6 Natural Wonders You've Never Seen Before
The world is full of natural wonders. Chances are, however, you're only familiar with some of the most famous ones. Here are six beautiful and lesser-known natural wonders to check out.
Giant’s Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Have you ever seen 40,000 interlocking basalt columns? If you visit Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, you can. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located along the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland. The basalt columns, which are relics from a volcanic age, lead from the hills to the ocean. At the visitor's center, you can learn more about the cherished tale behind this natural wonder — one involving Irish and Scottish giants who got in a fight. The Irish giant attempted to build a path to Scotland, but the Scottish giant ripped it up.
Grand Prismatic Springs, Yellowstone, Wyoming
Many people go to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful, the geyser that regularly erupts into the air. But do you know about Grand Prismatic Spring? Also in Yellowstone, this geyser and hot spring is the biggest hot spring in the U.S. and the third biggest hot spring in the world. It’s located in the Midway Geyser Basin. The bright colors make this hot spring popular among photographers. Grand Prismatic is deeper than a 10-story building and larger than a football field.
Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy
The Blue Grotto is a magical sea cave located near the island of Capri; thanks to the reflection of the sunlight, the entire cave is a vibrant shade of blue. You can visit Capri and go into the cave by boat. It’s a surreal, almost otherworldly experience and should definitely be on your bucket list. Be aware, though, that you may not be able to plan in advance — each morning, the skippers go to the mouth of the cave and decide whether it’s safe to enter that day.
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the world, and Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky is the place to go to see it. Over 400 miles of the cave system have been explored and you can take guided tours to learn about the geology and history of the caves. Stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone deposits and more line the interior. You can also camp in Mammoth Cave National Park and enjoy other surface activities such as hiking and horseback riding.
Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona/Utah
The Paria Canyon Wilderness area stretches over 112,500 acres in Arizona and Utah. The Vermilion Cliffs have a Navajo sandstone face and lots of slot canyon hiking opportunities, plus deer and desert bighorn sheep. If you like alone time in nature, Paria Canyon is a gorgeous way to indulge in some. Check out Coyote Buttes, too; this is an area of amazing scenery where the colors and textures of the rock formations change in different types of weather.
Pulpit (Preikestolen) Rock, Norway
Preikestolen is a jaw-dropping, 1982-foot-tall cliff in the Rogaland area of Norway. Tucked in the Scandinavian Mountains, the cliff has a flat top that’s about 82 feet by 82 feet. Many tourists enjoy hiking Preikestolen, also called Pulpit Rock, but it’s not for the faint of heart. According to VisitNorway, the 3.7-mile hike takes four hours and ascends 1,148 feet. You can also hike during the night and watch the sunrise from the top of Pulpit Rock. Finally, if standing on top of the cliff doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, many companies offer sightseeing tours that take you out on the fjord, where you can view Preikestolen via boat.