Top 7 heavenly sights you didn't know about
Note: This are just some pictures which I gathered from the internet, I do not claim any copyright over these.
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest and deepest lake. It is the second most voluminous lake, after the Caspian Sea. As the most voluminous freshwater lake in the world Lake Baikal contains roughly 20% of the world's surface fresh water. Located in the south of Siberia (region of Russia), the body of water is also known as the "Pearl of Siberia".
At 1,642 metres, Lake Baikal is the deepest, and one of the clearest lakes on Earth. It is also the world's oldest lake (over 25 millio years old).
Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape. Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Great Coral Reif
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest reef composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms, bigger than any of our buildings, including the Great Wall or the White House. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps.
Due to the breath-taking scenery and the huge variety of life forms this is also a very popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Tourism is an important economic activity for this region, generating over 1 billion Australian dollars per year.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east, and Israel to the west. It is situated 422 metres (1,385 ft) below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land.. It is 8.6 times more salty than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment where very few lifeforms can survive, hence its name.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from Europe, The Middle East, Western Asia and Northern Africa for thousands of years. According to the Bible, this is the place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts.
The sea has a density of 1.24 kg/L, making swimming difficult, but on the upside this makes drowning very improbable, despite the sea’s lugubruos name.
Due to the high concentration of salt, certain structures, such as those presented in the pictures have formed, making the scenery even more spectacular, turning it into a true marvel of nature.
The Shilin Petrified forest
Located at a distance of 120 kilometers from the city of Kunming, China,
the Forest of Lunan claims a five square
kilometer area. The Chinese were charmed by the strange
and varied forms of the rocks (some of them reaching heights of up to 30 meters)so they gave them
suggestive names, like: "The phoenix cleaning up his feathers,"
"The Layered Waterfall" or "The blossomed lotus’ peak”.
Even if the material from which the rocks were created seems arid and lifeless, the forest shelters caves and lakes covered by a very rich vegetation. But man was never impressed by their grandeur and that’s why he has built a maze-like network of bridges, to help them get across.
But, there’s also a
local legend explaining the forrest’s origins. The locals
say that a wiseman, by the name of Guolao Zhang, was passing by, when he saw couples
of lovers who were searching for a more intimate place. The
fact that they whole region was a vast field, made things even more difficult. Zhang Guolao decided that the couples deserved some privacy, so he took
rocks from the mountains which were
placed in this form creating some sort of “booths."
A long time ago, this strange forest was merely a compact mass of limestone, but the moves in the Earth’s crust in cooperation with the forces of nature have "sculpted" it tirelessly for millions of years.
The Pamukkale Lakes
Pamukkale means "the cotton castle", which perfectly describes this place. However, some locals say that no strange shape inspired the name of the place, but that in the past this location was used to dry cotton.
These marvels of nature seem to be big, white and wavy terraces invaded by small pools of water which at the same time reflect the sky and white marble-like walls.
This fantastic landscape made up of walls, heights, terraces and stalactites covers a distance of 2.5 kilometers long, with a half a kilometer in width. The white color which is present everywhere is due to the high content of lime and dissolved minerals found in volcanic hot springs’ water. Almost everything that is achieved is covered with lime and objects submerged into the water turn into stone in a matter of days.
These lakes have a very rich history. In 190 BC, Eumenes II, king over the Greek city of Pergamon founded the city of Hierapolis exactly on this plateau. Because the Romans had a passion for water and thermal baths, the city was included in 129 BC in the Roman Empire and became a resort.
Besides the therapeutic properties of thermal water, two sanctuaries have been discovered here. One belongs to the god of darkness and death, Hades, and the other one, nearby, he is dedicated to Apollo, god of sun, music and medicine. This positionioning was not randomly chosen. In fact it marks the idea of balance and compensation which also apply to our life.
The Sognefjord (or Sognefjorden) is the largest fjord in Norway, and the second longest in the world. The fjord reaches a maximum depth of 1,308 metres below sea level, and the greatest depths are found in the inland parts of the fjord.
Near its mouth, the bottom rises abruptly to a sill about 100 metres (330 ft) below sea level. Cliffs surrounding the fjord rise almost sheer from the water to heights of 1,000 metres, thus giving Sognefjord, its spectacular view.
The climate is excellent, with mild winters and very little rain in the summer, due to the particular combination of coastal and continental climate.
The good climate, the spectacular views and the local hospitality add up, turning this into an excellent choice for a holiday.
Eisriesenwelt translates as “The World of the Ice Giants”. It is a natural limestone ice cave located in Werfen, Austria, about 40 km south of Salzburg, which if you didn’t knew, is W.A. Mozart’s birthplace. So besides the magnificent ski slopes and this one of a kind cave, this region is also rich in culture. That’s what make Salzburg one of the top destinations for tourists in Austria.
Eisriesenwelt was officially discovered by Anton Posselt, a natural scientist from Salzburg, in 1879. Before the discovery, the cave was known only to locals, who avoided it, believing that it was the entrance to Hell.
The cave is situated inside the Hochkogel mountain in the Tennengebirge section of the Alps. It is the largest ice cave in the world, extending more than 42km and visited by about 200,000 tourists every year.