This planet is home to countless gorgeous spots that tend to attract millions of visitors each year. However, from one corner of the globe to another, there are also off-the-beaten paths that many people never knew existed.
Want to be among the few who are in the know? Then check out the most mysterious places on earth:
1. World's Largest Open Pit Diamond Mine in Russia
Mir Mine also called Mirny Mine is a former open pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia. At the time of its closing in 2004, the mine was 525 meters deep and 1,200 meters across making it the second largest excavated hole in the world, after Bingham Canyon Mine. The hole is so big that airspace above the mine is closed for helicopters because of incidents in which they were sucked in by the downward air flow.
Mining began on 1957, in extremely harsh climate conditions. The Siberian winter lasted seven months which froze the ground, making it hard to mine. During the brief summer months, permafrost would become mud turning the entire mining operation into a land of sludge. Buildings had to be raised on piles, so that they would not sink. The main processing plant had to be built on better ground, found 20 km away from the mine. The winter temperatures were so low that car tires and steel would shatter and oil would freeze. During the winter, workers used jet engines to burn through the layer of permafrost or blasted it with dynamite to get access to the underlying kimberlite. The entire mine had to be covered at night to prevent the machinery from freezing.
Read more: Largest Open Pit Diamond Mine in Russia
2. World's Deepest Blue Hole: Dean's Blue Hole in Bahamas
Dean's Blue Hole near Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas, is the world's deepest known "blue hole" - a term given to any deep, water filled, vertical caves or sinkholes with an entrance below the water surface. While most blue holes and sinkholes reach a maximum depth of 110 meters, Dean's Blue Hole plunges to more than 200 meters, which makes it quite exceptional. At the surface, Dean's Blue Hole is roughly circular, with a diameter ranging from 25 to 35 meters.
After descending 20 meters, the hole widens considerably into a cavern with a diameter of 100 meters.
Blue holes are so called for the dramatic contrast between the dark blue, deep waters of their depths and the lighter blue of the shallows around them. The intense blue color is created by high transparency of water and bright white carbonate sand.
Blue holes formed during past ice ages, when sea level was as much as 100-120 meters lower than at present. These holes were formed by deeper groundwater gradually dissolving the limestone until the ceiling of these voids collapsed. Later the sea level rose and filled the holes with water.
See more at: Dean's Blue Hole in Bahamas
3. Black Sand Beach in Hawaii: Punalu'u
Punalu'u Beach Park is the most famous black sand beach on the Big Island of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The beach's black sand is made of basalt and created by lava flowing into the ocean which explodes as it reaches the ocean and cools. Punalu'u is frequented by endangered Hawksbill and Green turtles, which can often be seen basking on the black sand. This is a perfect place to enjoy the scenery, explore the black sand beach, watch the sea turtles, and swim or snorkel. Swimming is dangerous as the area is very rocky.
The beach has a large amount of underground fresh water that flows in it. This fresh water is very cold and looks almost like gasoline mixing with the water. Legend has it that in the time of drought, the ancient Hawaiians living in the area would dive underwater with a jug to get their fresh water.
Punalu'u Beach Park is located off Hwy 11 on Puna district's south shore, south of the town of Hilo.
Read more at:Punalu'u Black Sand Beach in Hawaii
4. Amazing Frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia
Lake Baikal is the the worlds oldest and deepest lake. Lake Baikal is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the world. It is also among the clearest of all lakes, and thought to be the world's oldest lake. Experts say that it is approximately 25 million years old (possibly older) and has an average depth of 744.4 meters (2,442 ft). It is the 7th largest lake in the world.
Lake Baikal in Siberia, which holds one fifth of the world's fresh water.
Read more at: Frozen Lake Baikal
5. The ancient town of Fenghuang in China
The ancient town of Fenghuang is located in the southwest corner of the west of Hunan province, in China, at the foot of a mountain along the banks of the Tuo Jiang River. The town is exceptionally well-preserved, untouched by modernization, harboring unique ethnic languages, customs, arts as well as many distinctive architectural remains of Ming and Qing styles.
The ancient town has basically maintained the layout and original appearances of the Ming dynasty, of 14th century, and Qing dynasty, of 17th century, to this day.
There are preserved in the ancient town zone over 200 ancient residential buildings, some 20 large or small streets, 10 ancient lanes and alleys, as well as ancient town walls, ancient town gate towers, ancient leaping rock, ancient wells, ancient rainbow bridges, ancient temples of literature, ancient temples of poems, ancient ancestral temples etc., all of which are by and large preserved in their original state.
Because of its unique geographical location, Fenghuang never suffered from the destruction of wars or natural disasters in hundreds of years. From the Miao people uprising in 1795 to the Getun uprising in 1937, there happened dozens of wars, none of which affected the town. Even during the war of resistance against Japanese invasion, Fenghuang town had not been occupied by Japanese invaders or suffered air bombing.
Fenghuang Ancient City in China
Amazing Nandi sculpture at Lepakshi
6. India's largest Nandi statue at Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh
The magnificent monolithic Nandi statue at Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh is the largest in India. It is 4.5 m high and 8.23 m long. The Shiva lingam sheltered by an enormous, many-headed Naga serpent at Lepakshi. A view of the Nandi in Lepakshi, carved out of hard granite with basic tools.
Amazing Nandi sculpture at Lepakshi
It is carved out of a single rock and towers to 20 feet in height and is 30 feet long.
Read more at: India's largest Nandi statue at Lepakshi
7. Amazing ancient temple Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Angkor Wat was built in the first half of the 12th century (113-5BC). Estimated construction time of the temple is 30 years by King Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu (Hindu), replica of Angkor Thom style of art.
Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor group and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief's and sculpture make it one of the finest monuments in the world.
Angkor Wat is a miniature replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the center of the monument symbolizing the mythical mountain, Meru, situated at the center of the universe. Its five towers correspond to the peaks of Meru. The outer wall corresponds to the mountains at the edge of the world, and the surrounding moat the oceans beyond.
Angkor Wat occupies a rectangular area of about 208 hectares (500 acres) defined by a laetrile wall.
Read more at: Ancient temple Angkor Wat
Spectacular underwater museum in Cancun, Mexico called MUSA
8. Cancun Underwater Museum in Cancun, Mexico
Cancun Underwater Museum: It has more than 400 permanent sculptures installed underwater as part of an artwork project - "The Silent Evolution" - by artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
Cancun Underwater Museum is a series of sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor placed underwater off the coast of Isla de Mujeres and Cancun, Mexico.
La Evolucion Silenciosa (The Silent Evolution) 400 life-size figures. Depth 9m Cancun / Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
Read more at: Cancun Underwater Museum
9. Mysterious Crooked Forest in Poland
In a tiny corner in north-west Poland near Gryfino, is a forest of about 400 pine trees that grow with a 90 degree bend at the base of their trunks, before rising vertically again. This collection of curved trees has been named the "Crooked Forest". The way the trunks are curved and all bent towards the same direction - northward - the cause of the curvature appear to be man made as opposed to natural. It is estimated that the trees were allowed to grow for seven or ten years before being held down for a purpose unknown.
Read more at: Mysterious Crooked Forest in Poland
10. Moving Desert in France: The Great Dune of Pyla
The Great Dune of Pyla, located 60 km from Bordeaux in the Arcachon Bay area, France, happens to be the tallest sand dune in Europe. Also known as Great Dune of Pilat, the sand dune is enormous - measuring 500 meter in width, 3 km in length and rising to a height of 107 meter above sea level. Because of the dune's unexpected location and beauty, it is a famous tourist destination with more than one million visitors per year.
Interestingly, the dune is relentlessly moving inwards, slowly pushing the forest back to cover houses, roads and even portions of the Atlantic Wall. The rate of movement is discontinuous; sometimes it moves fast (10 meter in a year) and sometimes very slow (less than a meter). During the last 57 years, the dune has moved some 280 meter giving an annual displacement of 4.9 meter per year.
Read more at: Mysterious Moving Desert in France
11. Aiguille du Midi in France
Mt. Aiguille du Midi is apart of the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps, France. There is a long cable cart that takes you all the way to a panoramic viewing platform, a cafe, and an amazing bridge which is pretty much breathtaking as you can see in the picture.
Aiguille du Midi Chamonix Mont Blanc: 3842m above sea level ... lift which is the highest cable car traverse in the world and which connects France and Italy.
Read more at: Aiguille du Midi, France
12. World's Largest Cave: Son Doong Cave in Vietnam
The Son Doong Cave in Vietnam is the biggest cave in the world. It's over 5.5 miles long, has a jungle and river, and could fit a 40-story skyscraper within its walls. Son Doong cave is more than 200 meters wide, 150 meters high, and approx 9 kilometers long, with caverns big enough to fit an entire city street inside them, twice as large as Deer Cave in Malaysia (currently considered the world's largest with 90 meters wide, 100 meters high and 2 kilometers long). Son Doong cave was classified as the largest cave in the world by BCRA and selected as one of the most beautiful in the globe.
A local man discovered the cave entrance in 1991, but British cavers were the first to explore it in 2009. Now, tour company Oxalis is running trial tours of the cave.
Read more at: World's Largest Cave - Son Doong
13. Hot Water Beach in New Zealand
Hot Water Beach is a popular beach and geothermal attraction located on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, approximately 12 kilometers southeast of Whitianga. Between low and high tides, warm water from two underground hot springs rises up through the sand, and by scooping a shallow hole in the sand, you can create a small pool of warm water to lie on. The phenomenon occurs only at low to mid-tide when the water is low to expose the area of sand with hot water underneath. Two hours before and after low tide is the best time to go.
During peak season, hundreds of people and family take to the beach with spades and bucket and start digging pools large enough to lay and relax while the warm water envelops them. The deeper you dig, the hotter the water becomes with temperature reaching as hot as 64°C.
Read more at: Hot Water Beach in New Zealand
14. World's Largest Desert Lake - Lake Turkana
Lake Turkana - the world's largest permanent desert lake and largest alkaline lake in the world covering an area of about 7,000 sq km. The local people call it the Jade Sea because of its breathtaking turquoise color.
Lake Turkana is located in the north of Kenya's Rift Valley, and fed by three rivers: the Omo of Ethiopia, the Turkwel and the Kerio. The long body of Lake Turkana drops down along the Rift Valley from the Ethiopian border, extending 249 kilometers from north to south and 44 km at its widest point with a depth of 30 meters. Between four and eight thousand years ago, the Lake stretched for more than 400 kilometers from the Omo Valley almost as far as Baringo. During this period, the Lake had an outlet, a river flowing northwestwards to join the Nile.
Read more at: World's Largest Desert Lake
15. Rani Ki Vav (Queen's stepwell) in Patan, Gujarat, India
Rani (Queen) Udayamati commissioned this vav or stepwell, It is called "Rani Ki Vav" or the Well of The Queen, in 1063 in the memory of her husband King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty. The vav was later flooded by the nearby Saraswati river and silted over until the late 1980s, when it was excavated by the Archeological Survey of India, with the carvings found in pristine condition. Rani Ki Vav is amongst the finest stepwells in India, and one of the most famous legacies of the ancient capital city.
This magnificent east facing step well measures approximately 64m long, 20m wide & 27m deep. A stepped corridor compartmented at regular intervals with pillared multi-storeyed pavilions is a unique feature.
There is also a small Gate below the last step of the step well which is having a 30 kilometre tunnel built (Now its has been blocked by stones and mud) which leads to the town of sidhpur near patan. It was used as an escape gateway for king who built the step well in the times of defeat.
The corridor walls, pillared pavilions and inner side of well are embellished with fine sculptures. Nearly 400 sculptures have survived out of the original estimated 800 sculptures, which comprise of Hindu gods and goddesses, apsaras and miscellaneous themes.
Read more at: Rani Ki Vav in Gujarat
16. Hanging Temple in Mount Hengshan, China
Located in a canyon at the foot of the Mountain Heng in the province of Shanxi, China, the Hanging Temple or Hanging Monastery is a rare piece of architecture. The temple is built into the cliff side about 75 meter above the ground, and stands propped up by hidden rocks corridor and wooden beams inserted into the mountain. Over 40 halls, cabinets and pavilions within an area of 152.5 square meters are connected each other by corridors, bridges and boardwalks. They are evenly distributed and well balanced in height. Inside the temple are more than 80 bronze cast statues, iron cast statues, and clay sculptured statues and stone carvings banded down from different dynasties.
The Hanging Temple is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area. Built more than 1,500 years ago, this temple is notable not only for its location on a sheer precipice but also because it includes Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements.
The temple was built to avoid the terrible flood, and use the mountain as protection from rain, snow and sunshine.
Read more at: Hanging Temple in China
17. Amazing Red Beach in Panjin, China
The Red Beach is located in the Liaohe River Delta, about 30 kilometer southwest of Panjin City in China. The beach gets its name from its appearance, which is caused by a type of sea weed that flourishes in the saline-alkali soil. The weed that start growing during April or May remains green during the summer. In autumn, this weed turns flaming red, and the beach looks as if it was covered by an infinite red carpet that creates a rare red sea landscape.
Most of the Red Beach is a nature reserve and closed to the public. Only a small, remote, section is open for tourists.
Read more at: Red beach
18. Beautiful and Lonely 'Key Monastery' in India
Key Gompa is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on picturesque hilltop at an altitude of 4,166 metres above sea level, close to the Spiti River, in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. The monastery has the distinction of being the oldest and the biggest in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh and a religious training centre for Lamas. It is home to around 300 lamas who receive their religious education here.
The monastery is a wonderful example of the monastic architecture that came into prominence during the 14th century because of the Chinese influence. Regular invasions have led to temples built on top of one another. There are low rooms and narrow corridors.
Key Gompa is said to have been founded by Dromton (Brom-ston, 1008-1064 CE), a pupil of the famous teacher, Atisha, in the 11th century. This may however, refer to a now destroyed Kadampa monastery at the nearby village of Rangrik, which was probably destroyed in the 14th century when the Sakya sect rose to power with Mongol assistance. Nevertheless, it is believed that the monastery is at least a thousand years old. There was even a celebration of its millennium in 2000 in the presence of the Dalai Lama.
Read more at: Key Monastery in India
19. Pingualuit Impact Crater in Canada
In the far north of Quebec, a province in Canada, lies an exceptional natural wonder - a circular lake of blue waters confined within the walls of an ancient but well-preserved meteorite crater. Largely unknown to the outside world, the lake-filled crater had long been known to local Inuit who knew it as the "Crystal Eye of Nunavik" for its clear water. The lake was first observed by the crew of a United States Army Air Force plane in June 1943, who used the lake's unusual shape and color for navigation, but pictures of it weren't made public until 1950.
The crater and the surrounding area are now part of Pingualuit National Park.
Read more at: Pingualuit Impact Crater
20. The Clearest Lake in the World - Blue Lake in New Zealand
Blue Lake (Rotomairewhenua in Maori) is a small fresh water lake in Nelson Lakes National Park, in the northern reaches of New Zealands Southern Alps. In a study conducted in 2011, researchers of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) have found that the lake has extreme visual clarity of up to 80 meters, which is considered almost as optically clear as distilled water. The visibility of Blue Lake even surpasses that of the renowned Te Waikoropupu Springs in Golden Bay which has a visibility of 63 meters.
Blue Lake is characterized by blue-violet hues seen only in the very clearest natural waters. The lake is spring fed from the neighboring glacial Lake Constance, but the water passes through landslide debris that forms a dam between the two lakes. The natural dam filters out nearly all the particles suspended in the water giving the lake the most intense natural blue-violet colour.
Read more at: Blue Lake in New Zealand
21. The breathtaking white cliffs of Beachy Head and Seven Sisters in East Sussex, England
Beachy Head is a chalk headland in Southern England, close to the town of Eastbourne in the county of East Sussex, immediately east of the Seven Sisters. Beachy Head is located within the administrative area of Eastbourne Borough Council which owns the land. The cliff there is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 metres (531 ft) above sea level. The peak allows views of the south east coast from Dungeness in the east, to Selsey Bill in the west.
There are an estimated 20 deaths a year at Beachy Head Cliff. Worldwide, the landmark's suicide rate is surpassed only by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Aokigahara Woods in Japan.
Read more at: Beachy Head and Seven Sisters
22. Bajau Laut - Sea Gypsies
The Bajau Laut people of the south-western Philippines and Indonesia live their entire lives on the sea. Known as "sea gypsies" or "sea nomads", they inhabit amazing villages built on stilts in the middle of the ocean. Many Bajau people do not set foot on land except to trade fish and sea cucumbers for rice and (ironically) water, build new boats, or bury the deceased.
These amazing people are so at home in the water that their bodies have physically adapted to it, giving them better underwater vision and the ability to hold their breath for up to five minutes while free-diving for their dinner.
Read more at: Sea Gypsies
23. UTA Flight 772 Memorial in the Middle of the Sahara
UTA Flight 772 was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the People's Republic of Congo to Paris in France. On Tuesday, September 19th, 1989, six Libyan terrorists boarded the plane DC-10 and ignited a suitcase bomb on its way to Paris from Brazzaville. UTA Flight 772 broke up over the Sahara Desert near the towns of Bilma and Tenere in Niger. All 155 passengers and 15 crew members died. On the 18th anniversary of the disaster, families of the victims gathered at the crash site to build a memorial. Lying in the middle of the Sahara, it is one of the least accessible memorial in the world.
The memorial consist of a life-sized silhouette of the aircraft created using dark stones set into the sand. The silhouette lies inside a circle more than 200ft in diameter. Surrounding this circle are 170 broken mirrors, representing those who died, and arrows marking the points of the compass. Due to the remote resting place of the wreck, the wreckage is still scattered around the area.
Read more at: UTA Flight 772 Memorial
24. Gisborne Airport: Where rail-track meets airport runway
Gisborne Airport is a undersized regional airport that is situated on the western outskirts of Gisborne, the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The unique thing about this airport is one of the very few airports in the world that has a railway line intersecting the runway. The beautiful Gisborne airport covers a land of 160 hectares has three grass runways and one main runway that are intersected by the Palmerston North - Gisborne Railway Line. The airport has a single terminal with two tarmac gates.
One of the more appealing aspects of the Napier-Gisborne railway line is when the line passes directly on top of the Gisborne Airport runway; trains have to stop and look for clearance from the air traffic control tower to cross the runway and continue down the line. The railway tracks splits the runway approximately in the middle and very often trains or aircraft are stopped until one of them moves on.
The Gisborne airport is a main link to enter the little region of Gisborne and hosts more than 60 domestic flights, and over 150,0000 passengers fly through this airport each year.
Read more at: Gisborne Airport
25. Amazing Glacier Waterfalls in Svalbard, Norway
Svalbard, which means "cold coasts", is an archipelago in the Arctic, constituting the northernmost part of Norway as well as of Europe. It is located about 400 miles north of mainland Europe, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Despite being so close to the North Pole, Svalbard is comparatively warm, thanks to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream, which makes it habitable. In fact, Svalbard is the northernmost permanently inhabited region on the planet.
The islands cover a total area of 62,050 square km, nearly 60% of which is covered by glacier with many outlet glaciers terminating in the sea. Some of these glaciers have small waterfalls formed from melting snow and ice. Most of Svalbard is barren rock but during the short summer, the melting snow in the milder parts of the islands give place to vast stretches of tundra vegetation, sometimes dotted with delicate flowers.
Svalbard is home to seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, environment. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, short legged reindeer, polar foxes, whales, seals and walruses. Svalbard is renowned for its variety of birds, including Arctic Terns, Arctic Fulmar and Puffins.
Read more at: Glacier Waterfalls in Svalbard, Norway
26. The Heaven's Gate Mountain in China
Heaven's Gate Mountain (Tianmen Mountain), Zhangjiajie City, China. Tianmen Mountain is located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in northwestern Hunan Province, China. The mountain measures up to 131 meters in height and runs 60 meters deep. Because of its high altitude, it is more like an open gate to heaven. Located in the Zhangjiajie city in China.
China's Tianmen Shan or the Heaven's Gate Mountain in Hunan province is named after an incredible cave natural arch eroded through the karst syncline. The Heaven's Gate, as the arch is called, is located about 8 km south of the city of Zhangjiajie. It is accessed from Zhangjiajie by what may be the world's longest passenger cableway at a length of 7.5 km, followed by a bus ride along an 11-km long winding road with 99 bends called the "Heaven Linking Avenue", that reaches the top of the mountain. From there a set of stairs with exactly 999 steps take visitors right underneath the 130-meters tall and 57-meters wide arch.
Heaven-Linking Avenue, also known as the Big Gate Road, in Tianmen Mountain in the Hunan province of China as been called the "most dangerous" roads in China. Starting from 200 meters below sea level the serpentine road reaches 1300 meters above sea level making a total of 99 hair-pin turns along the way. In Chinese culture, 9 is considered a lucky number because it is believed that heaven has 9 places. A road with 99 turns symbolizes heaven, and hence the term Heaven-Linking Avenue or Avenue Towards Heaven.
Read more at: Heaven's Gate Mountain
27. Rapeseed Fields in Luoping, China
Luoping is a small county in eastern Yunnan, China, located about 228 kilometers north east of Kunming close to the border of Yunnan with Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. In early spring, when the yellow rapeseed flowers (also known as canola) are in full bloom, the area takes on the look of a "golden sea" - a spectacle that has made Luoping something of a Mecca for photographers. The sprawling farmlands get covered in golden, yellow rapeseed flowers stretching as far as the eyes can see, all the way to the horizon. The best time to visit Luoping for this visual fiesta is February through March, by June the show is over.
The town was previously overlooked by tourists passing through the area, who usually headed to the more commercialized tourist attractions in the center and eastern part of the province. Today, Luoping's canola fields attracts photographers from all over, who flock to this small county every early spring to capture the magnificent "sea of yellow" of blooming rapeseed flowers. The majestic photos in turn, draw more and more tourists to this beautiful rural photographic haven.
Read more at: Rapeseed Fields
28. Machu Picchu - the ancient city of the Inca Empire, Peru
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above the sea level in Machupicchu District,Peru. Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire.The construction of Machu Picchu appears to date from the period of the two great Incas, Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui (1438-71) and Tupac Inca Yupanqui (1472-93).It was abandoned just over 100 years later, in 1572.
Standing 2,430 m above sea level, in the midst of a tropical mountain forest in an extraordinarily beautiful setting, Machu Picchu was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height. Its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Read more at: Machu Picchu
29. World's Largest Swimming Pool
The swimming pool at the San Alfonso del Mar resort in Algarrobo, Chile holds the record of being the largest in the world. At 1,012 meters (3,324 ft) in length and a total area of 8 hectares (19.77 acres), it is larger than 20 Olympic-size pools and six-times bigger than its closest competitor, the Orthlieb Pool in Casablanca, Morocco. It also holds the Guinness World Record for being the world's deepest swimming pool in the world with the deeper end at 115 feet.
The enormous man-made pool sucks water directly in from the sea using a computer-controlled suction and filtration system. Water is pumped from the ocean into the pool where the sun warms it to 26C - nine degrees higher than the sea. The pool holds 250 million liters (66 million gallons) of water and is navigable in small boats. Its turquoise waters are so crystal clear that you can see the bottom even in the deep end.
30. Gigantic Snow Wall: Snow canyon roads in Japan
This is "Yuki-no-Otani" (Snow Canyon) in Toyama prefecture in Japan, often referred to as "Tateyama Alpine Route". The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a world-class mountain tourism destination, where visitors can enjoy the "Japan Alps" and the Tateyama Mountain Range through various modes of transportation such as cable car and rope-way. Snow removal operations begins in February, and the full route opens to the public from April to November.
The route was carefully built so that the surrounding environment is not damaged. Consequently, three lines go entirely under tunnels among them, two are trolleybus lines. Trolleybuses have all gone from Japan, except for these two lines which are still used here as they don't exhaust gas.
31. Ganvie, the Village on a Lake
Ganvie is a peculiar village built on Lake Nokoueé, just an hour north of the city of Cotonou, the administrative capital and the largest city of the Republic of Benin - a country in West Africa. The entire village stands on slits in the middle of the lake. With a population of around 20,000 people, it is probably the largest lake village in Africa and as such is very popular with tourists.
It's commonly believed that the Tofinu people settled here in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries and built their lake village to escape slavers who came from the Fon tribe and were not allowed to enter water for religious reasons. This made the lagoon a safe territory for other tribes. The Tofinu people built their homes on the water and in the roughly 500 years that have passed since, Ganvie has developed an intricate and prosperous culture within the constraints of life on the lake.
Phumids of Loktak lake
32. Loktak Lake in Manipur, India (The only Floating lake in the world)
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India, also called the only Floating lake in the world due to the large amount of floating phumdis on its surface. Phumdis are heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matters at various stages of decomposition that has been thickened into a solid form. They cover a substantial part of the lake area. The largest single mass of phumdi is in the southeastern part of the lake, covering an area of 40 square kilometer. This mass constitutes the world's largest and the only floating park, named Keibul Lamjao National Park, that is home to the endangered Brow-antlered Deer also called Sangai in the Manipuri language, indigenous to this area.
33. SØrvágsvatn lake (or Leitisvatn) in Faroe Islands
SØrvágsvatn (or Leitisvatn) is the biggest lake of the Faroe Islands, situated on the island of Vágar. It covers an area of 3.4 square km, more than three times the size of the second biggest lake Fjallavatn, which also lies on the island of Vágar.
34. Taktsang Monastery in Paro, Bhutan
The Taktsang monastery is the most famous Bhutanese monastery located in the Paro valley, western Bhutan. Perched on a cliff 900 meters above the valley, the Taktsang monastery is a must see sight while traveling in Bhutan. The Taktsang monastery was Built in 17th century, it is also known as "Tiger's Nest" because Guru Rimpoche is said to have flown on the back of a tigress in the 8th century. He then meditated in a cave here for three months where the monastery was later built. The cave is said to be the origin of Bhuddism in Bhutan.
35. The Great Banyan Tree in Howrah India
The Great Banyan Tree located in Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah, near Kolkata, India, is the widest tree in the world in terms of the area of the canopy it covers. It is estimated to be about 200 to 250 years old and occupies an area of about 14,500 square meters (1.5 hectares).
With its large number of aerial roots, the Great Banyan Tree looks more like a forest than an individual tree. The tree now lives without its main trunk, which decayed and was removed in 1925. The circumference of the original trunk was 1.7 m and from the ground was 15.7 m. The present crown of the tree has a circumference of about 1 kilometre and the highest branch rises to about 25 m; it has at present 2880 aerial roots reaching down to the ground.
36. The tallest outdoor elevator in the world: Bailong Elevator
China's Bailong Elevator takes visitors up 1,070ft in around a minute. The Bailong Elevator, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator, carries tourists 1,070ft (330m) up the side of a massive sandstone column in a mountain range in China's Hunan Province.
Bailong Elevator has set three Guinness world Records i.e. World's tallest full-exposure outdoor elevator, world's tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator and world's fastest passenger traffic elevator with biggest carrying capacity but due to the potential harm caused to the surrounding landscape, its future remains uncertain.
Underwater Ice Formations in Lake Sassolo, Switzerland
37. Lake Sassolo: The magical world
These stunning shots show the beautiful and eerie underwater world of a Swiss ice-filled Alpine lake named Lake Sassolo located in Sambuco Valley, Ticino, Switzerland. These pictures were taken by photographer Franco Banfi.
The ice forms into comb-like structures and tiny tunnels are made between the metre thick slabs, allowing the divers to squeeze through and capture these unseen views. The region is home to 140 lakes and over 3,500 miles of rivers, streams and rivers and is popular with hikers and divers.
38. Murudeshwara temple in Karnataka, India
Statue of Lord Shiva in Murudeshwar temple. The temple is built on the Kanduka Hill in Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, India. Murudeshwar temple is around 165 km from Mangalore on the National Highway attracting lot of devotees and tourists to the place. The sea is an intrinsic part of the temple scape at Murudeshwar. The sea on three sides surrounds the temple towering on the small hill called Kanduka Giri on three sides.
Read more at: Statue of Lord Shiva in Murudeshwar temple
39. Mohabbat Maqabara in Junagadh, Gujarat, India
Mahabat Maqbara in Junagadh. Mahabat Maqbara is a beautifully built mausoleum that was once home to the Nawabs of Junagadh. The art and architecture of the mausoleum is very attractive and this makes the monument one of the most important historical landmarks of the city. The structure of Mahabat Maqbara, Junagadh displays flamboyance in its intricately built doors of silver and tall minarets with spiraling stairs.
Construction work started in 1878 by Mahabat Khanji and completed in the year 1892 by his successor, Bahadur Kanji, the Mahabat Maqbara, Junagadh houses the tombs of Mahabat Khan, Baha-ud-din, and minister of Nawab Rasul Khanji.
Read more at: Mohabbat Maqabara
40. The Peculiar Architecture and Design of Eixample district in Barcelona, Spain
Eixample is a district of the Spanish city of Barcelona, that lies between the old city and the surrounding small towns. The district was built as an extension (hence the name "Eixample") when Barcelona started to grow during the middle of the 19th century. The 7.5 square km district is characterized by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues, and octagonal city blocks - rectangular blocks with the corners cut off, which are distinctive for Barcelona. This was the visionary, pioneering design by Spanish urban planner Ildefons Cerdà, who considered traffic and transport along with sunlight and ventilation in coming up with his characteristic octagonal blocks.
Read more at: Architecture and Design of Eixample district
41. White Water Terraces of Shangri-la, China
Baishuitai, also known as the White Water Terraces, is located in the foothills of the Haba Snow Mountains, 101 kilometers (about 62 miles) southeast of the Shangri-la County. Snugly carved into a mountain slope some 2400 meters above sea level, Baishuitai, from its base to its top, measures 140 meters and spans some 160 meters in width at its widest place, making Baishuitai the biggest limestone terraces in China.
Water from the higher reaches of Haba Snow Mountain seeps down into the uppermost terraced basin then spills over to the basin below, which it fills up before spilling over to the next basin, and so on and so forth, until the water spills over the outer rim of the last of this set of terraced basins. The basins themselves have been hollowed out over time by the erosive action of the acidic water, which in earlier times, drew out certain minerals from the limestone, creating weak carbonic acid.
Read more at: White Water Terraces in China
42. Extremely Dangerous Ropeway in a Chinese Village
Yushan is an isolated village located in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hubei and one of the many villages around the world that lack basic needs such as safer roads. The only connection with the outside world for the people in this village is a rudimentary zip line that has a simple steel cage and is powered by a diesel engine built in 1997 to help villagers travel and to bring supplies.
Read more at: Extremely Dangerous Ropeway
43. Phugtal Monastery in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir, India
Phuktal Monastery or Phuktal Gompa is one of the most isolated monastery in the south-eastern Zanskar region in Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. The monastery is a unique construction of mud and timber built at the entrance of a natural cave on the cliff face of a lateral gorge of a major tributary of the Lungnak (Lingti-Tsarap) River. From a distance, the monastery looks like a giant honeycomb.
Phuktal's design and isolated location is of spiritual significance because ancient travelling monks sheltered and meditated in the caves of this area.
Phuktal Gompa was founded in the early 12th century by Gangsem Sherap Sampo, a disciple of Gelug founderTsongkhapa. Although the monastery was constructed in 12th century, it was hidden treasure for many until Hungaraian Alexander Cosmo de Koros visited the place and stayed between the periods of 1826-27.
Read more at: Phugtal Monastery
44. Balancing Rock of Mahabalipuram in India
Krishna's Butterball is a curious tourist attraction in Mahabalipuram, a town about 60 km south of Chennai famous for its stone carvings. The "butterball" is a giant balancing rock, 5 meters in diameter, perched on a smooth slope, seemingly defying all laws of physics.
In Hindu mythology Lord Krishna had an insatiable appetite for butter, and as a child, would often sneak a handful from his mother's butter jar. Situated on a hill slope near the Ganesh Ratha this massive natural rock boulder is attributed to a bolus of butter the young Krishna would steal.
The rock's awkward position makes it quite popular with locals and tourists alike as it makes for an interesting backdrop for some whacky photographs.
Read more at: Balancing Rock at Mahabalipuram
45. Little boxes on the hillside... home to 40,000 Buddhist monks around a Tibetan monastery
The remote settlement located in the Larung Valley, Serthar County of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in China. The thousands of tiny homes sprawled up the mountainside form one of the world's largest Buddhist institutes.Nestled amid the rolling mountains, deep within the Larung Gar Valley, thousands of tiny wooden homes form one of the world's largest Buddhist institutes. The remote but sprawling settlement is found at elevations of 12,500ft and is home to over 40,000 monks, nuns and religious students.
It is located in the Larung Valley, Serthar County of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in China.
Kala Pani Cellular Jail: Former British Penal Colony for Indian Political Prisoners.
46. Kala Pani Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
The Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani or Black Water, was an infamous colonial prison situated in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian Ocean, where Indian political prisoners were kept in exile. The jail stands a symbol of colonial oppression, cruelty and untold suffering. Hundreds of political prisoners were transported to the Andamans where they remained cut off from home in mainland India by over a thousand miles of sea. The sadistic jail superintendent David Barry would tell the freedom fighters, "The wall around the jail has been deliberately built low since, even if you escape, there is nowhere you can go to."
The Cellular Jail was devised by the British as a mean to break the spirit of the freedom fighters. In fact, the jail acquired the name 'Cellular' because it is entirely made up of individual cells for solitary confinement. The first prisoners were tied three-at-a-time to a wheel which operated a pestle for crushing oilseeds. The prisoners were required to crush thirty pounds of coconut and mustard oil each day. Being unable to meet the quota would result in severe punishment shackling and flogging. There are no records of how many died or were executed.
Read more at: Kala Pani
47. Siachen, The World's Highest Battlefield
The Siachen glacier, located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalaya Mountains, is one of the five largest glaciers in the Karakoram, situated at an average altitude of 18,000 feet above sea level. At 78 km long, it is the longest glacier in the Karakoram and second-longest in the world's non-polar areas. Most of the Siachen Glacier falls under the LoC (Line of Control), a hotly contested territory between Pakistan and India. Since 1984, both countries have been fighting intermittently for sovereignty over this region, because of which the Siachen glacier is sometimes called the highest battleground on earth.
The Siachen glacier also boasts of the world's highest helipad built by India at Point Sonam, 21,000 feet (6,400 m) above the sea level, to supply its troops. India also installed the world's highest telephone booth on the glacier.
48. World's Longest Sea Bridge: The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge in China
The bridge was built in just 4 years at a cost of US$ 8.6 billion. At least 10,000 workers toiled in two teams around the clock to build the bridge, which was constructed from opposite ends and connected in the middle in the last few days. The 450,000 ton structure of steel is supported by 5,200 columns and is strong enough to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, typhoons or the impact of a 300,000 ton vessel.
The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, connecting the city of Qingdao in Eastern China's Shandong province with the suburban Huangdao District across the waters of the northern part of Jiaozhou Bay, is the longest bridge over water.
The 42.5 kilometer bridge is more than 4 kilometers longer than its previous record holder - a bridge over water is the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.
Read more: World's Longest Sea Bridge
49. Giant Robot Elephant: Ultra Awesome Giant French Robot Elephant
Gigantic robotic elephant (5 times the size of a real elephant), this mechanical huge machine, inspired from Ancient Civilization, is a smart artificial elephant made up from recycled material, built-in France. The 12 meter high feller weighs about 45 tons and can carry up to 50-55 passengers at a time.
This monstrous robot elephant is known simply as "Great Elephant" and is made of mostly recycled steel, and wood. It's incredibly life like movements are controlled by 22 people operating different motors, and hydraulics that are housed inside its steel frame. It was created by a company called La Machine to be featured in street performances in Nantes, France.
50. Seagaia Ocean Dome: An Artificial Beach in Japan
The Ocean Dome, which was a part of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort, measures 300 meters in length and 100 meters in width, sported a fake flame-spitting volcano, artificial sand, artificial palm trees and the world's largest retractable roof, which provided a permanently blue sky even on a rainy day. The air temperature was always held at around 30 degrees Celsius and the water at around 28. The volcano becomes active every 15 minutes and spews fire every hour, and incredible waves lashes the beach for surfers delight.
The beach can accommodate 10,000 tourists, and the kicker is that there's an actual beach only 300 meters away. It opened in 1993, and visitor numbers peaked in 1995 at 1.25 million a year.
51. Taklamakan desert, in China - The Green Belt Along The World's Longest Desert Highway
The Tarim Desert Highway across the Taklamakan desert, in China, links the cities of Luntai and Minfeng on the northern and southern edges of the Tarim basin. The total length of the highway is 552 km, of which approximately 446 km is built across uninhabited areas covered by shifting sand dunes, 20 metes tall, that frequently bury the highway.
To prevent the highway from getting buried by the encroaching sand dunes, rows of vegetation were planted on both sides of the road to anchor the sand with their roots. A massive irrigation system was constructed that pump water from underground reservoirs to sustain the artificial ecosystem.
52. The Rainbow mountains of China
The colorful Rainbow mountains of the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in China.
China's rainbow mountains may look like a page out of a coloring book or an animated dreamscape, but they're the real deal, located in the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu Province. The technicolor stripes on the rocks show layers of sandstone and mineral deposits that formed on top of one another over the course of 24 million years. The region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.
53. The Great Wall of India - Kumbhalgarh Fort
The Great Wall of India - 36 Kms wall around Fort Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan. The 2nd longest wall after the Great Wall of China. Kumbhalgarh is a massive fortress situated 82 kms from Udaipur in Rajasthan. The walls of this fortress constitute a perimeter of around 36 kms, and are said to be the longest wall in India, and the second longest in the world, after China's Great Wall.
The wall that surrounds the ancient fort of Kumbhalgarh is one of the best-kept secrets in India, and perhaps the world. Protecting a massive fort that contains over 300 ancient temples, the wall was constructed half a millennium ago in tandem with Kumbhalgarh Fort itself.
54. Magnetic Hill in Ladakh, India
Magnetic Hill is located about 30 kilometres off the gorgeous town of Leh in Kashmir. At 14,000 feet above sea level, the hill is alleged to have magnetic properties strong enough to pull stationary cars uphill at a speed of around 20 km/hr.
Aircrafts flying in this area at low levels have reported that they witness magnetic interference in this area. To visit the Magnetic hill, you will have to travel Leh. From Leh you can hire a local guide who would take you to Magnetic hill. Only a sign board has been placed by officials to indicate Magnetic Hill.
55. 10,000 Year Old Cave Paintings Of Aliens And Spaceships Discovered In India
Prehistoric paintings in a cave in India may indicate that alien travelers visited the site eons ago, an archaeologist says. The paintings depict what appear as humanoids with featureless faces and a tripod object that could be a vehicle.
The peculiar find was discovered in a cave system under the Charama region in Kanker district in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Preliminary dating says the pictures are at least 10,000 years old, reports the Times of India.
Archaeologist JR Bhagat believes that the paintings can serve as evidence of the paleocontact hypothesis, which says that in prehistoric times Earth was visited by members of an advanced alien civilization.There are several beliefs among locals in these villages. While few worship the paintings, others narrate stories they have heard from ancestors about "rohela people" - the small sized ones - who used to land from sky in a round shaped flying object and take away one or two persons of village who never returned.
56. Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India
Kailash Monolithic Hindu Temple - Ellora Caves in India: An extravagant stone complex known as Kailash Temple rises alongside high basalt cliffs in the Indian state of Maharashtra. While the complex appears as a free-standing structure, it was carved out of one single rock, from top to bottom. The Kailash Temple is the unrivaled centerpiece of the Ellora Caves, which consists of 34 caves built between the 5th and 10th century.
The Kailash temple represents a unique conjunction of two dominant styles. Buddhist cave architecture and Hindu temple style. The temple is an enormous monolithic rock carving in an unusual form. The main temple has a pillared prayer hall with a unique pattern on the rooftop consisting of lions within concentric circles. Five subsidiary shrines and two gigantic light stands are carved directly out of stone. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and leaves a lasting impact on every visitor.
57. The White Desert in Egypt
The White desert, is in Egypt, between the Bahariya and the Farafra oasis. About 45 km north of Farafra, the White Desert begins. It's truly a white desert in clear contrast with the yellow desert elsewhere, something which you will not believe before seeing with your own eyes. At night, and many of the organized trips out here include overnight stay out in the desert. The white desert is best viewed at sunrise or sunset, in the light of a full moon, which gives the landscape an eerie Arctic appearance.
The White Desert is a popular tourist spot for its dramatic and unusual rock formations. The snow-white desert is actually made of chalk that has been exposed for years to what geologists call "differential weathering," the erosion of soft particles that results in eerie protrusions of hard rock. These mushrooms shaped rock formations are ten to fifteen feet tall. The limestone bases had been worn away by the mixture of wind and sand that had blown by them at high speeds for thousands of years.
58. Sculptures of Khajuraho Temple in Madhya Pradesh, India
Khajuraho's temples have gained worldwide fame due to the explicit erotic sculptures carved on them. Although they are often -- understandably -- called the 'Kama Sutra Temples', the carvings do not mirror the teachings from the original and often misunderstood text about sexuality and erotica.
Khajuraho was one of the capitals of the Chandela kings, who from the 9th to the 11th century CE developed a large realm, which at its height included almost all of what is now Madhya Pradesh state. Khajuraho extended over 21 sq. km and contained about 85 temples built by multiple rulers from about 950 to 1050.The Khajuraho temples were built over a span of a hundred years, from 950 to 1050.These Temples are decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art. The Khajuraho Group of Monuments has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be one of the "seven wonders" of India. There are currently 22 temples that have preserved sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian culture.
59. The highest road in the World - Khardung la pass in Ladakh
The Khardung la pass in Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is the world's highest Motorable road.
The world's highest road is the Khardung la pass in Kashmir at an oxygen-starved altitude of 5,602m (18,379 feet).45km of straight uphill ascent, 2,100 metres above Leh. Khardung La is a high mountain pass located in Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is one of the three passes of the Leh-Manali road which was completed in 1976 by the Border Roads Organisation, New Delhi, India. Motor vehicles have been able to use it since 1988.
60. Amazing Fly Geyser in Nevada, USA
Fly Geyser is a very little known tourist attraction, even to Nevada residents. Located about 100 miles north of Reno, Nev., is the tiny town of Gerlach. Twenty miles north of that is Fly Ranch, home to one of the most unique geysers in the world. It is located right near the edge of Fly Reservoir and is only about 5 feet high, 12 feet if you count the mound on which it sits. The Geyser is not an entirely natural phenomenon, and was accidentally created in 1916 during well drilling, the geyser started spewing water in the 1960s when a geothermally heated pack of water found a weak spot in the wall and began escaping. Dissolved minerals rose and accumulated creating the mound on which the geyser sits. Water now continually spews into the air, reaching up to 5 feet, making it resemble a miniature volcano.
Fly Ranch is a private property that's protected by a heavy-duty fence. Owners are happy to give tours of the geyser, but you have to contact them first and arrange for them to let you in.