Surreal, creepy, and occasionally simply strange places abound in the world. While many of these strange occurrences have rational explanations, others remain unsolved.
From the comfort of your own home, enjoy a virtual tour of some of the world’s oddest locations as we examine the science, stories, ideas, and legends around them. Inzspire presents 10 Visually Eerie Places to Visit.
Blood Falls, Antarctica
The frighteningly grisly waterfall isn’t comprised of blood, as a new study reveals, and a new study reveals what gives it its distinct colour. The falls flow from Taylor Glacier in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys, and the liquid bubbles up through fractures in the glacier’s top.
Because the average temperature is 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius) and little glacier melting can be detected at the surface, the flow was previously a mystery.
Imaging from beneath the glacier revealed a complex network of subglacial rivers and a subglacial lake, all loaded with iron-rich brine that gives the falls its scarlet hue. According to the study, the brine’s composition explains why it flows rather than freezes.
Bran Castle, Romania
Permission to build the castle was recorded in the act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (modern Brașov) the privilege of building the stone castle at their own expense and with their own labour force; the settlement of Bran began to emerge nearby.
Outside of Transylvania, Bran Castle is known as Dracula’s Castle and is frequently referred to as the residence of the title character in Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula.” There is no proof that Stoker was familiar with this castle, which has only loose ties to Vlad the Impaler, Voivode of Wallachia, the alleged basis for ‘Dracula.’
Dracula’s crumbling fictitious castle described by Stoker in his book has no similarity or likeness to Bran Castle. The castle is now a museum dedicated to presenting Queen Marie’s collection of art and furniture.
Tourists can take a self-guided tour or join a guided tour to see the interior. A tiny open-air museum at the bottom of the hill displays traditional Romanian peasant structures (cottages, barns, water-driven machinery, etc.) from the Bran region.
Devil’s Bridge, Germany
The Rakotzbrücke is a finely arched devil’s bridge nestled among the luscious vegetation of Kromlau, Germany’s Kromlauer Park, and was intentionally created to create a circle when reflected in the waterways beneath it.
The slender arch arching over the waters of the Rakotzsee was commissioned in 1860 by a local knight and is made of a variety of local stone. The Rakotzbrücke, is referred to as a “devil’s bridge” due to the popular belief that such bridges were erected by Satan because they were so dangerous or miraculous.
Today the bridge is best seen in the autumn or fall, when the foliage lends a sense of awe to an already bizarre scene. The bridge can still be seen in the park today, but crossing it is forbidden in order to preserve it.
Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole, located off the coast of Belize, is a massive underwater sinkhole. It’s located at the middle of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Belize City’s mainland.
The hole is round in shape, measuring about 300 metres (984 feet) in diameter and 125 metres (410 feet) in depth. The Great Blue Hole, the world’s largest natural creation of its sort, is part of the broader Barrier Reef Reserve System, a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site (UNESCO).
It has a reputation as a world-class diving site for recreational scuba divers who want to explore a variety of marine life, including tropical fish and magnificent coral formations, while diving in crystal-clear waters.
Nurse sharks, large groupers, and numerous varieties of reef sharks, such as the Caribbean reef shark and the Blacktip shark, can all be found in these places (Carcharhinus limbatus). Dive trips to the Great Blue Hole are usually full-day excursions that include one dive in the Blue Hole and two more dives on neighbouring reefs.
Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania
If you have a thing about visiting strange and earie places, you might wish to visit (or at the very least learn about) Hoia Baciu Forest, popularly known as Romania’s Bermuda Triangle. As one of the world’s most haunted forests, it’s no exaggeration to say the forest’s history is cloaked in mystery, and separating reality from fiction is as simple as untangling the forest’s twisted and deformed vegetation.
The reason for the legend is that peasants are said to have been slaughtered in the forest hundreds of years ago, and the area is now haunted as a result. A UFO sighting in the late 1960s added to the site’s paranormal legacy, in addition to its mediaeval history.
It covers an area of 295 hectares (729 acres). If you desire to explore the mystery woodlands, don’t worry about getting lost because there are various established routes for your convenience. For leisure purposes, bike trails have also been added.
Kawah Ijen, Indonesia
The world’s largest acidic volcanic crater lake, Kawah Ijen, is located on the Ijen volcano in East Java and is known for its blue colour. The 950×600 metre active crater is notable for its rich sulphur resources, which are currently being mined.
The volcano is one of numerous active stratovolcanoes that dot the 20-kilometer-wide Ijen caldera, which is Java’s largest caldera. Because of the risk of the lake draining and forming catastrophic lahars, eruptions from Ijen are extremely dangerous.
A lahar is a rapid flow of hot or cold water and rock fragments down the slopes of a volcano. They travel at speeds of up to 40 mph through valleys and stream systems that stretch for more than 50 kilometres from the volcano. Lahars are more lethal than lava flows and can be exceedingly devastating.
Magnetic Hill, New Brunswick, Canada
For nearly 80 years, visitors to New Brunswick have been perplexed by a small, otherwise unremarkable hill. When automobiles became more widespread in Moncton in the 1930s, drivers found a mysterious occurrence on this short hill that was once a cart road.
If a driver lets go of the automobile brake at the bottom of the hill, they will be surprised to see that their vehicle is rolling backwards—uphill. What appears to be an uphill incline in these “mystery areas” is actually part of a bigger downhill incline, which our brains misread due to the way the slopes are positioned combined with little or no view of the horizon line. Water, balls, and tyres appear to be rolling uphill while, in fact, they should be rolling downhill.
Since 1931, when freshly constructed roads revealed the hill’s unusual qualities and local vehicles shared the experience of floating uphill, this remarkable optical illusion has enthralled residents and visitors. People began to flock in from the surrounding towns to witness the strange occurrence for themselves, and the Moncton Magnetic Hill eventually developed into its own cottage business, attracting thousands of tourists each year.
The region surrounding the hill has been developed with a number of other attractions, including the Magnetic Hill water park, Magic Mountain Fun Zone, Magnetic Hill music venue, and the Magnetic Hill Zoo.
Nazca Lines, Peru
The Nazca Lines are a collection of massive geoglyphs, drawings, or motifs etched into the earth found about 250 miles (400 kilometres) south of Lima, Peru.
The 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines, which show numerous plants, animals, and shapes and were created by the ancient Nazca society in South America, can only be completely understood when viewed from the air due to its immense scale.
The geoglyphs, which were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, have remained a mystery to scholars despite being researched for over 80 years.
Richat Structure, Mauritania
The 50-kilometer-diameter circular Richat formation is one of those geological structures that can be seen more clearly from space than from the ground, and astronauts have known this ‘eye of Africa’ since the first manned expeditions.
The Richat formation was once assumed to be the result of a meteor strike, but geologists now believe it was produced by a sequence of geological uplift followed by wind and water erosion.
Concentric bands of resistant quartzite rocks form ridges, with valleys of less-resistant rock between them, forming an onion-like shape.
The black area is a sedimentary rock plateau that rises 200 metres above the surrounding desert sands, with the structure’s outer rim peaking at 485 metres above sea level. The dunes around the Richat formation are part of the Ouarne (Erg Oudane), a vast sand sea running hundreds of kilometres from Morocco to Mali, where some old Ksours can still be found.
A Ksour is a mediaeval hamlet consisting of towers, homes, and surrounding walls located along caravanning routes across the Sahara’s trading centres.In 1996, the Ksours in this area were included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Rock-hewn churches, Ethiopia
Lalibela is found in the Amhara Region, some 370 miles (600 kilometres) north of Addis Ababa, at an elevation of 8,200 feet (2,500 meters). A magnificent complex of 11 churches chiselled out of the living rock some 800 years ago sits at its heart. Their creation is credited to the Zagwe dynasty’s King Lalibela (about 1181-1221), who aspired to build a new Jerusalem on African land that would be accessible to all Ethiopians.
Lalibela’s features mimic those of Jerusalem: the Jordan River, Golgotha Church, and Adam’s Tomb. The churches are still utilised for daily worship and special rituals, and during holidays such as Christmas and Easter, pilgrims and big crowds flock to them.
The churches, which were included to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978, are carved out of solid volcanic rock and are typically linked by underground tunnels and trenches. The primary cluster of 11 churches is separated into two groups: a northern group with five churches and an eastern group with another five, with the exception of Biet Gyorgis, which is an isolated church.
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