Travel Tips

Exploring the World's Strangest Places

Weird Wonders

The globe is full of breathtaking architecture, surreal landscapes, and inventively weird locations; frequently, it's the latter that most piques our interest. There are man-made buildings that defy gravity, human labor, or the boundaries of human imagination, as well as natural wonders that are so flawlessly crafted that magic is suspected. These locations are among the oddest in the world; they range from spots visited by extraterrestrials to well-known scenes purportedly made by trolls.

Fly Geyser, Nevada, USA

The man-made marvel Fly Geyser, located on the border of the Black Rock Desert north of Reno, was produced purely by accident. Since 1964, when an energy corporation bore into geothermal waters and released a boiling fountain surrounded by mounds of red, green, and yellow carbonate deposits, the land has been on it; it is currently held by the Burning Man Project.

The Petrifying Well, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England, UK

The Petrifying Well isn't quite as terrifying as its name might imply—that is, unless the waters' high concentration of minerals threaten to turn you to stone. Since the 16th century, people have been drawn to this intriguing location by the sight of items, such as teddy bears, becoming "petrified" by the water. One of the cute toys that guests may purchase from the gift store supposedly takes a few months to become stone. The mythical witch Ursula Southhell is said to have been born in Mother Shipton's Cave, which is located in the same forest area.

Mystery Castle, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Mystery Castle in Phoenix: Why is it called that and what's inside?

Human undertakings are full of surprising surprises, just like nature itself. Boyce Luther Gully, who had recently received a terminal TB diagnosis and wished to build a fantasy castle for his daughter Mary Lou, built the quaintly dilapidated Mystery Castle, stone by stone. Mary Lou remained in this area until her passing in 2010, but Gully passed away in 1945 before he could send for his family from Seattle, Washington.

Lake Hillier, Middle Island, Western Australia

Take a peek at this pale pink lake if you have any doubts about the beauties of nature. Yes, that is a pink lake. Lake Hillier was found in 1802 on Middle Island, which is a part of the Recherche Archipelago in Western Australia. Its strawberry-milkshake color is thought to be the result of a combination of high salinity and the presence of Dunaliella salina, a salt-loving algae species. However, there's still no clear explanation, thus the unusual color is still a mystery.

Area 51, Nevada, USA

Known as Area 51, this Air Force site is still in use today. It gained notoriety during the Cold War for testing aircraft, which led to rumors of evil experiments, a fake moon landing, and an extraterrestrial laboratory. The neighboring Alien Research Center, which is situated in a metal hanger and has a 35-foot (11-meter) tall alien standing guard, offers plenty of trinkets and souvenirs to fulfill people's continuous obsession with the region, but it is still officially off-limits.

Badab-e Surt, Orost, Iran

Even the most creative and gifted architect couldn't equal beauty like this, despite the fact that there are some amazing man-made pools all around the world. The formation of travertine (a kind of limestone) terraces is a result of calcium deposits found in the hot water, a process that has taken thousands of years to complete. The hot springs' high iron-oxide concentration gives them a rusty color, which adds to their unique charm.

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Houska Castle, Blatce, Czech Republic

Gate to Hell at Houska Castle - McGee's Ghost Tours of Prague - Prague  guided walking tours

Houska Castle is sufficiently eerie due to its distant position and Gothic design. However, the 13th-century castle has an additional terrifying legend: it was supposedly purposefully positioned over a hell entrance to capture the demons below. Hopefully, it is built on some very solid foundations, or perhaps, as some have suggested, it was constructed as an administrative hub to support the royal estates.

Aoshima, Japan

Aoshima, often known as "Cat Island," is one of numerous locations in Japan where cats far outnumber people living there. Dogs, beware: you are not welcome here. It is around 100 people and countless cats' homes, and it may be reached by ferry from the east coast. Since mice are a natural predator of silkworms, cats are brought here to catch them, which is why they are here because of the island's silk producing sector. These days, the furry descendants are so beloved that they may roam freely, a shrine honors them, and guests can stay in cottages shaped like cats.

Dimmuborgir, Iceland

This region of lava fields near Lake Mývatn, often called the Black Fortress, may contain a passage to the underworld. The Yule Lads, who are the 13 sons of the troll Grýla, may also reside there. During the holiday season, they tend to cause trouble. Whatever your opinion, there is no denying the utterly mesmerizing beauty of the lava-formed hills, caverns, and rock formations that serve as a backdrop for the popular HBO series Game of Thrones.