Travel

42 Seriously Strange Places in the World You Didn’t Know About

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The best thing about traveling the world is the ability to discover the places that are lesser known to most. Media is ubiquitous and all-powerful now but one thing it still can’t provide is the sheer joy and exhilaration of travel. Even prolific travelers have often admitted that it is impossible to explore all the gems this planet has to offer. Whether you prefer adventurous destinations or the ones that are known for their spiritual experiences, some places on earth are simply bewildering. Read on to know about some of the most fascinating and downright bizarre places on Earth where you can go for your next trip. These destinations are bound to be a hot talking point at every party.

1Spotted Lake, Canada

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

The native Okanagan people have long respected Spotted Lake, and it is simple to see why. In the summer, the lake's water evaporates, leaving behind 365 little mineral pools, each one different in color from the next. Visitors are cautioned not to trespass on tribal grounds when seeing the unique lake on Highway 3, northwest of the little town of Osoyoos.

Best time of the year to visit: June to August
Hot Tip: British Columbia has been infamous for fickle weather in recent times, so enquire about the weather before you visit.

2The Catacombs, France

Entry: Starting from 29€
strangest places in the world

The Paris Catacombs are a network of old quarry tunnels beneath Paris that serve as the ultimate resting place for about six million Parisians. The majority of the skulls and bones were collected from the city's overcrowded cemeteries in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The bones were not arranged in the horrific displays seen today until the government realized its potential as a tourist attraction.

Best time of the year to visit: April and October
Hot Tip: Book Skip the Line tickets to Paris Catacombs as the queues outside can go upto 2 hours long.

3Giant's Causeway, Ireland

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

A massive volcanic eruption sixty million years ago blasted forth a mass of molten basalt, which consolidated and contracted as it cooled, forming the fractures that can still be seen today. This World Heritage Site is home to an estimated 37,000 polygon columns, which are so geometrically perfect that local mythology claims they were built by a giant. It is a strong contender for one of the world's strangest locations.

Best time of the year to visit: June and July
Hot Tip: Make sure you take your time and walk the shores of the Giant’s Causeway.

4Tianzi Mountains, China

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

These towering limestone pinnacles, located in Hunan Province, China, are surrounded by lush foliage and frequently shrouded in mist. A cable car connects Huangshi village to Tianzi (meaning 'son of heaven') village, and from there, there are numerous routes to enjoy the spectacular views of Tianzi. They are, unsurprisingly, the model for the floating mountains in the hit film Avatar.

Best time of the year to visit: March and November
Hot Tip: Don’t skimp on the cable car ride to the top if you want to fully feel the might of the Tianzi Mountains.

5Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

The world's largest salt pan, as well as one of the strangest locations on the planet, is located in the Potos and Oruro departments. It is also the world's largest natural mirror when a thin layer of water forms on the surface. Salar de Uyuni is the dried-up remains of a prehistoric lake, leaving behind a void of bright-white salt, granite formations, and cacti-islands.

Best time of the year to visit: December and January
Hot Tip: The best view of this Salar de Uyuni may be had from Incahuasi Island in the center.

6Thor’s Well, USA

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

In stormy weather, the surf rushes into the gaping pit at Thor's Well in Oregon, also known as Spouting Horn, and then shoots upwards with enormous power. Take the Captain Cook Trail from the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area visitor center to see it, but keep well back for your own safety, especially at high tide or during winter storms.

Best time of the year to visit: May to August
Hot Tip: If you are particularly adventurous, head to Thor’s Well in Winter to witness its fury.

7Pamukkale, Turkey

Entry: 11€
strangest places in the world

Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) is a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Turkey that also includes the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, the once great city that was built around it. Water pours down the white travertine terraces from natural springs, forming lovely thermal pools ideal for a brief dip.

Best time of the year to visit: March and November
Hot Tip: Go for a group tour with friends and family to Pamukkale for a relaxing experience.

8Guelb, Mauritania

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

The Richat Structure, also known as Guelb er Richât, is a remarkable circular geological formation in the Adrar Plateau of the Sahara, near Ouadane, Northwest Africa. Richat means feather in the local dialect, and it is also known as tagense in Arabic. This is one of the weirdest places in the world and you will want to see it for yourself.

Best time of the year to visit: April and October
Hot Tip: If you are a photography enthusiast, take a drone shot of this place.

9Lake Retba, Senegal

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

Because of the presence of specific plankton and minerals, the lake has a peculiar pink color. It is a 30-kilometer drive northeast of Dakar. The presence of Dunaliella salina algae in the water body is what causes the water to be pink. It is notable for having a high salt content, up to 40% in some places.

Best time of the year to visit: December and January
Hot Tip: Pack your swimsuit and experience swimming at this lake.

10The Wave, USA

Entry: Starting from US$9
strangest places in the world

The Wave is a sandstone rock formation close to Arizona's northern border with Utah. It is a surreal world of psychedelic patterns and whirling hues. The Jurassic epoch is supposed to be represented by the rock formations. There is no signage for hikers in order to protect the natural beauty and integrity of this natural place. You will have to figure out how to get in and out of this place.

Best time of the year to visit: April and October
Hot Tip: Be very sure before you go for this activity as the canyon experiences extreme temperatures.

11Mendenhall Ice Caves, Alaska

Entry: US$5 (May to September); free (October to April)
strangest places in the world

The many tints of blue in the ice crystals within these tunnels is a natural phenomenon that has perplexed scientists for years. With global warming on the rise, these ice caves may be harmed. Geologists are doing all in their power to prevent the extinction of these ice caves. While this phenomenon still occurs naturally, you will do well to visit the caves and see them with your own eyes.

Best time of the year to visit: June and July
Hot Tip: If you can bear the cold, visit the ice caves in winter to save your entrance fee.

12Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

Caves are usually bounded by asymmetrical rocks naturally formed over centuries. Take a peek at these square caves in Scotland that are symmetrical. These caverns are located on Staffa's uninhabited islets. People rarely enter these caves, with the exception of researchers and scientists. However, if you are interested, you can visit these caves and take a peek at this nature’s anomaly.

Best time of the year to visit: June and July
Hot Tip: Take a ferry from Ulva to visit this strange attraction.

13Nyaung Ohak, Myanmar

Entry: 300 Kyat

Myanmar may not be the most well-known location, but it is undoubtedly one of the countries you should see at least once before you die. This is why. Myanmar is home to Nyaung Ohak, which is a sight to behold in and of itself. It is difficult to find a strange forest community with over 1000 ruined temples anywhere else. This location is lush with vegetation. It is quite a sight to see.

Best time of the year to visit: November to February
Hot Tip: Take photos of the site with your phone cameras instead of camera equipment as the site charges for cameras and video photography equipment.

14Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

strangest places in the world

These are not your typical swimming pools; they are essentially acid pools. Even what appears to be land is made up of brittle salt and sulfur crusts. This is one of the oddest places on the planet. Even after millions of years, the tectonic plates beneath the Danakil Depression are still moving. Scientists predict that unless the movement stops, the land will continue to sink below sea level.

Best time of the year to visit: November to January
Hot Tip: Reach the destination from the town of Berahile to save your travel expenses

15Pancake Rocks, New Zealand

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

These stacks of pancake-like rocks were formed by thousands of layers of sandstone and limestone that collected on the ocean floor. A series of walkways flowing through the rock formations lead to the Pancake Rocks, some of which are wheelchair accessible and others carved into stairways up and down the rock sides. On your trip to New Zealand, make sure to stop by this location.

Best time of the year to visit: January
Hot Tip: Visit this attraction during high tide to witness the blowholes in full flow

16Man-Pupu-Nyor, Russia

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

The Manpupuner rock formations are a group of seven stone pillars found west of the Ural Mountains in the Komi Republic's Troitsko-Pechorsky District. They are situated on the mountain Man-Pupu-nyor, between the Ilych and Pechora rivers, on the Pechoro-Ilychski Reserve's land.

Best time of the year to visit:July
Hot Tip: Don’t attempt to visit this place in the winter as it tends to get frigid here.

17Plain of Jars, Laos

Entry: 15000 Kip
strangest places in the world

Megalithic stone jars, shrouded in legend, are found in clusters of one to one hundred around Xieng Khouang Province. The enormous cylindrical jars may have been used in ancient death rituals, according to one notion. Northern Laos was bombed heavily by the United States in the 1960s, and some regions have just lately been cleansed and designated safe for travelers.

Best time of the year to visit:January
Hot Tip: Use local buses to reach the destination if you want to save some money.

18Hand in the Desert, Chile

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

This strange work of art, growing out of the sand in the center of Chile's Atacama desert, 46 miles south of Antofagasta, is the creation of Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal. Irarrázabal is recognized for his works that depict human pain, and this massive unsettling sculpture evokes a sense of loneliness, which is heightened by its desolate and isolated setting.

Best time of the year to visit: March and October
Hot Tip: Set out early as the monument is located far away from any civilization and the to and fro journey is bound to be time-consuming.

19Nazca Lines, Peru

Entry: Free from land, US$100 by an aircraft
strangest places in the world

These colossal lines seared into the desert landscapes of southern Peru are one of the world's most bizarre destinations. These only make sense from the skies where people can see the unusual forms etched into the normally desolate desert landscape, as illustrated in the film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Best time of the year to visit:May to October
Hot Tip: The best way to see this attraction is by hiring an aircraft.

20Whale Bone Alley, Siberia

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

On lonely Yttygran Island, 82 kilometers off the coast of Alaska, a stretch of the northern shore has become a macabre tourist attraction. Massive whale jawbones, ribs, and vertebrae form an eerie passageway in the ground. The site is thought to be from the fourteenth or fifteenth century, although no one knows whether it was a sacred gathering place for aboriginal tribes or merely a gathering place for mass killing.

Best time of the year to visit:July
Entry:Free

21Die Rakotzbrück, Germany

Entry: €2.50
strangest places in the world

The Die Rakotzbrück bridge is another unique location that belongs in the category of strange places in the world. Built in the 19th century, the bridge and its mirror merge into a complete and perfect stone circle no matter which way you look at it. The bridge, however, has little utility as there is no way for people to mount it.

Best time of the year to visit:May to September
Hot Tip: Take a cab and ask for Devil’s bridge from Dresden to reach this site.

22Chocolate Hills of Bohol Island, Philippines

Entry: Free

The 1700-odd conical hills of Bohol, Philippines, dot the center of the island. They vary in height, but their shape is so consistent that they may be mistaken for man-made. They are, however, the elevation of coral deposits, according to UNESCO. Only during the dry season, when the foliage turns from rich green to brown, do the hills earn their moniker of "chocolate."

Best time of the year to visit:March and April
Hot Tip: Visit during the early part of the dry season to avoid crowds as well as witness the chocolate hills in all its glory.

23Lake Hillier, Australia

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

On the largest of the islands in Western Australia's Recherche Archipelago, this unique lake was found in 1802. The lake's deep pink color is maintained all year, according to some experts, due to high salinity paired with the presence of salt-loving algae called Dunaliella salina and pink bacteria called halobacteria.

Best time of the year to visit: April and September
Hot Tip: Witness the lake and its beauty from above by taking a flight from Esperance airport an hour away from the lake.

24Badab-e Surt, Iran

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

These stunning travertine terraces in northern Iran are a natural wonder that has evolved over thousands of years. Travertine is generated by calcium deposits in flowing water, and in this case, the calcium deposits are from two distinct hot springs with varied mineral compositions. The terraces' unique reddish color is due to a significant concentration of iron oxide in one of the springs.

Best time of the year to visit: November to January
Hot Tip: Visit Badab e Surt during sunrise or sunset to witness its reflective beauty.

25Dead Vlei, Namibia

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

Deadvlei translates to 'dead marsh,' and the area is also known as 'Dooie Vlei.' It is a sun-blackened dead forest in a white clay pit, resembling a dried oasis. The lack of water causes tree roots to come outside in search of moisture, making it one of the strangest places on the planet. This location has been used for filming feature films before.

Best time of the year to visit: December
Hot Tip: Cover yourself as much as possible before you head to this place as the extreme dryness of the air will cause dehydration through the surface of the skin.

26Socotra Island, Yemen

Entry: Round trip flights from Cairo would cost in the region of US$1300
strangest places in the world

This lonely island, which was separated from mainland Africa more than six million years ago, seems like something out of a science fiction movie. Because of Socotra's extraordinary and unique biodiversity, there are plants and trees found nowhere else on the planet, like the old and twisted dragon's blood tree and the bulbous bottle tree, which are particularly strange.

Best time of the year to visit:March and November
Hot Tip: Compare the airfares of the different airlines providing services to Socotra from both Cairo and UAE to find the cheapest deal.

27Fly Geyser, USA

Entry: US$43

This unearthly geyser can be found on private land on the outskirts of Nevada's the Black Rock Desert. A scorching fountain erupts up to five feet high today after an energy firm bore down into geothermal waters in 1964, and the consequent mineral build-up means the cone is increasing by several inches each year.

Best time of the year to visit:August to October
Hot Tip: Photograph the colorful rock around the geyser that is the result of several different types of thermophilic algae.

28Huashan Mountain, China

Entry: Starting from 100 yuan
strangest places in the world

Although there is only a tea house at the end of this dangerous death-defying trail in China, the Mount Huashan Plank Walk in the Sky is famous for its adrenaline-pumping effects. The Road to Heaven is what it is called because of the near-deadly consequence you face if you happen to meet an accident.

Best time of the year to visit:May to July
Hot Tip:Try the cable car experience if the plank walk seems too much of a risk to you.

29Christ Of The Abyss, Italy

Entry: Snorkel tours start at $55
strangest places in the world

Christ Of The Abyss is a 2.50-meter tall bronze statue of Jesus Christ. Deep-sea divers' favorite spot, and undoubtedly one of the strangest underwater locations on the planet. Guido Galletti's submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ is one of the top tourist attractions in Italy for thrill lovers.

Best time of the year to visit:May to June
Hot Tip:Explore Christ of the Abyss via a snorkeling boat to get a close look at this strange attraction.

30Red Beach, China

Entry: Starting from 60 yuan
strangest places in the world

This beach is covered in a species of seaweed called Sueda, which turns a vivid red color in the autumn. These tidal wetlands, located 30 kilometers southwest of Panjin, are an important wildlife reserve for migrating birds. Only a small area of the beach is exposed to the public, but a wooden path that goes out to sea can be explored.

Best time of the year to visit:September to November
Hot Tip:Take a day trip to this fascinating location and watch the migratory birds at Red Beach.

31Montaña de Siete Colores, Peru

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

Wide lines of pastel blue, vibrant red, green, pink, and yellow cover the surface of this mountain. There are no scientific explanations for this behavior at this time. Rainbow Mountain, also known as Vinicunca or Montaña de Siete Colores, is a multicolored peak in Peru. The views from the summit of the mountain will astound you and show you why it is on every list of the strangest places on the planet.

Best time of the year to visit:May to July
Hot Tip:Remember that the trek is quite strenuous. Attempt it if you are used to trekking.

32Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

This green leafy tunnel, part of an industrial railway in Ukraine, looks like something out of a fairy tale. It is well-known for being a popular spot for couples to promenade in the morning or evening. If you want to surprise your significant other on Valentine's Day, schedule a vacation to the Tunnel of Love instead of going to Disneyland.

Best time of the year to visit:May
Hot Tip:Add this trip to your Kyiv itinerary to make the most of your time in Ukraine

33Glass Beach, USA

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

This gleaming sea glass beach in California is an amazing result of years of trash deposited on the beach. This was not stopped until the 1960s, by which time the sea had been clogged with everything from electrical gadgets to bottles and cans. The waves eventually shattered everything into colorful pebbles, and the beach became a popular tourist destination.

Best time of the year to visit:April and October
Hot Tip:Glass Beach is now endangered because of the high number of visitors collecting glass pieces. Do not add to that when you visit and let the beach thrive.

36Jellyfish Lake, Palau

Entry: US$100
strangest places in the world

In this region of Palau, there are 70 marine lakes. This lake is distinct from the others because it contains jellyfish. Jellyfish Lake was closed to the public in 2012 due to a decline in the number of jellyfish in the lake. However, the jellyfish population has bounced back now. Jellyfish Lake is one of the strangest places on the planet.

Best time of the year to visit:December to February
Hot Tip: Take a dive into Jellyfish Lake to be in close proximity of the dwellers of the lake.

35Caño Cristales, Colombia

Entry: 53,500 pesos
strangest places in the world

This Colombian river glows red throughout the hot months. The riverbed is covered by a peculiar variety of plants that turns red, making it one of the strangest places on the planet. The "River of Five Colors" or the "Liquid Rainbow" are two names for the river. It has been dubbed the most beautiful body of water on the planet.

Best time of the year to visit:DMay to August
Hot Tip: Make a day out of your visit to the river by touring the La Macarena National Park.

34Slope Point, South Island, New Zealand

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

Slope Point, the southernmost point of the South Island, is another of the world's weird places. Because of the strong Antarctic winds, the trees in this woodland are permanently bent and windblown. This is one of the world's windiest and oddest locations. The steep cliffs, eroded by powerful winds and time, add to the beauty of the scene.

Best time of the year to visit:December to February
Hot Tip: Don’t forget to check out the AA signpost that shows the distance to the equator and the South Pole.

37Painted Hills, USA

Entry: Free
strangest places in the world

Painted Hills is one of the strangest places on the planet. Make plans to visit Oregon as soon as possible to explore this fascinating place. Minerals stain the slopes at John Day Fossil Beds' Painted Hills in a variety of colors. The yellows, reds, golds, and blacks are affected by altering light and moisture levels.

Best time of the year to visit:June to August
Hot Tip: When you drive to Painted Hills, be sure to download your navigation map because you will lose cell service when you are close to the destination.

38Lencois Maranhenses National Park, Brazil

Entry: Starting at US$19.84
strangest places in the world

Lencois Maranhenses National Park is a protected area in Brazil and one of the most mysterious places on Earth. There is a reason why this location is considered unique in the country. Although it appears to be a desert, this Brazilian national park features numerous tiny lakes separated by sand dune-like structures. The contrasting colors of the area make it a great fit for your Instagram photos.

Best time of the year to visit:May to July
Hot Tip:Take an ATV ride through the dunes if you are looking for an exhilarating activity in the area.

39Giant Crystal Cave, Mexico

Entry: US$16
strangest places in the world

The Naica Mine's Giant Crystal Cave is also one of the strangest places on the planet. These massive gleaming mineral pillars deep within the Earth's innards are enough to make you feel claustrophobic. For more than 500,000 years, this massive structure has been built beneath Mexico. It is a fascinating case study of how creatures cope with high heat and humidity.

Best time of the year to visit:December to February
Hot Tip:Ask for the paid parking spots near Naica mine when you purchase your tickets.

40Cat Island, Japan

Entry: 1230 yen
strangest places in the world

There are only 100 humans on this island, but there are thousands of cats. The inhabitants, on the other hand, are ecstatic about their living situation. Cat Island is located in the Ehime Prefecture of Japan, which is a remote part of the country. The cats surpass the humans by a factor of ten. Cats were introduced to fishing boats to kill rats, but they stayed on the island.

Best time of the year to visit:June and July
Hot Tip:Visit the shrine at the center of this island that is said to bring good luck to married couples.

41Moai, Chile

Entry: US$80
strangest places in the world

There are innumerable carved effigies of huge heads sprawled across the beach, made by the Rapa Nui civilization back in the first millennium CE when this place was not even called Easter Island. They were fashioned right out of the black rock rocks on the island, chiseled and chipped to perfection, by the Para Nui people using primitive tools.

Best time of the year to visit:May and November
Hot Tip: Avoid touching the Moai as they are protected by law and it can land you in legal trouble.

42Island Of Dolls, Mexico

Entry: US$4
strangest places in the world

Eerie and battered toys hang from the trees on the desolate Mexican island of Xochimilco. The scene seems like something out of a horror film, with dolls dangling in the middle of nowhere. Legend has it that these dolls began washing up on the sand after a girl drowned in one of the nearby canals. After that, one of the town's single residents hung them from the trees for unknown reasons.

Best time of the year to visit:October and November
Hot Tip:Visit this place during Día de Los Muertos to get the spookiest of experiences.