The answer is simple: look for extraterrestrial places on our planet. Especially for Cosmonautics Day, we have collected 15 such places.
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan
Thanks to the unusual landscapes, it is easy to believe that the Jordanian desert is on another planet, and for this, you do not need to add a lot of computer effects. It is not for nothing that they shot separate scenes of the second part of Transformers, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, almost all of the Martian, and other films.
The popularity of Wadi Rum is easily explained – just look at the pictures of this dessert. Sand, depending on the lighting, can be yellow-orange and almost red. Extreme lovers can go mountain climbing; there are moderately high cliffs. Local Bedouins accompany tourists and arrange excursions for a fee.
Chocolate Hills, Philippines
With chocolate this place in the Philippines is associated only with the brown color of the grass in the dry season – the hills then become like truffle sweets. They are located on the island of Bohol and play a significant role in tourism of the archipelago: the hills were even placed on the coat of arms and the flag of the province.
More than a thousand hills about thirty to one hundred and twenty meters high appeared 2.5 billion years ago. There is a hypothesis that they were formed as a result of tectonic shifts, but why the elevations are so even is not known. The hills attract many tourists; This place is a must-visit if you are in the Philippines.
Eaglehawk Neck, Australia
In the Australian state of Tasmania, you can see a unique natural phenomenon, called the “mosaic pavement.” The coastal area looks like it was paved with large, geometrically even slabs. The effect was due to a shift in tectonic plates, which led to the fragmentation of the rock and the appearance of unusual cracks.
Eaglehawk-neck himself is known for his prison, which could only be reached through the narrow isthmus guarded by guard dogs.
Eye of the Sahara, Mauritania
In the Sahara desert, there is a crater called Guell Er Rishta, or the Eye of the Sahara. From certain angles, it can be easily mistaken for extraterrestrial. The diameter is fifty kilometers, and it is best to look at Rishta from a great height – for example, from an airplane. Or through the screen of a smartphone with a quadrocopter.
Various theories have been put forward regarding the appearance of such an unusual formation in the desert. The opinion about the funnel from the impact of the meteorite was not confirmed – it was not possible to find traces of the collision. Scientists suggest that the Sahara Eye appeared as a result of erosion.
Antelope Canyon, USA
The canyon got its name because of the color, which is similar to the shade of the skin of antelopes. For a long time, the crevices between the rocks were washed by rainwater and blown by strong winds – this formed such bizarre shapes. The canyon is divided into Upper and Lower: there is usually no problem with visiting the first one, and it is more difficult to get to the Lower one – you need to go down the long iron stairs, before which tourists used the ropes at all.
Photos are not able to convey the amazing game of chiaroscuro that occurs in the crevices of the canyon. Special shades and lighting make this place fascinating and not like earthly. Best time to visit: March-April and October-November.
Dead Fly, Namibia
The desert in Namibia, Dead Fly or Dead Swamp, as well as Wadi Rum, also became the scenery for the film – they shot Steel Dawn (1987) starring Patrick Swayze. The action took place after the Third World War and it is hardly possible to find a more suitable place for such an entourage. The dead fly looks lifeless and alien.
Once there were lakes and vegetation, but the dunes dried this place and ruined the whole flora. Now there were only black tree trunks scorched by the sun. Deadweight has some of the largest dunes in the world – some reach a height of four hundred meters.
Giant Trail, Northern Ireland
At first glance at the Path of the Giants (aka the Road of the Giants), it seems that the plates of which it consists are of artificial origin, but only nature had a hand in this place.
About forty thousand basalt columns appeared after the eruption of the volcano 50-60 million years ago. These columns are difficult to compare with anything known to man, and they may well pass for the cultural construction of an extraterrestrial civilization.
Zhangye Danxia, China
In the national geopark Zhangye Danxia in the Chinese province of Gansu there are quite unusual mountains – it seems that their slopes were painted by hand. This effect was the result of a shift of tectonic plates. And over the bizarre forms of rocks, precipitation and wind worked.
The mountains quickly became the main attraction of Gansu, and thanks to investments, the park attracts more and more tourists every year, increasing the number of access roads and observation platforms.
Moon Alley, Brazil
The lunar alley is located in the national park with the long name Chapada dos Veadeiros. An unusual shade of gray makes this place look like a lunar surface, where the name comes from.
The mountain plateau, which includes the Lunar Alley, formed about two billion years ago, these mountains are considered the oldest on the planet. The elaborate form of stones is quartz, which, under the influence of the San Miguel River, acquired such an original form.
Hillier Lake, Australia
Hillier Lake is famous for its unusual color – the water in it is bright pink. Scientists still have not revealed the secret of this reservoir. Various assumptions have been made – for example, that such coloration is created by microorganisms living in the water. But the tests did not show any deviations from the norm – this is quite normal water, only pink. From the water in other lakes in this area, it is essentially no different.
Unfortunately, this place is hard to get to. Tourism infrastructure is not developed, the easiest way is to fly by plane, but you can’t call it cheap.
Wai-O-Tapu, New Zealand
There are many geysers and steaming lakes in this New Zealand area. Among others, the Lady Knox geyser stands out, in which a special soap solution is poured daily, after which it erupts for an entire hour, and a column of water reaches 20 meters in height.
The water here is hot – about 75 degrees, and at the bottom reaches 260 degrees. The color of the water in the sources is unusual – saturated green, orange, purple. The effect is due to compounds of sulfur and iron.
Shilin Stone Forest, China
Shilin National Park with an area of 350 square kilometers is best known for unusual mountain formations, thanks to which its name takes place.
There are many tourists here, and if you want to take a quiet walk in the park, it is better to leave in the early morning. The length of each route is several kilometers. It is not recommended to go off the tourist paths: it is easy to get lost in the park and it is better to go there only with an escort who knows the area.
Crystal Cave, Mexico
This amazing cave, full of gigantic crystals, was discovered while tunneling in a Mexican mine. The largest of the crystals is four meters wide and eleven in length. The rest are smaller, but also considered incredibly large.
The cave is at constant risk of flooding – water is constantly pumped out of it. Geologists continue to explore the cave and believe that other deposits of huge crystals may be nearby.
Lake Natron, Tanzania
In the north of Tanzania, near the border with Kenya, is the curious Lake Natron. It is noteworthy that often the salt crust in it is painted in dark pink or red. This is due to the microorganisms that inhabit the lake.
The salt concentration in Natron is destructive for most animals, in addition, the water temperature reaches 60 degrees Celsius. Accidentally appearing on the surface of the lake, many birds die, turning into an eerie kind of statue. At the same time, the place serves as a kind of protection for other creatures: flamingos are safe here because predators cannot get close to them.
Hierve El Agua, Mexico
The Mexican waterfall, whose name translates as “boiling water”, is notable for its unusual appearance. It seems that the water seemed to freeze. This effect is obtained due to the mineral springs at the top of the waterfall: when they flow down, the droplets crystallize and form stalactites. There are two waterfalls in total: larger and smaller.
This place attracts tourists with its beautiful views and healing springs. Mineral-rich waters enhance health and help cope with some ailments.