Strangest Places on Earth - Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Some locations on earth can be mysterious, strange and even weird but at the same time pleasant to visit. The world is a big place and full of surprises, but there places out there that can be unusual and out of this world. These destinations are especially suited for those looking for an exciting adventure, yearning for a travel experience beyond usual, and looking for extraordinary occurrences. Many exciting things are hidden around the corners of the earth that can make your traveling experience more worth-while. Here is the list of the ten strangest places from around the world that you won’t believe exists.

1. Underwater park, Green Lake in Tragoess, Austria

Underwater park, Green Lake in Tragoess, Austria

Green Lake is a beautiful green lake in Styria, located near a village named Tragoess, Austria. It is known as one of the most exotic waters for scuba divers to swim during spring season because of its rare and unique natural phenomenon. The beautiful lake is surrounded by forests and Hochschwab Mountains that create a perfect place for those who are interested in hiking and mountain climbing.

During June, the park becomes wholly submerged in water when the snow from the peaks of the mountain melts and the water floods the valley due to summer. The water level reaches its maximum depth of 12 meters covering small and high trees, pathways, boulders, bridge, and benches. Every late July, the lakes continues grows smaller until it reveals the view of the beautiful underwater park. It has become an attraction among divers, tourists, and locals but it’s not just an ordinary park, it’s a park that is found in underwater.[1]

2. The Doorway Railway of Hanoi, Vietnam

The Doorway Railway of Hanoi, Vietnam

In the residential neighborhood and commercial area of Hanoi, Vietnam, there is a railway line that has trains that pass through the town twice a day, just merely inches away from the homes and shops of the residential buildings. At the time of 3 pm and 7 pm, before there are trains that will pass through the narrow streets, the residents must ensure that they and their children are safely inside the houses while some of them press tight against the walls or nearby doorways. As soon as the train has passed on the railroad tracks, the residents of the Hanoi go back to walking across the streets.

The households are so close to the tracks that residents could easily get injured if they are not careful in their steps, being alert of the train’s timings and carelessly stick their hands out of the building windows at the wrong time. The trains pass so close to the households that the locals must bring all of their personal belongings inside to avoid unfortunate accidents. Despite the hectic, narrow residential streets where high-speed trains drive pass two times a day, the locals continue to live there with calm and peace.[2][3]

3. Cano Cristales, Colombia

Cano Cristales, Colombia

Cano Cristales is a Colombian river found in a national park located into the nearby town of La Macarena. The river is known for its beautiful explosion of colors and is also referred as the “river of five colors,” “the river that ran away from paradise,” and “a natural of the world” because of its brilliant red color. It only happens between the wet and dry seasons. When the water level is right, the plant below the river called Macarenia clavigera turns an incredible red. It is counterbalance with splotches of yellow and green sand and thousands of shades in between.

During Colombia’s wet season, the flow of the water is too fast and deep that conceals the sun that the Macarenia clavigera needs to turn red. During the dry season, there is not enough water to support plant species inside the river. For a few weeks from September to November, the river transformed into dashing rainbow colors of red, green, blue, yellow, and black because of the combination of algae, mineral deposits, and the unique plant species Macarenia clavigera.[4]

4. Blood Falls, Antarctica

Blood Falls, Antarctica

In Antarctica, the deep red falls were first discovered in 1911 when scientists found that the surrounding cliff of ice was stained with crimson red color. They assumed that algae living in the water might cause the red color. The mystery surrounding Antarctica’s Blood Falls has been solved thanks to the research made by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The research team found out that the true origin of the deep red color was due to the oxidized iron in brine saltwater. The saltwater with high iron content oxidizes and turns red when exposed to air and as a result, dying the water to a deep blood red color.

Blood Falls is located at the northern end of Taylor Glacier. From the new study of the research team, a million years ago while Taylor Glacier was extending across the icy continent, it trapped a saltwater lake beneath layers of ice and snow. As time goes on, the saltwater lake becomes more concentrated until the brine was too salty for it to freeze during normal temperature. The subglacial brine lake has been trapped beneath the glacier and scraping iron from the bedrock, giving it its signature red color when it oozes out of the fissure in the glacier and onto the outside world.[5][6]

5. The confluence of Rhone and Arve Rivers, Switzerland

The confluence of Rhone and Arve Rivers, Switzerland

The confluence of the Rhone and Arve rivers is located in La Jonction, in the western part of Geneva, which is the second largest city in Switzerland. The river on the left is the Rhone which runs through France to the Swiss Ap and is one of the three major rivers of Europe. The river on the right is the Arve, which receives water coming from the many glaciers of the Chamonix valley. The Arve river also flows from France to Switzerland. It contains high levels of silt, rocks, and mud caused by the rapid flow of the river, resulting in the coloration of lighter gray and muddy. While river Arve flows on the north-west side of Geneva, from where the two separate bodies of water meet with a striking contrast of shades and create a unique and incredible natural phenomenon, when both rivers meet, their waters join and mix to form one single river, Rhone.[7]

6. Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Vaadhoo Island is one of the islands of Male Atoll in the Maldives. It is a small inhabited island with just over 500 inhabitants but its mystical natural phenomenon which is the Sea of Stars has attracted a lot of travelers from around the world, and millions of tourists visit Maldives beach in the night to see this great blue luminescence sea that creates an illusion of glowing stars on earth.

The reason why the shore glows a neon blue color and incredible twinkle was due to a natural chemical reaction called bioluminescence, which occurs when the marine microorganisms in the water are disturbed by the oxygen. Phytoplankton, the marine microbes in the water, has a defense mechanism to prevent itself from being eaten by other aquatic organisms. It creates a beautiful blue glow that produces toxins which are harmful to fishes, sea creatures and humans. This outstanding blue luminescence in the ocean creates a magical scenery during at night and become one of the wonders of nature throughout the world.[8][9]

7. The Road to Heaven – Huashan Mountain, China

Sea of Stars on Vaadhoo Island, Maldives

Huashan mountain is located near the city of Huayin, part of the Shaanxi province in China. On top of the south side of the hill, there is a teahouse which is part of a Taoist temple where the inhabitants of this region used to practice asceticism as a daily meditation and were usually occupied with a cup a tea. After decades has passed, the temple has turned into a tearoom which has become a popular site and been visited by thousands of tourists every year. The trail to the Huashan mountain is considered one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world, and there are reports that many people who fall to their deaths on the trail over the years.

Despite several cases of tragedies, many are drawn to the sacredness and the scenery of the mountain, which prompts them to take the risk of hiking the dangerous trail of the South Peak. The trail to the top of the mountain starts with a lot of enormous stairs, which are nicknamed “The Heavenly Stairs.” After climbing all the stairs, the hikers have to walk across a path made of thin plank, called “Plank Road,” which was built along the side of the mountain. It is the most dangerous route hikers has to face. To keep themselves safe; the hikers have to hold the chains that were nailed in stone to avoid falling. In the end, they will have to climb with a chain and use dug out holes to keep themselves balanced. In the end, after a long journey and dangerous climb to the top of the mountain, the hikers can finally see the famous teahouse.[10][11]

8. Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Strangest Places on Earth - Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain, Peru

The Rainbow Mountain is located deep in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, in the Cusco region of Peru. It is known for its striking colors of red, orange, yellow and turquoise and has become an increasingly popular tourist destination and roughly 500 locals offered to serve as tourist guides and rent horses to ride up the mountain. Since the Rainbow Mountain has only been recently discovered, often the local guides have difficulty in finding its location. Additionally, trying to get to the mountain from the nearby town of Cusco to lodge is difficult without any assistance.

According to HuffPo, the cause of the vibrant array of color is because of ice that used to cover the mountain. When the ice melted, the water was mixed with the minerals of the ground, turning the whole area of the mountain colorful. The red areas were from to the mixtures of iron oxide rust, the purple areas were due to goethite or oxidized limonite, the yellow and the orange regions were due to iron sulfide, and the turquoise areas were from chlorite. The coloration of the rainbow caused the minerals.[12][13]

9. Crooked Forest, Poland

Crooked Forest, Poland

The Crooked Forest is a strange woodland that is located in a small corner of western Poland, near the town of Gryfino. The Crooked Forest has all 400 pine trees with a 90-degree bend at their base, and this unique site has numerous theories of possibilities trying to analyze what caused the majority of these tall trees to be crooked. Some bizarre theories were that the fluctuations in gravitational forces were responsible for the bending base of the trees or was that a dense layer of snow on top of the trunk could be the cause of the oddly shaped of the trees during growth. There was no evidence to support these theories.

Another popular theory is that during World War II, the enemies’ tanks lurch through the forests that could cause the deformation of the trees. However, this theory seems unlikely, since the trees wouldn’t be able to survive being run over by the heavy tanks. Another suggestion is that the curves could be human-made by farmers to be used as construction materials to build furniture or ship. Naturally curved timbers can be used to strengthen the ship internally. Trees are bent in certain ways to grow and collect curved timbers. No one truly knows of what could have caused the deformity of the trees because there were no witnesses that can testify which makes the mystery of the Crooked Forest remain unsolved.[14]

10. Cat Island, Japan

Cat Island, Japan

On the island of Tashirojima in the Miyagi Prefecture, cats are treated like kings because the locals believe that they can bring you luck and good fortune if you feed well and take good care of them. The felines dominate the island and outnumber the human residents, which is why it’s called “Cat Island.” In Japan, cats became the primary residence of the island and became a top-rated tourist attraction for cat lovers. In the last 50 years, due to the increased population of cats, more and more people have evaded the island, and only a few remained become overprotective and took care of the cats.

No dogs are allowed to enter the island to protect the well-being of the cats and to continue to bring luck and fortune to the human residents. In the middle of the island, there is a small cat shrine (Neko-jinja in Japanese) to commemorate the death of a cat being accidentally killed by the fishermen. One day, while they were preparing their nets for fishing, one stray rock from a pile of rocks suddenly fell and killed one cat. The fishermen felt so bad that they built a small shrine and enshrined the cat as an apology. Whenever people came to visit the shrine, they leave some gifts for the cat enshrined as part of a Japanese tradition. It is also another favorite cat island in Japan which is in Aoshima island in Ehime Prefecture with over 150 cats and dozen human residents.[15]

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