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5 Most surreal places in the world

Updated on September 23, 2013

The world is filled with wondrous visual treasure finds waiting for the eager adventurer to stumble upon them. These places are like sleeping giants which are only awakened from time to time by the interested and tireless wanderers looking for surrealism captured in a tangible form. Vacations and gateways can both be for relaxation and adventure, travel to the highest mountain and hike long distances to find some of the most risky and breathtaking experiences. Many places are considered odd or weird but only a handful of locations on this earth can really hold up to their surreal status. These places give an outer body experience to the traveler and make them feel as if they are visiting another planet rather than standing on native soil. Are you ready to conquer the highest peaks and submerge into the deepest depths of the ocean to steal the concealed secrets of Mother Earth? Adventure into the unknown, be brought to the verge of tears, make your heart skip a beat and your hair stand on end, by visiting surreal places that will leave youin awe. Read on for 5 places seemingly taken out of Salvador Dali’s imagination and painted into our world.

Badab-e Surt, Iran

Badab-e Surt is a natural site in the Mazandaran province of northern Iran. This interesting and picturesque land formation was created over thousands of years from the flowing water of two hot mineral springs. As it cooled, the springs deposited carbonated minerals on the mountainside leading up to the stepped travertine terrace formations of orange, red and yellow colored pools seen above.

Skaftafell Ice Caves, Iceland

The Skaftafell ice caves were created by the unparalleled forces of the Vatnajvkull ice cap. For centuries, ice coming down from the glaciers metamorphosed into highly pressurized glacier ice that contains virtually no air bubbles. Because of the lack of air bubbles, the light absorbed by the glacier creates a blue glow visible to the naked eye. Be aware that this glow is only visible a few times a year. If you want to pursue the caves under natural light, check out these crystalized caves in late January or early February when the rain washes away the surface layer of the glaciers allowing in the light.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

The only way to describe this ocean of salt is to say it’s a wild brain teaser that makes you feel like you’ve just landed on Mars. This former home of a prehistoric lake goes to infinity and beyond, as it is the largest salt flat in the world. The 4,086 square miles of the Salar de Uyuni are completely surrounded by the Andes Mountains. For thousands of years, the runoff from the mountains has been left to settle in this area because there are no drainage outlets. This has led to one huge white sea of salt. If you are lucky enough to visit the Solar de Uyuni after it rains you’ll experience an other-worldly sensory explosion as the salt flats become a mirror of the sky.

Check out this great article with outer planetarium pictures of the Solar de Uyuni.

Lake Hillier, Australia

Lake Hillier is on Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago of Western Australia. The most notable feature of this mind boggling lake is, somewhat an elephant in the room - the bright bubblegum pink color. Scientist have not determined the exact cause of the coloring but believe that it is due to a large concentration of halophilic bacteria within the salt crust as well as organisms Dunaliella salina and Halobacteria. Feel free to travel to Lake Hillier throughout the year because this color is a permanentfeature. The lake is also safe for swimming so bring your swim suit, sunnies and sunblock because it is Australia after all. Most interesting fact about Lake Hillier: if you decide to put some of the water in a clear vessel, the color comes with it!

The Lencois Sand Dunes, Brazil

The ribbons of dunes above are located on Brazil’s northeastern coast in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. These dunes are the largest coastal dunes in the world and have the very unique characteristic of creating fresh water lagoons between the sand. The dunes themselves are formed through heavy winds and ocean currents, they are then filled up with fresh water by heavy rainfall creating blue and green lagoons. The sand dunes in the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park are not actually a dessert because they receive regular rainfall during the beginning of the year. These lagoons are at their fullest between July and September; a variety of fish can be found thriving in them. No worries about these fish during the dry season as their eggs are then brought to the sea by birds before the dunes completely dry up.

Discover some of the Most beautiful abandoned places in the world.


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    • Jetstream profile image

      The Jetstream 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks so much for the great comments!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Surreal is right! I don't think I've ever heard of any of them. Thanks for sharing! Voted up, beautiful and interesting!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Awesome and amazing places. While I'd love to see the pink lake, don't think I'd swim in it, no matter what they say!