Mother Nature’s striking good looks might win you over most of the time, but on the odd occasion she might just give you the creeps. These mysteriously spooky natural wonders of the world are all beautiful in their own weird and wonderful way, yet some of them could make up the perfect Halloween horror movie set.
Whether you’re totally terrified or left scratching your head at these six natural wonders, you might want to consider adding some to your bucket list (provided there’s someone close by to hold your hand).
1. Madidi National Park, Bolivia
You’ll find this jungle paradise in the upper Amazon River basin in Bolivia, and it’s one of the few largely untouched places on the planet. So what’s the catch? Well first of all it’s a South American jungle (and who knows what’s lurking around the corner in there). Secondly, just about everything here is poisonous – insects, plants, moths… even the ticks. Which brings the question: why would you dare visit somewhere that is home to some of the most dangerous flora and fauna in the world? Well, plenty of people do, although many do so via a guided tour.
2. Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
If you thought the name Danakil Depression sounded, well, a little depressing, how’s the ‘Gateway to Hell’ for a nickname? Located in the northern part of the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia, the Danakil Depression is a geological phenomenon categorised by its active volcanoes, as well as the yellow and orange hues of sulphurous mounds that cover much of the surface. This area is said to be the hottest place on earth, except it doesn’t look anything like earth at all. Seeing this region first hand will feel like you’ve been transported to Mars. Nevertheless, this is one of the most unique natural wonders you’re likely to come across.
3. Racetrack Playa, Death Valley, California
Here’s a spooky mystery that needs solving. For years there has been a number of theories that have tried to explain why large rocks move across flat dirt in one of the driest, hottest places on earth. Over the decades, people have been amazed by the trails left behind by rocks that appear to have moved on their own. Despite several people claiming terrestrial forces play a part, the most feasible theory comes from brothers Richard and James Norris, who state that ice forms under the stones overnight causing them to move and leave a trail. We’ll stick with the alien theory though (it’s a lot more fun).
4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Found mainly in the US state of Wyoming (but also extending into Montana and Idaho), this national park is a beautiful wilderness recreation area serving as one of the country’s best hotspots for nature lovers. Various animals call this place home where swooping canyons, alpine rivers and lush vegetation make for glorious pictures. Yet what makes Yellowstone even more appealing is that it has the highest concentration of geysers on the planet. Over 300 of them can be found here with the most famous ‘Old Faithful’ experiencing an eruption every 55 to 120 minutes, each lasting two to five minutes. Perhaps creepy isn’t the word, but it certainly isn’t your everyday occurrence. The mean eruption interval continues to lengthen, making this an ongoing place of mystery – even for geologists.
5. Gomantong Caves, Malaysia
There are many spine-chilling caves around the world but Gomantong Caves – found on the island of Borneo in Malaysia – may be the creepiest of the bunch. These impressive hollows are home to an array of species including more than a million bats. Yes. More than a million. Don’t worry if you’re terrified of bats though, because the giant bat-eating cockroaches will save you. And if you’re not a fan of those either, there are snakes and centipedes to gobble those up too. Thank goodness for the circle of life.
6. The Devil’s Kettle, Minnesota
Yet another attraction with a name that doesn’t correlate to its beauty, the Devil’s Kettle is a waterfall found in Minnesota’s Judge C.R. Magney State Park. It looks like any other normal waterfall, right? Wrong. The two-pronged falls have been baffling geologists, visitors and just about every other person who reads about it, for generations. What makes this natural wonder so weirdly mysterious is that, while one part of the Brule River drops down a stone shelf like your average waterfall, nobody knows where the water from the other half actually goes. It simply flows into a hole in the rocks and vanishes. People have tossed items into the pothole and searched the lake far and wide for their whereabouts but to no avail. Maybe the devil’s lair is down there somewhere, kitted out with all the free gifts thrown in (although we’re not about to jump in and find out).
Ready for a spooky adventure? We’ll hold your hand! Check out our range of small group adventures now.
All images via Shutterstock.