If you’re anything like me, you probably have a long list of destinations on your bucket list, and that list seems to get longer and longer as the weeks pass by. Some may call it overly optimistic, but I think we all start out with the goal of crossing most of those destinations off that list eventually. Without the intention of adding more destinations to your bucket list, we’ve rounded up some of the world’s best natural phenomenons and man made wonderlands that you might want to travel to one day.
SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA
Salar de Uyuni was created when a prehistoric lake dried out and left behind salt encrusted land that goes on for miles. When it rains, this giant salt crust turns into a huge mirror-like phenomenon, reflecting back subjects on the land. Besides being incredibly picturesque, Bolivia’s salt flats are also the breeding ground for a few species of flamingos who roam around like beautiful pieces of live art.
*Images via Flickr, Daily Jstor and Rute Verde Tours.
BLUE LAGOON, ICELAND
If you have a bucket list, then this place definitely needs to be on it. Blue Lagoon in Iceland is one of the world’s most iconic lagoons and boasts being Iceland’s most visited tourist attraction. This incredible geothermal spa not only looks outer-worldly, but provides for the perfect spa conditions due to its mineral-rich water and heated temperatures. What many people don’t know is, that the Blue Lagoon in Iceland isn’t really a natural phenomenon (like many of Iceland’s other hot springs), it’s actually the result of runoff from the geothermal plant next door.
*Images via Bus Travel, On the Go Tours and Strada.
LAKE NATRON, TANZANIA
You can be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped out onto Mars when you lay eyes on Lake Natron in Tanzania. This eerily red lake formed by salt crusts looks more at home in outer space rather than here on earth. Yet besides rivalling the set of a sci fi movie, Lake Natron also hides a formidable secret. Due to the extremely high salt and soda content in the water, an alkalinity level somewhere between a pH of 9 and 10.5 and temperatures that often exceed 60 degrees Celsius, Lake Natron is perhaps one of the most inhabitable environments on earth. Unfortunately, animals often die in this lake, later to be washed up on shore in a preserved state, seemingly turned to stone and resulting in a shore line of statue-like bodies.
*Images via Amusing Planet and Knowledge Nuts.
DRAGON BLOOD TREES, YEMEN
Whilst the name of these odd looking trees has them sounding slightly ominous, they’re actually pretty harmless and mainly got their title due to the bright red sap that they produce. However, they are the stuff of many myths including how they came to be – the result of blood shed in a battle between an elephant and a dragon. An endemic to the island of Socotra, off the coast of Yemen, these dragon blood trees look like upturned umbrellas, their top heavy foliage providing stark contrast on the landscape.
*Images via Blogspot, Reddit and Youtube.
LAGUNA SALADA DE TORREVIEJA, SPAIN
A natural phenomenon, Laguna Salada de Torrevieja is made up of water that looks pink due to a type of special algae. This beautiful salt lagoon makes for perfect contrast against the sky and whilst its not your typical style of ‘beach’ as some like to call it, it still makes for some picturesque sunsets.
*Images via Emilio A Cano, Flickr and Jose Ferrando.
WHITE SAND DUNES, YEMEN
Who would have thought Yemen would make it on this list twice? These beautiful white sand dunes mimic the look of talcum powder from a distance, rolling hills of white, set against a beautiful blue sky. Located in Socotra Island, these sand dunes really do have to be seen to be believed.
*Images via National Geographic, Photobucket and Popsugar.
Pamukkale, or translated as ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, are mineral rich thermal waters that flow down white travertine terraces, creating the perfect combination of blue and white colours. Aptly named, these natural hot springs are one of Turkey’s most famous tourist attractions.
*Images via Tourist Attractions, Eco Turkey and Jennifer Hayes.
DANXIA LANDFORM, CHINA
At first glance, pictures of Danxia Landform look like an artist’s creation, one who has been generous with their brushstrokes of colour. Not surprisingly, many artists admire this landscape of magical rainbow mountains, the result of layers of different coloured sandstone and minerals.
*Images via Big Photo, Relaxing Page and Travel Blog.
NORTHERN LIGHTS, ALASKA
It’s safe to assume that the Northern Lights in Alaska sits at the top of many people’s bucket list, this incredible techni-colour display a highlight for anyone travelling to Alaska. Easily confused as something out of a dream, it’s nature at its absolute finest. The bright dancing lights are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. An incredible sight to see, there’s no arguing that the Northern Lights of Alaska are heaven on earth for photographers and travellers alike.
*Images via Youtube, Entree Destinations and Wildlife Archives.