Some people travel to explore the world around them, while others like to travel in order to escape their everyday lives. Our world has an endless amount of destinations to visit, including places that make you feel like you’ve been transported to another planet.
There’s a river that runs bright yellow and red for 6 months a year on one continent, and a lake that freezes perfect bubbles under the surface on another. It’s all there for you to explore as long as you’re willing to look.
Dallol Volcano in Ethiopia is considered to be the hottest regularly inhabited place on Earth, with the average annual temperatures reaching more than 30 degrees Celcius (85 degrees Fahrenheit).
If you were to travel there, you’d find scenery made up of hot springs, acidic ponds, and terrain that looks like something you’d find on Mars.
Salar De Uyuni
If you want to feel like you’re walking through the clouds, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is a must-see. The Uyuni Salt Flat is the world’s largest salt flat, situated in the Andes of Bolivia. The flats came after a prehistoric lake went dry years ago, leaving behind a desertlike 11,000-square-kilometer salt flat.
Grand Prismatic Spring
One look at the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park makes it clear where the name of the hot spring came from.
The center of the pool is deep blue because of the sterility and depth of the center, with the colors on the exterior resulting from the microbial mats around the water.
This bubblegum pink lake isn’t playing tricks on your eyes, Senegal’s Lake Retba really does look like that.
The lake has a high salt content, up to 40% in some areas, which means that most species can’t survive in the waters. Due to the lack of other animals, it’s a major tourist spot for those wanting to take a dip in the pink waters!
Sometimes referred to as the Five Color River or the Liquid Rainbow, Columbia’s Caño Cristales river is considered to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.
It’s filled with vibrant red and yellow hues as well as shades of green, blue, and black. The river looks like any other river for half the year and only blooms from June to December, so plan your trip accordingly to see the colors of the river.
Door to Hell
The aptly named Door to Hell, officially the Darvaza gas crater, in Turkmenistan looks exactly as you’d expect any natural gas field with that name to look. The Door has been burning for more than 40 years, and the glow from the crater can be seen from miles away.
Caves filled with glowworms are one thing, but what about the glowing waters of Vaadhoo island in the Maldives? Vaadhoo Island is home to the bioluminescent beach that glows at night as a result of the sea plankton that live in the water.
Unlike the pink waters of Lake Retba in Senegal, Tanzania’s Lake Natron is beautiful, but it’s not a lake you’ll be swimming in.
The scarlet waters have a pH and overall temperature so high that it can burn the skin and eyes of animals that aren’t accustomed to it. The one animal you can expect to see is flamingos. This body of water is a breeding ground for them!
Painted Dunes, Lassen Volcanic National Park
After looking at the dunes of California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park, it’s obvious why they’re referred to as the “Painted Dunes.” It looks like they’re pulled directly from a frame on someone’s wall.
The Frozen Bubbles Of Lake Baikal
Russia’s Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake and is considered to be one of the world’s clearest lakes as well. In the winter when the clear water freezes, methane bubbles also freeze, creating the illusion you see through the ice.
If you don’t look at this photo of the Tianzi Mountains in China and immediately feel like you’re in a fairytale, you need to take a second look. All it needs is a few dragons scaling up the side of the towering structures.
Spotted Lake (Kliluk)
Originally known to the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley in Canada as Klilkuk, the Spotted Lake is concentrated with a variety of minerals. The various deposits of calcium, magnesium sulfate, and sodium sulfate are what contribute to the varying colors of the “spots.”
Mauritius’ Underwater Waterfall
As if the ocean wasn’t already a scary enough place, off the coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is what appears to be an underwater waterfall.
The waterfall effect is formed from sand from the shores of the island being driven off the coastal shelf down into the depths of the ocean.
Son Doong Cave
Vietnam is home to the Son Doong cave, aka the world’s largest cave. The cave itself could hold an entire city block of Manhattan including some of the skyscrapers, and walking through it feels like you’re in a Lord of the Rings movie.
Valle De La Luna
If you’re looking for a place that will truly make you feel like you’ve been transported to another planet, experience your own moon landing in Chile’s Valle de la Luna.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Looking at the photos, it’s obvious why the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a popular tourist destination for anyone visiting New Zealand. The glowworms do all the work while you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your boat ride through the magical caves.
Situated in the Mexican state of Chihuahua (or beneath it), the Naica Mine is a lead, zinc, and silver mine that contains extremely large selenite crystals. The giant crystals make it feel like you’re crawling your way through a packet of sugar.
Nevada’s Fly Geyser is a sight to behold thanks to its colorful hues, caused by the thermophilic algae that live inside the geyser. This geyser, unlike the other sites, was accidentally man-made in 1916 when a well was drilled in an attempt to seek water for irrigation.
Also known as Dragon’s Blood Island (sounds ominous, right?), Yemen’s Socotra Island is filled with the umbrella-shaped tree-root outlined trees you see here. The sap of the trees is red and was thought to be dragons’ blood in the ancient times, hence the name.
Formed by the erosion of Navajo Sandstone due to flash flooding and other processes, walking through Arizona’s Antelope Canyon will make you feel like you’ve been shrunk down and have to find your way out of this world.