And the best part is that you can visit these other worldly places without jumping in a rocket or a spaceship, combating with weight challenges, or being an astronaut. If you have ever dreamt of exploring other world, plan a trip to these hotspots on your Mother Earth. From caves glowing with worms and rainbow-painted mountains, the attractions appear to have been in some distant galaxy. So, here are some of the places on earth that look like those from other planets.
1) Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Island, Maldives
In Maldives, stars not only twinkle in the sky. They have a place of their reflection on earth. The visual delight is in Vaadhoo Island that is correctly baptized – the Sea of Stars. The starts in the sea are actually phytoplankton. A bluish glow is emanated by these bioluminescent marine microbes from a special cell in their membrane that creates this unique illumination.
2) Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
The glowworms are unique to New Zealand. These miniscule creatures come together to radiate with their distinctive luminous. The caves are best enjoyed with a boat ride under the radiance of these magical glowworms. Floating beneath the starry wonderland that is actually not starry but lit by thousands of tiny living lights.
3) Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan
Also addressed as the Valley of the Moon owing to its lunar-like landscape, Wadi Rum Desert features towering red sandstone arches and sweeping red sand dunes. The red color of the mountains and sand is because of iron oxide, present abundantly in them. This red atmosphere imparts a look like that of Mars to this desert. Crevice-riddled cliffs and ever-evolving light evoke wonder.
4) Danxia Mountains, China
Better known as Rainbow Mountains, Danxia Mountains stand in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park are a geological curiosity. Famous for being painted in ethereal hues, these mountains impart an illusion of a rainbow having a home on them. In 2009, the place was listed under UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The mountains are actually cretaceous sandstones and siltstones that were deposited millions of years ago.
5) Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia
The Namib is the world’s oldest desert, dotted by the highest dunes on earth. The major parts of the Namib Naukluft Park are unreachable for humans. However, the area north of the Kuiseb River, the Naukluft Mountains, and the Sossusvlei can be visited.
Standing at the Atlantic coast, Namib Naukluft Park is an ecologically protected area as proclaimed in August 1979. The Park was formed by the merging of the Skeleton Coast Park, the Namib Naukluft Park, the Restricted Diamond Area, the Dorob National Park, the Fish River Canon, and the marine reserve Meob-Chamais.
6) Well of Darvaza, Turkmenistan
A fiery crater in Turkmenistan desert is named “The Door to Hell”. Ablaze for over four decades, the sinister desert draws several tourists. An erroneous drilling in 1971 by the Soviets resulted in this flaming inferno. They unintentionally tapped into an enormous natural gas grotto.
In order to check the toxic gas escaping into the atmosphere, they set it alight, hoping that the fuel would be consumed in few days and the fire will extinguish. But the natural gas beneath the crater turned out to be infinite as it has been in flames since then.
7) Pamukkale, Turkey
Pamukkale is a lovely turquoise travel destination that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to surreal water terraces that have been fascinating people from across the continents. These water terraces are actually ancient thermal pools that have been overflowing the hillside.
Thereby, terraces of oyster-shell-shaped pools have been created. At the same time, the whitened travertine is being refreshed as the calcium-rich waters flow. To believe the magic of the sight and feel out of the world, behold the site!
8) Lake Hillier, Western Australia
This bubblegum-pink lake seems to be right from a planet of dolls. The Lake is in fact a salt lake on Middle Island – the largest island that formed the Recherche Archipelago in Western Australia. Adorned by a sand frame and woodland, the lake is approximately 600 meters long.
Scientists opine that the pink hue is the result of tints created by extremely scientific-sounding organisms – Dunaliella salina and Halobacteria. But it might also be because of red halophilic bacteria in the salt crust. Whatever be the reason for this blushing color, the water is safe if you want to enjoy a dip in it.
9) Mount Roraima, Venezuela
Looking like a piece of cake with generous sprinkling of cinnamon sugar around, Mount Roraima is flat-topped that has been away from human civilization for a long period. This reason has caused the mountain to be transformed into a lost world of its own. The unusual landscape is inhabited by species, unique like itself. Strange landscape and equally unknown inhabitants. It definitely is a characteristic of some other planet. What do you say?
10) The Eye of the Sahara, Ouadane, Mauritania
Commonly known as the Eye of the Sahara, the Richat Structure is a 40 km wide circular geological form that seems to convey an otherworldly message. The striking structure can only be seen from space. It is made up of sand and bare rock but how did it form and the circular accuracy is indeed a mystery. Unsolved till date. All we can speculate is that it might be aliens drawing book.
11) Painted Dunes, Lassen National Park, US
No matter how ethereal this picture looks, the fact is that the place is on earth, our own planet. Standing in Lassen National Park in California, these unbelievable formations are actually polychromic pumice fields, which formed by volcanic ash oxidation. Strange and unbelievable but true.
12) Grand Prismatic Spring, Wyoming, US
Believe it or not, this enormous water body graces our Mother Earth. This is the third largest hot spring on the planet. Rainbow hues that adorn the outline of this liquid wonder fascinate tourists from far and wide and beckon them to marvel at it. When are you planning to visit this seemingly another planetary wonder?
13) Surprise Cave, Halong Bay, Vietnam
Placed inside Bo Hon Island, in the heart of Halong Bay, Sung Sot Cave is the most magnificent in the region. Translated to ‘Surprise Cave’, Sung Sot Cave is a commendable artwork of nature that looks like a creation of aliens. Undoubtedly, the cave fills the tourists with awe and amazement as soon as they step in as they can’t predict what they will be coming across next in this cave.
It is unbelievable, how a narrow path inside the cave can give way to a spacious and spectacular cave. The ceiling is adorned by stalactites that look like colorful chandeliers and the floor is carpeted with various rocks that are shaped like animals and trees and that too naturally! Some people believe that the cave can also be addressed as the Cave of Unfathomable Depth.
14) The Nasca Lines, Peru
Who could have etched unimaginably huge geometric shapes and figures into Peru’s barren Pampa de San José, South America? Probably aliens? Well, this remains a mystery. These figures can be seen only from the air or from a metal viewing tower beside the highway. What makes these baffling shapes all the more mysterious is the fact that some of these are 200 meters long and each one is drawn in a continuous line! Inexplicable but true.
15) Goblin Valley State Park, Utah, USA
This is an uninhabited valley that rests 216 miles southeast of Salt Lake City in Utah. Over the years, soft sandstone has undergone erosion by wind and water. This has resulted in the formation of unique hoodoos or pinnacles that look like elves. The eerie landscape deserves a visit and surely, you would feel, as if having stepped on some other planet!
16. Dallol Volcano, Ethiopia
Being one of the world’s hottest places, Dallol Volcano has incredible colors of the gas geysers, acidic springs, and salt formations. These factors invite tourists to catch a glimpse of this out worldly spectacle.
All these sites give a tough competition to landscapes and attractions of other planets. A visit to these places will satiate the explorer in you. These are no less than scenes from a fantasy world or a fiction flick that evokes your interest. So, which of these sites are you planning to explore? Do let me know in the comments below 🙂
P.S. I know, there are still several places that can be added to this list. If you know, please add the same to complete the list.