Everybody has heard the term “the world is a strange and unusual place” at some point. The thing about the phrase is it’s entirely true. From strange natural phenomena to man-made mysteries and oddities, one would have to be immortal to ever get bored traveling this unique little planet.
Here are some of the strangest sites on Earth, be they natural or man-made, it all comes together in a perfect bizarre sort of harmony.
10. Coober Pedy – Australia
Coober Pedy is a town that has been dubbed “the opal capital of the world” due to the fact that it supplies most of the world’s gem quality opal. The unbelievable part isn’t the amount of opal at the location, but rather how the miners have decided to live on site; most of the town is underground to avoid the blistering desert heat.
Underground you will find the residences carved right into the stone. In addition to the residences, there is an underground bar, dining, various businesses, and underground churches. Air shafts go above the surface to the town down below to supply oxygen.
Since temperatures do drop at night, the town has an above ground drive-in theater and a golf course that utilizes glowing balls for night time play.
9. Love Land – South Korea
This theme park on Jeju Island in South Korea is described on its website as “a place where love oriented art and eroticism meet.” Yes, Love Land is indeed a sex oriented theme park.
Throughout the day the park airs sex education videos, and boasts 140 different statues of an erotic nature, such as couples engaging in various sexual positions. Some of the city’s statues are interactive, allowing visitors to press buttons or turn cranks to watch the sculptures engage in sexual acts.
Love Land has become a popular destination for South Korean newlyweds on their honeymoons. The park requires that visitors are at least 18 years of age.
8. Crooked Forest – Poland
The Crooked Forest is an area of roughly 400 trees, planted around 1930, that have grown horizontally near the base of the tree for a few feet before they abruptly begin to grow vertically again. It’s assumed that this bend is man-made, but the methods aren’t known for sure. The best guess anyone can come up with is the trees were held down for a number of years before being allowed to grow straight again. Many have figured that whoever originally planted the trees was going to utilize the curves in furniture making.
It is guessed that the original tree farmer left their plans behind after the outbreak of the Second World War, allowing the forest to continue growing without being chopped down for its unique wood.
7. The Door to Hell – Turkmenistan
While the Door to Hell appears to be some strange natural phenomenon, it is actually a combination of a natural area with an unexpected side effect from man’s tampering.
In the 1970’s, drilling began at the site to harness an abundant source of natural gas. Eventually, the ground underneath the drilling equipment collapsed. A huge crater was formed that began to emit dangerous levels of methane gas. Fearing for the safety of the locals, it was decided to ignite the gas and burn it up. It was expected to burn for a few weeks, but has resulted in a flaming whole of boiling mud and rock that has remained lit for over 40 years.
6. Island of the Dolls – Mexico
There is a small man-made island near Mexico City that was once owned by a man named Don Julian Santana. Legend has it that he witnessed the drowning death of a little girl in 1950. Fearing that her spirit still haunted the island, he began hanging little toy dolls as tribute to the little girl to keep her spirit from getting angry or malicious. He would find the dolls wherever he could, which would generally be in the trash of others. Regardless of the doll’s condition, it was mounted to a tree or stake. As time has gone on, they’ve come to look like the decaying bodies of infants strung up about the island. Over 1,500 dolls populate the island.
The brother of the original owner currently resides on the island, running it as a tourist attraction. He claims the spirit of the little girl is still there, and at night the dolls have been known to turn their heads and whisper to each other.
5. Pink Lake – Australia
Pink Lake in Australia is not always the vibrant pink color it has been named for. Certain conditions must be met to achieve the color, but it is most assuredly a natural occurrence.
When levels of green algae and brine shrimp are at a high enough point, the salinity of the lake reaches a point higher than seawater, the lake receives enough light, and the temperature is high enough, the algae begins to absorb beta carotene. As a result, pink halobacteria grow in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake. The resulting color is a shockingly bright pink, almost like cotton candy or bubble gum.
4. The Killing Fields – Cambodia
The Killing Fields are a series of 20,000 mass graves containing over 1.3 million bodies in Cambodia. So many people were killed by the communist Khmer Rouge regime that the bones of the dead have overflown trenches buried for the bodies. The results are large stretches of area that have the appearance of roads paved with skeletons.
The eeriest parts of the Cambodian Killing Fields are the skulls interjecting the less ominous bones. Holes can still be seen in the sides of the skulls where the former owner had been bludgeoned to death. It’s a truly disturbing site that one would only expect to see in a post-apocalyptic horror film.
3. BonBon-Land – Denmark
This theme park in Denmark was built in response to a number of children that were interested in visiting the factory of a Danish candy-maker that specialized in strange and humorously named confections. Many were named and shaped like animal excrement. Due to various sanitation and health code regulations that would not allow hordes of children to visit, Michael Spangsberg decided to open a theme park for the children instead. It has since become a widely popular tourist attraction in Europe.
Much like the candy that inspired the park, the park’s theme is animal excrement. There are statues of animals urinating, vomiting, and defecating on the ground; even the rides are similarly styled. Bonbon-Land might be the only place in the world where you can ride The Farting Dog, a roller coaster that veers through piles of fake dog poop.
2. Odessa Catacombs – Ukraine
Underneath Odessa and possibly stretching to Paris, are the Odessa Catacombs. The tunnels below the ground are estimated to have first been carved in the 1600’s. It wouldn’t be until much later that the Catacombs were mined for limestone. Most of the city was built from this limestone, creating the gigantic labyrinth below the city of Odessa that goes on for some 2500 kilometers.
Since it isn’t technically illegal to go into the catacombs, many adventurers have taken the challenge. Search parties have had to recover children that went missing in the maze. The most notorious story of an individual getting lost in the maze is of a girl that decided to drunkenly explore the maze after partying on New Year’s Eve. Her body was eventually found, dead and shriveled up in the tunnels.
1. Oak Island Money Pit – Nova Scotia
The Money Pit in Nova Scotia is one of planet Earth’s last great unsolved mysteries.
In 1795, Daniel McGinnis saw strange lights circling around the sky above Oak Island. When he went to the small island to check it out, he found a large circular depression in the dirt that would have been underneath the lights he had witnessed. In some stories, a block and tackle hung on a branch above the spot but it’s said this detail was not a part of the earliest accounts.
McGinnis and his friends began to dig on the depression, they encountered thick wooden timbers laid across the hole and embedded in the clay. Every ten feet they experienced this arrangement of timbers. Eventually, the boys gave up.
Through the years, many companies have gotten rights to dig in hopes of finding what many to believe to be treasure buried by the pirate Captain Kidd. While no one has yet to find real treasure, one company excavated something strange; a stone tablet with symbols of unknown origin inscribed on it.