Photos of 30 Amazing World Places That Seem Almost Unreal


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We often dream of mythical Edens, fantastical landscapes that defy imagination. Yet, the truth is, our planet is chock full of “alien planets” and surreal wonders that will leave you in absolute awe. 

Here are 30 photos that we found of mind-blowingly gorgeous places on Earth that seem almost unreal.

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1. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, often referred to as nature’s mirror, is the largest salt flat in the world. Spanning over 4,050 square miles, this remarkable expanse was formed by the evaporation of prehistoric lakes. During certain times of the year, nearby lakes overflow, creating a thin layer of water that transforms the salt flats into a stunning, reflective canvas, mirroring the sky. 

Image Credit: Olga_Gavrilova /iStock.

2. Antelope Canyon, USA

Located in Northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon,  is a great example of nature’s artistry with its massive sandstone sculptures. This stunning slot canyon, part of the Navajo Nation, requires a guided tour to explore. The canyon is divided into two sections: Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon. The Upper Canyon is easier to navigate with ground-level entry, showcasing tall canyon walls streaked with sunlight. In contrast, the Lower Canyon offers a more challenging hike with stairways and ladders leading into the swirling sandstone formations. 

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3. Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Waitomo Caves are a must-see for their magical glowworms. When you visit, you can abseil down into the cave, zip-line in the dark, and float on an underground river. The caves are famous for their glowworms, which light up the cavern like stars. These tiny creatures use their glow to attract insects, creating a beautiful, natural light show. The caves are full of history too, with Māori myths and fossils from extinct animals

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4. Mount Roraima, South America

Mount Roraima, located at the intersection of Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil, is a majestic tepui that looks like something out of a lost world. Towering at 9,222 feet with steep 1,300-foot cliffs, this flat-topped mountain is often shrouded in mist and features unique flora such as pitcher plants and bellflowers. The summit, frequently covered in fog, offers a surreal landscape of black rocks, gorges, and wildflower gardens, making it a haven for adventurers and nature enthusiasts. Rain falls year-round, creating random waterfalls that add to the otherworldly beauty of this ancient geological wonder.

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5. The Eldhraun Lava Fields, Iceland

Eldhraun Lava Field, the world’s largest lava flow, spans 218 square miles of Iceland’s south coast. Formed by a massive eruption in 1783-1784, it’s now a surreal landscape of delicate green moss draped over stark black lava rocks. This historic and geologically significant site was where the Apollo 11 astronauts trained in 1969 because the rugged terrain closely resembles the moon’s surface. The lava field is fragile and unsafe for walking due to hidden crevices. 

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6. Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale, meaning “Cotton Castle” in Turkish, is an otherworldly landscape created by calcite-laden waters from hot springs. Situated in Turkey’s Denizli Province, these waters have formed a series of terraced basins, mineral forests, and petrified waterfalls. Overlooking the plain from a 200-meter-high cliff, Pamukkale’s dazzling white terraces have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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7. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

If you’re a fan of “Avatar,” Zhangjiajie in China’s Hunan province is a must-visit. Known as the “Avatar Mountains,” this place inspired the floating Hallelujah Mountains in the film. Over 3,000 sandstone pillars rise like bamboo shoots from the forest floor, creating a fairytale landscape. There you can also find Bailong Elevator, the world’s tallest outdoor lift, which takes you up 1,070 feet in just a couple of minutes. It’s a breathtaking way to see the stunning scenery of Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Area.

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8. Great Blue Hole, Belize

Belize’s Great Blue Hole is a massive natural sinkhole about 1,000 feet across and 400 feet deep, located in the Lighthouse Reef atoll. This deep navy blue marvel, visible from space, stands out in the turquoise waters and white-sand beaches.

Formed during the last glacial period, it’s the largest feature of its kind and part of the UNESCO-listed Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. Jacques Cousteau made it famous in the 1970s, calling it one of the best diving spots in the world.

To visit, you’ll likely travel by boat or helicopter from Belize’s barrier islands. 

Image Credit: Michael Conlin/istockphoto.

9. Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

In the small Ukrainian town of Klevan lies the gorgeous “Tunnel of Love,” a nearly two-mile stretch of private railway surrounded by a natural archway of trees. The lush, green branches form a dramatic tunnel, especially during spring and summer when the foliage is at its peak. In fall, the colorful leaves create a different kind of beauty, and in winter, snow transforms it into a magical wonderland.

Local legend says that couples who visit and make a wish here will see their wishes granted if their love is true. When not being used by a train that transports wood to a nearby factory, the tunnel is perfect for a romantic stroll.

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10. Lençóis Maranhenses, Brazil

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil is an otherworldly destination known for its stunning sand dunes and cerulean lagoons. Spanning 598 square miles, this park transforms into a mesmerizing landscape of freshwater lagoons between March and September, formed by rainwater that can’t drain due to the impermeable rock beneath the sand.

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11. Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Rainbow Mountain, or Vinicunca, is a must-see geological wonder located in the Andes near Cusco. Famous for its vibrant stripes of color, which result from the presence of 14 different minerals, it has become a popular destination for travelers heading to Machu Picchu. The colors of red, yellow, green, and purple emerged after the ice covering the mountain melted in 2013. The best time to visit is during the warmer months from November to March. 

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12. Grand Prismatic Spring, USA

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is an awe-inspiring natural wonder. Located in Midway Geyser Basin, this massive hot spring spans 200-330 feet across and plunges over 121 feet deep. The spring’s mesmerizing colors, created by heat-loving microorganisms called thermophiles, range from vivid blues to fiery oranges and greens.

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13. Moeraki Boulders Beach, New Zealand

Massive, almost perfectly round boulders are scattered along the sandy shore of Moeraki Boulders Beach in New Zealand, creating a surreal and fascinating landscape. Formed millions of years ago, these geological marvels are a must-see. 

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14. Marble Caves, Chile

  • Located in General Carrera Lake in Chile, Marble Caves are stunning formations created over 6,000 years by waves washing against calcium carbonate. 

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    15. Fly Geyser, USA

  • Fly Geyser in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert looks like something from another world. This man-made wonder, created in the 1960s, features a stunning 12-foot tall, three-pronged geyser that constantly sprays hot water, creating vibrant, colorful terraces of algae and minerals. Situated on the historic Fly Ranch, this unique geothermal marvel is only accessible through guided tours.

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    16. Reed Flute Cave, China

  • Reed Flute Cave, located in Guilin, China, is a breathtaking natural limestone cave filled with stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and rock formations. Illuminated by multicolored lights, the cave’s interior glows with vibrant shades that highlight its intricate formations. The name “Reed Flute Cave” comes from the reeds growing outside, which can be made into flutes. 

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    17. Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina

    Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia, Argentina, is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its breathtaking natural beauty and dramatic landscapes. One of the park’s most iconic features is the Perito Moreno Glacier, a massive ice formation that occasionally blocks a channel of Lake Argentino, causing spectacular ruptures. The park spans 600,000 hectares and includes rugged mountains, glacial lakes, and extensive glaciers, many of which are fed by the South Patagonian Ice Field. 

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    18. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

  • Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia looks like a fairytale land where you might expect to find fairies, elves or all sorts of mythical creatures around every corner. This stunning park, Croatia’s top natural attraction, features forested hills and 16 crystal-clear lakes connected by a series of beautiful waterfalls and cascades. The mineral-rich waters constantly shape the landscape, creating ever-changing formations of tufa. Wooden footbridges and pathways meander around the lakes, offering breathtaking views and bringing you up close to the rumbling waterfalls. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, Plitvice Lakes is truly a magical place to explore.

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    19. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

    The Giant’s Causeway, located along the coast at the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland, is a remarkable natural formation and a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of about 40,000 black basalt columns. These hexagonal columns were formed by volcanic activity around 50-60 million years ago, and they create a dramatic landscape that has inspired legends of giants.

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    20. Red Beach, China

    China’s Panjin Red Beach is a stunning natural wonder that turns a vibrant red every autumn. Located along the Liaohe River Delta in Liaoning Province, this marshy wetland gets its striking color from the type of seaweed called Sueda, which changes from green in the spring to deep red by late summer. The Red Beach spans about 51 square miles, most of which is a protected nature reserve, home to over 260 species of migratory birds, including the endangered red-crowned crane and white stork. The best time to visit is in September when the colors are most vivid and bird activity is high.

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    21. Underwater Waterfall, Mauritius

    Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean, is home to a breathtaking natural phenomenon known as the underwater waterfall. This illusion is created by sand and silt being swept off the island’s coastal shelf by ocean currents, plunging into deeper waters and creating the appearance of a cascading waterfall under the sea. 

    The island itself was formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago and is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and unique marine life.

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    22. Chocolate Hills, Philippines

    Located on the island of Bohol in the Philippines, the Chocolate Hills are over 1,200 symmetrical, cone-shaped hills and are sometimes considered the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” These unique, rounded hills turn brown during the dry season, resembling giant chocolate truffles. 

    The hills are thought to be ancient limestone formations shaped by the erosion of rainfall and natural water sources over time. 

    They cover about 20 square miles and can be viewed from several towns, with the best views found at the Chocolate Hills Complex in Carmen and another deck in Sagbayan.

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    23. Sossusvlei, Namibia

    You have to visit Sossusvlei in the Namib desert to believe it is indeed real. Located in Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park,  Sossusvlei is one of the oldest and most rugged landscapes on the planet, famous for its spectacular red sand dunes. 

    The area features iconic sites like Dune 45 and Deadvlei, where ancient, dead trees stand against a backdrop of white clay and towering dunes, creating a truly surreal and unforgettable scene.

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    24. The Spotted Lake (Kliluk), Osoyoos, Canada

    The Spotted Lake, also known as Kliluk, is a remarkable natural wonder located near Osoyoos, Canada. This saline endorheic alkali lake is renowned for its striking appearance, characterized by large spots that emerge during the summer when the water evaporates. These spots, varying in size and color, are formed by the high concentrations of minerals such as magnesium sulfate, calcium, and sodium sulfates. The indigenous Okanagan people hold the lake sacred, believing in its healing properties. 

    Image Credit: Nalidsa Sukprasert / iStock.

    25. Emerald Ice On Baikal Lake, Russia

    Located in Siberia, Russia, Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest and most voluminous freshwater lake. Due to its unique geography, the lake transforms into a natural masterpiece during winter. Powerful winds and continuous cycles of melting and refreezing shape stunning ice formations, including stones perched on wind-sculpted pedestals, smooth, undulating ice surfaces, and intricate icicles.

    Image Credit: Olga_Gavrilova /iStock.

    26. Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), Chile

    Looking like a scene straight out of Star Wars or the surface of Mars, Valle de la Luna in Chile’s Atacama Desert is a surreal landscape. Its dramatic terrain boasts vast sand dunes, rugged mountains, and unique rock formations sculpted by centuries of wind and water erosion. The valley’s striking colors shift from pink to gold to red during sunset, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. 

    Image Credit: Skouatroulio / iStock.

    27. Kuang Si Falls, Luang Prabang, Laos

    Kuang Si Falls in Luang Prabang, Laos, is a breathtaking natural wonder featuring stunning turquoise pools and cascading waterfalls. The main waterfall drops 200 feet (60 meters) into smaller tiers, each with crystal-clear water perfect for swimming. Surrounded by lush jungle, the vivid blue water is due to high mineral content, enhancing its beauty. 

    Image Credit: Preto_perola / iStock.

    28. The Wave, USA

    The Wave, located on the border of Arizona and Utah, is a breathtaking sandstone formation that looks like it’s been painted by nature. The swirling patterns of red, orange, and yellow sandstone create an almost surreal landscape, making it a favorite spot for photographers and hikers alike. Officially known as North Coyote Buttes,  its unique formations were sculpted by wind and rain over millions of years, resulting in smooth, flowing lines and vibrant colors that seem otherworldly.

    Image Credit: tiny-al/ istockphoto.

    29. Cappadocia, Turkey

    Probably one of the most Instagrammable places on Earth and a magnet for travel influencers, Cappadocia, Turkey, is a dreamlike destination. With its unique rock formations and iconic hot air balloon rides, this region offers breathtaking views that captivate every visitor. The surreal landscape is dotted with ancient cave dwellings and whimsical “fairy chimneys,” creating a picture-perfect backdrop

    Image Credit: Ultima_Gaina.

    30. Abraham Lake, Canada

    Abraham Lake in Alberta, Canada, is a stunning sight with its turquoise waters and captivating winter phenomenon of frozen methane bubbles. Created in 1972 by the Bighorn Dam, this man-made lake traps methane gas from decomposing organic matter beneath its surface. While the frozen bubbles attract photographers, they pose environmental risks. When the ice melts, methane is released into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming as it’s a potent greenhouse gas.

    This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.

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