The 5 Most Surreal Places In The World
Surreal, fantastical, unbelievable—all of these words are the perfect descriptors for the following ten destinations. From captivating forests to dramatic cliffs to ice caves, prepare to be amazed by the world’s most surreal places:
Surreal Places: Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Nestled next to the Atlantic Ocean, the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland is easily one of the most incredible, bizarre natural wonders in the world. The Causeway is home to more than 40,000 columns, most of which have six sides and form a honeycomb-like pattern.
Giant’s Causeway wasn’t always the spectacular tourist hotspot it is today, though. Created from cooled magma, it took nearly 60 million years of erosion for the columns to be visible. Scientists believe that they were finally revealed after the last Ice Age, around 15,000 years ago.
Thermal Springs, Pamukkale, Turkey
Take a trip to Turkey’s inner Aegean region near the River Menderes Valley and you’ll encounter Pamukkale’s thermal springs. People have bathed in these hot mineral-saturated waters for thousands of years, dubbing the area Pamukkale, or cotton castle.
The scallop-shaped basins of water and frozen waterfalls decorate the area’s cliffside. Here, the spring water is hot and high in calcium, magnesium sulfrate and bicarbonate. The Pamukkale hot springs flow at a rate of 400 liters per second, with their mineral-saturated flows forming its hollow, circular basins all the while.
Surreal Places: Hvitserkur, North Iceland
While some claim that it’s a monster, others are sure it looks most like a dragon. Either way, the natural Hvitserkur rock formation evokes all sorts of human interest. Located at the northern tip of the Vatnsnes Peninsula in Iceland, thousands of people travel to see the rock each year. The rock already has three holes in its foundation, and the structure has been reinforced with concrete to prevent further erosion. Even in pictures, viewers can see streaks of white bird droppings that drip down the edges, giving the formation the name Hvitserkur, which means white shirt.
Fingal’s Cave, Scotland
Named after the hero of an 18th century epic poem, Fingal’s Cave boasts numerous geometric columns reminiscent of Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway. Fingal’s Cave is formed from hexagonally jointed basalt columns created by solidified lava. The sea cave is located on Staffa, an uninhabited island that’s part of Scotland. Fingal’s cave contains high, arched roofs that magnify the sound of the ocean. Although boats cannot enter the cave, many local companies offer sightseeing tours of the surrounding area.
Surreal Places: Red Beach, Panjin, China
The Red Beach is probably the furthest thing from any traditional understanding of a beach. Instead of vast expanses of sand, a species of red seaweed called sueda dominates the Red Beach. This seaweed stays green for most of the year, then transforms into a dark, cherry-red color once autumn rolls around.
Aside from its bizarre coloring, the Red Beach is home to more than 260 bird species and 399 kinds of wild animals, making it one of the most complex ecosystems in the world. The Red Beach is also the world’s biggest wetland and reed marsh.
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