20 Astonishing Destinations That Defy Belief

By Jack Ripley | April 24, 2024

Vinicunca, Peru

There are extraordinary places on Earth where reality blurs and nature displays its most bizarre creations. From Antelope Canyon in Arizona, where swirling rock formations paint a dreamlike scene, to the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine, a passage with intertwined trees resembling a fairy tale corridor, it's hard to believe these places are real. These are not scenes from a fantasy movie; these are real places that challenge our perceptions of what the Earth can craft. Here are 20 bizarre places that look like they don't exist.

 

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Vinicunca, often referred to as the Rainbow Mountain, is a picturesque landscape in the Peruvian Andes. This place looks like it doesn't belong to our world, with its vibrant, multicolored stripes resembling a giant painted canvas.

The mountain's unique hues, ranging from deep reds and purples to bright yellows and greens, are a result of different minerals, like iron and sulfur, present in the soil. Over millions of years, geological processes have sculpted these patterns, creating a rainbow-like spectacle. These stripes are due to 14 different minerals. Ice once covered the region, and when the ice melted, the melting ice mixed with the Earth's minerals, creating a cascade of colors.

Trekking to Vinicunca feels like embarking on a journey to an undiscovered realm, where each step reveals a new layer of color. The high altitude and challenging terrain add to the sense of adventure, making the final view of the Rainbow Mountain even more rewarding.

Lake Hillier, Australia

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Nestled on Middle Island in Western Australia, Lake Hillier is a vibrant lake with a bubblegum-pink hue. Scientists believe that the unique color is a result of microorganisms, like Dunaliella salina and bacteria, in the lake's salt crust. These microorganisms produce pigments that give the water its striking pink color. Despite being a salty lake, Lake Hillier is safe to swim in, and the contrast between the bright pink water and the surrounding eucalyptus trees and blue sky creates a surreal and breathtaking scene. From above, Lake Hillier is like a piece of abstract art painted on the landscape, standing out against the greenery of the island and the nearby blue of the Southern Ocean.