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Strange Places in The World

January 7, 2013

Door to Hell

When we’re thinking about holidays, we’ve grown accustomed to think about beautiful places, sunny beaches, clear blue water and so on. But there are other kinds of sights out there, and we decided to tell you about some of the strangest places on Earth.

First on out list is the “Door to Hell” (Derweze or Darvaza), a 70 meter hole in a village in Turkmenistan. It’s actually placed in an area very rich in natural gas, and in 1971, while the Soviets were drilling this area, the rig collapsed. The hole that resulted has been set on fire in order to avoid the spread of toxic gas, but since the soil is so rich in this natural resource, it’s still burning. But the end result is quite a frightening sight and at least on a visual level it fully deserves its name.

Also worthy of this category is Salar de Uyuni (or Salar de Tunupa) in Bolivia. It’s the largest salt field in the world, spreading over 10582 km2. It has an extremely flat surface and it’s a few meter thick. The surface is useful for transportation, but it’s also a reliable protection layer for a large quantity of brine, which makes up for about 50-70% of the world’s lithium supply.

And speaking of salt, the “cotton castle” (Pamukkale) from Turkey comes to mind. It’s a beautiful set of white terraces that mix with the 17 soothing hot water springs (somewhere between 35o C and 100oC). It’s an absolutely gorgeous views and even the Ancients thought so, since the Greco-Roman citi of Hierapolis was built on it. Obviously, there are a lot of minerals floating around, so these waters can also cure, and they’ve been used as a SPA since the 2nd century BC.

All that salt must have made you crave for sweets, so let’s go to The Chocolate Hills, in the Bohol Province, Philipines. They are basically a condensed array of 1260-1776 hills spread over 50 km2 and they get their name from their autumn look, when they turn brown since they’re covered with grass. We won’t bore you with geology, but we’ll tell you that there’s a legend about them and it involves giants. You can choose the violent version, where the hills are the result of a fight between 2 giants, or the romantic version where they’re tears of a heart-broken giant.

And last, bot surely not least is the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone Park, the largest hot spring in USA and famous for it’s very lively colours. Its rainbow like chromatic properties are caused by the presence of bacteria that grow around the edges of this pool of water, that is also very rich in minerals.

Of course, our planet has many more secrets to reveal. Most of them have good scientific explanations, but sometimes it’s better to simply enjoy the view and ponder on nature’s miracles.

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