Breiðamerkursandur: Iceland’s stunning Diamond Beach

A black sand beach littered with huge chunks of glistening ice is today one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. Locally known as Breiðamerkursandur, “Diamond Beach” takes its name from the chunks of pristine ice scattered across the black volcanic sand and glistening like giant, uncut diamonds. It is located next to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon on the South Coast of Iceland, about six hours away from the country’s capital, Reykjavik. Although it’s not part of the popular Golden Circle Tour, Diamond Beach has become one of the country’s top…

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Ajdovska Deklica: an unmistakable facial pareidolia in the Julian Alps and her fantastic story

Ajd literally means “heaten ” in Slovenian, but it also denotes a sort of supernatural quality. This rock formation, known as “Ajdovska Deklica” but traditionally known to English speakers as the “Heathen Maiden” that resembles a human face can be seen in the northern face of Mount Prisojnik near Kranjska Gora, in the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia. When you arrive at the top of the Vršič Pass, park your car and take some time to admire the high mountain peaks that look at the valley below: they are the…

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The “Ice volcano” that becomes a very nice attraction in Kazakhstan

Probably the steppes of Kazakhstan’s Almaty region are not the most inviting place to visit, especially in winter time, but there is one unusual phenomenon that has been attracting a lot of tourists in the area.Located between the villages of Kegen and Shyrganak in the middle of a snow-covered plateau is a 14-meter-high ice tower that continuously spouts water which turns to ice almost instantly.The unique structure, four hours away from the Kazakh capital city of Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana, looks like a miniature volcano, however, instead of hot lava, it…

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Whiting: the natural phenomenon that causes Nevada’s Lake Pyramid to turn turquoise

Once every 7 to 10 years, a remote lake in Nevada experiences an algae boom so significant that its color changes from dark blue to a vibrant turquoise, in a phenomenon known as “whiting”. Located in a remote desert area of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes’ Reservation, about 40 miles northeast of Reno, Lake Pyramid is famous for the whiting events that occur there every decade or so. In the course of a few weeks the water turns light blue, turquoise, and, in rare cases, even white. Despite this spontaneous…

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Fingal’s Cave, the “Cave of Melody” in Scotland

Usually you not hear, in the same sentence, names like Queen Victoria, Matthew Barney, Jules Verne, and Pink Floyd but, strangely enough, there is a place that they all share. We are on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as Fingal’s Cave, it bears a history and geology unlike any other cave in the world. At 22 meters tall and 82 meters deep, what makes this sea cave so visually astoundingly is the hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars that make…

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The Old Man of Storr – Scotland

From rock-dwelling giants to mermaids and seals who steal the hearts of local women, Scotland’s islands still today teem with tales of their legendary pasts. We are in the Isle of Skye, a point of interest in the Scottish Highlands is a site of folkloric mysticism and natural grandeur. One of the most spectacular sights of the Trotternish Peninsula, in the northeastern region of the Island, which was formed by a colossal landslide in ancient times, is the Old Man of Storr, a rock pinnacle of 50 m in height,…

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Armenia: the architectural beauty of the Geghard monastery

We are in Armenia’s Upper Azat Valley, east of Yerevan. At the turn of the fourth century, only this nation in the world had accepted Christianity as its official religion, led by Gregory the Illuminator, who had been forced to flee to modern-day Turkey. During this time, he was introduced to the teachings of Jesus Christ, and, years later, he brought them back with him to Armenia. His goal was to convert the King Tiridates III, and thus force the conversion of the entire country. While he was imprisoned for…

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The spectacular Neskowin Ghost Forest in Oregon

In the small coastal town of Neskowin in Tillamook County in Oregon, somewhere between Lincoln City and Pacific City lie the remains of an ancient forest, rising out of the sand and seawater. Dubbed the Neskowin Ghost Forest, they are an eerily beautiful memory of the towering Sitka spruce trees that stood here for some two millennia. For nearly 300 years the “phantom forest” strains remained hidden under the sand, resting until they were uncovered during the winter of 1997-1998, when the coast of Oregon was pummeled by powerful storms…

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St. Jacob’s Well – Kansas, between sightless fish and a ghostly cowboy~

St. Jacob’s Well is a water-filled sinkhole in the Big Basin Prairie Reserve just south of Minneola, Kansas. The Big Basin Prairie Preserve is 1,818 acres of native mixed grass prairie managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. According to the legend, St.Jacob’s well it has never been empty, not even in the driest seasons. But that’s just one of the many popular stories about this mysterious body of water. One local story, that has been whispered through the century, is that the well is actually bottomless, or…

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Mount Roraima: a floating island shrouded in clouds

Deep in the rainforests of Venezuela, mysterious highlands rise to more than 2,700 meters above sea level, but seen from above they look like islands floating on a sea of clouds. They are the tepuis, which in the native Pemón language means “the house of gods”, and the most popular of which is called Monte Roraima. Mount Roraima is surrounded by three different countries (Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana) whose borderlines intersect on the massive shelf, with all four sides being sheer 400-meter high cliffs. Mount Roraima, part of Venezuela’s 30000-square-kilometer…

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Tanzania: the lake Natron and the petrified animals

Don’t let the ring of salty marshes along the edge of Lake Natron fool you: this body of water is one of the most inhospitable areas on Earth! We are in Monduli, Tanzania. Even if the salty red hell is a beautiful sight for eyes, unfortunately conceals a terrible secret. Colored a deep red from salt-loving organisms and algae, the lake reaches hellish temperatures and is nearly as lethal as ammonia. We known that most human settlements throughout history have formed around lakes and rivers, however, the barren and inhospital…

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India: Skeleton Lake of Roopkund~

Roopkund, locally known as Mystery Lake or Human Skeletons Lake, is a high altitude glacial lake at Uttarakhand state of India. The area is uninhabited, in the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 metres, and surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains, the lake is a popular trekking destination. It is a shallow lake, having a depth of about two metres, which has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts. The remains lay in the lake for 1,200 years…

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