Science fiction films often feature incredible scenes such as islands flying in the sky or elf houses built on trees. But the world we live in is also full of fantastic places and strange natural formations that boggle the imagination.
And although people have changed the world beyond recognition, not all unique natural places have been lost. Beautiful mountains, turquoise waters, amazing islands - our planet is truly rich in places that will take your breath away.
1. Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
The Phi Phi Islands are located in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the western coast of the Andaman Sea. Most of these islands are not just sharp cliffs rising from the ocean. Clear turquoise water and dense tropical greenery make this place a true paradise on earth.
2. Crater Nyiragongo, Congo
Nyiragongo Volcano is a unique steep volcano located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Inside the crater of this volcano, a lake of lava has formed, which is constantly bubbling and foaming, filling the night sky with a supernatural red glow. This takes a heavy toll on villages and nearby towns, both from volcanic eruptions and from poisonous gases and other deadly forms of seismic activity.
3. Bury Head Arch, Newfoundland, Canada
This magnificent arch is on the Spurwink Trail along the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland, Canada. The arch looks quite impressive for its massiveness, and it is so large that a whole grove of trees has grown on top of it. Be careful when you get to the arch, as the path itself goes around rather steep cliffs.
4. Pamukkale, Turkey
The hot spring water and the calcium carbonate deposits on the large cliffs give Pamukkale an impressive appearance, and on clear days the sky's reflection adds an amazing blue color to the water. As a result, this place is somewhat reminiscent of an enchanted ice palace, although the temperature here is quite comfortable.
5. Pura Tanah Lot, Bali
Pura Tanah Lot is a temple located on a rocky formation jutting out of the island of Bali. This is an amazing place, the silhouette of which, when viewed from some angles, resembles a fabulous ship. You can get to the temple only through a narrow isthmus. According to legend, this was a holy place built by a Hindu brahmana, which was guarded by a huge snake created from a brahmana's scarf.
6. Tianzu Mountains, China
These mountains are gigantic towering spiers, several hundred meters high, adorned with lush vegetation. They seem to defy the laws of gravity, resembling the floating monoliths from the movie Avatar. The mountains are located in Zhangjiajie National Park, in the northern province of Hunan, and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The balancing elongated mountains are the result of years of erosion caused by the expansion of ice in winter.
7. Hamilton Pool Reserve, Texas, USA
The Hamilton Pool Reserve is a natural pool formed thousands of years ago by major erosion. The pool itself is filled with amazing emerald water framed by limestone rocks covered in lush ferns and moss. A 15-meter waterfall descends from the outcrops, which never completely dries up, even during the driest periods.
8. Las Canadas, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Caldera Las Canadas is a series of volcanoes that make up an amazing volcanic wasteland. The desert rocky ground is full of heat and is dotted with fumaroles - cracks and holes spewing poisonous gases. The uneven terrain and sharp rock outcrops create a truly Martian look.
9. Machu Picchu, Peru
There are many interesting ruins around the world, but Machu Picchu is an iconic place in this respect. Located high in the mountains of Peru, in the middle of a tropical forest, this place is simply striking in its beauty. Once the most impressive creation of the Inca empire, its gigantic walls, terraces and rampads seem to have been carved naturally from endless rock ledges.
Until 1911, this place was not even suspected, until the American historian Hiram Bingham discovered it.
10. Meteora, Greece
Meteora is a monastic complex in central Greece, which is located on the tops of rocks, the height of which reaches 600 m above sea level. These monasteries were built in impossible conditions, practically without roads, being a real achievement of art and a shining example of an architectural transformation into a perfect place of solitude, meditation and prayer.