waters, green acidic, and craggy cliffs give off vibes that Martians will land in this area at any moment. Bring some water, too; this environment is one of the hottest places in the world!
4 Lake Hillier, Australia
Rich, blue-green waters are a sight to behold, but Lake Hillier’s pink saline waters are guaranteed to take many breaths away. Located in Western Australia in the Goldfields-Esperance, this pink lake is small but remarkable in its own right. Naturally salty, Lake Hillier’s strawberry pink hue may be due to algae known as Dunaliella salina, producing red carotenoid pigments (which are found in carrots). Despite its odd colors, visitors who are looking to cool off from the sun can safely swim in the waters of this beautiful pink lake.
3 Pamukkale, Turkey
In Western Turkey, thermal waters rich in minerals attract locals and tourists alike. What makes these waters so stunning is their light-blue shade that sits within mineral formations—known as travertines—resembling fluffy clouds (hence, the site’s name, which means “cotton castle” in Turkish). Unfortunately though, in recent years, due to a population surge in Pamukkale, many of the travertines dried up, leaving a handful of pools open for public use. Thus, when visiting this beautiful attraction, stay on the wooden boardwalk to see the travertines.
2 White Sands National Park, New Mexico, USA
White sand beaches are great destinations to relax and unwind. In New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin, White Sands National Park rewards visitors with miles of sand dunes and hills, housing the largest gypsum dune field in the world! Hop on a sled and take a thrilling ride down the gypsum dunes or explore the park through a peaceful hike. Many visitors can even relax among the sand and have a picnic. The glistening gypsum sands are one of the reasons why New Mexico is soothing for the soul.
1 The Eye of the Sahara, Ouadane, Mauritania
Also known as the Richat Structure, the Eye of the Sarah in northwest Mauritania within the Sahara Desert. An aerial view of this dramatic structure resembles an eye; however, up close, this massive geologic dome contains rocks that are millions of years old, with some as old as the first living organisms on earth! Many people don’t usually make the trip the see the Eye of the Sahara since it’s a smack dab in the middle of the desert. Getting to this incredible, outwardly landmark requires the help of local guides, a visa, trip sponsorship, and plenty of planning.