The most beautiful landscapes on this planet are often, oddly, those which don’t seem to belong here, that instead appear to be planted from another world entirely. From colossal caves to monolithic mountains, here are our 8 most stunning otherworldly destinations worldwide.
Gaping Gill – Yorkshire, UK
Situated within what locals affectionately describe as ‘God’s Own Country’, it’s surprising to know that Gaping Gill was once superstitiously believed to be a gateway to hell. At 192 metres deep and large enough to fit the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, its sheer size is something to behold. The light which bathes the rock formations inside the cave, coupled with the awesome acoustics of the space, earns Gaping Gill its place on our list.
Door to Hell – Turkmenistan
The only man-made entry on the list, this spectacle has certainly stolen Mother Nature’s thunder. Created when a drilling rig collapsed due to a natural gas pocket under its foundations, the decision to burn off the gas led to a fire raging for over four decades rather than a few weeks. Standing overlooking the edge of the crater you’re met with a sea of fire, proving the site to be well deserving of its name.
Tianzi Mountains – China
With their narrow peaks which pierce above the clouds, it’s not difficult to see how James Cameron took inspiration from Tianzi Mountains when creating Avatar. Three hundred years of erosion have birthed elegant quartz stone peaks which look equally gorgeous whether bathed in the summer sun or capped with snow.
Ayers Rock – Australia
When visiting Australia, it’s worth breaking away from the southern cities for this spectacle alone. Situated in the heart of central Australia, Ayers rock is the phoenix which rose from the eroded ashes of an ancient mountain range, and now stands alone, accompanied only by a network of springs, caves, flora and fauna.
Avenue of the Baobabs – Madagascar
The humble dirt road which connects the two Madagascan cities of Morondaya and Belo Tsiribihina belies a truly otherworldly feat of nature. The Baobab trees which surround the road, and give the spectacle its name, appear entirely alien, with their thick trunks flaring into an intricate network of narrow branches.
Ice Cave- Russia
The most staggering entry on this list in terms of pure size, the Mutnovsky Ice Cave is a passage which spans an entire kilometre. Its ice roof is thin enough to illuminate the tunnel it sits upon, creating a myriad of beautiful patterns which you’ll struggle to believe are naturally occurring.
Fingal’s Cave- Southern Hebrides, UK
Located on the remote Isle of Mull, Fingal’s Cave is a geographic sensation, with symmetrical naturally occurring rock patterns. The cave is striking, formed of countless narrow columns the result of cracking from ancient volcanic eruptions.
Antelope Canyon- US
Easily accessible from Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, Antelope Canyon is a perfect remedy to the bustle of city life. Its deep red rock formations provide a landscape that wouldn’t look out of place on Mars. The canyon is at its most beautiful when sun beams pierce through the rocks’ slots.
More info: expedia.co.uk
Door to Hell, Turkmenistan
Ayers Rock, Australia
Fingal’s Cave, Scotland
Antelope Canyon, USA
398viewsShare on Facebook