The world is home to an incredible natural wealth which only the very privileged will ever catch a glimpse of. Whilst man is capable of creating sites of extraordinary beauty, nothing can quite compare with what happens when nature is left to its own devices. Unimaginable shapes, colors, and forms feature for some of the most incredible and unique spots in the world. The following 10 inspiring places are a prime example of the majesty of nature and what can be achieved when left to work its magic!
1) Aurora Borealis – Iceland
Aurora Borealis, often referred to as the Northern Lights, comprises a natural light display in the sky. They occur as a result of collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun entering the earth’s atmosphere. Pale green and pink are the most common colours however, shades of violet, green, blue, yellow and red have also been reported. Taking many forms, they vary from streamers, arcs, or rippling curtains to scattered or patchy clouds which beautifully illuminate the sky with an eerie glow. Iceland features amongst one of the best places in the Northern Hemisphere to witness this stunning natural phenomenon.
2) Waitomo Glowworm Caves – New Zealand
3) Marble Cathedral – Chile
Chile’s Marble Cathedral comprises an intricate system of water-filled caverns located in the second largest freshwater lake in South America, General Carerra, Patagonia. It is considered the most beautiful cave network in the world and, as the name indicates, the walls are of marble whilst the surrounding azure water boasts a breathtaking blue owing to finely ground glacial silt. The unique shape of the walls have been formed by the water itself and many will travel hundreds of miles to see the incredible light show caused by the reflection of the crystal clear waters on the marble walls.
4) Zhangjiajie National Forest Park – China
The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park comprises a unique national park located in Southern Hunan, China. It’s most notable feature comprises the pillar-like formations which have emerged as a result of many years of erosion. One of the most famous comprises the Southern Sky Column. This tower of quartz-sandstone stands 3,544 feet high and a small oasis of trees graces its peak. It became the inspiration for James Cameron’s “Avatar” and was consequently renamed “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in honor of the film.
5) Coves del Drach – Mallorca
The Coves del Drach (Dragon Caves) are located in Porto Cristo, Mallorca, and consist of four large caves called the Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador and the Cave of the French. The aforementioned caves were formed by water being forced through the entrance from the Mediterranean and has resulted in some spectacular natural formations including stalactites, stalagmites and one of the world’s largest underground lakes called the Martel Lake.
6) Lake Hillier – Australia
Lake Hillier is located on Middle Island, the largest of the islands and Islets making up the Recherche Archipelago in Western Australia. The most outstanding feature of this unique lake, surrounded by a thick forest of paperbark and eucalyptus trees, is the pink colour of the water which does not alter even when removed in a container. There are various theories with regards to the lake’s curious bubble gum hue. Some believe that it is owed to a dye produced by two micro-organisms called Halobacteria and Dunaliella salina whilst others suspect thatthe red halophilic bacteria that thrive in the lake’s salt deposits are responsible for Lake Hillier’s rather unique colour.
7) Caño Cristales – Colombia
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8) Fairy Pools – Scotland
Located in the south of the Isle of Skye in Glen Brittle, Scotland, are the beautiful Fairy Pools. They comprise vivid blue-coloured pools with busy waterfalls fed from the water that runs down from the Black Cuillin mountains into the Glen. Beautiful purple trees line the river banks and the perfectly clear water allows for every pebble and contour of the Fairy Pools to be seen by passing hikers bewitched by its unrivaled beauty.
9) Tunnel of Love – Ukraine
The Tunnel of Love is located in Klevan, Ukraine. It comprises a three kilometre railway section leading to the nearby fibreboard factory. This enchanting leafy green corridor is a result of the surrounding woodland being transformed over the past years by the train that delivers wood there three times daily. As it travelled back and forth the trees, which have been allowed to grow freely around the track, were moulded into this unique natural passageway. Finally, as the name suggests, not only does the tunnel serve as a train route but, it also highly popular amongst lovers. Local legend has it that if they make a wish there and are sincere in their love, it will come true.
10) Wisteria Walk at Kawachi Fuji Gardens, Japan
Finally, the beautiful Kawachi Fuji Gardens, located near Tokyo, Japan, are home to around 150 beautiful wisteria flowering plants ranging from pink, violet-blue, purple, blue and white. The garden’s most spectacular feature is, without a doubt, Wisteria Walk. It comprises a floral passageway created by the Wisteria plants that hang overhead making for a spectacular stroll through this explosion of color.