Lately, I’ve been featuring some of Earth’s most fantastical places on Why? Because Science Facebook page. For those of you who haven’t seen them, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together an ambitious bucket list of 10 of the most beautiful and amazing landscapes. So, pack your bags, strap on some heavy-duty hiking shoes and give your boss the finger, cos we’re going travelling!
# 1: The Spotted Lake of British Columbia, Canada. The evaporation of mineral-rich water in Summer leaves behind a landscape of polkadot lakes of varying colours and sizes, depending on the concentration of minerals in each pool (Source: Roberta Olenick/All Canada Photos).
# 2: Chinese Canola Field: A Chinese landscape is bathed in bright yellow as canola fields go into bloom. You could play a version of “Where’s Wally” here, with the target being Big Bird instead. (Source: www.boredpanda.com)
# 3: Hang Sơn Đoòng, Vietnam: I know what you’re thinking… holy crap that’s a small human. Just kidding. This is Earth’s largest cave and it lies beneath the limestone hills of the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park in Vietnam. This immense subterranean network of caverns is about 9 km long in total with the main passage being a staggering 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long, 200 metres (660 ft) high and 150 metres (490 ft) wide! (Photo credit: Carsten Peter)
# 4: Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland: The spectacular thing about Giant’s Causeway is that it looks man-made… and yet it isn’t. This complex series of interlocking basalt columns is entirely the work of volcanic activity that happened about 50-60 million years ago. This UNESCO World Heritage site is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. (Source: National Geographic)
# 5: Salar de Uyuni, southwest Bolivia: This is Salar de Uyuni – colloquially known as one of the planet’s largest mirrors. At 4,086 square miles in size (10,582 sq. km), it’s also one of Earth’s largest salt flats and is a remnant of a massive prehistoric lake, Lake Minchin. The desiccation of this lake left behind two smaller lakes and two vast salt deserts. (Source: www.boredpanda.com)
# 6: Great Blue Hole, Belize: Suitably dubbed one of the best scuba diving sites in the world, the “Great Blue Hole” is a massive underwater sinkhole located off the coast of Belize. At over 125 meters deep and 300 meters wide, it’s believed to be the largest of its kind. (Source: http://www.popsugar.com)
# 7: Atacama oasis, Peru: Ever wondered what a desert oasis looks like? Behold a secluded Atacama oasis and isn’t it exactly what you’d always pictured? The town – Huacachina – around this rare watering hole was built in the 1930’s and is home to a population of a little over 100 people. (Source: www.skyscanner.net/news)
# 8: Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China: Physical erosion has left the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park with one of the most enchanting and beautiful landscapes on Earth. It’s soaring and gravity-defying rock pillars and verdant, forested peaks are a huge attraction to Zhangjiajie: one of China’s true natural gems. (Source: www.architecturendesign.net)
# 9: Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone, USA: The Grand Prismatic Spring is a gorgeous, rainbow coloured lake located in the volcanically active Yellowstone National Park. It’s the third largest hot spring in the world and attracts droves of tourists every year for its strikingly coloured waters, the varying pigments of which are caused by single-celled organisms called “archaea.” These organisms flourish in the warm and mineral-rich waters, especially around the periphery of the Grand Prismatic Spring.
# 10: Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA: Antelope Canyon, formed primarily by water erosion, is located in the arid state of Arizona, USA. With just about every warm hue in the visible spectrum jostling for key position in this subterranean network of canyons, you won’t find any shortage of spectacular photographic opportunities here! (Source: www.architecturendesign.net)
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