Although science can explain almost everything that happens on this planet, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little mystery, as well. Some places are just so permeated by intrigue that there is no explaining it away. Below are just a handful of the most mysterious places on Earth.
10. Caño Cristales, Columbia
Caño Cristales is a river located in the Serrenia de la Macerana region of Columbia. This isn’t just any river, it has been referred to as and “The Most Beautiful River in the World.” For much of the year it looks just the same as any other river, but for a short amount of time between September and November – in the transition period between wet and dry seasons – it transforms into a wash of color. The reds, pinks, blues, greens and yellows that adorn the river are actually unique types of flora growing on the riverbed.
9. Mount Sanquinshan, China
Mount Sanquinshan is a Taoist sacred place and is often referred to as “The Garden of the Gods.” The area consists of a multitude of interesting and unusually-shaped forested granite pillars and outcrops. The frequently shifting weather patterns mean the area is steeped in mists for roughly 200 days each year, giving it a truly ethereal appearance. Visitors have reported a deep and unerring sense of calm and serenity while in the area.
8. Fly Geyser, United States
Fly Geyser, located in the Nevada Desert, is a collection of three large, colorful mounds which continually shoot five feet of water straight up into the air. It was accidentally created in 1916, during a routine well-drilling. It worked normally until the 1960s, when heated geothermal water started spurting out through the well. Dissolved minerals began to accumulate and gradually built up into the large, colored mounds we see today. Fly Geyser is amongst the most secret places on Earth, as it’s located on private property and no tourists or sightseers are allowed in.
7. Aokighara, Japan
Found at the base of Mount Fuji, Aokighara is probably the most renowned forest in all of Japan. This 3,500 hectare wide forest is thick with gnarled and twisted trees. It’s reportedly haunted, with legends of ghosts, demons and spirits surrounding the area. Sadly, it’s also the second most popular suicide spot in the world. More than 500 people have committed suicide there since the 1950s.
6. The Bermuda Triangle, Atlantic Ocean
What would a list of mysterious places be without a mention of the Bermuda Triangle? For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s a triangular area in the Atlantic ocean, between Miami, Bermuda and San Juan. Over the years, the area has captured our imaginations, with reports of seemingly unexplainable disappearances of planes, ships and people. No one can say for sure what happened in these cases, but theories are as far ranging as sea monsters, alien abduction and simple weather conditions.
5. Moguicheng, China
Moguicheng is a desert in the Xinjiang region of China. The name literally translates to City of Satan or Devil’s City. Walking through the desert toward an old abandoned city, people have reported some extremely strange occurrences. Visitors are adamant that they’ve heard a range of mysterious sounds floating on the breeze, from weird melodies and the sound of guitar strings gently being plucked to babies crying and tigers roaring. These sounds are apparently inexplicable, nobody has yet been able to find any sort of source.
4. Richat Structure, Mauritania
The Richat Structure is also known as the Eye of the Sahara. It’s a distinct and prominent circular geographical feature in the Sahara Desert. At roughly 30 miles wide, you probably wouldn’t notice that you were within it, but from an aerial view – and even from space – it is highly visible. Originally, it was thought to be the product of an asteroid impact and later people thought it could have been created by a volcanic eruption. The main school, of thought today says that it was once a circular rock formation that has gradually been eroded. Several mysteries still surround the areas, such as why the structure is nearly a perfect circle and why the rings are equidistant from each other.
3. Travertine Pools of Pamukkale, Turkey
The Travertine Pools of Pamukkale are as wonderful to behold as they are ethereal-looking. Over the years, white travertine mineral deposits have built up in this area of hot springs, creating a series of white terraces. These natural pools are blindingly white and filled with clear blue waters. These strange terraced pools have been appreciated for at least 2,000 years, and they’re sure to last for many more.
2. McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
The McMurdo Dry Valleys could be the most secret place on Earth. This little-known area is one of the most extreme deserts and perhaps the driest place in the world – receiving just 4 inches of precipitation each year – but strangely it’s located slap bang in the middle of the usual ice and snow of Antarctica. Rather than being covered in snow, this bleak and barren landscape is completely bare. The area even lacks any terrestrial vegetation, although some lichens, mosses and nematodes live there. Scientists have said that the Dry Valley area is probably the place on this planet that is most similar to the environment on Mars.
1. Mount Roraima, Brazil
Mount Roraima is particularly unusual to look at because, rather than finishing in a peak like most mountains, its top is a large plateau. It’s thought to be amongst the world’s oldest geological formations, and its plateau was most likely created by winds and rains. The plateau is often cloaked with clouds, which are more often than not near the top of the mountain. It has a particularly large number of endemic species of flora and fauna – species that can can be found nowhere else on Earth. There’s no explanation as to why it has such an unusually large amount.