Seriously Weird Places Around the World

1. Spotted Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Canada’s Spotted Lake has long been revered by the native Okanagan (Syilx) people and it’s easy to see why they think of it as sacred. In the summer the water of the lake evaporates and small mineral pools are left behind, each one different in colour to the next.

The unique lake can be viewed on Highway 3, northwest of the small town of Osoyoos, although visitors are asked not to trespass on tribal land. If you’re looking to explore more waters, read our selection of 20 breathtaking lakes around the world.

Spotted Lake in Okanagan valley, Canada © sebastienlemyre/Shutterstock

Spotted Lake in Okanagan valley in Canada is a truly funny place to visit © sebastienlemyre/Shutterstock

2. The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Sixty million years ago a huge volcanic eruption spewed out a mass of molten basalt, which then solidified and contracted as it cooled, creating the cracks that can be seen today. There are an estimated 37,000 polygon columns at this World Heritage Site, so geometrically perfect that local legend has it they were created by a giant. It’s a firm contender for one of the weirdest places on earth.

Consider taking a day tour from Belfast to explore the scenery. If you’re thinking of heading further afield to find natural wonders, read our write-up on the best volcanoes around the world.

The fascinating Giant Causeway in Northern Ireland © Kanuman/Shutterstock

The Giant Causeway with its otherworldly basalt columns is a very unique places to visit in the world © Shutterstock

3. Thor’s Well, Oregon, USA

In rough conditions at Thor’s Well in Oregon, also known as Spouting Horn, the surf rushes into the gaping sinkhole and then shoots upwards with great force. It can be viewed by taking the Captain Cook Trail from the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area visitor centre – but for your own safety stay well back, especially at high tide or during winter storms.

If you’re looking to travel around the surrounding area, read up on our reasons for exploring either Portland or Seattle, or both!

4. Pamukkale, Turkey

A remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Turkey, a visit to Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) also takes in the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, the once great city that was built around it. Water cascades from natural springs and down the white travertine terraces and forms stunning thermal pools perfect for a quick dip.

We recommend joining a small group tour to have a guide with you. If this is the first you’ve heard of Pamukkale, you may also want to find out more facts about Turkey.

Vibrant Pamukkale in Turkey © Suksamran1985/Shutterstock

Pamukkale’s striking terraces are certainly a weird place to visit © Shutterstock

5. Lake Hillier, Western Australia

This remarkable lake is on the largest of the islands in Western Australia’s Recherche Archipelago. The lake keeps its deep pink colour year-round, which some scientists say is down to high salinity combined with the presence of a salt-loving algae species known as Dunaliella salina and pink bacteria known as halobacteria.

To really take in this spectacle, consider a scenic flight (1:40h) from Esperance airport. If you’re travelling around this part of Australia, discover the must-see sights in our stunning gallery of Western Australia’s remote northwest.

The pretty pink Lake Hillier

Pretty in pink: Lake Hillier — a seriously weird place © Shutterstock

6. Badab-e Surt, Iran

These beautiful travertine terraces in northern Iran are an incredible natural phenomenon that developed over thousands of years. Travertine is a type of limestone formed from the calcium deposit in flowing water, and in this case it’s two hot springs with different mineral properties. The unusual reddish colour of the terraces is caused by the high content of iron oxide in one of the springs.

There is plenty of colour elsewhere in Iran. Head to the Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Esfahan to find endless bright tiles in one of the biggest squares on the planet. Iran’s Masjid i-Imam mosque also features in our round-up of awe-inspiring architectural wonders,

Iran is home to plenty of colour, such as Badab-e Surt

Badab-e Surt at sunrise © Jakob Fischer/Shutterstock

7. The Tianzi mountains, China

Found in the northwest of Hunan Province in China, these staggering limestone pinnacles are covered in lush greenery and often shrouded in mist. A cable car goes as far as Huangshi village and from here there are plenty of trails to take in the breathtaking views of Tianzi (‘son of heaven’). Unsurprisingly, they are the inspiration for the floating mountains in the blockbuster movie Avatar.

If you’re looking to explore more of what the country has to offer, discover things not to miss in China.

The towering Tianzi moutains in Chile

Tianzi Shan Mountain Peak © Ayotography/Shutterstock

8. The Nasca Lines, Peru

The animal figures and geometric shapes etched by the ancient Nasca into Peru’s barren Pampa de San José are one of South America’s great mysteries. Visible only from the air or from a metal viewing tower beside the highway, some of the unexplained shapes are up to 200m in length and each one is executed in a single continuous line. It’s most certainly one of the strangest places in the world.

The Nasca Lines are best to be explored from one of the scenic flights, to discover the huge figures and animals. Beyond the Nasca Lines, there is plenty more to explore in the fascinating country of Peru. From the Uros Islands to the Valley of the Pyramids, don’t miss out on its must see sights.

The fascinating etchings of the Nasca Lines

The Condor © Robert CHG/Shutterstock

9. The Bermuda Triangle, North Atlantic Ocean

Long shrouded in myth and mystery, the infamous 500,000 square miles also dubbed the Devil’s Triangle is roughly the area between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Although the US Coastguard disputes any such area exists, conspiracy theories thrive on stories about unusual magnetic readings and ships, planes and people who have disappeared here without a trace.

Things not to miss: Catamaran Sails on Caribbean Sea, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Catamaran Sailing

10. Socotra Island, Yemen

Separated from mainland Africa more than six million years ago, this remote island looks like the set of a sci-fi film. Socotra’s incredible and unique biodiversity means that there are plants and trees here not found anywhere else in the world – particularly bizarre are the ancient and twisted dragon’s blood tree and the bulbous bottle tree. Definitely one of the most unique places to visit in the world!

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