Outdoorstip compiled a guide to the most “unearthly” places of our planet. They look as if you are in a far galaxy or even in a parallel reality.
You can often find a selection of photos with extraterrestrial landscapes while browsing the internet. Of course you will ask if it is possible to visit and examine them personally? We deliberately did not include those objects that can be viewed only from the orbital station (for example, the Eye of the Sahara), or the restricted place named cave of giant crystals in Mexico. So, all places in our list are open for visiting at any time.
Saline of Uyuni, Bolivia
Perhaps this is the most untwisted “unearthly” place on our planet: it is a dried salt lake with an ideally smooth surface. In fact, this giant crystal is about 8 meters thick and has an area of more than 6 square miles. In the drought season, you can see it covered with hexagonal crusts, like huge honeycombs or a cosmic puzzle. The best time to visit this unique place is the rainy season (from November to March): the surface of the lake looks like a huge mirror, where the clouds reflect the photographic accuracy, creating an optical illusion of the sky underfoot. A trip to the Uyuni is one of the most popular excursions in the South American continent. Local residents have learned to use that miracle by building hotels near the salt blocks, where you can stop for the night.
Glacier Perito Moreno, Argentina
The National Park of Los Glaciares, where a very strange but beautiful-looking piercing blue Perito Moreno glacier is located, is very popular among the travelers. A lot of tours have been developed here, allowing you to get acquainted with this unearthly miracle closer, including walking tours near its surface and boat tours on the other side of the lake. By the way, the best time to visit the glacier is the South American summer.
Beach of Playa de Amor, Mexico
Perhaps, Beach of Playa de Amor which is placed on the islands of Marieta – is one of the most unusual places in the world. It is covered with a rock dome, which is almost looks like a perfectly circular hole. Due to the fact that this place is loved by tourists (for the opportunity to swim in the waters of this fantastic bath, and also watch octopuses, rays, turtles, dolphins and whales), it is easily accessible from the Mexican Riviera. The best time to visit is the South American summer.
Lassen-Volkanik National Park, USA
Wave-shaped valleys are gently pink and richly violet truly looks unearthly. The National Park is located in sunny California, which attracts tourists from all over the world. In addition to the unusual color of the hills, the reserve contains all four kinds of volcanoes existing in the world:
– lava cone;
– slag cone;
– shield volcano;
Fly Geyser, USA
There is a curious object in Nevada – the Fly Geyser, which was not accessible to visitors for a long time, as it was placed on private lands. But two years ago this area was bought by the organizers of the Burning Man festival. By the way, Burning Men is an impressive sight: hundreds participants dressed in phantasmagoric dresses, quaint transport, art from the category of “radical modern” – so it can probably look like an intergalactic city-spaceport. Unfortunately it is not possible to take a look at this action for a couple of hours – spectators are not allowed to visit it. You need to buy a very expensive ticket of the participant first. But do not be discouraged, fantastic Fly geyser is enough for the impressions of a lifetime.
Lake Kliluk, Canada
This lake is also called Spotted, which is directly related to its unusual appearance: it looks like painted by someone by yellow, orange and green circles . North American Indians consider the reservoir was sacred and even bought the land to protect it from tourists, which, of course, only spurred the general interest. Kliluk is noted in all the guidebooks and is perfectly visible from the adjacent highway. The best time to visit the lake is summer, when the spots become more saturated.
Lake Natron, Tanzania
Perhaps this would look like the lakes of Mars, if there was water on the red planet. The natron is covered with a crust of salt, several times a year acquiring a red color. A surreal view of the funnel is visible on the surface of this poisonous alkaline lake. Water is dangerous here for all living things, and the skeletons of animals and birds on the banks are the proof. Surprisingly, a single species feels here very freely – these are small flamingos that walk around and over in the ominous red waters. There are no separate excursions to Lake Natron, but it is usually included in a tour to the volcano Oldoino-Lengai, located nearby. You can also come here by yourself, renting a jeep in the town of Arusha.
Danakil hollow, Ethiopia
If you want to see something really unearthly and very extreme – go to the vicinity of the Dallol volcano in the Danakil hollow. Here are just a few facts about this place:
– This is the hottest place on the planet;
– It has the lowest volcano;
– The archaeologists discovered here the remains of an Australopithecus named Lucy;
– The surface of the volcano is very similar to the landscapes of the planet Io – the satellite of Jupiter.
The Danakil hollow is one of the most coveted tourist sites in Africa. Strange stone outgrowths, bright red and acid-yellow fields, bubbling lakes – will not leave indifferent even the inveterate traveler. The best time to visit Danakil hollow is from July to September, early in the morning. You can easily book the tour with the help of local guides in Ethiopia.
Colored Rocks, China
The “striped” mountains of the Danza geological park are so similar to the Impressionist canvas. Red, orange, yellow, white, blue, green – are there such rocks on Earth? The mountains are notable for their forms: they are extremely diverse and have many unusual elevations, grottoes, caves, ravines. It is dangerous to walk alone here, therefore it is possible to examine the reserve only as part of an tourist group. You can buy tickets directly at the entrance. The best time to visit Colored Rocks is summer.
Firefly Forest, Japan
Every year in Japan, during the rainy season (June-July) you can observe a wonderful phenomenon. At this period of time some forests turn into a fabulous jungle from the fantastic world of “Avatar”. Tiny fireflies illuminate the forests with green, yellow and red lights. This is a mating season, and the males of fireflies are going to groups obeying the instinct attracting the female, and creating whimsical drawings of high light intensity. You can enjoy their flight in the forests of Nagoya, Maniva, prefectures of Aichi, Oita and Okayama.
There are enough of “Unearthly” places on our native planet. If you’re going to travel in one of this wonderful places, do not forget a spare battery and USB flash drive for the camera, because you will want to shoot a lot! And in order to find the way back to human habitation, download the map of the desired region to the phone in advance and do not worry about the absence of the Internet.