The world is an amazingly and brilliantly odd and eccentric place, and just when you think you have got a handle on everything it is common to come across a scene or a site that makes you realise how unusual the world is and that give you a new respect for its majesty and it is… oddness. Putting the world in this kind of perspective can be a really great way to expand your horizons and your view of the world, so it is a good thing to seek out these strange and odd places, and it can make for some fascinating trips that you will never forget. The seven wonders of the worlds are unfortunately largely no longer in existence, but there are certainly some very strange places left.
1. Hell’s door (Door to Hell) – Derweze, Turkmenistan
Soviet scientists discovered a cache of oil reserves near the town of Derweze in the Karakum Desert, and drilling quickly commenced. But when a drilling rig collapsed it created a crater, and large amounts of methane were released. When the oilmen attempted to burn off the methane, it started a fire in a “door to hell”. It was estimated that the gas would burn out within a few weeks, but it has instead continued to burn for more than four decades since it was set on fire.
The crater is a popular tourist attraction. In the past five years 50,000 tourists have visited the site. The gas crater has a total area of 5,350 m2, the size of an American football field. The surrounding area is also popular for wild desert camping. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world.
The name “Door to Hell” was given to the field by the locals, referring to the fire, boiling mud, and orange flames in the large crater, which has a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft).
2. Jacob’s Well – Texas
Jacob’s Well in Texas Hill Country is a perennial karstic spring located on the bed of Cypress Creek in Wimberley. The mouth of the well is four meters in diameter through which thousands of gallons of water surges up per minute feeding Cypress Creek that flows through Wimberley, sustaining Blue Hole and the Blanco River, recharging the Edwards Aquifer, and finally replenishing estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico.
This natural spring is over 100 feet deep. Many locals jump into the well for recreation, even though there are sharp rocks jutting out from all sides. Scuba divers explore the depths of this well, but with caution. Over the years, novice divers have perished in the well.
This otherworldly chasm is said to have first been discovered in the 1850s, and for generations, it was a gathering place for early settlers and Native American tribes.
3. Eye of Africa – Mauritania
The common name for the landmark and circular feature with a diameter of 40km is The Richat Structure. However, everyone know the feature in Mauritania as the Giant Eye of Africa. Located in the Sahara Desert, the sedimentary rocks of the structure come from different eras, ranging from the age of Late Protrozoic to Ordovician sandstone.
The interior of the Richat Structure consists of extrusive and intrusive igneous rocks. The variety of rocks include: kimberlites, rhyolitic volcanic rocks (lava flows and hydrothermally rocks), carbonatites and gabbros.
Different rates of erosion on the varying rock types have formed concentric ridges; the more erosion-resistant rocks form high ridges (blue and purple), while the non-resistant rocks form valleys (yellow).
The structure is 30 miles (50 kilometers) in diameter, large enough in the featureless Sahara that the earliest space missions used it as a landmark, the place is still seen as a landmark on Google Earth. There have also been pictures taken by NASA from space stations trying to capture the beauty and the mystery of the place.
The size of the formation, that it wasn’t until space pioneers noticed it while they were flying in the orbit over Africa.
4. The Great Blue Hole – Belize
The Great Blue Hole, located just 100 kilometers (60 miles) off the coast of Belize, is an underwater sinkhole that researchers believe is the largest of its kind.
Circular in shape and characterized by its rich, blue color, it is over 300 meters (984 ft) across and 125 meters (410 ft) deep. It lies in the center of an atoll called Lighthouse Reef, where an island of coral encircles the shallow, light turquoise-colored waters of a lagoon. Water levels there are so shallow that parts of the ring surrounding the dark blue sinkhole are even known to crest the surface at low tide.
The hole was brought to light by Jacques Cousteau who regularly scuba dived there and investigated the hole to mark its depths.
5. Caño Cristales (The River of Five Colors) – Colombia
Caño Cristales is the most spectacular natural wonder in the country. Found in the mountain range of Serranía de la Macarena, the river mesmerizes with amazing colors: vivacious yellow, green, blue, black and red shades quiver from the bottom.
The Liquid Rainbow is caused by a unique phenomena: a red plant – Macarenia clavigera – growing in the riverbed. Other colors come from black rocks, green algae, blue water and yellow sand, producing an iridescent effect. The river also features waterfalls, pools and caverns, making it even more dramatic. Furthermore – there are no fish or other creatures, so visitors can enjoy uninterrupted bathing in Caño Cristales.
Related post: Top 10 Travel Destinations You Must Visit Before You Die!
Sources: www.livescience.com / www.placestoseeinyourlifetime.com / www.documentarytube.com / www.healthguidance.org / www.odditycentral.com / www.firsttoknow.com