Places you wouldn’t believe existed (without video proof)
Lucky for you, the digital age will prove to you just how marvelous planet Earth really is If you were to believe that the rest of the planet looks like your back-yard, you'd be gravely mistaken. Planet Earth's rich history of tectonic movements, chemical compositions on the earth, and years of extreme weather have been creating some of the most wondrous places the eyes can see. Thankfully, you don't have to pack up and traverse to these remote destinations to see for yourself-there's plenty of video evidence so you can enjoy the beauty and mystery from home.
Now- What do you picture when you hear the word Mountain? Probably a cone shaped structure rising miles off the ground. So guess what? Mt. Roraima in Brazil will challenge your assumption. Standing 2000m above ground, the mountain features a 31 sq-km plateau bordered by 400m cliffs that are adorned with waterfalls. The mountain's plateau peak is usually shrouded with clouds. For a hiker who makes it on top, this is a sight to behold- to be truly standing on the edge of the world.
Then again there are the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica being a stark opposite to the lush greenery of Mt. Roraima. Despite being surrounded by sheets of ice in all direction, this patch of the earth in Antarctica is barren and dry. It is said to be the driest place on earth, receiving only 4 inches of rain per year.
Would you believe that the Fly Geyser in Nevada, USA was created by accident? Looking at the mesmerizing dance of green and red shrouded in the mist of warm spewing water wouldn't give this accident away. The geyser was created by accidental drill into the area's geothermal waters. Over the years, thermophilic algae have surrounded the area, giving it the green and red colors while the mineral buildup from the scalding fountain builds a growing cone.
Another fascinating water structure can be found in Badab-e-Surt, Iran. For over a thousand years, limestone build up from calcium deposits flowing through water originating from two hot springs in the area. Slowly over the years, the water and calcium have created travertine terraces. The area's high content of iron gives the reddish tinge to polish off the already mesmerizing sight. Upon first looking, it may look man-made due to the precision and uniformity of the pool-like structures.
Speaking of red- the Red Beach in Panjin China is quite the ironic name. Red and beach in the same sentence? How strange! This area is covered by Sueda, a seaweed that turns bright red in autumn—hence turning portions of the beach a bright red color. The area is protected due to the presence of important nature reserves for migrating birds of the area, but there is a small area open to the public to access the beach via a wooden bridge.
Also in China are the Tianzi Mountains, the inspiration behind the movie Avatar. Tianzi, son of heaven, is a series of towering limestone pinnacles covered with lush greenery and shrouded in mist. Accessing the area is possible through a variety of hiking routes and trails from the nearby Huangshu village.
Then again, over sixty million years ago, geometry and nature married and they produced the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. A grand volcano erupted those many years ago, spewing out a tremendous amount of molten basalt that flowed, solidified, and contracted as it cooled. As it contracted and cooled, cracks were formed in the structure. But these are not your average molten lava cracks. They turned out to form 37,000 polygon columns so geometrically pristine that legend has it they were carefully sculpted by a giant.
The earth is remarkable and we continue to discover new things about it at every turn. These nature-created structures are just a few that stir the human sense of wonder and appreciation to this place we call home.