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10 Places in the World You Won't Believe Exist
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May 2, 2019
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James Stewart
americas

We scoured the globe to find you some of the most unimaginable places, sites that will make you believe you are on another planet. Want to see something truly incredible? Here are 10 places you won't believe exist.

Fly Geyser, Nevada, U.S.A.

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The odd thing about the Fly Geyser is that it was created from human activity. The property owners drilled for water to turn the area into farmland, but they hit geothermal boiling water. Then they tried to harness the hot water for energy, but it was not hot enough. Long story short, over the years, the geyser formed a calcium carbonate cone and now attracts people from all over to view this otherworldly formation.

Thermal Pools at Pamukkale, Turkey

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A trip to this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Turkey will leave you feeling like you stepped into an arctic paradise. At first glance, the pools appear like icy ponds. The waters, however, are the perfect temperature for a relaxing thermal mineral bath. This “Cotton Palace” was created from springs in a cliff almost 600 feet high and the calcite-laden waters have created an unbelievable landscape.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, U.S.A.

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Standing in one of the slots in Antelope Canyon will make you think that you have landed on Mars. Nope. This 660-foot-long sandstone formation in Upper Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land. Wind and water have gently carved the sandstone and its curves, colors and shapes are so unique you will spend most of your time trying to figure out how to get the perfect shot of this astonishing place. Plan ahead, though. You must hire a guide to take you to the canyon and your time there is limited to one hour.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

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If you want to experience one of the most remarkable vistas on Earth, then you need to check out Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni — the world’s largest salt flat. The 4,000 square miles of vastness was left behind by prehistoric lakes that evaporated eons ago. During the rainy season (December–April), nearby lakes overflow and create an amazing mirror effect. How much salt is mined from the lakes? Enough to build a hotel made entirely of salt.

Door to Hell, Darvaza, Turkmenistan

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If you are up for an out-of-this-world adventure, then welcome to the “Door to Hell.” Well, technically this unnerving site is called the Darvaza gas crater. This volcanic-looking crater can be seen for miles, and it was created by a man-made accident. In 1971, the Soviets were drilling for natural gas and punched a hole into a huge underground natural gas cavern. The rig fell in and released massive amounts of natural gas. They set the hole on fire hoping that it would burn itself out, but here we are, nearly 50 years later, and people are still coming from miles around to camp in the wild Karakum Desert and stare into the "Door to Hell."

Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines

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If you didn’t know better, you would think you were walking among a field of giant chocolate kisses. The famed Chocolate Hills of Bohol are something that has puzzled geologists for years. There are 1,268 cone-shaped mounds spread over more than 20 square miles, varying in size from 100 to 400 feet high. The best way to see the hills is by heading to Sagbayan Peak, a mountaintop resort and recreation center that has a viewing deck that boasts a 360° view of the hills and the distant sea. Spoiler alert! The hills only look like chocolate in the dry season (November–March) when the grass turns brown.

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, U.S.A.

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If you want to see a thermal feature even more impressive than Old Faithful, check out Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring. From the air, the hot spring looks like a giant mood ring because of its bizarre colors and its round shape. What gives the third largest spring in the world its crazy rainbow hues? It comes from heat-loving bacteria that live in the gradually cooler water around the spring. Here’s another unbelievable fact about the microbes in the spring, they helped researchers map the human genome.

Ice Hummocks on Lake Baikal, Russia

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Siberia’s Lake Baikal is one of the largest and deepest lakes in the world. If you happen to be on the shore during the winter months, you can witness an unbelievable but beautiful site — ice hummocks. Expanding ice forms these unique hummocks that make the lake look like rolling hills with giant turquoise stones peeking out of the snow.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

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The floating island plateau of Mount Roraima sits 7,671 feet above the forest floor, on the border between Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. These unbelievable sheer cliffs soar high above the clouds and make you feel like you are literally floating on a magic carpet. This 2-billion-year-old rock formation features some of the highest waterfalls on the planet. To add to the legend of this remote landscape, Mount Roraima was the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.

Lake Hillier, Australia

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Lake Hillier is not the only pink lake in the world; it’s not even the only pink lake in Australia. But the amazing contrast between the eucalyptus forest and the blue of the ocean make this spot on the planet unique. Lake Hillier is also quite a challenge to get to because it is isolated on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Western Australia. From the air, the lake appears to be a pool of Pepto Bismol surrounded by a sea of green trees and blue water. Although scientists can’t agree on exactly why the water is pink, it is likely due to a type of microalgae, which is also found in carrots and the bacteria in the salt crusts. The water is not as vivid from the ground, but still appears pink in a clear glass. The bad news is that the lake is off-limits for swimming.