We all know the usual tourist destinations of London, Paris, and such. However, we should not forget those strange and unusual places on Earth where it seems magic, not science, made them. We’ll detail our top 5 sites we don’t believe exist in 2024.
1. Lake Retba, Senegal, Africa
Most bodies of water are a beautiful combination of blue, green, and purple. On the other hand, the water in Lake Retba in Senegal is a bright pink color. Don’t worry: someone didn’t dump a thousand tons of Pepto Bismol into the water. Lake Retba’s water is pink thanks to a high algae content called Dunaliella salina, which produces a red pigment to absorb light.
Every so often, the people living around the lake harvest salt from the water (which contains 40% salt). There’s enough salt in the water that, like the Dead Sea, you can float almost on top of the surface. Be sure to wear a lot of shea butter to protect your skin from the salt, though!
2. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
At Giant’s Causeway, you’re not only looking at a natural wonder of the United Kingdom but also a place for a great British legend. Supposedly, the Scottish giant Benandonner challenged the Irish giant Finn MacCool to a fight. Finn built the causeway across Ireland’s North Channel to meet Benandonner for the fight.
Although a mythic giant fight sounds much more interesting, it is more likely that a volcanic eruption caused the causeway. Looking at it from the side, you see several basalt towers, in hexagonal shapes, rising out of the water to form stepping stones. The best part is that you don’t need to go to a visitor’s center to visit the Causeway. It also looks incredible at sunset!
3. Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is home to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which contains many sea caves that make excellent visiting spots in summer and winter. Thousands of years of erosion from the Great Lakes have created high chambers and passageways in these caves, which can make some majestic winter sights depending on how cold it gets.
You might see high walls of frozen waves or frozen waterfalls. The ice caves are the best part of all, where various sized and shaped icicles shine off sunshine coming into the caves. We advise visitors to keep an eye on the slippery ground, especially for ice that is likely to fall.
4. Northern Lake Baikal, Russia
If you’re looking for some excellent ice castle real estate, the northern part of Lake Baikal in Russia might be nice. It is not only the largest freshwater lake in the world but also the world’s deepest and oldest lake, not to mention one of the clearest.
The northern part of the lake quickly freezes in the winter, creating a great expanse of beautiful, glass-like ice. The lake often gets stormy in the summer, making waves as high as 15 feet. The surface transparency gets as deep as 130 feet during winter but only goes as deep as 15 feet in the summer.
5. Huacachina, Peru
Several adventure stories show travelers coming across a beautiful desert oasis. Huacachina is a real-life example of that old trope, with a whole village centered around a vast lagoon in southwestern Peru. People even believe the oasis’ water and mud have magic healing powers, especially against arthritis and rheumatism. Around 100 people live there permanently, but tourists come from all over the world to visit.
Many people come to the city to enjoy the lake and sandboarding on the high dunes, and riding on sand buggies. There is even a legend about a young woman that left behind a mirror that gradually transformed into the lake at the oasis’ center. The legend also says that she lives to this day in the lake as a mermaid.
Just these five destinations are only some of the dozens of incredible locations worldwide. We hope that these five are only the start of a series of adventures to other wonders and beauties our planet has to offer!