Too beautiful to be real? These bizarre locations may seem like a series of elaborate movie sets, but they are real destinations that you might want to see for yourself. Some are land formations moulded over thousands of years, while others are human-made creations that have altered the planet in strange ways. Take a look at our favorite surreal landscapes that really do have to be seen to be believed.
The Wave, Coyote Buttes, Arizona, U.S.
The Wave is a sandstone rock formation located in the Paria Canyon-Vermillon Cliffs Wilderness near the border of Arizona and Utah. It’s known for its colorful and unique formations and the difficult hike required to reach it, and you’ll need to obtain a permit to visit.
Travertines, Pamukkale, Turkey
In the province of Denizli in western Turkey, the naturally terraced thermal springs of Hierapolis-Pamukkale date as far back as the second century BC. Formed by calcite in the water, the hot springs look like stunning white clouds.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, U.S.
Marvel at Grand Prismatic Spring, located in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. As the largest natural hot spring in the US, it’s a favorite for its dazzling colors that shift from orange and reds in the summer to green hues in the winter.
Red beach, Panjin, China
Red Beach, located in Dawa County, Panjin, Liaoning, China, is famous for its landscape featuring the red plant of Suaeda salsa of the Chenopodiaceae family. It is based in the biggest wetland and reed marsh in the world. The landscape is composed of shallow seas and tide-lands.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
During the wet season, the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia are covered in a thin layer of water, creating surreal reflections of the sky.
Dragon’s blood trees, Socotra, Yemen
Native to the Socotra Island these unusual trees have evolved in isolation over millions of years.
Namibia’s Dead Vlei, or “dead marsh”, is surrounded by some of the highest sand dunes in the world and dotted with dead trees that are more than 900 years old. Due to its isolation one third of its plant life is found nowhere else in the world. It has been described as “the most alien-looking place on Earth”.
Rice terraces, Bali, Indonesia
Jatiluwih rice terraces Bali or Jatiluwih rice fields is one of the most popular tourist attractions of terrace farming in Bali. Jatiluwih village is famous as a tourist spot of terrace farming which is still using Balinese traditional irrigation system
Cappadocia, Anatolia, Turkey
Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia are volcanic landscapes created entirely from erosion. This includes pinnacles nicknamed ‘fairy chimneys’, which can be seen across this region of Turkey. Meanwhile, the Cappadocia Valley is home to thousand-year-old cave dwellings you can still visit today.
“Door to Hell,” Derweze, Turkmenistan
The Door to Hell in Turkmenistan has been burning its flames since 1971. Somehow, the hole continues to burn since it was accidentally drilled into by geologists.
Giant’s Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland, U.K.
The Giant’s Causeway lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the sea coast on the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. Formed 50 to 60 million years ago, during the Paleogene Period, the Giant’s Causeway resulted from successive flows of lava inching toward the coast and cooling when they contacted the sea.
Hitachi Seaside Park, Hitachinaka, Japan
Hitachi Seaside Park is a sprawling 470 acre park located in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan, that features vast flower gardens including millions of daffodils, 170 varieties of tulips, and an estimated 4.5 million baby blue eyes (Nemophila). The sea on blue flowers blooms once annually around April in an event referred to as the “Nemophila Harmony.”
Giant Buddha, Leshan, China
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre (233 ft) tall stone statue, built during the Tang Dynasty, depicting Maitreya. It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet. It is the largest stone Buddha in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world.
Tunnel of Love, Klevan, Ukraine
This gorgeous long, leafy tunnel looks like a green dream or a scene from a film – but it can actually be found deep in the forests of Ukraine. Located near the town of Kleven, this luscious green tunnel provides passage for a private train that provides wood to a local factory. Measuring 1.8 miles long, the unusual rail route in Eastern Europe is also a popular spot for lovers’ promises.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona, U.S.
Antelope Canyon, located near Page, Arizona, is the most photographed canyon in the American Southwest. Travellers flock here to capture its masterpiece of colors while admiring its smooth, wave-like texture.
Odle Mountains, Italy
This famous mountain massif of the Dolomites is located between the Val di Funes and the Val Gardena, in the heart of the Puez-Odle nature park.
Lake Natron, Tanzania
Tanzania’s Lake Natron is known for its deep red hue. Its rich color comes from algae and salt-loving organisms, and it fascinatingly draws millions of flamingo visitors from June to November.
The Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
The Danakil Depression, in the northeastern corner of Ethiopia, is one of the hottest places on the planet, with temperatures reaching as high as 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62 degrees Celsius). With two active volcanoes, a bubbling lava lake, geysers, acid ponds, and several mineral deposits, the setting looks like something from another planet.
Caño Cristales, Columbia
Colombia’s Caño Cristales is covered in an aquatic plant that takes on hues of red, blue, yellow, orange, and green under different weather conditions. Most of the year it looks like any other river, but from June to December, it is said to look like a breathtaking stream of rainbows.
Fly Geyser, Nevada
Nevada’s Fly Geyser, located in Washoe County, was created through accidental well drilling in 1916. In the 1960s, the water began escaping from the drilled location, creating the geyser that is known for its stunning changing colors.