The Seven Natural Wonders might have been determined too soon. Wonders such as Victoria Falls and The Grand Canyon are definitely among the biggest, and anyone who happens to see them will definitely be impressed. However, sometimes, leaving a person in total awe requires more than just sheer size.
Some places that exist on our planet are much stranger. These places look otherworldly as if they could only exist on a planet that is not named “Earth.” Scientists have definitely had hard times trying to discover how it was even possible for such places to come into existence on Earth. These sights will make any human wonder about whether the laws of nature even apply to those places.
10The Boiling River: Shanay-Timpishka
In the depths of the Amazon rainforest, there is a 4-mile-long river, different from any other in the world. The water in the Shanay-Timpishka is so unbelievably hot; it boils any animal alive as soon as the animal steps into it.
The temperature may reach 91 degrees Celsius (196 degrees Fahrenheit), and scientists have not yet managed to find out the cause of this deadly heat.
9Movile Cave: Poisonous Atmosphere
This cave can be found in Romania. It hasn’t been lit with a single ray of light for even 5.5 million years, and its atmosphere is completely different compared to the rest of the planet.
Deep inside the cave lies a lake of “sulfur water,” and the air inside is poisonous, containing hydrogen-sulfide and 100 times more carbon-dioxide than on the surface.
However, scientists have discovered an entire ecosystem living in the poisonous cave – there are 33 species that inhabit the cave, and they survive by eating sulfuric foam from rocks. The species don’t exist anywhere else on our planet.
8The Petrifying Well: Water Turns Everything to Stone
A strange well in Knaresborough, England has water that flows down a cliff which resembles a skull. The water turns everything it touches to stone.
Lapidification lasts around 3-5 months, and everything left in the water will be turned to stone. This process takes place due to an unbelievably high percentage of minerals which form a hard shell around the objects or things that the water touches.
7Karachay: A Lake with the Highest Level of Radioactivity on Earth
Inside a nuclear weapon factory once used by the Soviet Union, there is a lake full of materials and waste that is more radioactive than anywhere else.
The level of radioactivity of Lake Karachay is so high that it would kill anyone who happens to spend only an hour there. As the Soviets used to dispose of enormous amounts of waste in it, the factory exploded in 1957, and radioactive particles were spread all over the area.
A large part of the lake dried out in 1967 and was covered with concrete in order to prevent a natural disaster, but the environment of Lake Karachay is still so polluted that it makes Chernobyl seem like a relaxing spa.
6Grüner See: Underwater Park
One park in Austria has wonderful hiking trails you can explore during brisk autumn mornings.
But, if you happen to visit the park in spring, you will have to bring diving equipment. The park is located around the Hochschwab Mountains and during winter, the snow covers it completely. As the snow melts in spring, a nearby lake floods the park.
For the whole season, you can dive in the lake and see the submerged trails, benches, bridges, and even some wildflowers. When the water recedes in summer, the park appears from below.
In Piedmont, Italy, you can find a cherry tree which looks completely ordinary, except for the fact that it has grown on top of another tree.
The phenomenon is not as uncommon as it may seem at first glance, as various other parasitic trees have been documented in the past. However, those trees were small and stunted while the “double tree” of Casorzo is made of two completely healthy trees.
The cherry tree and the mulberry tree extend their branches up to 16 feet (5 meters). The existence of the “double tree” has not been explained yet, but it is believed that a cherry pit might have been dropped on the mulberry tree by a bird, which then somehow reached the ground and sprouted in it.
4Never-Ending Catalumbo Lightning
Above the Catalumbo River, Venezuela, eternal lightning followed by thunderstorms above the water can be seen almost every night. The phenomenon starts from 7 PM, lasts for 10 hours, and happens 260 days per year.
The cause has not been discovered yet, but experts believe that the shape of the nearby mountains results in a collision between hot air and cold winds, which causes fast evaporation of water and methane from a local oil field. One day in 2010, the thunder suddenly stopped, but the storm started raging again six weeks later.
3Biei: Blue Pond that Changes Color
On Japan’s Hokkaido island, there is a unique lake – its blue color changes hues when observed from various angles. The color changes even more during the seasons, ranging from various shades of blue toward grey.
The lake is artificial, and it was made so that it could collect water from a nearby dam. To the surprise of the locals, the water started changing its color, and scientists say that an abundance of aluminum-oxide particles which reflect light is the reason why the color changes.
In mountainous regions of Pennsylvania, USA, you can find fields of bizarre rocks, the origin of which remains mysterious. Another mystery is the ringing sound they create when hit, completely different from the sound one expects to get when hitting a rock. There are various explanations for this phenomenon.
An expert claims that when one rock is hit, it emits a low-frequency sound which human ears can’t detect, but when the rocks are joined and struck together, the sounds get mixed, and their interaction leads us to perceive it as a ringing noise.
1Kawah Ijen: Glowing Blue Lava
Miners who work the night shift in a sulfur mine in Indonesia don’t need to use artificial lighting, as the mine is illuminated by a weird blue light coming from a flowing substance that looks like lava.
Kawah Ijen is usually referred to as a blue lava volcano, although there is no lava in it, only sulfur. When sulfuric gases get heated in the volcano, blue flames burst out of it, then turn into liquid sulfur that flows down the mountain and resembles neon-blue lava.