By Catarina Cowden
Our imaginations take us to grand and colorful places that we can not conceive as a reality. But what if those colors actually existed right here on Earth?
There are places right here on our planet that are absolutely extraordinary. They defy norms and go far beyond the beauty that a typical landscape can achieve. We see gorgeous landscapes and picturesque views in even the most mundane of places. But to visualize the settings of some of our most vibrant dreams as a reality is seemingly impossible.
Jaw-dropping, other-worldly places actually exist in our world. Formed by natural occurrences, these 12 surreal places explore the artistic and dreamlike qualities that mother nature offers as reality.
1. Zhangye Danxia Geopark, China
The smooth, sharp, and colorful rock formations that span several hundred meters through this area of China is a sight straight from a dream. These 24 million year old deposits of sandstone and other minerals are similar to a layer cake. Over time the elements sculpted the rock into various shapes, colors and patterns.
2. Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
As the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world, the Southern Patagonian Ice field has become an important source. In the ice field lies the Perito Moreno Glacier known for its blunt drop and interesting shape.
3. Lake Abraham, Canada
Wintertime at Lake Abraham is a surreal sight. Frozen bubbles fill the water creating a beautiful icy landscape. But, don’t get too close. The frozen bubbles are actually made of frozen pockets of methane, a highly flammable gas.
4. Skaftafell Ice Cave, Iceland
This cave set in glacier ice has incredible formations due to wind-blown sediments. The lack of air bubbles means it can absorb almost all visible light, creating blue ice.
5. The Great Blue Hole, Belize
Near the center of Lighthouse Reef an eerie, large submarine sinkhole takes up over 300 meters of the ocean. Over time the ocean rose, and a cave was flooded creating this World Heritage Site which is also one of the best scuba diving sites in the world.
6. Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
In 1971, in search of an oil field, a drilling operation accidentally created a huge crater releasing poisonous gas. The engineers decided to burn off the gas, but it never stopped, and the fire has been lit ever since creating this creepy, Buffy-esque Mouth of Hell.
These destinations are so surreal, you may think you’re dreaming when you see them.
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