Earth is a weird place. It’s full of weirdos. It’s full of weird inventions like the Teddy Bear. And that weird dubstep music nonsense. But it’s also full of weird places that are also kind of cool to visit. Some are creepy. Others provide a unique experience that you can’t find anywhere else. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 8 of them.
1. Lake Natron – Northern Tanzania
Traveling here leaves you feeling like you’re on the moon. The waters of Lake Natron are inhospitable to most life forms due to their extreme temperatures – sometimes reaching 140°F (60°C) – as well as the high levels of alkaline, which can cause pH levels to exceed 12. But what really makes this place weird is all the calcified animal carcasses everywhere. But contrary to all those stories out there, the animals actually don’t turn to stone by touching the lake. Instead, the extremely reflective nature of the water confuses them and causes them to crash and die, after which they eventually calcify.
2. The Gates of Hell – Darvaza, Turkmenistan
Located in the hot, expansive Karakum Desert, this fiery crater has been burning since 1971. At that time, the Soviets were drilling the area for methane gas, but clearly had no idea just how much was under there. They found out soon enough after the drilling rig accidentally punched into a massive underground natural gas cavern. With the gas now exposed to the nearby populace, they did the only logical thing they could: they set the hole on fire with the expectation that it would burn out in a few weeks. Nearly 50 years later, we’re all still waiting.
3. Lake Hillier – Western Australia
If swimming in a lake of bubble gum is your dream, keep on dreaming. But Lake Hillier along the south coast of Western Australia gives you the next best thing. The unusual pink, vibrant color of the water is the result of an organism known as Dunaliella salina. The salt levels of the lake are comparable to the Dead Sea, but it is perfectly safe to swim in.