Who hasn’t fantasized about living in a fantasy world as a kid, a place filled with magic, adventure and awe-inspiring vistas that are unlike anything we are used to. Unfortunately we will never be able to see such bizarre places with our own god given eyes outside of a videogame or a movie… or can we?
Below you will find 9 weird places on earth that seem to be plucked straight from fairy tale books and are just a flight ticket away! Bizarre places such as:
Socotra Island, Yemen——————————————————————
If you ever want to experience what it feels like to walk on a alien planet, then Socrata Island should be right on top of your bucket list.
Socotra, one of the most isolated places on earth, is located in the Arabian Sea, about 150 miles off the horn of Africa. The island was known to the ancient Egyptians and was written about by Marco Polo, but even so, it’s almost as if it time stood still there. The population counts only 80,000 people and it had no paved roads until 2007.
Apart from the bizarre island caverns and beautiful waters, the near drought-like conditions on the island have produced a landscape peppered with alien looking plants. Research has shown that around 33% of these plants can not be found anywhere else in the world. One of the most bizarre looking, and also the symbol of Socrata Island, is the umbrella shaped Dragon Blood Tree.
The Doorway to Hell, Turkmenistan——————————————————————
This bizarre fire pit is referred to as the Door to Hell and is located in the middle of the Karakum Desert. At first glance, it looks like a peek behind the black gates of Mordor. But this is actually a crater accidentally made by geologists in 1971, and has been burning ever since. The site was discovered by Soviet scientists and was believed to contain a large oil field. The scientists set up a drilling rig to access the gas reserve, but something went terribly wrong…
The ground collapsed and the drilling rig disappeared into the wide crater. No lives were lost in the incident itself. However, large quantities of lethal methane gas came out, creating a huge risk for the enviroment and the nearby village. While trying to contain the situation, scientists decided to burn it off by releasing methane gas into the crater. It was believed to burn out within days, but over 40 years later, it is still burning, leaving this amazing and frightening looking mark in the desert.
Hobbiton, New Zealand——————————————————————
Talking about Lord of the Rings, did you ever fantasize about being a Hobbit? If so, then the little town of Matamata in New Zealand is a great place to visit. It was the location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the New Zealand government decided to leave the Hobbit holes built on location as tourist attractions, since they were designed to blend seamlessly into the environment.
Cano Crystales, the world’s most beautiful river——————————————————————
Deep in the jungles of Colombia runs a seemingly ordinary river. In fact, you could cross this river several hundred times a year and never give it a second thought. However if you were to stumble upon this river during the brief period between the rainy and dry seasons, your jaw would hit the floor in disbelief. Your first reaction would probably be to pinch yourself and make sure you’re not dreaming. Once you realise you’re not, you would probably start to worry about all the drugs you experimented with in the 60′s as you’d hydrate to fight off the hallucinations.
This bizarre phenomena is created by algae produced colors at the bottom of the river, and does not occur anywhere else in the world in this combination. This unique biological wonder, Caño Cristales has been referred to as the “river of five colors,” “the river that ran away from paradise,” and “the world’s most beautiful river.”
Igloo Village, Finnish Lapland——————————————————————
Igloo Village with its unique glass and Snow Igloos has to be one of the most awe inspiring winter resorts in the world. Not only can guests experience the peace of sleeping in snow, the glass igloos are also fantastic for lying on your bed at night, watching the Northern Lights from the comforts of a warm bed.
Neuschwanstein, the real Cinderella Castle——————————————————————
This ridiclously overstyled, 19th-century palace is located on a rugged hill in southwest Bavaria Germany. It was commissioned by the eccentric Ludwig II of Bavaria during his worst princess phase to look like exactly like a fairy tale castle. Ludwig was a reclusive person who spend most of his time daydreaming and, as you can imagine, is also referred to as the fairy tale king. The palace was intended as a personal refuge, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. The palace has appeared in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle. Despite the castle’s medieval appearance, Ludwig built in modern technologies, such as flush toilets, running hot and cold water, and heating. Until today, the exact circumstances of Ludwig’s death remain a mystery; some say he committed suicide, others believe he was murdered. But either way, Ludwig never got to enjoy his magical castle.
The Temple Cave, Borneo——————————————————————
Borneo is known for its amazing and enormous limestone caves. This one is called the Batu Caves, named after the Batu River, which flows past the hill. If you walk long enough you end up in the very center of the mountain. In this innermost sanctuary lies this mysterious Hindu Temple, which seems to been plucked straight from a Indiana Jones movie set.
The Crooked Forest——————————————————————
The town of New Czarnowa, Poland is home to a bizarre forest where hundreds of pine trees show large bends in the bottom of their trunks, before growing straight up as normal. It is still a mystery what causes this strange deformity. What we do know is that it looks like some twisted magical forest where you don’t want to get stuck during the night!
Majlis al Jinn, the Cave of Wonders——————————————————————
Majlis al Jinn is as close as seeing Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders as you can get. It is the second largest chamber cave in world, and just like the fairy tale version, it’s can only be entered through a small opening in the desert above. Venturing down is no picknick as you can only enter the cave on a a free-hanging rappel, and the drop is over 150m. But if you can overcome this fear and such a thing as a mountain of leprechaun gold exists, then this is most likely the place to find it. To see how gigantic this cave really is, be sure to check out the video. It also shows you another option on how to get it there .
I hope you enjoyed these bizarre, real-life fantasy locations. Also, if you have suggestions of other strange places that should not be missed on this list, then feel free to leave a comment below.